Event Trend: Live Art Demonstrations


At most events, one of the primary goals is to have everything done and perfect before the audience arrives. Now, many event planners are turning this idea upside-down. The new trend is to have the audience watch as key parts of the set are completed on the spot. Of course, this doesn't refer to having your guests watch men in overalls and scaffolds hammer plywood panels together! Instead, it's done by having live art demonstrations as part of the exhibition. In these, actual professional artists draw murals and other artworks during the events. Many are fascinated to be able to see the process as it unfolds.

Several variations on this idea have taken place over the last few months. Here are a few that may bring you inspiration:

The Discovery Venice Consumer Pop-Up Preview Event

Here, a surfboard artist was brought in to paint boards as people waited. Fitness gurus Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton hosted the preview event, which surely made the early guests want to come back to see the full exhibition.

Outward Bound National Benefit Dinner

Who needs candid photography when you can have an artist sketch out key scenes of your event as they happen? That's what was done at this non-profit event, where artist Michael Arthur sketched on a visible screen as presenters talked.

3 Days in Miami Festival

Put on by Red Bull Sound Select, this event featured an artist who drew both posters and portrait pins on the spot. These were handed out for patrons to take home as souvenirs. The unique nature of such mementos will surely keep Red Bull in guests' minds for years to come.

Keep a Child Alive's 13th Annual Black Ball

This charity ball celebrated the spirit of the AIDS activism of the 80s with events including a live art installation by British artist Shantell Martin.

Choosing an Artist for Your Event

In order to be successful at a live installation, an artist must be able to work fast and tune out distractions. To ensure that everything goes without a hitch, be sure to ask your preferred artist if he or she can work under these specific conditions. Of course, you should also make sure all of the details are known and settled, such as: What will be drawn, what style of art you'll get, and similar aspects. This way, you can be sure that the results will match the brand image you want to portray.

For a great venue for your next event in Miami, try Soho Studios. We have 70,000 square feet of space that can be configured for almost any event. You won't have any trouble fitting a large enough canvas inside for your live art displays!

Pop Up Event Trend: How Popular Mechanics made DIYers out of Attendees


Popular Mechanics has been in the game for a while, helping DIY pros reinvigorate their lifestyles with new, exciting opportunities. While not typically found chilling with Esquire and GQ, its newest approach to industry appearance has revitalized some of its deeper aspects. Popular Mechanics invented The Lodge: The Ultimate Winter Clubhouse. Event-goers were invited to partake in the stylishness underlining Popular Mechanics. Of course, feasts, crafts and cocktails were part of the package.

Brand Modernization

Today, brands face industry growth with intensity. Unsurprisingly, constant modernization is responsible for success. Popular Mechanics, displayed through the Hearst publication, powered The Lodge by inviting over 500 attendees. The Lodge was a modern digital extravaganza, offering hands-on demos, industry news and tastings. The Hearst, having celebrated its 115th anniversary, assisted Popular Mechanics with an intelligent team of publication partners and editors.

New advertisers, too, were present. Popular Mechanics has worked on reinvigorating its public appearance for years. While media appearances worked well in the past, a closer approach was needed to redistribute creativity and harness success. The Lodge, in essence, served to embody the modern industry’s latest, greatest technological features.

A Massive Event Space

The Ultimate Winter Weekend Clubhouse was established in Kinfolk94—which is a well-known retail and event space powered in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section. The event prioritized earthy tones, pinpointing the Popular Mechanics DIY vibe with backdrops, beer and digital outdoor landscape displays. Facebook Live, meanwhile, helped event-goers share demos, activate premium digital options and view trending GIFs.

Timothy Dahl, West Coast editor for Popular Mechanics, demoed the brand’s DIY firewood coasters. A Dremel hand tool seminar and workshop was had, as was a meeting with Slightly Alabama’s Dana Glaser. Attendees were invited to craft Brooklyn leather accessories, custom leather wallets and other designs. Knickerbocker MFG’s Brian Brinkley, meanwhile, helped attendees customize bandanas, craft new retro looks and discuss modern style.

Meeting in the Middle

Because Popular Mechanics upholds the virtues of “rustic living,” craftiness and resourcefulness, its public extravaganza in The Lodge offered a highly unique opportunity. Industry appearances can be grown. They can also be adapted. By pairing technology with its age-old love of all things DIY, Popular Mechanics proved itself to be a long-term provider wile molding to new marketing demands.

Among its wonderful presenters, Popular Mechanics enlisted Jeff Conley—a neo-folk musician—to perform with a DIY ukulele crafted from a YETI water bottle. If the display didn’t depict the new Popular Mechanics approach enough, Blue Moon’s beer tastings certainly warmed patrons up. The Popular Mechanics experience was a practical one, where hands-on experiences surpassed industry expectations. The marketer’s struggle, today, exists in adapting old ideas to an ever-growing, increasingly demanding, industry. Fortunately, old dogs can learn new tricks—and Popular Mechanics is one of the oldest dogs around.

Ford Joins the New "Escape the Room" Trend and Adds Innovation to the Popular Game


For the millennial generation, "escape the room" competitions have become one of the most popular interactive activities around. Taking a concept rooted in a pretty basic type of point and click computer game, team members are locked into an actual room, and must use various objects and clues that have been left in the room in order to get out. At the end of June, Ford used this trendy pastime to create an experiential marketing event to promote the Ford Escape. What made Ford's use of the pop culture craze unique is that rather than alluding to a popular activity, they actually expanded on the theme, creating a game that was more elaborate than the popular versions for which tickets sell out quickly. Additionally, the technology that is built into the Ford Escape was so integrated into the fabric of the game, that in order for players to succeed, they needed to pay close attention to the parts of the event that can often cause people to get distracted: product marketing.


The game was limited to 1,000 lucky participants, even though it was held in a massive 35,000 sq. ft. New York City location. As the name suggests, escape the room games generally require players to get out of one room in order to win, but for Ford's event, this was expanded to the requirement of getting out of 5 separate rooms to achieve success. There was only 30 minutes allowed to finish the entire course, meaning that there was only 6 minutes allotted to escaping each individual room.

In order to get out of each room, the player would have to use knowledge of one aspect of the technology included in the Ford Escape. This means that during the pre-game information session, when players were introduced to the 2017 Ford Escape. Seated inside the SUV with a brand ambassador pointing out highlights the players all had a vested interest in paying close attention: their success in the game depended on it.

The game was designed by the master and creator of the original "Escape the Room" physical adventure games, Victor Blake. It was anything but a throwaway game, as many teams were not able to finish it in time, and so "lost," but no doubt had a lot of fun even without victory. Prior to beginning the course, participants were filmed in a Ford Escape goofing around in front of a green screen. From there, the course began. Centered around needing to move through New York City locations, achieve professional success and make it in Hollywood, the game did not lack variety, but what made it truly stand out from all other escape the room games, was it required the participants to actually drive Ford Escapes. From driving to a "coffee shop" (within the building) to pick up a coffee for the bus, to getting a parking space and using the 2017 Ford Escape's self-parking feature, the product that Ford was seeking to promote couldn't have been better integrated into the actual event.

On the one hand, the event was touted as the ultimate alternative to a regular test drive. However, many of the participants are likely not in the market for a car at the moment, and were there to play the game. But as millennials, they are at an age where they are buying their first new car, or will in the next couple of years. What better way to put the Ford Escape firmly at the front of their mind when they are ready to make that purchase.