When the word got out that a luxury auto manufacturer was about to introduce a new vehicle type to the North American market, naturally a fierce rivalry broke out amongst leading event production companies vying for the enviable honor to showcase their ware and flair. After all, such opportunities don’t come by often. GMS decided to throw its name in the hat too. The deciding factors were all very exact, demanding and revolved mostly around uniqueness and creativeness of ideas. To our delight, the client elected to award the project to GMS.
Now the hard work started. Luckily, the client had already selected Chicago for this momentous event. Situated on the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, Chicago is blessed with an impressive urban landscape. We immediately thought that the Chicago River could offer extraordinary opportunities as an unconventional “road” to transport the model vehicle for this project. We just had to construct a way of incorporating the River into our proposal—and that we did. We proposed to have the new vehicle brought in for the reveal on a barge floating on the Chicago River and had the barge docked close by the event venue we had already scouted—the Chicago Lyric Opera. And not just anywhere at the opera house. We designed to have the car nowhere by on the stage of the famed opera house.
The invitees, the company’s dealers from across North America, arrived like royalty and unaware of what to expect. Upon entry, guests were treated to sumptuous canapés and champagne as they strolled over the theatre’s red carpet admiring the theatre’s grand surrounds as the jazz quartet entertained the visibly excited patrons. Once introductory festivities were at their height, to the amazement of just about everyone in the audience, unexpectedly lights dimmed, the velvet curtains slowly lifted, and there it was—the brand-new model vehicle—on the centerstage like the rightful star of the show. Jaws dropped and then, as if in collective awe, the audience broke into an enthusiastic applause—like it had been rehearsed for months. Admirations were afloat—both about the car as well as the striking way it was revealed. Many of the dealers had previously witnessed a new vehicle roll off the assembly line, but no one had ever experienced seeing it on the performing stage like a singular star of a Broadway show.
The participants’ authentic reaction was acclaim enough for us. But our client showered us after with genuine words of praise—that we accepted with gratitude and humility. Product launches pose special challenges for event planning companies. Only careful and measured analysis of the client’s objectives and the product in question can act as a good roadmap to success. We were gratified to take the bow.
GMS is the leading producer of special events in the US and Canada