Large Scale Promotional Events- Field Managers are Key

Posted in General Marketing on September 7, 2011 by caitlineoconnor

When it comes to a  large-scale promotional event with a massive public interest there is only so much planning a company can do. When it comes to event marketing, things rarely go according to plan. The key to a successful large promotional campaign is the field market manager. Having someone who is a quick thinker and problem solver is crucial.  Having someone who is organized, calm and that the staff respects is just as important.

I recently worked an event for Chase and United’s New United MileagePlus Explorer Card. The event took place in Justin Herman Plaza and featured a pop-up baggage claim where consumers could line up for free and pick a bag off the carousel. Each bag contained a prize, some of which included: a Luxury Hotel & Resort Getaway, Fujifilm DSLR Camera, $200 Tumi Gift Card, eReaders and the grand prize of 1 million flier miles. The event was a huge hit and the crowd grew to enormity once the word got out.

This type of event required a lot of staff and I was impressed at how well managed the promotion was considering this. The hours were long, the sun was blazing and the crowd was crazy. Despite all of this, staff kept high energy and the event left a great impression in the minds of consumers. Having a large event like this run so well is somewhat rare and I’m happy to post about what a success the event was.


Use Your Resources

Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing, Promotional Events, Social Media Marketing with tags , , , , on August 18, 2011 by caitlineoconnor

The key to successful guerrilla and event marketing these days is no longer just executing a successful event, reaching a large amount of people at the event or promotion and influencing them with your brand. These days, it’s much more than that. Social media marketing and mobile are growing so fast there are so many avenues you must hit and can use to your advantage. Facebook and Twitter are the key players but there are so many more growing niche avenues that can be used with the growth of apps.

I recently worked a guerrilla marketing stunt for the promotion of the movie 30 Minutes or Less. We drove around in a food truck giving away free pizza, free pre-screening movie passes, t-shirts, hats and posters outside of nightlife spots. On top of this, we tweeted our location with the hashtag #30morl so others could follow and encouraged people to check in on Foursquare to unlock the 30 Minutes or Less badge. While Twitter was a huge part of the campaign, other apps  and websites had to be utilized as well such as and SF Fun and Cheap. With the growth of smartphones, these can be used and updated on the fly. It’s exciting how many resources are out there today for reaching the right demographic and finding the right hot spots. Success no longer just depends on  influencing those at the event, it now depends on utilizing all of your resources to find the right spots, reaching more people who would otherwise not join in, and making the conversation last.

Tradeshow Marketing

Posted in General Marketing with tags , , , on May 19, 2011 by caitlineoconnor

San Francisco has been a whirlwind of greatness since I moved here. It’s been a while since I’ve updated because I’ve been so busy working events as well as working for an Oracle VAR doing sales and marketing. Lately, I’ve been working a lot of tradeshows and actually fully coordinated and planned my first conference. Tradeshow marketing is something that is often overlooked considering its effectiveness and importance; particularly when it comes to B2B marketing. This is rather understandable considering the high price of tradeshows. However, you don’t have to have the biggest and most elaborate booth to be successful. There are many keys to success when you are working with a tight budget.

  •  Design: Keep your booth design simple but eye catching, clean (literally and in terms of design), and stick to your branding.
  • Give-aways: Give away branded promotional items, but make it fun. Make up a game where conference goers can learn about your company at the same time.
  • Incorporate Social Media: Tweet, blog and Facebook about the event. Find out the event’s Twitter hashtag and interact with others who are at the conference. Lure them to your booth via the internet.
  • Personal Touch: Make sure your booth staff is upbeat, leaves a good impression, and communicates the brand effectively.
  • Follow-up: Make sure you contact your leads after the event , thank them for stopping by your booth and add a personal note about your interaction if possible.

A resource I find useful for tradeshow marketing is The Tradeshow Marketing Blog.

“Fairly Legal” Promotion in San Francisco

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by caitlineoconnor

After finally having made my move to the West Coast, I worked the perfect promotion for someone new to the city of San Francisco. Last week, a street team of about 20 gathered to promote USA Network’s new TV show “Fairly Legal”. We hit all the busy spots in the city and even made our way to Berkeley and, let’s just say we made a lot of noise.

