I’m headed to Chicago to attend the PMA's Annual Integrated Marketing
Conference which is called “Blur” this year. It starts tomorrow, Tuesday and runs through Wednesday at the Fairmont Hotel. This year the PMA they've formally named me as their "Official
Conference Blogger" and included me on their website's speakers page. So in my attempt to do a great job covering the conference, here's one more pre-event post.
On Day 2, Wednesday, I'll be getting a chance to finally meet Kitty Kolding, CEO of House
Party who is speaking that day. I wrote about House Party in this post
last July and also here the year
before. I contacted Kitty when I wrote the first post and since then I've been keeping in touch with the company and watching them grow. So I got a sneak peak of what Kitty, along with her client John Dougherty, Director of Marketing for the Windows Business Group of Microsoft will be speaking about.
Last fall Microsoft engaged House Party to help them debut and demonstrate their new Windows 7 operating system to a global audience. What House Party does is integrate actual social events that happen in the real world with social media in the online world. Their parties
actually consists of thousands of parties that take place across
the country and include an exclusive brand experience at the center of
the action. These specially
designed parties are sponsored by a leading brand and take place in the
homes of carefully selected consumer hosts who can invite their
friends, family, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, whoever they wish,
to experience these uniquely fun parties and the products they feature.
Microsoft was House Party's inaugural global event which occurred in 12 international locations on various dates within the month of October. An estimated 800,000 people participated in the Windows 7 launch parties
in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Germany, France, Spain,
Mexico, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan and the United States. All party goers experienced and learned about Windows 7’s new offerings
in a fun, party atmosphere.
“Customer feedback is truly what shaped Microsoft’s development of Windows 7, which is why we wanted to give consumers the opportunity to experience the new operating system themselves in a comfortable atmosphere with friends and family,” said John Dougherty from Microsoft. “Working with House Party to facilitate these gatherings provided a great way for people all over the world to see and understand how Windows 7 fits into their lives on a daily basis.”
To unify the 12 multinational event sites, the company launched a custom-branded program portal to accommodate the expansion’s significant global traffic and complex routing requirements. For each language, the company launched fully functional in-language sites, supported by a team of multilingual customer service experts to support users all over the world.
“As the leading in-home activation marketing company in the United
States, House Party was equipped to expand globally and offer our unique
marketing platform in countries around the globe,” said Kitty.
“Universally, consumers are eager to build awareness for the brands and
products they love, no matter what the culture or language.”
House Party now also has the capability to conduct events in China and
Brazil. All global events are localized, with all offline and online
party activity conducted in the local language.
So this is a great example of how using advocates, on a worldwide basis, can be very powerful. I'm interested to find out if Microsoft is keeping in contact with these party goes to gain additional insights and feedback and I will let you know what I learn, so stay tuned.