Special Events Are Not So Special Anymore

“To the customer or guests, a special event is an opportunity for a leisure, social and cultural experience outside the normal range of choices or beyond everyday experiences” – Donald Getz

The term “special events” is too commonly used and without fully encompassing the “special” portion.

Today, many companies are designing and producing events that are not “special”. As any type of event can rack up a hefty budget, so it is crucial in ensuring that it goes above and beyond. Therefore, events could be seen as a very expensive cost with poor ROI when not special.

Events are indeed a great marketing tool to engage different audiences in order to achieve a variety of different business objectives.

The traditional combination of good food, a good venue and good guest list is not good enough anymore in today’s competitive landscape.

Our special recipe includes only two ingredients: meaningful and memorable.

  1. Meaningful comes in two parts, the first being meaningful for the brand. We must fully understand and embrace the purpose and brand DNA and portray them in a very unique way during the event and in a way no other brand would be able to do.

    The second part is being meaningful for the audience. We must ask ourselves, “Why would the guests come to the event or even care?” and “What is our adding value to them?”.

  1. The second ingredient is being memorable. The event can’t only be people gathering, drinking, listening to a speech, having a good time and going home. The assignment here is to engage emotionally with your audience in order to make the special event memorable. Surprise them. Make them feel emotionally connected to you and your brand. Goosebumps are welcome. Creating an emotional connection could be anything from a beautiful storytelling video, musical performance, sophisticated art installation, unique choreography – it just needs to be fully relevant to the brand.

    An example of this is the product launch event we put on for Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lebron James Limited Edition Watch. We used a technique called cine-theatre. Lebron placed his hand in a box on stage and the video screen behind him showed the watches being built on his wrist. The beauty of this “magic” was building the watch live on his wrist. This was a unique way to showcase the craftsmanship of the watch. The combination of these two ingredients will result in a “special event” not only for the brand, but the audience as well.

You want your guests to leave an event and brag to their peers by word of mouth as well as through social media about their experience. This creates an efficient tool for your client’s marketing objectives.

Hopefully by including our two secret ingredients, you will be able to create an event that truly encompasses the definition of a “special event”.


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How to Pick The Perfect Event Venue

Planning any event, whether it is small or large, can be stressful…but not for us Havas Luxe. Our reputation is not something we take lightly! In today’s post, we are about to reveal our secrets. Read on:

As you know, when working with luxury brands – we take painstaking measures to ensure to come up with a strategy, a theme, to hire entertainment for each fete – and to delight and inspire with the greatest libations on the planet. But the real secret is our starting point – finding that perfect venue. That place, that once you have entered it, just makes you go: “ahhhhhh….”

To find that perfect venue for any event requires a lot of thought, and plenty of research. From ensuring a space that fits a client’s needs, to ensuring the venue fits the theme/tone of the evening, venue selection WILL determine the success of the evening. Below are our top 4 tips to help you narrow down that search:

  1. Do your research:

We scout CONSTANTLY. We follow any lead, any instagram sensation, and the news from our clients partners to make sure we always hit the venue that is new or next.

 It is also worth noting that we scout venues months in advance. With any event it is crucial to leave a lot of planning time, as it is very rare for an event to be a success if has been rushed and left to the last minute.

The venue is the first thing your guests will see when they arrive at the event; therefore, it needs to set the mood and create the perfect atmosphere. Have an arsenal of event spaces in mind, and know how each one of these looks and feels. Yes, this means scouting constantly, taking notes, filing venues. This practice will come in handy when you assign a spot to a special night you have in mind.

An important note is to also always be on the look out for empty commercial spaces – because shorter lead/ pop up opportunities do come up, too. Keep at it, and file away the good ones.

And here are a few extra tips under “do your research”:

  • Mind “Event Seasons” in each city. After all, you may not want your client’s Miami luxury launch event to coincide with Miami’s music festival.
  • Go beyond hotels, museums and restaurants, and such other known commercial spaces. Warehouse buildings, aircraft hangers, piers…these are the venues that set people’s hearts aflame. To do this – go big: scour real estate listings, check in with film scouting teams, and watch the local convention bureau; you will stay way ahead of the game.
  • Ask your network to connect you. Leveraging relationships and word of mouth is many times how you hear of the Next Big Thing.

