Let’s play a little word association. When you hear the words:
What comes to your mind, the makings of a great Halloween party or a new B-rated horror flick? Good guesses, but not what we were thinking. Instead, we were thinking that they set the stage perfectly for a hotel’s grand re-opening. Didn’t see that coming did you? Well, don’t all great horror movies end with a twist? Turns out all great hotel events do too.
A few weeks ago, we had the great fortunate (or perhaps misfortune depending on how one feels about the undead) to spend an evening at the Embassy Suites West Palm Beach – Central. The hotel was hosting its Grand Re-Awakening event as a way to announce the completion of an in-depth renovation project and we just so happened to have been the designers for the invitation and the swag.
LeAnn Boucher, Principal Public Relations guru at GreyDog Creative, works closely with our team on the Big Nerd Ranch account and it is due to our positive working relationship that she offered us the opportunity to design materials for the Embassy Suites event. Not only do we love LeAnn but, her killer creative chops always lead to fantastic projects. The Grand Re-Awakening being the perfect example.
The event enticed more than 120 local event planners, community leaders and travel and tourism industry employees. Guests were greeted with cocktails and heavy hors d’ oeuvres, followed by a live murder-mystery type performance presented by the G-Star School of the Arts and concluding with guided tours of the hotel and photo-ops with your favorite zombie.
As not to scare anyone, we set the stage early on for the possibility of blood, guts and the undead by crafting an e-vite that hinted at the theme of the evening. Visually the e-vite screamed scary movie with a hand reaching from the grave. If that wasn’t enough, the verbiage spoke of “modern renovations and zombie infiltrations.”
Once the show wrapped, attendees were granted the chance to take a photo with their favorite zombie, or if the undead weren’t appealing, smiling for the cameras with your networking companion was also acceptable. Unlike most social gatherings, the photos taken at the Grand Re-Awakening didn’t go straight to an unknown website, instead they appeared moments later tucked into a Grand Re-Awakening branded pop-up frame, the perfect memento to capture the undead.
It probably can be said that designing zombie-like marketing materials will not happen very often, but when they do you can bet that we’ll be there with blood and guts.