The Affair of the Heart

Last Thursday, February 9th, 2012 was the 7th Annual Affair of the Heart held at the Lane County Events Center.  This a free event for all of Lane County to partake in.  All major companies and businesses flocked the hall at 10am that day.  Countless hours of preparation and setup to build a huge event took more than just word of mouth; it was all the PR that was received to make this day a success.  Each business created displays with signage, brochures, handouts, and free samples of products/prize giveaways.

The 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. event targets a woman based demographic.  Of course, men are welcome to come, but the businesses focuses an evening packed with health tips, fashion flair, giveaways, entertainment and flavorful food and drink to celebrate women’s health and well-being.

Last year, organizers say, the event drew more than 8,000 attendees — and attendance was expected to exceed with the increase of social media awareness.  Facebook and Twitter were the two major social media platforms used, as well as advertising and marketing on the radio, newspapers, and websites.

A new tactic that many businesses took part in was having people scan QR codes with their smartphones.  The goal of the QR code is to target a specific demographic of people. These individuals, who are willing to scan to learn more about your organization and purpose, are typically ones that show in interest in what you have to say.  QR codes allow people to interact with an organization by connecting people with online content.  This is very useful PR tool for businesses.

As an intern at the Fifth Street Public Market, this event was an essential process for reaching out to potential customers.  The goal was building our marketing and

brand awareness to the public.  The mission was to emphasize how truly unique the center is by branding the local aspect of it.  The displays showcase how remarkable each store is by showing their products, offering specials, and allowing people to scan with a chance to win one of 15 prizes simply by entering their name and email address.

The night was a success for all.  I decided to roam around the event center to see how other businesses showcased their booths. Many had extravagant displays, brochures, prizes, but only some used QR codes.  The popularity with QR codes from last year and this year have grown. It only a matter of time before more and more businesses take advantage of this free PR tool.

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