Happy Friday, everyone! The end of the work week means the coming of the weekend and this weekend, there’s something extra to be excited about: our Tangled Adventure Disney Store event! Ever wonder what it takes to plan one of these magical in store events? To find out I visited Lisa Nagato Kennedy, manager, Experiential Marketing. I actually sit really close to Lisa’s desk and I have to say, I have one of the best seats in the house here at the Disney Store Headquarters. Lisa’s desk area is always covered with fun materials that hint at the next store event and that make me feel like a kid again: plastic jewels (remember our Princess Garden Party event?), Velcro balls, color banners and posters, and even a foam Perry the Platypus. I always find myself wandering over to look at (and play with!) what new activities she’s planning, so this interview was personally a favorite!
Amy: Hi Lisa! You’re the creative mind behind all of our Disney Store events! Can you tell us a little bit about the objective of these events?
Lisa: The objective is to deliver ‘The Best 30 minutes of a Child’s Day’- the overall vision we have for Disney Stores. Anyone can go into a retail store but we want to give people another reason to come into ours, so they know that they won’t just be coming into buy something but that they will be coming in for an experience.
It’s a nice little surprise for guests that just happen to be in the store during one of our events. As a parent too, I know sometimes it is difficult trying to figure out where to take the kids on a Saturday. We host craft activities, scavenger hunts and dance parties for our younger guests! What’s great is there is no charge for our events and we always try to incorporate some kind of takeaway gift so our young guests have something to remember the event by. It’s really about the experience, about bringing the magic back to Disney Stores. I know I’m being repetitive, but it’s all about the experience- I can’t say that enough!
A: These events bring storytelling to life! How do you decide what story to focus on each month?
L: We have campaign events at least once a month to support a story we have in the store. This month we are focusing on supporting the Tangled story because of the Blu-Ray release! We are so fortunate to have so many stories to tell and that these stories are all stories our guests know well. We determine our events based on our marketing campaigns going on that month, holidays, and being socially conscious! One event in April will revolve around Earth Day and being socially responsible. On April 9th we are also having a Minnie's Masquerade event supporting Disney Junior. At this event guests will see a viewing of the Minnie's Masquerade episode before it is featured on Disney Junior and participate in Masquerade activities!
A: What is the process of planning a store event?
1. First, we find out the company focus for that month and think about what story or what holiday we want to highlight.
2. Next, we brainstorm activities and try to see how we can keep the event as close to the story we are supporting as possible. For example, when we had our first Tangled event (before the movie came out) we knew we wanted to incorporate lanterns since they were important in the movie and we wanted to introduce this part of the story to our guests. We had to think about how we could use an activity to talk about the significance of the lantern.
3. Then we plan out the details of the event, decide what materials we will need and purchase the materials for the event.
4. We work with the creative department to determine what items we will need them to create and collaborate with the marketing team to see how we can support one another.
5. After gathering our materials we have to work with product integrity to make sure our products are safe for children.
6. Once the actual event is all planned out, I write all communication for how to execute the event inside the store. Because we have so many differently-designed stores we can’t carry out the events the same so I write different guides for different stores. For example, we try to use technology in our newly-designed stores. We also make sure that all materials and communication is received by the stores in advance, so the stores can prepare for the event.
7. Then it’s left up to the store to execute! This is where we really rely on our cast members. We give them some scripts and guidelines but it’s up to them to bring everything to life!
8. We do a recap after every event and look at feedback from the stores. We take all feedback and use it to improve our events because we want to make a great experience for our guests! For example, there were some complaints about one of our events being too crowded and guests having a bad experience. After hearing this feedback we lowered the number of guests per session.
A: Are there any challenges in planning these events?
L: We always have to keep product integrity in mind and of course, we have to plan all of this with a limited budget!
A: What do you love about your job?
L: Some people don’t live near Disneyland so to them, Disney Stores is their Disneyland. I love making that special experience for them. I love seeing the kids hugging cast members at the end of a store event because they had such a good time. I love seeing their faces light up because to me, that’s my biggest reward- it’s all about making the guest happy.
A: Any future events we should be really excited about?
L: Look out for Cars 2 in June! We have something really special planned!
Here’s an inside peek at tomorrow’s event! I didn’t want to give away too much to ruin the surprise but trust me, this is one adventure you won’t want to miss!
Details about the event here:
You’re Invited to a Tangled Adventure at Disney Store! Let your hair down and get tangled up in a fun, exciting adventure at Disney Store. FREE activity sheet, games and fun!
Saturday, March 26th 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
*Minimum age for participation is 3 years. Event subject to change or cancellation without notice. While supplies last. Call your local store for participation.
See you there!