By Joana Mangune Posted October 2, 2012, 10:49 PM EDT
After introducing the first Global Bazaar last year, Travel & Leisure looked to build on its experiential platform with the second run of the consumer show this past weekend. The three-day ticketed event held at the 69th Regiment Armory that opened September 28 and ran through September 30 was, through installations, wine and food tastings, and travel-inspired activities, intended as a physical representation of the magazine's brand of content as well as the offerings of the participating travel-related organizations.
”Travel & Leisure's mission, and that of the T&L Global Bazaar, is to inspire people to see the world,“ said Pamela Norwood, the magazine's vice president and associate publisher of marketing. “Our editor in chief Nancy Novogrod says that the world would be a better place if people traveled more. With that in mind, we hope that our guests left the event thrilled by the experiences we created and moved to visit the many destinations that came to life this past weekend.”
New to the bazaar was a collaboration with Room to Read, a nonprofit aiding global literacy and girls' education in developing countries. A portion of the event's ticket sales are being donated to the charity, and the organizers set up an online auction with Charitybuzz.com that will run through October 10. To further highlight the partnership, Katie Couric read for the crowd at Friday night's kickoff party.
For the production of the show, the Travel & Leisure team enlisted producer 13 Designs and caterer Mary Giuliani, which set up a back-of-house command center and industrial kitchen to coordinate the needs of 22 different partners. Square Design even constructed a wood shop to help fabricate the installations for the different exhibitors on site.
“We worked with our sponsors to create large installations that were engaging and authentic,” said Norwood. For instance, lamps and rugs filled a dimly lit Moroccan lounge, a giant moai or Easter Island head served as a marker for the Rapa Nui stall, and a colossal sailboat indicated the booth for British Virgin Islands.
Seabourn Cruise Lines also had a nautical installation, with men dressed as sailors handing out champagne to guests and accompanying them to get free hand massages from Molton Brown.
Other interactive efforts included See Puerto Rico's indoor zipline and hair braiding, sand bracelet making, and hula and ukelele lessons from Hilton. On the social media front, Baume & Mercier set up a photo booth with a virtual Hamptons backdrop and invited guests to pose with props like kites, croquet sticks, floppy hats, and sunglasses. A card with a code to enter on the watchmaker's Facebook app enabled participants to retrieve and share their photos.