As we gear up for CerconeBrownCompany’s fifth annual Winter House program, feelings of excitement and anxiousness all mix into one as we prepare to head on out and set up in our temporary home of The Canyons Resort in Park City for the next few weeks.
Similar to years past, the weeks leading up to it can be maddening, often leaving you to wonder how everything will come together, with the only reassurance being that you know somehow it will all work out (it always does, right?).
Heading into its fifth year, the experiential marketing program is designed to gather top media from around the country to escape the daily chaos of their lives in New York City, Los Angeles, or wherever they may be, letting them step away from their computers, Blackberries and iPads and live amongst, experience and review brands and products without distractions in their natural and intended settings – hence the “Winter House” theme and experience.
Similar to CBC’s Summer House and Green House, the two-week Winter House program is broken down into four different three-day sessions where we play host to groups of four to six media members at a time. Daily schedules for this year’s program are packed – filled with activities ranging from testing out Lolë’s latest apparel out on the ski slopes to putting together a fashion show competition incorporating the newest trends and designs from fashion footwear company, NAYA.
Other activities include experiencing New Balance’s newest running technology in action during a session at the gym, snowshoeing Park City’s back country in EarthTec’s 2011 outdoor apparel line, trekking through the village for a winter hike to feel BOGS’ comfort, insulation and functionality first hand, and a wine-pairing dinner with some of Wente’s most memorable wines. Pepperidge Farm, adidas eyewear, ICON, Tribe Hummus, and Veggie Patch are some of the other brands that will be featured at this year’s Winter House.
Our group of attending media this year is one of the strongest groups the program has ever seen. In fact, the program became so popular among press members that we had to setup a “wait-list” for media members, as the program reached capacity just two days after invitations were sent out. Our 2011 media attendees include: O, the Oprah Magazine, People, Real Simple, Outside Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Men’s Health, Prevention, The Food Network, American Spa, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Delta Sky, Snow, Marie Claire, Fitness, Esquire, SELF, The New York Times, ESPN, Women’s Health, SHAPE, Good Morning America, The Huffington Post, and more!
One of the things I personally love about our experiential marketing programs, and Winter House in particular, is seeing the media become fully immersed in a brand and getting to that “aha” moment. For example, it’s one thing to sit on a media tour in NYC and show a member of the press a ski jacket, talking them through the technology and design, but it’s another thing to watch that same editor wearing that exact jacket during a run in fresh tracks down the mountain in Park City and seeing them truly understand why the seams were made that way and the pockets were constructed with that layout, and how breathable and functional the jacket is, because they are experiencing it first hand and in the conditions that it’s meant to be experienced in. This type of experience is invaluable for a brand and key to making their product stick out amongst competitors to the media.
With less than two weeks until the program’s official kickoff, we’ll be working at our Boston PR agency to wrap up all of our available sponsorship categories, finalize logistics for each participating brands’ activity and role at the program, confirm editor travel schedules, and, of course, deal with any type of last minute fire drills that we may encounter before we head out West to set up shop and begin preparations in time for the first session’s arrival on January 16.
For those of you who’d like to tune in to see how this year’s program turns out, we’ll be tweeting and Facebooking live from the program with updates, photos and more, so be sure to follow @CerconeBrown on Twitter and “like” the CerconeBrownCompany Facebook page. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to another successful Winter House program!
Please contact NGuerin@cerconebrown.com or MJackson@cerconebrown.com if you represent a company that is interested in getting involved in one of CBC’s experiential marketing programs. Limited sponsorship space is still available for the 2011 Winter House.