In today’s competitive consumer environment, live events have become mission critical for brands seeking to command attention. 60% of leaders surveyed by event software company Bizzabo say that events are the most important marketing channel for achieving business goals, while research firm Verified Market Research expects the global events industry to generate an eye-watering $2.194 trillion by 2028 — an upswing from the $887 billion the market commanded in 2020.
To add to the challenge, if there’s one thing harder than finding a hair-tie in your handbag it’s planning a competitive event for a global haircare brand in a saturated market. By 2027, global ecommerce sales for health and beauty are predicted to reach almost $450 billion (Statista).
CWT Meetings & Events was approached by Henkel, Schwarzkopf’s parent company to plan and execute an immersive 3-day event aimed at building relationships with 600+ hairdressers in Spain and promoting online sales of Schwarzkopf products. The event had already been postponed twice due to the pandemic (the original was planned in 2019).
“Expectations were high,” says Operations Manager Natalia Bruno, “we had to make use of innovative new concepts while renegotiating supplier contracts following two postponements.”
The team booked Asia Gardens Hotel & Spa, Alicante for exclusive use.
Here’s how to make a similar event a success.
In the initial creative planning stages bring together the right group and avoid setting limits, even if an idea seems impossible to execute. You can narrow the focus at a later stage.
You’ve heard of team building. It takes a united one to weave a brand’s desired theme through the entirety of an event. To meet a “futuristic” brief with a digital focus, CWT Meetings & Events’ Spain team negotiated a full buy-out of the hotel allowing them to brand its spaces. The restaurant was transformed into a fully-operational hair salon using Schwarzkopf products.
Synchronized swimmers, floating dancers suspended in bubbles, a futurist violinist and LED fittings filled the space. The team worked with Lumentium table mapping and multiple Michelin-starred chef Ramon Freixa to deliver a dining experience combining technology, video installation and top-notch food. The devil was in the detail. A sushi station was designed to represent the ocean and burgers were fire-branded to order with the client’s logo.
Creative use of technology can connect and inform attendees while adding an immersive, entertaining element.
There are so many ways good use of tech can help to enable a memorable, creative event and capture market research. Building on the tagline “one way to the future,” an app was created for the event with QR codes granting access to workshops and lunches. Each attendee had in their app profile flight tickets, hotel confirmation, and agenda information for the main talk and workshops.
A walking, talking robot was programmed to assist with event-related queries, survey and educate guests on new Schwarzkopf looks, trends and products. The robot was even able to dance and mingle, much to the delight of guests, appearing in several selfies.
Engage your attendees from the outset, using channels and mediums that they’re familiar with, teasing them with event content.
Pre-event, CWT Meetings & Events Spain launched a social media marketing campaign engaging key influencers on Instagram and Tik Tok. A roster of industry speakers spoke on topics such as the future of the metaverse for the hairdressing industry.
Plan B, C and D
Stress can throw you off-course. Communicate with your team frequently, be a sounding board and help anticipate and solve issues as they arise.
“We created one concept when the event was confirmed, a second pre-pandemic following a change of venue and theme by the client, and a third after the pandemic changed our lives and prompted a change of focus,” says Bruno, “the most challenging aspect was managing a full buy-out of the hotel and dealing with last-minute changes.”
Schwarzkopf collated feedback and saw an increase in online sales and post-event engagement, proving that with the right team, clever use of tech and agility in the face of cancellations and changes, it’s possible to pull off a world-class creative event with aplomb