Selfie stations are trending, and this year’s marketers are capitalizing on the Internet generation’s love of media. If you’re running out of inspiring ideas, perfect online promotion options or beautiful branded representations, bring it back a little.
Miami Fashion Week 2017: What to Expect and New Trends
Every year, Miami Fashion Week is a true spectacle of Florida culture, beach life and today’s fashion stage. Florida is the swim fashion capital of the world, packing panoramic views, midday art walks and beachside displays. Soho Studios is proud to be in the mix, and we’re dishing out this year’s biggest arrivals. Miami Fashion Week hits on May 31, so get ready, gear up and get wild with these new trends, designers and events.
While Art Basal isn’t a fashion event, it still holds a heavy influence over fashion. Expect to see Dior, Chanel and Valentino. They roll into Miami each December, and they’re back to pack Art Basal with loads of fun. Bruce Weber and Terry Richardson will be there, too, photographing the event while signing books. Art Basal is expected to headline Miami Fashion Week, garnering attention up and down the street.
Funkshion Fashion Week
For your edgy pattern fix, we suggest Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach. It lasts four days, wrapping up Miami Fashion Week in the allure of music, a sizzling sartorial showcase, emerging designers and rad presentations. It’s established by providers like Chloé, but it’s contingent upon purchasing power. Show entires are free, and display items are available in nearby stores.
The First Faces Competition
On the event side of things, the First Faces Competition will highlight 2017’s hottest runway models, fashion statements and emergent styles. If you don’t see First Faces, you’re missing out. It pulls some of Fashion Week’s highlights to the forefront, giving you a dose of culture. Really, it summarizes this year’s greatest, most creative fashion choices. Don’t miss out.
The SwimShow & LingerieShow
Hosted in the Miami Beach Convention Center, the SwimShow & LingerieShow is a 400,000 square-foot exhibition. Stop by, and check out over 2,500 swim, resort, lifestyle and intimate apparel retailers. You’re bound to find interesting yearly additions here, and you can expect to see a variety of accessory designers tossed in, too. If you favor the beach-goer look, sandals and summery shades, you’ll be in the right place. Check out this year’s leading selections by Oscar de la Renta and Nanette Lepore, or get sporty with Oakley and Body Glove.
1,200 Jewelry Booths
Jewelry will be at this year’s forefront, too. The Jewelers International Showcase is one of the largest jewelry-based trade shows in America. Across its three trade shows, about 4,000 jewelry buyers will hit the Miami Beach Convention Center. Every year, the world’s largest venders—and some new ones—populate over 1,200 booths. They present new goods, introduce industry newcomers and offer low, mid and high-range purchasing options.
Miami Fashion Week, in many ways, promotes the area’s surrounding culture by giving consumers what they want: new, legendary collections. Even styles not native to Miami have a place. Because the event puts the purchasing power into the public’s hands, a slew of new fashion designers, businesses and creators have a place for expression. Check out this year’s alluring options, and navigate the high-end selections reserved for today’s hottest brands.
How to Make Your Corporate Event or Party Eco-Friendly
Every company can get extra goodwill by making their event or corporate party more eco-friendly. However, it can seem hard to do this when you have to serve or entertain large groups of people. How can you minimize the environmental footprint of 100 or even 1,000 event attendees? Fortunately, there are ways to set up your events so that even large ones have elements that are easier on the environment than their alternatives. Here are some ideas you can implement without much trouble:
Choose Reusable Tableware
Washing dishes requires soap and water, but the alternative – paper and plastic – is even worse for the environment. Paper production uses much more water than washing, and it typically results in large amounts of pollution thanks to the use of bleaches and dyes in the production process. Plastic, of course, is a petroleum product. Even worse, plastic doesn't degrade within a reasonable timeframe (some say it takes 500 years to disappear). Eliminating both paper and plastic is clearly the eco-friendly move.
Serve Vegetarian Meals
A good caterer can make vegetarian food taste great, and if your event calls for snacks and sandwiches instead of dinners, your guests may not even notice that meat isn't on the menu. The environmental benefit results from the efficiency of growing vegetables and grains compared to that of raising meat.
Why avoid meat? Raising meat animals produces pollution in the form of animal waste, contributes to greenhouse gas levels due to methane excretion, and requires more food since the feed has to go through another layer before it gets to you. Plants are much cleaner to grow, and they're more efficient because when you eat them directly, you essentially "cut out the middleman" of the food chain.
Hold Your Event in a Big City
When you have your event in a big city like Miami, your guests will be able to reach the venue via public transportation. This, of course, cuts down on the amount of gas used and air pollution produced. As a bonus, the area will have plenty of other things to do after your event ends, and your guests will love the extra entertainment possibilities.
