Words of Wisdom: Food PR & Marketing Events

We sat down with Food Fête founder Jeff Davis to speak about the creation of the 10-year-old food marketing & PR event, food industry trends, and how food brands can get involved and succeed. HELEN MILLS has hosted Food Fête events since 2011.

How did Food Fête Start? Food Fête started 10 years ago out of a desire to create a high-value media event for food brands. I come from a PR background and saw an opportunity to help food brands get in front of many top food editors. The tabletop format was not being done in the food industry at the time, and having seen the event model work in other industries, I decided to try it.

Best Giveaway Item at a Food PR/Marketing Event? The US Potato Board several years ago put a Mr. Potato Head toy in each media gift bag. It was clever branding and helped reinforce potatoes as an ingredient.

Food Industry Trend to Watch?  In both our San Francisco and NYC events, we featured two companies in the online food shopping space, where consumers can order ingredients for a meal or recipe (including fresh foods) and have it shipped to them. The presence of these companies points to the growing number of online companies getting involved in the food space.

Food Fete event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

Peach Dish’s Table Display at Food Fete’s February 2014 Event. Peach Dish provides consumers with the opportunity to purchase ingredients for meals online.

How Can Food Vendors or PR Professionals Stand Out? Great products always speak for themselves, but having a knowledgeable brand representative on hand to talk about them can make or break a vendor’s presence at Food Fête. Media see Food Fête as an educational opportunity to learn about the latest products, how they’re made, and how the ingredients are grown. Post-event follow-up is  essential to getting the most out of a food PR or marketing event. The benefit of Food Fête doesn’t stop when the event is over. Food brands and their PR people need to follow-up with food editors and writers they meet to stay top of mind when they want to cover their product category.

How Do Vendors Apply For Food Fête’s Upcoming 2014 Events? Food and beverage brands can apply online for any of our events at http://foodfete.com/forms/2014-events-online-application/


About Food Fête: Food Fête was founded in 2004 and is an exclusive, intimate event that introduces food PR and marketing professionals to a targeted group of top food writers. Exhibitors showcase their newest food, beverage and kitchenware products in an intimate, cocktail party setting. In just two to three hours, meaningful conversations naturally unfold. Social media profiles give way to, well, genuine social interactions. Food Fête has evolved into an essential industry touch point where new food products and the food press intersect. Food Fête’s upcoming 2014 events will take place in New York City in April, June, and October. To learn more, see the Food Fête’s website.

Looking for a Food Event or Tradeshow Venue? Please Contact Us for more information or visit our Tradeshow page for more information.

3 days, 7 shows, 21 designers: New York Fashion Week in Photos

From February 7-9 at HELEN MILLS, The Fashion Gallery produced 7 shows featuring 21 fashion designers for New York Fashion Week. The collections came from experienced and new designers alike including Michael Costello (the creator of Beyonce’s 2014 Grammys dress), Project Runway stars Korto Momolu and Leanne Marshall. See the full list of designers here.

Below are a few highlights from the New York Fashion Week Shows. For more photos and video, see our Google+, Instagram or YouTube Channel!

Fashion Week at HELEN MILLS - Michael Costello and Leanne Marshall

Looking for a Fashion Show Venue? Please Contact Us or visit our Fashion page for more information.

6 Ideas for Great Event Signage!

Event signage can make a huge impact on the design and success of an event. We’ve collected examples of signage from events at HELEN MILLS to show how signage in all forms – from gobos to posters to hashtags to swag – can transform the look, flow and marketing of your event.

1) Think Outside the Box

Kate Spade made a statement with their one-of-a-kind red carpet covering a New York City sidewalk! The signage also covered the venue doors as opposed to just covering the portholes. The effect was an immersive branded experience both inside and directly outside the venue for their fashion event.

Kate Spade Fashion Display - Instagram - gurby12

Kate Spade. Photo Credit: @gurby12 on Instagram

Riddell covered an entire wall with images of their products and history and decorated other parts of the venue with real football helmets for their press event. Both the signage and products combined to create a feeling of excitement in the theater and offered something unexpected to guests. For more images, see here.

10.24.13 - Theater - Riddell Photo Wall

Riddell Event

2) Incorporate Social Media

Hashtags, handles and check-ins are important in creating awareness and improving the effectiveness of event marketing. Lenovo made the most of this fact when they created a hashtag sign, featuring their #betterway campaign during their Yoga Tablet Launch event. The prominence and thoughtful placement of the sign ensured that attendees had no doubt what they should tweet!

