#Event18: Celebrating 18 years of covers

As Event turns 18 this week, we reveal the best brand experiences that made the covers since our launch way back in 1997.

#Event18: Cover Stars
#Event18: Cover Stars


It’s January, John Major is still at No. 10 and Ford has claimed the cover spot on the first-ever Marketing Event. The automotive brand launches its KA minicar with Imagination, an agency the brand will still be working with 18 years on. 

Ice-cream brand Wall’s is also scooping big budgets away from television into live events, an approach spearheaded by its spikey-haired senior brand manager Giles Pearman, and event profs question whether the Italian Marketing Forum’s ’97 show is good value for money.


Our readers get ready to switch off their -analogue signals as BSkyB declares that digital television is the future of broadcasting at the Electrical Retailing Show, held at the NEC in Birmingham’s. The cast of Friends and George Clooney in ER attract visitors to the company’s hi-tech stand.

Country Living magazine’s Spring Fair kicks off at London’s Business Design Centre, and Ford and Vauxhall go head-to-head with model launches. Also, everyone is asking how sponsors will activate at the Millennium Dome.


Lego tries out its ‘new game plan’ at education show Bett, with a multi-division approach. Hands-on experiences are top of the stand’s brief to agency Stationhouse, which are subsequently-delivered with robot demonstrations and PC CD-ROM games.

Sholto Douglas-Home, marketing and communications director of the now much-criticised Millennium Dome, chats exclusively about the project’s challenges ahead of the second phase of its marketing campaign. He hopes that the building, which will one day be known as The O2, will attract 12 million people in the year 2000.


Radio 1 turns its back on 27 years of seaside roadshows and ploughs ahead with its urban mini festivals. Coca-Cola is a sponsor, with the station hoping to recapture a younger audience with a six-week series of One Big Sunday festivals, featuring the likes of All Saints, Texas and Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton.

Meanwhile, the launch of Excel London promises to put the capital back on the international exhibition map, while the opening of Tate Modern and the London Eye are cited as developments helping to raise its profile.


Lipton Ice Tea hits the road with a summer-long sampling campaign. The tongue-in-cheek roadshow, designed in collaboration with agency RPM, aims to reach 800,000 people with a beach scene, bouncy-castle volleyball court and massage area.

Event production agency Sprout launches as part of the Konftel Group, with Deloitte Consulting and Honda on its client list.


French brand Lacoste announces plans to celebrate the relaunch of its crocodile-crested polo shirt with a series of parties. Focus PR and MCM Productions, which will become MCM Creative Group in 2011, collaborate on the international project. The Exhibition Gallery at Delfina in London hosts the event's UK leg.

Sam Gill, who will go on to become chief executive of Story Events but presently heads up the Corporate Events Association, chats about his role, while newly rebranded Event examines how smaller event production agencies are winning big clients.


Mobile phones are now big news, so Carphone Warehouse hosts the UK’s first lifestyle show for users. Telecoms brand 3 enlists Brand Events for its video technology-focused stand, aiming to put its flip-style phones in people’s hands.

Event profs from Fortesqueue’s, The Ultimate Experience, The Admirable Crichton and Mask examine why corporates should not be cutting event budgets. David Ball, board director of The Pulse Group and soon-to-be founder of Brandfuel, discusses London’s Olympic bid alongside his messy desk.


‘Very nice person’ Zoe is Event’s cover star in September 2004, pictured enjoying a smoothie from Innocent at its Fruitstock gathering in Regent’s Park. 

Also, a rift has opened up in field-marketing circles on the subject of brand experience, with industry leaders debating whether it warrants its own space in the market. Many, including the Field Marketing Council, believe it can still be neatly placed under the ‘events and roadshows’ heading.


Haymarket-owned Clotheshow Live, branded with one ‘s’, welcomes supermodel Erin O’Connor as creative director of the exhibition’s 5,500-seat Fashion Theatre. Her high-profile influence results in the likes of Armani, Gaultier and Moschino showcasing their prêt-à-porter collections at this year’s Birmingham event.

Over in Northern Island, a fresh wave of both investment and business confidence means that its venues and events are now experiencing a wave of growth following the Troubles.


Photography brand Canon chooses a glittering dance extravaganza to launch its IXUS range in conjunction with agency GSP. The party is hosted at the Atlantis Gallery on London’s Brick Lane – a location that will one day become a coveted event destination, but for now "does not necessarily conjure up images of glamour", according to Event.

