This week our Sales and Marketing Manager, Nandini Austin, had a moment to catch up with venue expert Gabriella Wood from Kagency in New York City to discuss what’s hot and trending in the events world--from pop-ups to instagrammable DJs. Read on to learn more...
So what type of venues are proving favorite this year?
For the past few years, our bookings with our real estate partners have tripled--so I would say empty, commercial real estate are the front-runner for space. More than ever, clients are looking to for that wow factor, the surprise element so a temporary space adds a certain sex appeal. Clients utilize the space for short-term marketing opportunities such as pop-up shops, collection showcases, and product launches.
What can clients do to differentiate their events?
Two-Fold. Find new and unusual talent. Clients want something novel to take their event to the next level. Talented DJs with major Instragam followings are sort of a must-have these days: from May Kwok to Hesta Prynn. Mad Marj and Alex Merrell all globe-trotting DJs playing for major brands. Alex Merrell just celebrated her 10th-year DJing and most recently spun at the Fox Searchlight Hulu official Golden Globes party. DJ Mad Marj spun in Lisbon, Portugal at Giancarlo Giammetti’s birthday party. 2nd, I would say technology--there are SO many new ways to interact with guests, I suspect we will see a lot of VR/AR this year at client events.
How has AV and technology changed this year?
AV & lighting technologies are constantly evolving. I see smaller and smaller rigs coming in that are twice as powerful as what we used to have--making the tech side of the event less visible. Especially with projectors and moving image, loads of new ways to play in spaces without having to do actual decals. I think the biggest change has been the social media aspect of technology, producers have to create a moment that photographs well for an Instagram post or Snapchat and something that gives the brands legs beyond the four walls of the event--hopefully going viral.
As people are looking for more immersive type food and drink experiences, what’s popular right now in the catering arena?
I guess my theme is social media--beyond the incredible creativity in theming food and drink, the caterers food not only has to be great tasting but easily photographed. Drinkers are becoming more discerning so they expect high-quality specialty cocktails and virgin drinks. So hiring a top mixologist like The Cocktail Architect who can create high-quality cocktails and unique bar activation will inevitably elevate the event.
Our client's production of an airline marketing event at 201 Mulberry was a big hit as well!
How are planners marketing their events?
Back to social media--we event have clauses now in our talent agreements about social media added-value work--those Instagram posts are immediate, we don't have to wait for Page Six or People Magazine to come out anymore. A lot of clients ask for “high-foot traffic” areas so that their event can get more exposure from passersby. We are also doing media buying for our event clients, both the traditional billboard buys as well as in window displays in our commercial real estate properties, such as the in front of Penn Plaza Pavilion/Pennsylvania Hotel right across the street from Penn Station