Use Digital Signage
Many events are festooned with a wide variety of posters, pennants, and other printed materials. When the event ends, all of this paper is simply thrown away. Avoid all of that waste by using digital signs. Thanks to today's lightweight flat screens, these signs can be mounted in stands as well as hung on walls. Since they're digital, there's no need to throw them out when the current graphics become obsolete. Simply program them with new images for your next event. Alternatively, rent digital signs and simply hand them in to the rental company after your event ends.
Use Recycled Paper for Printed Materials
Digital signs eliminate the need for much paper, but you still may want to print out programs, brochures, or business cards for your event. In these cases, use paper that is totally or partially recycled to minimize your ecological footprint.
Avoid Plastic Water Bottles
Provide reusable bottles instead and have refill stations set up so guests can get more water as it is needed. If you just can't see going without the traditional plastic kind, set up recycle bins to collect them as they're emptied. Look for water brands that use recycled plastic for their bottles, too.
Rent Durable Materials
Venues such as our Soho Studios offer the chance to rent props, carpets, and other essentials for your event. Choose this option to avoid needlessly throwing away or endlessly storing items that could actually be used for years. If you do buy your own accessories, donate them to charities if you won't be reusing them.
Use Energy-Efficient Items
Many events require special gear. Make sure to choose the most efficient versions that will do the job. One suggestion is to make sure that you have LED lighting whenever possible. These lights are some of the most efficient readily-available ones on the market today.
Mention How Eco-Friendly Your Event Will Be
Helping the environment is great on its own, but the purpose of a corporate event is marketing. Be sure to let everyone know that your event is as green as possible and mention specific steps you've taken to make it that way. This will ensure that you get the expected bump in goodwill.
These are just some of the ways you can make your event more eco-friendly. Even if you can only implement some of them, you'll have a greener event than you would if you used the old-fashioned versions of everything.
For a highly flexible venue in Miami, choose Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of configurable space and rental options for all major event elements.
Experiential marketing gives your brand a chance to engage with people like nothing else. Unlike traditional advertising, or even standard "pull" ads, it puts the audience directly into the action to create total-immersion experiences. For example, a company may set up a location that sends attendees through a themed area in an almost amusement-park fashion – but this time, the themes are all connected to the brand's overall image. These events truly join the company's name and brand with great feelings of happiness, excitement, or other emotions that the company wishes to impart. A well-done event also motivates the guests to share their experiences both directly and via social media.
One thing you may be wondering about is when it's best to hold an experiential marketing event. There is no single answer, but instead, several guidelines to look at to determine the optimum time for such a presentation.
Tips for When to Hold Your Event
- If your brand or product has a powerful seasonal association, plan your event for the beginning of that season or the end of the one prior to it. This will give your audience time to go buy your products before the active season starts. A good example of a seasonal association of this nature is the connection between snow skis and winter.
- If there is a mild seasonal association, you likely sell some products during the "off" season but many more during the high time of the year. In this case, the middle of the high season is a good time for an event. An example of this type of product is cola. People drink it all year long, but there are even better sales during the heat of summer.
- Brands with no seasonal association don't have to worry about hitting a specific month or season, but should try to avoid times that compete with too many other events, conventions, or general attractions. It's easier to get people to attend when there aren't as many other things trying to draw their attention.
When to Start Planning
It's a good idea to plan an experiential marketing event as part of a larger ad campaign. This will allow it and the traditional advertising to strengthen each other. Therefore, both should be planned at the same time.
Planning for experiential marketing requires more than deciding to include it in your overall strategy. You'll need to secure a venue, sets, performers, and other essentials far enough in advance to avoid any foreseeable problems. Many venues and performers are booked months in advance, so be sure to leave enough lead time before the expected date. How much time is "enough" depends on seasonal booking fluctuations, geographic location, and the popularity of the venue, band(s), and other personnel you intend to hire. Call them all far in advance to find out how soon before your event you will need to commit to a booking.
To book your event in Miami, call Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet available. We can configure the space to meet your needs and arrange for all of the peripherals you require, such as lighting, sound, sets, videography, and more.
How Budweiser Keeps it Lit in DC
The 2017 Stanley Cup was a fantastic opportunity for brand promotion, and Budweiser took full advantage. D.C’s Verizon Center was sold out, flashing over 10,000 Budweiser Red Light Cups. Every Capitals goal against the Maple Leafs was met with additional cup-tossing displays, giving Budweiser much-warranted attention for its pre-planned event.
