Client Spotlight: Alana Krutoyarsky from Montblanc on 3 Ways to Make Your Branded Events Count

Montblanc is a nearly 100-year-old company that started off with a single, iconic writing instrument. Now it's a renowned global brand that through wise and effective evolution can create (and sell out of) a luxury smartwatch in the face of major competition. And events have been a big part of their strategy for success. Alana Krutoyarsky is Montblanc North America's Retail Marketing Manager. Prior to Montblanc, she worked in her family's fine jewelry & antiques business. We connected with Alana after a recent collaboration between Montblanc and Gear Patrol for a launch party for their new Summit 2 Smartwatch to chat about how to make branded events count.

What do you enjoy most about working in NYC and specifically in the luxury goods space?

There is no place like New York when it comes to trendsetting. Working in New York has its advantages. It’s constantly changing and extremely fast-paced. It’s incredible that you can walk down 5th Avenue and pass by the flagships of some of the biggest luxury goods companies in the world. You can look into their constantly changing windows and always keeping a pulse on what’s going on in the industry with so many stores at your fingertips.

A sketch artist draws attendees at the Montblanc smart watch party.

What do you love about events? Where do you see the importance of branded events heading in 2019?

Events are a big part of my role. We are always looking for ways to provide meaningful engagement and this will continue to be the direction we are going in 2019. The beauty of events is that you can actually bring stories to life by providing immersive experiences for customers to engage in, evoking the spirit of the brand and leaving a lasting impression. This is what every marketer hopes to achieve!

A selection of images from our launch party for Montblanc's smartwatch.

If you had to boil it down to just 3 ideas, what would be the main principles you’d encourage marketers to consider when planning a branded event?

1. Focus on experience and content. These are the qualities that leave a lasting impression. The days of just throwing a party don’t seem to cut it anymore. People want to experience something unique to make a connection and actually learn something that they can’t get anywhere else.

2. Be personally relevant. The landscape is growing rapidly and changing faster than ever. Brands are fighting for a fraction of the attention and headspace that's out there. So it’s important to be hyper-relevant and offer attendees that critical feeling that this event is perfectly designed just for them.

3. Collaboration is key! Collaborating with like-minded brands where there is a natural crossover creates an exponential impact on attendees.

You just held a recent event in conjunction with Gear Patrol for the launch of the Summit 2 Smartwatch, what worked? What are the benefits of partnering with an enthusiast publication?

Considering the above, we really took the audience into consideration. Understanding that they are a highly engaged group of individuals who enjoy a more intimate type of experience helped craft a tailored event to fit those needs. An insider Q&A provided great content to the event. Since we were working with more of a tech-savvy crowd, we tried to incorporate an in-store experience that would resonate with the group. So we offered thematic digital sketches to guests, which seemed to be a hit! Of course, having great partners makes all of the difference. Without Gear Patrol, we would not have been able to experience a similar outcome. It’s collaborations like this one that brings events to the next level, allowing exposure to a brand new audience in a meaningful way.

Tech editor Tucker Bowe conducts an interview at the Montblanc launch party.

What’s next? What do you have planned in 2019 both professionally and personally? Any big trips or adventures? What’s that single piece of gear that you can’t live/leave without?

We are constantly looking for ways to create meaningful engagement with customers and will continue to do so in 2019, focusing on key markets and partners! Personally, I look forward to traveling more in the new year. I have a few places in mind. A change of scenery really helps get the creative process going. Next on the agenda… Germany, Cuba and South Africa! I can’t see myself taking any of these trips without my Canon Digital Camera and a good macro and wide angle lens.

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