Pulling off an event of this magnitude took over 8 months of planning, numerous volunteers, the engagement of local artists, and master Mardi Gras float builder, Kern Studios. We also enlisted the help of local businesses like Hansen’s SnoBliz and Krewe sunglasses to help us bring the New Orleans vibe to New York. World Pride ended up being the largest Pride in the world, with over 5 million people in attendance and over 632,000 viewers watching the live television broadcast.
In addition to our magnificent float, we created three other activations. The first was a brunch held at the Moxy Hotel in Times Square, where we created a New Orleans-themed event complete with masks, custom branded beads, and authentic king cakes flown in from New Orleans. Then, at Pride Island music festival, we engaged special brand representatives to sign people up for a special sweepstakes in which they could win a Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans. For Pride Fest, we created a unique New Orleans experience featuring a photo wall of flowers, custom beads for each guest, and complimentary Hansen’s Snoballs. We also had special brand representatives interacting with the guests, greeting them and making them feel welcome.
In the end, we didn’t just tell people that New Orleans is a welcoming city — we showed it.