Our bottom line recommendation here is to keep a live list of special venues, and always be adding to it. And,when you come across anything new—do a site visit. In – person is always very different from online.

  1. Stay on theme:

Before booking a venue, you will know what you want to celebrate at this event. A fragrance launch? A fashion show? A corporate get together? This, and the campaign theme, should be the focus in making a decision. To this end, take mainly into consideration any décor. After all, to your guests – surroundings are everything.

Additionally, consider your event format. A cocktail reception is not dinner, and a luncheon is not the same as a costume party.

For accuracy – also check the calendar – is there a holiday, fair, occasion to celebrate? Doing this you will then be able to decide what you can do at this event- and ensure that you select just the right setting.

  1. Mind the Logistics:

This means being aware of whether or where the nearest parking may be found, what sound system the venue has, if the venue has projection capabilities, if it is the right size for an Augmented Reality or installation scope, and whether or not there is kitchen and bar on site.

During any type of event, some type of food or beverage is expected – so always find out if the venue provides food or drink facilities. If the venues do not, then be sure to ask them if they know of any catering companies you could use (unless you have a preference).

And here is an extra: note how many people are going to attend your event. Logistics also mean gauging venue size and capacity.

  1. Go for the WOW Factor:

When selecting your venue, keep this in mind – above all, you are seeking ambience.

Setting the tone properly can go a long way and set the mood for the rest of the evening. Any luxury brand will naturally be aligned only with the most beautiful venues. Any luxury fan will only be dazzled by the new, the next, the bold, or the timeless.

  1. Negotiate: 

Here’s the thing: if it were just about finding the best venue—many could enter the events realm. But a team that is truly professional minds the details, and makes the project work with any scope. This means three things:

  1. watching event timing, and setting the date in the best possible window
  2. collecting multiple bids and truly evaluating each offer
  3. considering and working longer term partnerships with any venue for better rates and greater possibilities


Overall, while it can be challenging to find your perfect venue for events, by using these simple guidelines – your planning will ensure a hit. And if you are still in doubt – call us. We are happy to help, and hope you have a fabulous event!

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Are Fashion Shows Over?

This question is not new, but this week, as we have just finished another round of global fashion weeks – we feel it is more relevant than ever.

In today’s global fashion world, two major trends have been raising this question:

  1. As fast fashion has become the norm (thanks to e-commerce, social media – and more), the audience wants instant gratification. It is no longer plausible, then, to have them wait 6 months post catwalk for that gratification.
  2. The world of social media has also warranted the need for true, immersive experiences rather than “just a runway show”. This means that instead of runways – we are seeing the rise of Instagram moments (stunts, gimmicks, installations, etc), and actual disruptive fashion events – such as the screening of a catwalk live and with Virtual Reality –as has been employed, for example, by Burberry.

If we agree that the erosion of the old school fashion show is, indeed, happening, there are viable solutions.

Option 1: Schedule runway / sales coordinated launch:


Several voices opt for a complete change. Some luxury houses, such as Tom Ford and Burberry, have started online sales immediately after a runway show – much of this aided by giant online retailers, such as Net a Porter. Others have sold capsule collections the day after – for example, when Moschino sold their McDonalds accessories collection only 24 hours after being seen on the runway.

Option 2: Go old school:

Some designers are even thinking about a complete change: giving small in-house presentations to journalists only – the return to “salons”. Thus, reporting will naturally lag slightly, creating the desire for the collection closer to its actual appearance in store. Last year, such a presentation was delivered by Givenchy; Tom Ford has also employed this approach in the past – and rather similarly, with his intimate, star-studded gathering for his collection Presentation at NYC’s Four Seasons. Perhaps this is a mighty glimpse into the future.

At Havas Luxe, we believe that both above solutions are viable – though option 1 is far more viable than the other. For starters, we feel strongly that a live experience is imperative to truly immerse oneself in a brand and its collection – so these must be upheld. But instead of “just a runway” – we have long championed the true experience – one that integrates storytelling, and the tools with which to bring that story to life: sets; video; augmented and virtual reality; installations – and more.


Next, we believe that synchronizing the event with at the very least the availability of a capsule collection for physical or online purchase will satiate the die-hards, as well as influencers, who in turn will not only enjoy getting what they want immediately – but will also serve to amp up the desire for your collection in the audience at large in the ensuing months.

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