In 2011, MAVERICK was tasked with executing an ambitious event for our client Symantec, one of the largest technology companies in the world...
To mark the launch of the Norton Cybercrime Index (CCI), a free online tool that offers real time cybercrime news and warms people of the threats that may be lurking on their computers, we hosted an interactive, four-day event at Yonge and Dundas Square in Toronto. The event was a hit for Symantec and for MAVERICK - we took home both a 2012 IABC Ovation Award for Communication Management - Special Events; and a silver 2012 CPRS ACE Award for Best Use of Special Events.
But it wasn't easy - we faced a number of challenges planning this event. The product had been available and easily accessible online to Canadian consumers for several months and we were launching during the Ontario Provincial election, Thanksgiving, oh yes, and the opening of the NHL hockey season. Obstacles yes, but for MAVERICK …no big deal.
Despite these constraints MAVERICK delivered an exciting event that educated Canadians about online dangers, generated positive media coverage across top tier national media and drove sales. Here's how we did it.
Location, location, location
We hosted the event at Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square, a high-traffic area conducive to social interaction. Each day focused on a specific theme - a Media Cocktail Kick-Off Day, School Day, Family Day and Small Business Day. Symantec's CCI and STUFF Truck - an interactive exhibit inside a fully-converted 18-wheeler truck - was the focus point of the event, offering content-rich, engaging exhibits, tours, cyber safety tips and videos.
MAVERICK worked with a range of organizations to establish dynamic partnerships, while fully leveraging Symantec's own experts to offer visitors a variety of cyber safety lectures in the event tent. We secured partnerships with The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre/RCMP; The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT); Toronto Police Services; The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, and Public Safety Canada, who announced Canada's new "Get Cyber Safe" initiative at the Expo.
Get the word out
The event was promoted extensively through media advisories and customized pitches issued to consumer, technology and business media, and through special content developed for Symantec's microsite and Yonge-Dundas Square's website.
The Cyber Safety Expo far exceeded the client's expectations, while MAVERICK was able to come in under its original event budget. Here are a few highlights of the results:
- More than 2,000 visitors toured the exhibit over four days.
- The Best Buy promotion in partnership with Symantec caused the Best Buy retail store closest to the Expo to run out of Norton 360 software on the second day of the event. The neighbouring Future Shop quickly sold out of the product.
- In total, 13 media attended the event, generating 21 unique articles - despite the fact that the event was held during the Thanksgiving long weekend.
- About 8,490,100 media impressions were generated, including hits on CityTV's Breakfast Television, CP24, CTV News Channel and Rogers Daytime