iHeartRadio is a major household name and a big player in the event space. They're also one of our favorite clients. In a two-part post, we'll walk you through what goes into planning these massive and iconic events: the first from the agency side, and the second from iHeart's team.
Now spanning more than 10 events per year, the highly trained team at our sister company, Pop2Life, provides white glove service and coordinates travel, hotel, airport transfers, local ground transportation, tickets, credentials, guest lists and itineraries for thousands of guests of iHeartRadio's events.
The Event Conceirge team manages guest experiences for everyone from CEOs and super VIPs to contest winners and staff. Their job is to make everyone feel like a priority while personalizing and customizing each person's experience. On site, the Pop2Life (P2L) guest concierge team handles check-in, distribution of tickets and credentials and handling any last minute changes that need to be communicated at the event.
Check out what Emily Gabriele (Manager, Event Concierge Services), Christina Richardson (Sr. Event Concierge Services Coordinator), and Nicolette Bussanich (Event Concierge Services Coordinator) had to say below — just a few members of our incredibly talented (and extremely hardworking) group!
Our Event Concierge gurus, from left to right: Emily, Nicolette, and Christina
1. Describe our relationship with iHeart.
CR: “We’ve had this really amazing relationship with them since Pop2Life started. The event concierge team continues to build on what we do for them each year. It’s so nice— everyone at iHeart feels like our friend at this point.”
2. On how many iHeart events have you worked?
EG: “I believe I'm at 17 and counting…”
NB: “Currently working on my 8th!”
CR: “I’ve worked 100 of them…. Actually, I think the number is more like 25.”
3. Walk us through the planning and execution of an iHeart event from the perspective of the Event Concierge Services team. What's your role?
EG: “Where do I even begin? All of iHeartRadio's tentpole events have a lot of moving parts. The three major components are ground transportation, airfare and hotel accommodations. We hotel scout, sign contracts, manage room blocks and facilitate reservations. We also take care of coordinating human arrows, brand ambassadors, signage and designing ticketing suites - in three locations! We also string ALL credentials for our guests (trust me, there are A LOT) and then stuff packets with tickets, credentials and whatever else each guest needs. We truly do anything and everything asked of us. One time I had to get $10k worth of poker chips for guests at an event.”
NB: “To put it simply, my role is to manage the invites that come from the NSMP (National Sales, Marketing and Partnerships) department of iHeartRadio. My responsibilities range from reaching out to clients to book airfare, hotel, and ground, managing the hotel room block for this group, and more!”
CR: “When we find out about a project, our client sends us over a number of how many attendees they expect (clients, winners, ticket-only guests, hotel-only guests) and then we make a budget for them, and then I do hotel scouting based on those numbers. For instance, right now I’m scouting for Country Festival — I find hotels that match the brand, what hotels they’ve used in the past and have existing relationships with and who they are already comfortable with, then I send over hotel options to iHeart for approval by their executives. They choose from the list we’ve provided and then we begin negotiating contracts, the rates and concessions in the contract. I’m sure if you ask the rest of the team what the first step in the process is, they will all have a different answer, but my expertise is in the hotels and their contracts, so that's immediately where my brain goes.”
4. How do you implement Ribyt when planning and executing an iHeart event?
EG: “Ribyt is how we manage all of our guest invitations, collect guest information and requests and in turn, send personalized itineraries to all guests - directly to their inboxes! Pop2Life uses Ribyt in a lot of different ways as well - for example, we use it to pull reports to check in on guests' RSVP statues, guests' arrival and departure times, what parties/events they'll be attending, their demographics, etc. ”
5. Describe the planning, execution, and experience at this year's iHeartMusic Festival in Vegas from your perspective/role in the event.
EG: “This was year six of the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. This year was unique for a multitude of reasons. First reason being, the event took place at a brand-spankin'-new location, The T-Mobile Arena. With this new arena, we also used two new hotel properties - The Bellagio & NYNY - for some of our guests. All of this change brought on some new challenges as we had some unchartered territory to explore. Overall year six was a massive success!”
NB: “Planning this event is a 24/7 job - we are on our email constantly, making sure we are pleasing our client, our client's client, winners, and VIPS. It takes a lot of dedication, attention to detail, and teamwork to pull this whole thing off. It's always the most rewarding the day of the event, where we see it all come full circle.”
6. Describe the event from the perspective of an iHeart contest winner
NB: “iHeart contest winners are always super excited to attend this event. A lot of winners have never been to Las Vegas, or even on an airplane before, so it's a huge deal to them to attend. They usually have a lot of questions to ask leading up to the trip, but it's always our pleasure to answer! They are extremely thankful beforehand and when we meet them on-site!”
7. What was your favorite moment of 2016's iHeartMusic Festival?
EG: “When our team finally found our seats together inside the T-Mobile Arena on Friday night. I looked around and felt extraordinarily proud to know that our team played an instrumental part in physically getting all of the attendees that surrounded us to the show. To be surrounded immediately by my team and, on a grand scale, by guests that our team booked accommodations for was a surreal, proud and memorable moment!”
BSB, bringing it home.