By Michael O'Connell Posted May 13, 2010, 1:46 PM EDT
NEW YORK For the 10th Anniversary of O, The Oprah Magazine, the media queen brought in all of her different properties for a weekend of events for 5,500 women that included a registration kickoff party, seminars at the Javits Center, a performance at Radio City, and a Mother's Day charity walk.
“It's been a little over a year since we started working on this,” said O associate publisher of marketing Stefanie Manning. “And while the magazine put this on, we worked in tandem with all the Oprah properties, which was a first.”
O marketing art director Jessica Podoshen came up with the design for the weekend, and the magazine enlisted Empire Entertainment and LeadDog Marketing to produce the different events.
The magazine holds signature events every year, but this was the first in New York and the first to incorporate so many different elements. The Live Your Best Life events have previously been limited to a day of seminars with magazine contributors—finance expert Suze Orman, Dr. Mehmet Oz, designer Nate Berkus, and others—and a small trade show of participating sponsors.
“We kept our seminar piece in tact, but we wanted to dress it up with other events. Slowly but surely, we layered all of the pieces on it,” Manning said. Those other elements included a separate registration event to welcome the attendees (from all 50 states and abroad), the live evening program with Winfrey at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday, and the public charity walk.
After announcing the program, O received overwhelming interest in the weekend, but decided early on to cap attendance at 5,500, the capacity at Radio City. “We didn't want to sell the events individually,” Manning said, “so we decided to make it a full weekend event by limiting to the capacity of the program venue.”
On Sunday, the registrants were joined by an additional 5,000 members of the public for a Mother's Day charity walk to Times Square, which after the bomb scare the week before, ended up being one of the more complicated elements of the weekend.
“That was a little frightening, but we worked hand-in-hand with the city,” Manning said. The walk went off without a hitch, and after leading more than 10,000 walkers from the Intrepid to Times Square, Winfrey took the stage and concluded the weekend's festivities.