Event Marketing: La belle province offers unique opportunities

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta. Kirsten Armitage is an account executive with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media...

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta. Kirsten Armitage is an account executive with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases and feedback should be directed to Kirsten at (416) 229-0060 or fax (416) 229-1210.

Event marketing is carving itself a niche in Qužbec.

As a communications vehicle, event marketing has a special appeal in Qužbec.

This industry is in the business of taking the emotions, imagery or activities that the consumer holds dear and implementing a program which causes the consumer to act and, ultimately, to connect with the sponsor.

French Canadians are typically more emotional and expressive than their English counterparts so they respond more readily to emotional appeals.

Whether it’s a Stanley Cup victory or an open-air concert featuring a top francophone artist, events are a medium through which Qužbecers express their culture and ‘joie-de-vivre.’

Qužbec has its own distinct perspectives, language, culture and values.

When developing marketing strategies for the Qužbec marketplace, it is important that event organizers/promoters and sponsors recognize this distinctiveness.

Qužbec-based events and integrated promotional campaigns often necessitate adaptation.

Factors to consider include the following:

- Use research to ensure the overall theme appeals to a francophone audience.

- Straight French translations of an English event/program name may not be relevant to Qužbecers. While the French name may take on a slightly different meaning, proper translation demonstrates sensitivity to Qužbec language and culture.

- All communication materials should be translated by francophone experts.

- If a national program is not supported by a spokesperson, consider a Qužbecois spokesperson to give the event a more relevant appeal.

- Contest prizes may need to be different to reflect regional interests. For example, Qužbecers prefer certain vacation destinations and activities (Florida, France, ski trips.)

- Corporate sponsors should secure the support of regional managers and employees.

- If an agency is involved, use a group with an office in Qužbec.

If Qužbecers are convinced that an event has been designed with their unique characteristics and interests in mind, event marketing can be a very effective communications vehicle in la belle province.

Upcoming

opportunities

- In celebration of the centennial of motion pictures, Studio Super ƒcran, a Hollywood-style theme park, will visit seven Qužbec cities between June 22 and Aug. 20, 1995.

An estimated 800,000 visitors will experience various elements of filmmaking in studio-like settings, including live shoots, special effects, costume design, animation and live stunts.

The $2.6 million attraction may be presented in Toronto from Aug. 18-Sept. 10 at Ontario Place, followed by a national roll-out tour during the summer of 1996.

Astral Communications’ Super ƒcran movie channel and General Motors have confirmed their involvement.

For sponsorship information, contact Stžphane Cherpit at (514) 289-9500.

- L’ƒquipe Spectra presents several events offering sponsorship opportunities.

Montržal’s International Jazz Festival (June 29-July 9), an 11-day outdoor music festival staged in the city’s downtown streets, attracts 1.5 million spectators.

Les FrancoFolies (Aug. 4-12), a musical festival featuring artists from several French-speaking countries, draws 400,000 spectators. For further information on both these events, contact Jacques-Andrž Dupont at (514) 525-7732.

- Montržal’s Festival Juste pour rire/Just for Laughs (July 19-30), attracting 420,000 spectators in the Old Port and in theatres, is seeking sponsors.

For further information, contact Vincent Fisher at (514) 845-3155.

- The City of Drummondville is hosting the only Canadian stage of the International Triathalon Union’s World Cup on Aug. 6, 1995.

Two Canadian men are in the top ten ranking.

Worldwide television coverage is expected to reach at least 350 million homes.

For further information, contact Jean Lasselle at (819) 477-5518.

- Le Tour des Enfants (May 28) expects 8,500 cyclists ages six to 12.

One sponsorship is still available.

For further information, contact Richard Saulnier at (514) 521-8356.