10.23.13 - ES - Lenovo - Tablet Launch - Bar Hashtag

Lenovo Yoga Tablet Launch

3) Feature Products or Services

In addition to the name of the event, sponsors and an agenda, use signage to bring attention to your product or cause. Make Up  For Ever did this by placing their product in the porthole doors and with a standing banner on stage, flanking the speaker. This not only reminded event attendees about their work but also offered passerbys a glimpse into what they were passionate about.

10.10.13 - Theater - Make Up For Ever theater edited

Make Up For Ever Signage Flanks Speaker

It’s nearly impossible to do wrong with candy. Perfetti Van Melle took advantage of this fact and featured their Mentos and Airheads candy on posters (left) and wrapped them around columns throughout the venue (right).

01.15.14 - Perfetti Van Melle - Signage - Event Space - Montage

Perfetti Van Melle

4) Use the Floor

The most common place for signage is hung or projected on walls or placed on tables, however, the floor is a great and unexpected place for signage. Below is an example of floor signage from PiperJaffray (left) which was created by projecting a gobo onto the floor. On the right, OpenX creatively used the theater steps as a space to brand their Publisher’s Conference. Both effectively remind attendees of the event, even if they’re looking down.


Piper Jaffray Gobo Floor Signage

5) Use Original Artwork

While printed signage is great, handmade signage can offer a personal and unexpected touch to your event. Make Up For Ever featured artwork on a curtain dividing the venue (left) and an artist’s work was featured along the runway for a New York Fashion Week show. Both pieces of art made for not only memorable signage but an interesting and unexpected backdrop to photographs.

10.10.13 - Make Up For Ever - signage

Make Up For Ever

6) Get Personal!

If you’re planning a social event like a birthday party, bar or bat mitzvah or other celebration, don’t afraid to make your signage personal! This bar mitzvah featured the bar mitzvah boy peering out from the portholes in the venue doors. This helped to make the venue truly personal for the party and also provided an eye-catching detail.


Private Bar Mitzvah

7) Create Portable Signage

People love getting gifts and event swag offers you the opportunity to make this happen. Gifts given out during events can serve to not only entertain guests but also to engage with your event throughout the experience. These foam hands from the FreeWheel event brought energy to a standard meeting and also have information about the event that attendees will keep with them, even after they leave the venue.

01.15.14 - T Freewheel Media - Meeting with Swag

Freewheel Media

To Recap, when creating signage for your next event, remember to:
1. Think Outside the Box
2. Incorporate Social Media
3. Feature Products or Services
4. Use the Floor
5. Use Original Artwork
6. Get Personal
7. Create Portable Signage

Looking for a venue for your next event? Please contact us or call 212-243-6200 for more information. From Meetings to Bar / Bat Mitzvahs to Fashion Shows, see here for more information about the types of events you can have at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater.

2014 NYC Fashion Week Schedule @ HELEN MILLS

We’re excited to announce The Fashion Gallery’s Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week shows at HELEN MILLS! The February 8th and 9th shows will feature Project Runway Designers Michael Costello and Leanne Marshall as well as a number of designers as part of designer collective shows.

New York Fashion Week Calendar Helen Mills

For More on The Fashion Gallery: fgnyfw.com

Looking for a Fashion Show Venue? Please Contact Us for more information or visit our Fashion page for more information.

Past Fashion Show Client Featured on QVC!

Exciting news from past client and Project Runway Runner-up Korto Momolu! Korto’s dress design (below) was recently chosen by QVC host and Project Runway All Stars Judge Lisa Robertson to be sold on QVC! The following is an excerpt from her interview on QVC – read more here.

Creating clothes has always been my dream, but designing for women of all sizes [is] my passion. I designed [the dress for the QVC challenge] with all the frills and thrills a woman wants in mind, but also making sure she feels amazing, sexy, and most importantly, beautiful when she puts it on.

Korto showed her collections at HELEN MILLS in September 2012 and September 2013. See here for BET’s special video feature on her New York Fashion Week September 2013 show at HELEN MILLS.

Ko!rto Momolu’s dress design that is now being sold on QVC. Top Right: Korto poses with QVC host and Project Runway All Stars Judge Lisa Robertson.

About Korto Momolu:  Korto Momolu (pronounced Cut • Toe – Mo • Mo • Lu) is a fashion designer and was a member of the Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars TV shows. Additionally, Korto has been featured on the Wendy Williams Show, Live with Kelly & Michael, the Mo’Nique Show, and QVC. Korto was named top 5 designers to watch by New York Magazine and has shown during New York Fashion Week for a number of years, including two seasons at HELEN MILLS. To learn more: Website • Twitter  Facebook

Looking for a Fashion Show Venue? Please Contact Us for more information or visit our Fashion page for more information.

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