Brands looking to activate events that appeal to women may want to take a page from Good Housekeeping and Country Living, two Hearst magazine titles with proprietary events that keep female attendees coming back year after year. Good Housekeeping’s Spring Fling and the Country Living Fair provide a platform for advertisers to engage with consumers; attendees, in turn, enjoy getting up close and personal with advertisers and the publications’ editorial staff.
As associate publisher, marketing, at Good Housekeeping, Christine Gerstein, who also oversees Country Living and Woman’s Day, knows a thing or two about event marketing to women. “It has to have authenticity to it,” she says. “There has to be a takeaway at the end of the event. It isn’t just about entertainment anymore.”
Gerstein shares three more ingredients for cooking up events that that appeal to women:
1. Create opportunities to connect. Women pile into cars for road trips to the Country Living Fair. Bloggers write about taking their moms, their sisters and aunts along for a day of shopping and demos. They meet the artisans and other attendees as well. Last year the event in Rhinebeck, NY, drew 23,000 people; and the Ohio venue can get as high as 26,000. That’s a lot of possible connections.
2. Fold in educational experiences. Attendees at Good Housekeeping’s Spring Fling get to interact with the magazine’s Research Institute and learn about the innovative products on the market. At this year’s event in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, they could see a 3D printer and an electronic stencil machine in action. There was a live demo on specialty drinks and healthful snacks. The Country Living Fair provides seminars on topics like how to make a do-it-yourself chandelier, and more.
3. Add a dash of indulgence. Whether it’s a take-home goodie bag filled with advertiser samples or an on-site make-up lesson or styling session, women will line up for a little pampering.
“It’s all about providing new learnings they can apply to their everyday lives,” Gerstein says. “People want a little bit more out of their events these days.”