Bluetooth and Booze: An Uncommon Pairing
So, how’d Budweiser coordinate it? As it turns out, Bluetooth isn’t only for gadgets, cars and high-tech home inclusions. Budweiser passed out a slew of Bluetooth-enabled cups, promoting itself for the playoffs. As hockey-lovers know, a game’s goal light is one of the much anticipated parts of any display.
By coordinating each goal, Budweiser amplified the excitement. The initiative has been a hockey program staple since 2013. That said, 2017 is the first year Budweiser incorporated its high-tech cups. Fans could bring their own cups, too, downloading the offered Budweiser Red Light app. In conjunction with its Bluetooth technology, Budweiser’s own cups were activated alongside other fan-bought containers.
Celebrating Like It’s Live
Budweiser’s ultimate goal was to create a fully integrative experience, wherein game watchers could enjoy their team’s goals from the comfort of their homes. Attendees, meanwhile, could celebrate with real-time applause. Budweiser installed 25 R.F.I.D. transmitters across the stadium, lighting up all the cups at once. Meanwhile, the brand’s Red Light controller sent a signal to each transmitter, releasing a frequency capable of setting off each cup simultaneously.
Using Social Media
Fans were urged to “Rock the Red” with the #LightUpDC hashtag. Because Red Light Cups were available at all participating concession stands, fans had ample opportunity to grab the goods. Those over age 21 were invited to post further on social media, maximizing the ceremony’s visibility. The game’s epic backdrop was, of course, a highlight.
As if that weren’t enough, the red light itself was—you guessed it—a puck-shaped RFID gadget. Fans were invited to keep the cups, saving their technology for later use—and, of course, as event memorabilia. Available as of April 15th, the cups were only available to those attending the Capitals Playoff Game 2. They were, however, available at specific concession locations for the remaining playoff games. These locations included the Etihad Lounge, the Budweiser Brewhouse and Becks Lounge at the 100, 200 and 400-level concession stands.
The Party Never Stops
As stated above, event-goers could bring home the cups, downloading their own Budweiser Red Light apps on Android and iOS. Because the gadgets could be synced up at any time, Budweiser enabled ongoing celebrations via at-home “Rock the Red” parties.
It takes effort to coordinate a highly digital event remotely. Budweiser, here, displayed the savviness of a brand which knows its customers. Sure, hockey games are notoriously watched at home. As with football, it’s important to include stay-at-home fans while giving attendees something special. The widespread fan attention worked, and Budweiser expertly pulled off an unexpectedly lit display. Parties aren’t just for party-goers. Where beer is concerned, it pays off to honor the distant celebrations—no matter how far off they may be.
How to Avoid a Music Festival Disaster
Putting your business name on a music festival can give you great exposure. But as we’ve seen in real life examples, this can also backfire greatly. Take the case of the Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, which was promoted as a luxury experience but turned into a disaster. Abby Ohlheiser reported for The Washington Post that headliner band Blink-182 and others canceled just before the event, many of the tents for the event were not set up by the time guests arrived and other significant problems occurred. What should have been great publicity for the organizers turned into the wrong kind of exposure.
Obviously, you don’t want your company's name associated with a disaster. So here are some tips on how to avoid a music festival disaster and create a successful experience instead.
Work With an Experienced Team
It’s essential to have an experienced team working on a large event like a music festival. You either need your own experienced team or to work with a production partner who understands the nitty-gritty of how a music festival works and what is needed, down to every detail. Foremost, you need a strong management team who can organize and execute the event plans, with a system in place for potential problems.
Focus on Practical Needs
Putting on a music festival is not just about the music and the marketing. There is a lot of background work that needs to be done – and done right. You need to ensure you have the necessary power for the specific event, as well as access to water and proper management of waste. An experienced team will think about potential problems and make sure the logistics are capable of working out in the earliest stages before moving forward with a particular venue or the rest of the event planning. Event professionals told BizBash that they probably would not have continued with the Fyre Festival's location, at least not before consulting local professionals.
Start Small and Take It Slowly
Apparently the Fyre Festival planning started a few months before the event, and organizers ran out of time. Professional organizers take much longer to plan an event of this scale, beginning the process at least a year in advance. The Fyre Festival organizers also went full speed ahead with marketing, while event professionals normally would perform a soft launch in the beginning and try to gradually build interest and a reputation. By taking more time, you also have the chance to test your site, learn and grow in the industry and work on fitting your tactics with the right audience.
Be Prepared to Cancel
Sometimes you simply cannot get an event to work out. Planning and proper management will generally prevent the need to cancel an event but you need to realize when canceling is the only answer. Event professionals told BizBash that the Fyre Festival organizers should have canceled when they knew they couldn't fulfill their marketing promises.
