VICTORIA ARCHBOLD - Head of events and sponsorship, Hearst Magazines UK
At Hearst, we take the curated content from our fashion and beauty pages and make it live. Via these experiences, we have set up three-way partnerships to create consumer events with interactive content.
The result is not only a good occasion for the attendee, but it also creates opportunities to socially share the activity, thereby creating user-generated content that increases the reach and longevity of the experience. Fashion shows and parties allow us to bring elements to life by showcasing trends alongside offering interactive sampling.
Examples include last year's inaugural Cosmopolitan #FashFest, a party-season fashion show with Very.co.uk and a tea party in association with Baileys and beauty brands.
The main challenge is making the experience feel personalised for guests. In 2015 we intend to increase our live programme, allowing us to create mass-market events alongside smaller, niche ones.
MARYAM HAMIZADEH - Show director, The Clothes Show
A common problem for brands is how online has changed the retail environment – although that's not to say the industry isn't overcoming it, as brands look for new ways to meet the needs of the modern consumer.
An experiential activation we did a couple of years ago at The Clothes Show, which was recently rebranded from Clothes Show Live, was a virtual high street, which we hosted in partnership with brands such as Miss Selfridge, Debenhams and Warehouse. It was a small supporting catwalk, but visitors could see high-street looks, try them out in nearby pop-up shops and purchase them via iPads or a QR code.
The experiential landscape has changed in recent years. It used to be about activating at an event, consumers buying products then leaving. Now more of our brand sponsors and partners aim to create an all-year-round campaign to engage with visitors in the run-up to an experience. Consumers want to know about products and trends beforehand, not just over five days.
JOSEF JAMMERBUND - Head of events, British Fashion Council
Our partners Toni & Guy and Maybelline New York have a unique opportunity at London Fashion Week and Weekend to give consumers the latest makeovers as seen on the international catwalks, bringing their core audience closer to the brand.
At London Fashion Week, London Fashion Weekend and our menswear shows during London Collections: Men, we work with our partners to create pop-up salons directed at both a fashion industry and consumer audience, allowing a brand to get their marketing messages across.
Last year, I loved Hunter's Singing in the Rain dance flashmob, which stopped traffic on Regent Street. As a British heritage brand, it has taken a well-known product and turned it into a global superbrand, and has fun doing it.
Budget is the biggest challenge. Most brands aren't short of creative and fabulous ideas, the challenge is bringing them to life in a credible way.
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