Fairly Legal is series about Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi) being a firm believer that justice can always be found, even if it’s not always in the courtroom.”Once a lawyer at her family’s esteemed San Francisco firm, Kate’s frustration with the legal system led her to a new career as a mediator”.

The promotion consisted of a street team, all dressed in the same attire to emulate Kate, mocking a protest and yelling the show’s taglines such as: “Get Kate, Mediate!” “Don’t Hate, Litigate”(on Haight Street) and “No Mitigation, Only Mediation”. Also, we handed out gray and white cookies because “justice is never black and white”.

While this promotion was being run in other cities, I assume that it received the most attention in San Francisco and Berkeley due to the fact that it was a mock protest. Many people in areas that are famous for protesting voiced their frustration with the promotion saying that they felt it was “out of line”.  Well, being a publicity stunt, negative attention is still attention and therefore the promotion was effective. There were, of course,  people who enjoyed the event as well, finding it entertaining.

Yahoo Ripples of Kindness- The Best Promo I’ve Ever Worked

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , , , on December 27, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

What is better than kindness during the holiday season? Promoting it. Yahoo! is running a campaign called Ripples of Kindness. The idea is that everyone who does a good deed can inspire others and cause a ripple effect of kindness. The more people who join in, the larger the ripple will become. As Yahoo! says, this is “how good grows”.

To promote this cause, Yahoo! surprised people in cities across the U.S. right before Christmas Eve with an act of kindness. In Boston, the Yahoo! promotion team surprised consumers at a locally owned toy store called Magic Beans. We were given $6,000 to pay for people’s purchases when they got to the register. Up until the money ran out, every person who came to the cashier was told that their purchase was a gift from Yahoo!, and in return we asked that they repay the favor with an act of kindness. People were completely caught off guard, and the reactions were incredible.

For a taste of what a magical day it was, check out this video:

This was the ultimate experiential campaign because it left people with a contagious happy and thankful feeling. To join in on the goodness, be sure to add your act of kindness to

Philips Norelco promotion at TRON: Legacy

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , on December 20, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

Philips Norelco recently launched the new SensoTouch 3D shaver and with it came ‘The Game Has Changed’ marketing campaign. The experiential marketing event was tied in with Disney’s TRON: Legacy.  Philips Norelco offered tickets to an advance screening of the film in 16 cities, greater Boston being one of them. All of the advanced screening premiers took place at Imax 3d theaters.

The event had a Philips Norelco footprint set up where people lined up for the movie and included Tron character cutouts, displays of the shavers, and photo and poster give-aways. In my opinion the campaign was a great way to reinforce the prestige of the product. TRON and Philips Norelco may seem like a far-fetched collaboration, but offering complimentary tickets to an advanced screening of an eagerly awaited film definitely creates a prestigious brand image.

GM at The New England International Auto Show

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

I just finished up an experiential event for General Motors at The New England International Auto Show. I have to say, I am impressed with GM’s current marketing efforts. The event was called “Experience the Drive” and it let event attendees test drive the latest General Motor vehicles without having to deal with sales people and dealers. This created a no-pressure, fun and welcoming experience. The vehicles that were available to test drive were the Chevy Camaro, Chevy Equinox, Chevy Traverse, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Cruze, Buick Regal, Buick LaCrosse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, GMC Terrain and GMC Yukon Hybrid.

My job was to be an “in-vehicle host” and ride around with the test drivers and answer any questions they may have about the vehicles.  After the test drive, we surveyed drivers on how the event effected their impression of GM. Consumer feedback proved that the event was a huge hit.  Almost every single person had a positive reaction and seemed excited about GM. A lot of people had changed their opinion of the company and said that they were much more likely to buy a GM vehicle in the future. Old perceptions usually die hard, but GM seems to be making huge steps in the right direction. This just proves the power of an event that is well thought out and properly executed.