Jose Dans Shares Advice for Making Your Event Memorable
Q: What is your first step in planning an event – venue, theme, date, etc.?
A: Step 1 is to fully understand the organization’s mission which we are planning for. That will then allow us to correctly define the strategy and goals behind each event as well as the tactics that will be used to support it.
Each event serves as a platform for many things. It creates a perception about your brand and in many instances serves as a leading revenue generator for the organization. You can’t forget that it’s a PR opportunity as well as so many other things. As event marketers, it is our responsibility to ensure that every opportunity is maximized to help accomplish the task and goal at hand.
We believe that it is critical to the mission for all of these things to be identified before deciding on a venue and theme. .
Q: What is the single most important ingredient in making an event successful?
A: Making sure that every guest has an amazing experience they will never forget. We want to hear them say “WOW” as they walk into the room for the first time.
Q: What do you look for when selecting event services – décor, caterers, performers, etc.?
A: Innovation is key as we look for things that are out of the ordinary. We seek responsible and price competitive vendors that “embrace” our ideas while having something extra to add…not just execute them.
Q: What was your most memorable event and why?:
A: 2008 Big Brother Big Sisters Gala. It was held at the American Airlines Arena where we created a custom performance to promote their brand’s mission. This event was our first HUGE gala and opened the door to the gala industry for us. The BBBS gala unleashed a world of opportunity for WOW FACTOR and thanks to this event the gala industry has become our most important revenue stream. It has allowed our organization to use these events as a way to get involved with our community’s charities and use them as a platform to give back and make a difference.
A: Walt Disney World’s Annual Pass program activation. This event was an experiential marketing program that WOW FACTOR created for WDW. The event took the form of a traveling pop-up activation, customized with a Disney brand immersion experience. It was designed to assist in the promotion of the annual pass program families here in South Florida. As a result, we were able to share the essence of Disney magic here in our backyard while growing Hispanic engagement with the brand exponentially. This event was slated to run for only one season but it was so wildly successful that Disney Parks and Resorts decided to continue it for three consecutive years.
Q: What was your most fun event and why?:
A: Univision Radio’s Amor a La Musica Concert at the American Airlines Arena. This event featured a star-studded celebrity line-up. Featuring artists such as Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Carlos Vives, Juanes and so many others. The event was a sold out, high-energy, mega concert which allowed us to show off many special effect moments that included fireworks, confetti, CO2 jets, amazing lighting and a 360-degree stage that rotated throughout the concert. Over 16,000 people attended and had what many claimed was “The time of their lives”.
Q: What would be your one piece of advice for other planners.
A: First and foremost, remember to HAVE FUN and love what you do…it will always show in the work. Secondly, be loyal, honest and ethical…these things are the foundation of your reputation in your community. Finally, allow your creativity to run wild without losing sight of your client’s mission or the budget.