Opel had chosen Scotland as the stage to launch it’s new Mokka X car to the international media. It was Hello Scotland’s job to make it happen.
Logistics and planning
First thing’s first. We needed a hotel where we could secure 21 days of back to back rooms, with space for press conferences, space to present the cars, and additional car parking for polishing up / cleaning the cars. Oh, and it has to be in Edinburgh city centre. Lucky for us the 5* Sheraton Grand, right in the heart of Edinburgh, had all of these things, including the capacity to accommodate the group.
Next was the driving route. This was of utmost importance as the journalists needed to be able to experience the car on different types of roads and terrains, on a route that was long enough for them to properly experience the car, but could be completed within a day. Lots of reccy-ing, with and without the client meant we were able to create a great balance of motorway driving, country roads, cityscapes and off-roading in a forest!
A taste of Scotland
The route was carefully balanced with key stops for food and refreshments, like the coffee stop at Mohr 84 in the Trossachs, which served the most amazing freshly ground coffee and home-baked cakes. The journalists also had the privilege of dining at Dalmeny House for a hot buffet lunch - a private 18th century family home, set in stunning landscape just outside of Edinburgh. They were quite often joined by the lady of the house, Lady Rosebury, and her dog Suki.
And the culinary delights didn’t stop there. In the evenings, the journalists were treated to fine Scottish cuisine at Contini Cannonball - a family-run restaurant close to Edinburgh Castle. And for those who were there for more than one night (like the 20 lovely Opel staff), the restaurant had devised 3 delicious menus that they rotated on a daily basis, which included mains of venison, hake and pork belly. However, ‘haggis balls’ were always on the menu, for those that wanted a true taste of Scotland!’
It’s all about the brand
Appropriate branding was very important for our client. We secured a branded welcome desk on the 4th floor of the multi storey car park in Edinburgh Airport, where we had dedicated parking spaces for the cars over the duration of the event. Journalists were welcomed by our friendly hostesses in the arrival hall, walked to the car park and handed over to the waiting OPEL staff, who distributed their car keys. Then it was ready, steady, drive! First stop Dalmeny House for the official Driver Briefing and lunch.
Working in partnership with the Sheraton Grand Hotel and JC Decaux, we were able to get permission for a display car at the entrance to the hotel on Festival Square for the duration of the event, providing a continuously visible presence in the city. Guests were also able to arrive and depart in their Mokkas from Festival Square, so there was a spectacular line up of cars in the mornings and evenings. And let’s not forget the tense 90 minutes where we lifted and manoeuvred a Mokka X in the back entrance of the hotel and into the Edinburgh Suite, where it would sit, pride of place, for the daily press conference.
Other branded items included a road book of the route including information about Scotland and famous landmarks and a limited edition print of the car.
In 21 days we welcomed 700 journalists from around the globe. Here are some of the other facts/figures from the event.
"It all ran very smoothly, actually. I was very pleased with the outcome. The hotel really lived up to our expectations, in terms of the standards that we expect for our guests. They needed to cater for 70 rooms per night, the 60 guests, plus some internals, so the amount of rooms is one criteria and the location was also really important. We could not be more central than that. We were able to drop the cars off and pick them up the next morning. We also got a lot of visibility for the car on Festival Square, and had the garage facilities to cater for the vehicles" Martin Golka, Manager of International Product Communications, Opel
"Thanks to the continued support of Hello Scotland and GrassRoots, we organised another great and successful Media Launch in Edinburgh and the Highlands.
All the Journalists were impressed by the chosen test routes, the stunning locations and of course by the New Opel/Vauxhall Mokka" Jürgen Fautz,
Manager International Program Operations, Opel
“In terms of the onsite event duration, this was probably one of the longest projects I have been involved with in my 15 years at Hello Scotland. It was a learning curve in terms of the short lead times the journalist had to sign up for the event - people could register to attend up to 2 days beforehand so we really had to manage our numbers and cancellation terms with suppliers.
Once the event got underway it was fantastic to work with GrassRoots and with our suppliers on a day to day basis - the team really bonded and it felt very strange when the event came to an end. We couldn’t have done it without such a great team!” Elaine Hamilton, Managing Director, Hello Scotland Ltd.
We’d like to offer a BIG thank you to the team at the Sheraton Grand, Mohr 84, Dalmeny House and Contini Cannonball for their support!
Photography by Charlie Magee Photography www.charliemagee.com