At Metooo, we love sharing stories of successful events that we hosted on our platform. We believe that beyond numbers, each event is a unique experience, at the same time full of lessons to learn and of inspiration for our peers. In this article we continue the “Best events on Metooo” series with a glamorous happening that took place in our beloved home city of Naples, Italy: The Eighteen Century Neapolitan Carnival. This was the event that got the most views on our platform throughout the whole year of 2018. So let’s see what were the ingredients of its success, and how you can use them as best practices for your upcoming event project.
A fully immersive experience through time and place
Successful events, especially when it comes to entertainment, get most of their appeal when they are inserted in the collective imaginary as related to tradition and cultural habits. The event in this story was put together by Travelers and the City, a Neapolitan association that organizes events focused on entertainment while always putting attendees in touch with the cultural dimensions of Naples. The date was February 9, 2018, right in the middle of the Carnival (Carnevale) period, which is when the entire country dives into eclectic celebrations. During the Carnevale, people young and old, all throughout Italy, love to dress up and attend parades and parties in their costume attire. And Carnevale in Naples is particularly eccentric and colorful. So this is why our event was completely in line with the time of year and also so appealing to potential attendees.
The Eighteen Century Carnival started with a parade departing from a public square (Piazza dei Martiri) at 8 p.m. Then the main part, the Grand Ball, took place starting 9 p.m. at Palazzo San Teodoro. San Teodoro is a luxurious historical palace in the Chiaia neighborhood. Its impressive antique interiors were the perfect setting for recreating that magical 18th century atmosphere. Ever since its refurbishment in the early 19th century, Chiaia is the most elegant area of Naples, full of shops, bars and attracting locals and tourists alike. And when it comes to events, Chiaia is THE place to be in Naples.
If content is king, theme is queen
In the context of the Carnival, the event had a mandatory dress code, 18th century attire. Moreover, there was a theme within the theme, that is, the visit that writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe did in Naples in 1787. This theme within the theme was represented by a historical overview of his stay in the city through theatrical performances.
The theme was reflected all throughout the event schedule, that went like this:
- the parade from Piazza dei Martiri to the Grand Ball venue, Palazzo San Teodoro
- entry to the Grand Ball
- welcome toast with Millesimato Valdobbiadene sparkling wine
- tasting of historical dishes of the Neapolitan 18th century cuisine
- theatrical performance and dance on the notes of baroque and rococo music from the 18th century
- afterparty with modern music and a DJ
Present, promote, sell
Travelers and the City took full advantage of our platform’s features, creating a complete website for the event, adding the full schedule, featuring photo and embedded video material from the previous edition. The ticket policy was simple and attractive, there was one type of ticket, including access to all the event’s scheduled activities and an open bar. An element of excitement and exclusivity was added by only offering limited admissions. Moreover, although the promotional activities for the event started early on, tickets were only made available at a later date. So, due to the excitement created around the event, as soon as tickets were finally available, they were sold out within days.
The event website acted as the focal point of all their marketing efforts. Links were leading to it from the Facebook event but also from all the articles in online media promoting the event. The event was covered extensively by local and regional online media.
A lesson to learn for a successful event
It’s not enough anymore to just put together some music, some dance and some food to create memorable entertainment. Now that the average attendee has practically unlimited options, how do we differentiate our events and stand out from the crowd? Even the term “unique experiences” is so overused and with all events claiming to be “unique”, what is truly unique anymore? The answer is that people often want to be transported into a fantasy world and escape the day to day reality of a monotonous life. This is why we think that events that make people dream, events with a story connected to the region’s cultural tradition, events in which people can play a role for a few hours while surrounded by an atmosphere of bygone eras, will always be successful.