We found love in a hopeless place. A view from The Clothes Show LIVE.

Picture this scene. You are at The Birmingham NEC surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful people, wearing the hottest fashions and sporting the biggest hair styles since Dallas (and I’m talking vintage, not Channel 5). On the hour, every hour, Rhianna sings We Fell In Love In A Hopeless Place. The models strut the catwalk. They look sexy. They are fabulous. Celebrities galore from TV, music and fashion also take the many stages while teams of hot dancers parade around them. The globe’s biggest fashion and beauty brands from couture to high street line the arena with eye popping offers.

Then in come 170,000 women primarily aged 17-24 with £16.6m to spend.  And they are all looking for a bargain.

This is the Clothes Show Live and in 2011 Books And The City took a stand.  Why, you ask?  Two reasons really.

  1. Because it is brand partnership HEAVEN
  2. Thousands of these girls LOVE chic lit

Books and the City is an online and direct to consumer marketing initiative set up by the staff and authors of Simon & Schuster who share many passions including [a] food, fashion, beauty, cocktails and most of all chick lit.  With a decline in sales across the genre it is clear that these consumers are not heading to the high street as frequently these days in the economic downturn.  But that doesn’t mean they love their romance any less.  So we felt that going to places where these consumers were heading such as specific exhibitions, trade fairs and media sponsored brand events was the perfect way to engage with new readers.

We took six authors who signed books and met with fans, performed writer presentations and tapped up new brand partners to work with in on-going third party marketing activities. We gave away goodie bags full of books, offered amazing competition prizes and signed up over 5,000 new members to our monthly newsletter.  We sold quite a few books too!

This year we are going again.  We are hosting a Literary Salon where 350 Clothes Show visitors can meet with our authors, many of who also continue to work in the media for a networking event.  We have even bigger brand partnership competition prizes with the likes of Champney’s, Project D, Kandee Shoes and Young British Designers.  We’ll be selling books at hugely competitive prices and we aim to come away with an even fatter contacts book so that we can build wider promotional networks for our on-going marketing campaigns.

We might even find a bit of time to buy shoes and make up too.  *But don’t tell Ian Chapman*

 

Dawn Burnett is the Marketing Director (Adult Division) at Simon & Schuster and for the last 7 years has spearheaded numerous award-winning and bestselling campaigns with her brilliant team. Prior to this she worked for Ebury Publishing and Pan Macmillan. She is currently reading The Knot by Mark Watson. More blogs

 

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