When you perform proper planning and work with event professionals, you can prevent a music festival disaster and create an event that successfully promotes your brand.
Sponsoring events has long been a staple of marketing, but it may be a good idea for your company to take that concept further than just putting its sign on someone else's attraction. The most impactful way to do this is to host the entire event so that it's all yours. Not only does this give you unlimited ad placements, it allows you to engineer the entire experience for both the participants and the audience. This type of extravaganza is known as a proprietary event.
Companies that have done well with these events have learned to focus on a few powerful goals that will help their brands and marketing efforts. Here are two of the top effects that your own events should seek to achieve:
When you host a proprietary event, you have total control over the experience. Use it to project a feeling that is authentic in light of your existing brand image. A good example has been set by beer company Corona, which typically advertises using beach imagery. At their event, they included underwater photos as an attraction. They also used several themes that fit beer in general, such as parties and music, to associate their brand with fun. Corona's proprietary events are tied in with larger EDM festivals, which gives them an easy way to bring an audience over to their areas.
A Connection with Attendees and Participants
Proprietary events are the perfect vehicles for providing a fully-immersive experience that will form a bond with those who partake. Such an effect was achieved by energy bar maker CLIF Bar, which recently held events involving costumed teams of four who raced through an obstacle course. Seventy-five teams partook in the challenge, while 8,300 spectators looked on. This themed event was perfect for the company since it established a connection not only with fans, but with its own image as a brand for physically-active people.
Other Opportunities to Consider
As the host of an event, your company has the chance to bring in appropriate sponsors of its own. For example, when CLIF hosts events, it often allows local companies like bicycle shops to join in on the fun.
Done correctly, allowing smaller companies to get in on the show will simply further your theme and help cement your own brand's position in the market. Of course, sponsors also help to defray the costs of hosting the event.
If you're looking for a Miami venue for a proprietary event, contact us here at Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of configurable space for your new extravaganza.
Who doesn’t like sun, drinks, music and fashion? Coachella, the much-loved CA-based music festival, is packed with fashion brand representation. This year, a slew of brands flocked to the desert, capitalizing on Coachella’s rad fashion collection. It wasn’t all about the brands, but they certainly made a splash. Whether it was shop-able runways, hip bars, social media activations or entire branded festival lines, Coachella was the place to be. Here’s our coverage of the hottest Coachella marketing events.
Levi’s Creates Neon Carnival
Posted up in an Airstream, Levi’s gave eventgoers a power-packed experience via Tequila Don Julio. We know, it’s an odd partnership. It worked, though, and Levi’s-lovers reveled in the specialty drinks from dusk til’ dawn.
Jeremy Scott’s Moschino Party
Produced by XA, Jeremy Scott’s Moschino party featured a kitschy, Candy Crush theme. It was larger-than-life, giving guests the chance to slide into a massive ball pit. The balls were made of lucite, ignited by the pool’s neon glow.
As if that wasn’t enough, the party also featured an oversized Absolut Lite-Brite installation. Guests could place different pieces into different slots, crafting their own art, patterns and long-lasting displays. The display took on Absolut’s lime flavor color, casting a memorable light.
Victoria’s Secret Angel Escape
The Angel Escape was an islandic tent, offering comfortable seating, shade and pillows for guests. While it covered a large amount of land, it was surprisingly low-key—in a good way. Customers looking for a reprieve from Coachella’s frequently rowdy atmosphere need only step into the tent’s intimate enclosure, taking a load off the feet.
The Katy Perry Footwear Easter Sunday Recovery Brunch
For the afterparty-goers, Katy Perry Footwear featured a Sunday Recovery Brunch powered by the H.Wood Group. Sure, it might’ve been a graphic, neo-art doughnut wall, but it certainly ignited holiday cheer with an awesome nod to pastel.
The Ciroc Summer Take Over
Ironically—or, perhaps unironically—alcohol brands promoted, well, themselves at Coachella. Ciroc, in particular, hosted memorable experiential events for patrons’ eyes. The Ciroc Summer Take Over, hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel, presented the brand in a new light—a vintage one, to be exact. Ciroc bottles were displayed alongside vintage objects, florals and vinyl records, giving event goers a taste of all things classy.
Coachella is a wonderful opportunity for brands. Featuring some of today’s leading brands, the event was a powerhouse of experiential displays. We’ve kept our eye on Coachella for a while, as it always highlights emergent experiential marketing trends. We'll likely see more great displays next year. For now, however, we'll make due with this year's awesome brand contributions—powered by today's leading providers.
