April Events: From NC Beer Month to Diversity Destroyed in Berlin

After reading The New York Times Blog In Transit I became aware of events around the world that I have never heard of.

For the month of April all over North Carolina it is Beer Month.  Brewery tours, Beer festivals, and races such as the Tap “N” Run Beer Run are going on all month long.  Numerous craft beer lovers flock to NC during this month to participate in the many events.

Beer Taps

London will be hosting the third annual Grands Chefs Dinner on April 22 at Old Billingsgate in London. Relais & Châteaux, a network of more than 500 luxury hotels and restaurants around the world, puts on this extravagant dinner. The theme this year is “All the World’s a Kitchen by the Thames.” The cost of the five-course dinner is about $1,000.  I hope the food is amazing for that price.


If London is too far for you to travel you can go to Fiesta in San Antonio Texas.  This is an annual weeklong celebration marking Texas’ independence from Mexico.  The Fiesta includes parades with lots of floats, parties galore and events with debutantes in beautiful gowns.  The festivities start on April 18 so you still have time to plan your trip!


Berlin takes a different approach to anniversaries by celebrating somber events: the 80th anniversary of Hitler’s chancellorship in 1933 and the 75th anniversary since the beginning of the attacks on Jews known as Kristallnacht.  They remember these events through “Diversity Destroyed,” a program with over 100 events that lasts until November 9th.  One event is going on in the city streets right now.  Kiosks are set up to display history from 1933 to 1945 and 40 pillars show the lives of 200 Berlin citizens affected by the war.

Pictures in the News: Berlin, Germany

Photo from LA Times

It seems wherever you want to go you can find a uniquely different event for the month of April.  I wish I could go to each one.

Happy Travels!


Spring Break Marketing: “The BIC Shave Experience”

This spring break students in Panama City Beach, Florida and South Padre Island, Texas experienced BIC razors through “The BIC Shave Experience”. This campaign was created with the hope that these college students will turn into loyal customers down the line. At these spring break destinations the BIC brand was all over. There were brand-relevant games and shaving events on the beach.  Select hotels even distributed sampling kits.

The “BIC Shave Experience” was a place where men and women could get shaved by licensed barbers and cosmetologists. The females got a smooth shave with the BIC® Soleil Bella® razor.  Men could have their chests or heads shaved into BIC logos or shapes.

In addition to the events BIC placed its messages in the surrounding hotels.  They used elevator wraps, posters in the hotel lobbies and branded keycards. When the spring breakers checked in they were given samples of the razors.

This consumer experience was produced by Brand Connections, a NYC marketing and media company. The company chose to put this event on during spring break because it allows for a high concentration of 18-25 year olds. The experience took place from 3/3-3/7 and 3/19-3/23 in FL and 3/11-3/15 in TX.


Brand Connections (http://www.brandconnections.com) is an independent global marketing and media company that creates Branded Consumer Experiences™ by integrating digital and venue-based product experience networks for national and global brands. Founded in 2001, Brand Connections has connected hundreds of Fortune 500 brands with more than 2 billion customers by reaching them when they are in the right frame of mind to engage with brands. Brand Connections is expert in trial-generation; tactics include product sampling and experiences, targeted out-of-home media, experiential marketing, retail activation and digital and social media integration. Brand Connections is majority owned by Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a leading media and communications private equity firm.

BIC Consumer Products USA (http://www.bicworldusa.com) is a leading distributor of stationery products, lighters and shavers. Since its founding more than 50 years ago, BIC has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable products. Through this unwavering dedication BIC has become one of the most recognized brands in the world today, delivering “More for your money…Always!”

Throw Back Thursday: Virgin Cola PR Stunt

Virgin group founder, Richard Branson, is known as the king of publicity stunts.  Each stunt is bigger and better than the previous one.  For throw back Thursday I am going to talk about a stunt Virgin group did for Virgin Cola back in 1998.  To kick off the launch of Virgin Cola in the US, Richard Branson drove a tank down Fifth Avenue and then “blew up” the Coca-Cola sign in Times Square.  Branson expected many years worth of feuds with Pepsi and Coke for the best soda drink.  Unfortunately sales of Virgin Cola fizzled out.  Now the drink can mainly be found on Virgin Atlantic flights.

richard_branson VIRGINCOLA Tank

Today Richard Branson and Virgin Group are still one of the leaders in publicity stunts doing everything from jumping off casinos to being the fasted to cross the English Channel.  Now many other companies are trying to keep up with them.


