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Case Study: Branding and Partner Promotional Event during SXSW

OBJECTIVE

Our client – an international company providing a software platform for sharing music and podcasts – came to us with a venue and a mission – to increase brand awareness, to reveal and showcase new partner relationships and to show benefits of partnership with their brand. They wanted to host a series of private and public events at one venue  – their “clubhouse” – to achieve these goals, and hired CLINK to produce them.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • While the company originally reached out to CLINK for event design services, the scope of work quickly changed to include extensive technical production and logistics. Similarly, the schedule of events itself was a “moving target,” constantly being changed by the company’s partners. Thus while the initial contract was signed with a challenging lead time of four weeks, the actual line up of events wasn’t finalized until a week before the event.
  • The venue (which was contracted for the event series before CLINK had been retained) had never done a private event before, let alone one of this size and during SXSW. The onus fell on CLINK to educate the venue management and anticipate issues before they arose. One of these issues was permitting, which is especially difficult during SXSW.
  • The events planned and produced ran the gamut from intimate to high-profile, from prospective partner lunches for #50, to podcasts, cocktail parties, a movie screening for 150, and music showcases for 300 hosted by partners THE GRAMMYS and Island Def Jam records. Attendance by celebrities such as Snoop Lion and Usher created an additional layer of logistics to be coordinated and managed.

THE CLINK DIFFERENCE

CLINK showed its value to the client throughout the planning and on-site production of the events, but there are two areas in particular where we made a huge difference.

1)     The client has done events before – using in-house staff for planning and producing. The difference in this event was not only that the scope was so much larger than the in-house staff could handle; it was also that the company staff’s time was best used on interacting with partners and potential partners, not on event logistics and problem solving. The client was able to focus on what they really needed to do to meet their objectives, and let CLINK do the rest.

2)     Given that the client was trying to pull this event together with so little lead time, at four weeks before SXSW started, they had yet to book a single vendor other than the venue. At this point, had they tried to hire vendors on their own, they would have found that nearly all the top vendors in town were booked solid and not taking any new business. CLINK was able to leverage its relationships with its a/v, rental, and décor partners to ensure our clients could host the best possible event. Also, due to the high volume relationship status CLINK has with its suppliers, we were able to ensure that last minute, event-day requests were met, whereas vendors would have been less inclined to prioritize “one off” clients.

In the end, the two days of events were highly successful, surpassing the client’s greatest hopes and expectations.

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