Who wants aerial coverage? We do, and you should too. Drones have made several appearances in 2017, and they’re popping up more frequently. You should invest, because they’re becoming a go-to resource for event marketers, brand promotion teams and event backers. If you want to have a successful, engaging event, take to the skies. Here’s why:
Outdoor Safety Precision
What? You don’t need a weather radar? Well, not exactly. You should still check the day’s forecast. You should also still invest in a security guard. Drones can pack high-end cameras, however, and they can hit regularly inaccessible angles. Whether you’re fearing crowd control issues or security breaches, a droned camera, really, is your best bet.
Facebook’s Favorite Livestream Tool
Facebook is already a popular event media platform. If you want to ramp up your event’s visibility, you should outfit your platform with a drone. Already, event marketers are using DJI drones to stream Facebook Live video. Let’s face it: Social media visibility is the best visibility. Live video via drone provides an immersive experience. It also offers an unrivaled POV.
Mobile-Controlled Mobile Hotspots
Strangely enough, you can use a drone as a WiFi hotspot for mobile devices. Drones can be makeshift cell towers, if you launch them correctly. If your WiFi networks are getting crowded, consider using a drone to boost patron reception. Your attendees will thank you.
Everyone Wants Quick Action
If you’re tired of wheeling around massive equipment, settle for something more agile. Today’s event drones weigh under 55 pounds, on average, and they’re capable of covering tight angles with the push of a button. Sometimes, the event area is too tough to cover, ground-wise. If this is the case, circumvent the headaches by using aerial coverage. Just makes sure you have FAA permission, first.
The Bird’s-Eye View
If you thought mobile-controlled drones were cool, you haven’t seen anything yet—literally. Pilots, now, can use specialized goggles to get a drone’s-eye perspective. You can also have a copilot who watches the physical equipment. Assuming you’re not understaffed, the combination makes for excellent footage coverage. A lot of todays’ event planners are hiring professional pilots to manage their drone activities. Yes, professional drone pilots exist.
At the end of the day, a drone is worth its weight in maneuverability. Before you invest, make sure you’ve got the gumption to repair, upgrade and replace when needed. Move your events at the speed of flight, and outfit your brand with a high-in-the-sky view.
How Tupac Shakur Continues to Inspire in 2017
Tupac might be gone, but his memory is strong in Tupac’s Powamekka Café. Inspired by the late Tupac Shakur, the New York soul food restaurant, Sweet Chick, transformed itself into a full-blown display dedicated to music, specials and the rap artist’s earliest visions.
Inspired by Music
Tupac Shakur’s history is packed with power and talent. One of his visions, alongside being a sensation, was to be a restaurant owner. His vision for a Southern comfort restaurant, today, has come to life in New York.
Lower East Side soul food restaurant founder, John Seymour, partnered with the Estate of Tupac Shakur to present Tupac-inspired art, personal childhood photos, poetry, music memorabilia and other defining mementos. While being a rapper, actor, record producer and activist, Tupac Shakur was—himself—a brand image. The Lower East Side restaurant, Sweet Chick, featured the artist’s creative vision in grand detail. Tupac constantly worked on pans and ideas, reaching far beyond film and music.
From Menu Concept to Management
Tupac’s original plans for opening a restaurant went far into the drafting stages. A menu concept was drafted, and the same menu was used by the Café’s creators to keep Tupac’s image true. Tupac’s Powamekka Café, at its core, is an ode to music, fashion, art and culture.
The event gave attendees first-hand looks at Bravado’s new, limited-edition Tupac by Vlone clothing and merchandise line. Powamekka Café offered the line to reconnect to the artist via his passion for food. C.E.O. of Bravado, Mat Vlastic, carried out the artist’s creative vision by giving fans new ways to engage with music, Tupac’s life and the artist’s surrounding lifestyle.
All About Southern Comfort
The Powamekka Café featured a slew of Southern Comfort entres, including gumbo, chicken and waffles and fried chicken wings. The chicken wings, in particular, were inspired by Tupac’s own family. His cousin Jamala offered the recipe, adding a touch of life to the menu. Fans were invited, but they needed to book reservations via Reserve’s exclusive restaurant technology.
Even the location’s bathrooms had Tupac’s special touch, wherein men were referred to as ‘Playaz.’ The women, meanwhile, were ‘Divaz.” In the words of John Seymour, owner of Sweet Chick, Tupac practically gave them the manuscript for creation. They simply had to “fill in a few pieces of the puzzle.” The rap artist’s name lives on, and his vision is accessible via the Powamekka Café pop-up Facebook page. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.