In a new move, the magazine profiles Tracey Farrow, brand marketing manager of  ‘adult entertainment’ company Erotica, who dreams of a partnership with Durex.


Ford heads to Athens, Greece with agency Imagination for the Uefa Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool. Its activations include interactive penalty shoot-outs, football-shaped skooters and a hospitality area for 932 guests.

The North is ‘banishing stereotypes’ as Liverpool’s title of European Capital of Culture approaches. Manchester is dubbed a magnet for sport and culture and Gateshead a creative hub, while Leeds is opening a number of impressive venues, including Savile’s Hall, named after… Jimmy Savile.


Ikea takes over Hoxton’s Circus Space to celebrate the brand’s 21st anniversary in the UK and the launch of its photography book UK at Home. Guests enter through a ‘Life before Ikea’ zone, with patterned wallpaper and a portrait of Margaret Thatcher, before experiencing the ‘Ikea today’ area, featuring jugglers and a life-size sofa made of chocolate.

Vauxhall teams up with music brand Sunday Best for an Alice In Wonderland-style festival organised by Jack Morton Worldwide. More than 2,000 revellers descend on Old Billingsgate in London to enjoy sets from Mark Ronson and Late at the Pier.


The latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is released and London’s Battersea Power Station is selected to host the premiere’s after-party. Around 3,000 VIP guests are whisked across the Thames in coaches after the screening at Leicester Square to be greeted by flaming torches and sculptural installations, with the station lit in blue and green.

195 Piccadilly, the London headquarters of Bafta, is crowned number one in Event’s Top 20 Venues poll. London Aquarium, Congress Centre, The Magic Circle HQ and Madame Tussauds round off the top five, cementing London as the event capital of the UK.


The soon-to-be defunct Earls Court in London hosts Coca-Cola’s football roadshow, which is visited by a balding Wayne Rooney. M&C Saatchi produces an event filled with World Cup activities, including five-a-side football matches on a temporary pitch, a performance from Wavin’ Flag rapper K’Naan and African drumming masterclasses.

Helen Turner, customer experience and events manager at Honda, is profiled in the magazine. She discusses the damaging effect of the recession on the auto brand’s events.


Wembley Stadium hosts the NFL Tailgate, a British version of the party held in a parking lot before an American Football game. Agency Ignite brings fast food, beer, merchandise and a mini stadium to 30,000 fans. Brands such as EA Games, Chrysler and Motorola activate at the event, with the latter boasting one of the longer queues at the venue.

The O2 in north Greenwich heads the Top 20 Venues list this year, followed by Excel London and Church House in slots two and three.


One of the biggest events in the world, the Olympics, comes to London. It all kicks off with the launch of the torch relay at Land’s End, which includes a procession of branded promotional buses from the likes of Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. 

‘Godfather of the music business’ and Ignite chairman Harvey Goldsmith speaks to Event about his number one place in the Event 100 club, the upcoming Jubilee Family Festival and his disappointment with the industry for not embracing the Olympics more.


Vodka brand Belvedere showcases its illuminated bottle at the Light the Night event in the basement of London’s One Marylebone. The company works with agency Amplify to give club, bar and restaurant representatives an atmospheric cocktail-party experience.

London Dungeon goes through a £20m redevelopment and relocation. The Merlin Events venue celebrates with a grisly showcase party, featuring a realistic corpse and Victorian-inspired bowl food.


Event relaunches to officially announce its support of brand experiences. Secret events are the big trend of the moment, with Secret Cinema setting the precedent for immersive and surprising consumer experiences. 

Brands are busy getting in on the act too. AB InBev’s Cubanisto launches its House of Mask series, featuring secret locations and 3D-printed keys, while Samsung enlists George P Johnson for its #winnertakesearth campaign. Event’s first Brand Experience Report is published.


As the brand experience sector emerges victorious from the recession, which companies are the ones leading the pack in the experiential world? Event’s June issue will unveil its exclusive Power Brands research and take an in-depth look at the activations that have made the most powerful impressions.

Plus, leading event profs will discuss how they have created their own personal brand in order to succeed in the industry.

Check out more stories on our dedicated #Event18 hub, including The History of Experiential and how Sony, Carlsberg and Lego have evolved in the past 18 years.

Follow us on Twitter: #Event18

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