New Event Technology

When I was reading Event Marketer I came across a list of new event technology that aims to improve events. Here are two that I found interesting:

GuppyPOD is a tabletop kiosk with a built-in tablet and photo printer. The process is super-easy: Consumers shoot a photo with their smartphones and post it to social media using your event’s hashtag. The photo gets automatically bordered with branding and printed at the kiosk and consumers pick it up and then post it all over the web.

More information on this product can be found on guppypod.com


CoatChex is a ticketless digital coat check system that requires a one-time registration for each guest and a photo to match them to their coats. The event host then has the data collected and the consumer always gets the right coat.

More information on this product can be found on coatchex.com

From a new more efficient photo booth to a digital coat check what will be next?

American Express, Leaders in Experiential Marketing

American Express has been one of the leaders in experiential marketing thanks in large part to Rich Lehrfeld, their VP of global media, sponsorship and experiential marketing.  He realized that customers responded to events that they were able to participate in. These events are much more than just the US Open or a golf event. In 2000 Amex teamed up with SFX and Ticketmaster to launch the “Summer Concerts in Blue”. This allowed Blue Amex card members early access to tickets and special experience. This program was very successful and American Express continued to expand new partnerships each year. In 2010 they launch Small Business Saturday to help get people to shop in small businesses the day after Black Friday.  It rewarded members who spent $25 in a participating small business with a $25 shopping credit.  This program had over 350 small businesses participating in its first year.

The number one lesson Lehrfeld has learned is it all begins with the customer. “It’s not about pushing your brand in front of their face,” Lehrfeld says. “It is about enhancing and benefitting their life, engaging and interacting with them when they are receptive, happy and open, bringing the physical and digital to life in a meaningful way where you create wonderful memories for people that they can share with their loved ones and friends. Focus on the customer and the consumer, and you won’t go wrong.”


Information from Event Marketer

Tips for Successful Twitter Chats

Twitter Chats are when twitter users discuss an area of interest on Twitter at a certain time.  This type of marketing is gaining popularity.  It allows brands to interact with their consumers. Here are a few tips for successful Twitter Chats:

1.     Decide and plan what you chat will be about

It may take a while to come up with a chat idea since there are already so many twitter chats out there.

2.     Choose the right topic

You want your chat to be about a topic that people care about.  The topic of your chat should pertain to your brand.

3.     Be real

Choose a topic that you are passionate about so the chat is genuine.

4.     Stick to a schedule

Most chats are once a week for an hour but you may choose whenever you would like your chat to be just be consistent

5.     Plan ahead but don’t be afraid to change

You will most likely want to stick to one topic however since it is a live conversation the topic may change.

6.     Thank your participants

At the end of the chat you should thank all your participants.

Tips from http://mashable.com/2011/06/23/better-twitter-chat-tips/

Synergy Events, a Top Event Agency

Synergy Events is an independent event-marketing agency that specializes in mobile marketing tours, PR events, product launches and sponsorship activation platforms for its sports and consumer-based clients.  Synergy has represented Fortune 100 companies, global consumer brands, sports sanctioning bodies and top PR firms.  Reebok, Citizen Paine, Weber Shandwick, Major League Soccer, and New York Knicks/MSG are a few of their clients.  They pride themselves on creating signature brand experiences that make an impact.  Their first event was 20 years ago, where they built a custom, portable court in Times Square to promote Reebok and tennis pros Michael Chang, Patrick Rafter and Venus Williams.  Since then the company has executed events at thousands of high-profile locations as well as at some of the world’s top sporting events including the Super Bowl, Daytona 500, Olympics and World Cup.  Synergy is located in Ocean, New Jersey just 50 miles from New York City.  They are also conveniently located within 200 miles of four of the top eight media markets.  Synergy Events has been named a Top 100 experiential marketing agency by Event Marketer magazine every year since 2008.

Here are just a few of their events:

Knicks Fan Central Event

"world's largest baseball card" to promote Topps Series I 2013 baseball cards

“World’s Largest Baseball Card” to promote Topps Series I 2013 baseball cards

Reebok NHL Winter Classic Zigloo