Faflíková (LEGO): “Events are getting more ‘phygital’. It’s time for Live Communication Experience”
Andrea Faflíková, Regional Pr & Event Manager Engagement Marketing CEEMEA LEGO Group talks about events, new trends and future strategies.
An exclusive interview with Andrea Faflíková, Regional Pr & Event Manager Engagement Marketing CEEMEA LEGO Group and member of our Advisory Board – composed by presidents of European events associations, journalists in the field of events and a selection of company managers who had been part of the jury of European Bea Awards – that will gather on 1st April in Courmayeur (Val d’Aosta). She is responsible for setting and implementing Pr & Event strategies in Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA region).
Could you tell us about your backgrounds and your career in the world of events?
In 2000, I began to work at Euro RSCG Prague (now Havas) and, within a few years, I progressed to the role of heading the Corporate Communications unit. I lead projects in area of PR&CC and Event Management for Telco, FMCG, and Health & Lifestyle clients. After working for the Czech Football Association, I joined the LEGO Group being responsible for setting and implementing Pr & Event strategies in Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA region). During my work experience, my colleagues and I organized a large number of events – B2B, B2E and B2C – from incentive tourism through musical concerts & house parties to corporate activities and events dedicated to consumers. Currently, I focus primarily on event strategies and concepts developments.
Talking about the event market, what is the scenery in your country like, nowadays?
It is a fairly broad question. In a nutshell, I would say it is a mix of global and local events implementing concepts that arise locally and those purchased as successful concepts from abroad and implemented in the country. I am referring to whole events range, from the cultural and sports ones to commercial and corporate ones. Concurrently, I see the event spectrum as more polarized than in past; we experience ‘big-production’ events as well as smaller pop-up actions that gained lately quite some popularity. In addition, events with an aspect of a secret location and a last-minute invitation shared online are implemented. I take these elements as a good spice-up. There is one interesting phenomena and I think it applies across Europe – we experience a great number of festivals that are dedicated to food – food parades. I believe that this is happening in a connection with the fact that a relatively large space in media, especially TV, is devoted to shows about food and cooking. I would almost say, ‘Who does not cook, is not on television’.
Where do you think the world of events is going? What about new trends?
The world of traditional events the way they looked like in past decades, is disappearing and a new form was already introduced – sometimes called Live Communication Experience. As for the trends, I would say content is a king, mobility and scalability become crucial especially in today’s globalized world. Events get more ‘phygital’ combining the physical and digital worlds. New technologies, social media, and other new communication trends are essential for the final audience reach. The true success criteria is not anymore based on a number of people who attend the event, but more importantly on a final number of people reached via the event and its communication. I believe that this fact will help events to become more important within the marketing mix. Given that the Generation Y (Millennials) is about to make up the majority of working age population in few years’ time, there is a focus on tailor-made activities for them taking into consideration their shopping habits and behaviour. When planning events, the debate is often on how to engage the audiences and how to make target groups actively participate during these happenings.
What is the most challenging part of working on events and why? And what about difficulties?
I can think of several challenges that relate mainly to the production of events. After the event´s date is communicated and people are invited, there is no possibility to postpone or change the date. Therefore, if things do not go according to your wishes, you must adjust your plans but not the date. I do not see the time aspect to be that ultimate in other disciplines as in events. Moreover, events can also be affected by circumstances that are not within your power – too bad or too good weather, illness of key performers, a missed flight. Since events are very often occur in a short time period (e.g. a day or an evening), these unfortunate circumstances can have quite negative influence on the event outcome. Another challenge I can think of is a constant need to bring newness and to ‘wow’ target audiences that put you under a pressure. This goes hand in hand with the fact that if you bring new and new elements, you do spend more time making sure that all is set well. In case people are involved in bigger and more complex events, I would add a high level of stress.
As a client, what do you expect the most from an event? (Roi, experience, small budget…)
The primal reason for us is to engage with kids and parents and to create loyal consumers. We present a relevant portfolio and bring new experiences to our targets. Firstly, we are interested in achieving our objectives and KPIs set. We see if this was achieved through ROI and other evaluation methods. This is how we can learn to be even better next time.
What kind of events do you realize the most and why?
The majority of events are B2C dedicated to our consumers with whom we want to engage. We organize events not only for kids, but also for entire families. We believe that LEGO play is a fun activity for all family members. During events, we present a portfolio and LEGO play in its variety.
What were your biggest challenges of the year? Do you have any long-term goals, targets and strategies for your company?
Given that I work for a fairly large region, we develop events´ concepts for markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Therefore, we must respect the same time of delivery in these distant regions and this can significantly shorten lead-time for development. We also have to take into account the localization of developed assets and thus the settings and management of projects can become relatively complex. As for the long-term goals and strategies, indeed, that the LEGO Group has it set. We want to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow and bring the LEGO system-in- play to as many children in as many countries as possible. Organizing events helps us reaching this commitment.
What do you think is required to deliver a successful event?
If it is a commercial event – a great product/service, then a great creative idea, a great execution, well-proposed channel strategy and having good manners I cannot forget to mention evaluation – to get good understand of the result and learnings how to improve and be even better next time.
And what about the future? Any anticipations?
It is a bit too soon to share anything. In all cases, we will continue in a phygital approach blending the physical and digital to create an ecosystem between the brand and consumer across the two worlds.