NEW YORK Last week the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South introduced its renovated top seven floors to a handful of travel agents and members of the travel press. To help guests visualize a stay in the rooms, event producers at Global Events Group persuaded the hotel to have fun with its fairly conservative brand by staging four scenes in different rooms.
The event, dubbed “Pillow Talk,” took small groups through four different suites, each with its own vignette: a visiting couple, a French model, a businessman, and a rap star giving an interview to a journalist. The actors memorized scripts peppered with hotel talking points and received instruction from an Off Broadway director brought in for the event.
Producers at Global Events Group, who worked with Helmsley Hotels director of operations Takis Anoussis and advertising agency WKP Spier, floated a few even less conventional ideas to the hotel before settling on one that both parties could get behind. “We then walked the client through the concept by focusing not only on how attendees' perceptions would be dramatically changed through this event,” said Howard Givner, C.E.O. of North America for Global Events Group, “but also on how we were now creating a new narrative for those people to talk about to others when referencing the hotel.”
Not to stray too far from tradition, the theatrical tour culminated in a reception on the top floor. Guests absorbed the hotel's biggest selling point (Central Park views) while listening to a harpist, snacking on passed plates of crostini, and snooping around the penthouse, once the residence of the late Leona Helmsley.
“I give the Helmsley a lot of credit for being willing to take a chance on a nontraditional event,” Givner said. “But in a crowded marketplace, sometimes you need to do something different to get your message across.”