What makes an event unique? Is it the theme, the location? Is it the attendees? Is it the producers or the planners? Well, coming up in NYC next week is a truly unique series of events called S.H.E. Summit Week. The brainchild of visionary entrepreneur Claudia Chan, S.H.E., (which stands for She Helps Empower) is a collection of over 35 separate events, plus one VIP evening designed to inspire, empower and encourage women to pursue their dreams both personally and professionally.
Earlier this week, I spoke to popular NYC event planner Liz King, who is rapidly gaining a reputation as someone who explores the boundaries of event technology and social media marketing. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Liz took on the task of coordinating and promoting this extraordinary effort with a relatively short lead time.
As she explained, there are other week-long events in NYC that focus on a specific theme, such as Internet Week and Fashion Week. And while they do consolidate their schedules, S.H.E. Summit Week has taken it a step further by offering the All Access Pass, giving purchasers the opportunity to sign up for as many of the events being offered during the week as they like, with one standard payment.
Another thing that makes S.H.E. Summit Week unique, is that it offers a range of events for women that span the categories of entrepreneurship, fitness, style, beauty and charitable work. In other words, this is a celebration of the full range of diversity that is the female experience, designed to inspire women to pursue their dreams and visions.
Talk about an event planning challenge!
How did Liz get involved in this massive project? Good old networking! A friend of a friend of a friend made the connection between her and Claudia, and after successfully going through the proposal process, the two jumped into action at the beginning of April. With only about two months to go from concept to final execution, the pair had their job cut out for them. Four weeks and scores of event organizers later, the website was launched, and sales have been fantastic! In fact, many of their events are already filled up…
Planning something with this many moving parts in a city like New York has some distinct advantages. With a very active and accessible mass transit system at their disposal, it’s no surprise that attendees are signing up for multiple events taking place at different locations around town.
However, one particular challenge facing the planners because it is so easy to register, is that there is a large amount of uncertainty built into their ability to predict actual event attendance. It’s difficult to gauge how many people will actually show up at events for which they’ve registered. Planners are used to operating within a certain margin of error, particularly for free events, where as many as 50% of the people who sign up turn out to be no-shows. As Liz said, “It will be interesting to see what actually happens.”
As this is a brand new event, another challenge has been getting the name and the brand out there. Judging by the positive response so far, the team has been doing a great job, but they won’t know for sure until next week. In addition to traditional PR outreach, they’ve enlisted a team of 40 social media volunteers who will be pumping out consistent messaging via Twitter and FB and using other creative communication skills such as blogging, video and photography to share their impressions as the week progresses.
For Liz King Events, this has been a peak planning experience so far. Working with someone like Claudia, who not only has the vision, but the passion and the network necessary to bring together so many moving parts for an event of this scale, has been extraordinarily satisfying. Liz has been able to put many of her own ideas about coordination and strategy to the test in a big way, and is expecting to learn as much from the things that don’t work as from the things that are wildly successful.
Hopefully, success will win out!S.H.E. Summit Week is taking place in NYC from June 18th-24th, 2012. Tickets for the Remarkable Women’s Evening and All-Access passes are still available here.