NEW YORK-BASED Karin Bacon Events put a real gorilla into a guerrilla marketing conference for an Internet marketing firm.
In June, some 1,200 marketing professionals experienced Web Attack!, an Internet conference presented by San Francisco-based Iconocast at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. KBE development director Esther McGowan says, "The client wanted to combine content with entertainment and interactivity to create a new and very original event." The result was King.Com - a series of multimedia performances incorporating the client's vision of the classic King Kong story with an e-twist.
The registration area was designed to look like the New York subway, with one sponsor's banner bearing its name in graffiti-style writing. The main ballroom displayed a New York theme, complete with Central Park; sponsors had their names on billboards.
KBE worked in tandem with Marvin A. Krauss Associates, a New York-based theatrical production company, to produce the musical numbers performed between the speaker presentations.
The final presentation of the conference covered the hot subject of initial public offerings. "We thought it would be amusing to signal the end of the segment, as well as the end of the conference, by dropping money down onto the crowd," McGowan says. "Karin has been a big fan of drops - confetti, streamers, glitter - since her days of planning parties at Studio 54." KBE dropped a combination of $2,000 in real U.S. dollars, foreign currency and play money over the crowd.
"This was a very positive experience for us from the beginning," KBE owner Karin Bacon says, "because we were working with a client who came to the table with an original and very creative idea."