Growing in both size and creativity, Wednesday, March 4th was a banner day for Hawkins International Public Relations as we hosted our second annual Spring Hospitality Showcase: It’s All in the Details at Union Park Events. Elevated beyond the traditional trade show, our showcase provides travel, wellness, and beauty brands with the unique opportunity to network directly with New York media, influencers, and travel agents, all while participating in interactive experiences bringing the brands’ luxury offerings right to their fingertips here in Manhattan.
An air of excited energy filled Union Park Events, as media, influencers, and travel agents gathered to interact and engage with the portfolio of luxury participants through a different lens than pitches and press releases. Elaborate brand activations throughout the space – carefully crafted by NYC Event Planner Patrick Clayton and his team – illustrated the distinct range of Hawkins International’s client roster and industry partners. As attendees strolled the event, they were transported around the world with stops in Grand Cayman, Ireland, Jamaica, and Portugal – just to name a few.
This year the guest list of top tier media, big-name influencers, and luxury travel advisors climbed over 160! Media in attendance included: The Editor in Chief of LUXURY Magazine, The Deputy Editor of AFAR, a Senior Editor of Travel + Leisure, a Senior Editor of The Knot, a Senior Production Manager at Condé Nast Entertainment, the Editorial Manager of Partnership Management for Architectural Digest and prolific freelance writers from The New York Times and Departures – among many more. The event was shared across the social space with a host of influencers capturing and sharing content in real-time and our own HIPR Superstars, giving people an inside look on @HIPR. Coverage raved about the atmosphere, caliber of clients, and activities -with one attendee proclaiming, “HIPR just threw (easily) the best event of the year so far.”
Some of the client activations included:
- Sunrise Springs, an Oja Spa Resort of Santa Fe, highlighted their newly offered repose soaking pools with a mini recreation filled with bath bombs. Guests were also able to take a bit of relaxation home after creating their own custom scrubs.
- Salamander Hotels and Resorts, a highly distinctive, growing portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts, highlighted the recent launch of Eclipse at Half Moon Jamaica by serving up Jamaican Jerk Chicken and handcrafted cocktails representing each property in the portfolio.
- The Shelbourne Dublin educated guests on how to pour the perfect Guinness pint from a replica of their famed Horsehoe Bar. Decked out with Shelbourne Signature Whiskey Glasses – each of which features a bullet embedded in the glass – the bar also gave away mini Green Spot Irish Whiskey bottles for attendees to take home.
- Martinhal Family Resorts and Hotels, where everything is designed with families in mind, allowed guests to discover their inner artist with a live mural painting. An elevated children’s menu tasting was provided in a kid-friendly lounge showcasing the breadth of family options at Martinhal.
- Lough Eske Castle, with a long history wrapped in the story of Co. Donegal and Ireland, invited guests for tea and scones where personalized tea flavors transported them back to an era when this elegant ritual was de rigueur. Guests walked away with tea sachets to sip at home.
- Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, enticed guests to their lounge area by serving Montaudon Champagne and caviar – which is available anytime, anywhere on every Seabourn sailing.
And there was of course, even more, to see and do from the wider portfolio, including live watercolor portraits from the newly launched Hawkins spin-off sister, agency Maverick Creative; a swing perfecting VR golf experience from The Wigwam resort in the West Valley of Phoenix, Arizona; interactive chef showcase of dry-aged steak and Lobster Ravioli from new restaurant Knife + Spoon at Grande Lakes Orlando; as well as cutting edge LightStim facials from Carillon Miami Wellness Resort.
Blending travel with wellness, this year’s event incorporated a dedicated beauty bar with products from 18 different brands in handy travel sizes from brand Molton Brown, MZ Wallace, and Sisley.
Once again, clients were delighted with the showcase. “There was a high degree of engagement and interest in learning about the properties, and the level of attendee was well qualified. Kudos to the Hawkins team for producing this unique event- I heard first hand from attendees about the quality of event, venue, properties being showcased and volume of attendees-all were highly complementary. I expect that we will see a strong follow-up and increased awareness in the media channels as a result.,” said Alan Bednowitz, Senior Vice President / Sales and Marketing at Pyramid Hotel Group.
Cory Davis, Director of National Brands at Stoller Wine Group, shared “It was great to have our wines featured at such a polished, well-executed event. Particularly with the current challenges, I was pleased that you were able to execute on a thriving, energized evening for your showcase.”
“The media, influencers and agents that came to Showcase were so complimentary and appreciative of how interactive and free-flowing the event was, enabling them to gather large amounts of information from each of our partners,” noted Jennifer Hawkins, President of Hawkins International Public Relations, on what an achievement the second-ever Hawkins International Showcase was. “The media today is pressed for time and resources, so they appreciate the fact that we were creative in the way that we brought cool travel brands together in an imaginative and streamlined way. Our clients were also thrilled to see so many media friends, make new contacts and continue to establish meaningful relationships.”
Considering the current coronavirus situation, the showcase still boasted an incredible turnout. The Hawkins team was prepared with witty, creative signage for “no handshakes,” These signs caught the attention of media in attendance and even landed the showcase coverage in The New York Times.
You can be sure the Hawkins International team will be back with another Showcase in 2021 featuring new ways to host, engage, and entertain attendees.