BR Interview | Răzvan Chirilov and Miruna Săndulescu (Publicis Events): Arena Tei – how to launch an events brand during the pandemic

Newsroom 04/02/2021 | 19:02

In the summer of 2020 Publicis Events launched Arena Tei, a space with closed circuit, in the Romsilva base –9A Petricani Street, in a green, airy area, with a capacity of over 500 people that can stay on chairs, at table or individually. The audience has at its disposal also a food & drinks area, with gourmet menues. The space is adapted to all the safety and social distancing rules and targets both the public, through the Summer In The City platform, as well as the companies looking for solutions in implementing the corporate events, being equipped with everything that means logistics and technical equipment. All summer long Arena Tei offered a large range of events from stand-up comedy, open air cinema, concerts and up to theater shows.

By Romanita Oprea

 

BR talked with Răzvan Chirilov, Senior Producer and Miruna Săndulescu, Account Director at Publicis Events, and found out more about the genesis of the idea, the challenges and difficulties of the Arena Tei, but also about the future of the events industry.

 

 

What determined you to launch the project?

Razvan: The events’ industry has always been representing a place of innovation and adaptation and Arena Tei was for us a difficult project, but one in which we believed, for which we thought and were we succeeded in demonstrating that no matter the hard times and the difficulties encountered, through passion and professionalism we were able to create a space in which those that trusted in you felt safe while also enjoying the events we provided.

Miruna: The desire of remaining relevant, of opening a new road, of testing on our own the new context. And the desire to get out of the house.

 

How did you communicate it, on what media?  

Razvan: We tried to communicate in as many media as possible, putting in balance also the financial side and the fact that we were in full crisis in our field, in order for our initiative to reach as much people as possible. We attracted a radio partner, we had OOH presence and we tried to be present as much as possible online, especially on our Facebook page where we announced weekly the events we were about to organize.

 

When did the idea come to you and how have the plans changed during the year?

Razvan: The initiative started in the relaxation period, after the Spring lockdown and arrived as our necessity as a group / company of trying to do something useful for the events’ industry. An initiative that would respect all the rules and regulations imposed.

The lockdown wasn’t an easy period of time for us, the ones that were accustomed to the intense activity and to always be on the move. The Arena Tei initiative was therefore born in that difficult time when we were trying to find the right solutions for the moment. There has already been a trend in the Drive In type of events in Europe, but we but we put our stakes on a chic space, easy accessible, in a greener as possible and chill area, in which one could spend safely some hours with the family, the friends, or, why not, with oneself.

Miruna: We must thank our partners, especially the one helping with the technical equipment – Backstage, as without their teams we wouldn’t have been able to take the project to the level and amplitude that we did.

 

How badly can you say you were impacted by the pandemic and how did you adapt to it?

Razvan: We can say that our sector was almost completely shut down. Nothing of what we knew happened and the fear and the uncertainty were the words we heard from our clients, friends or people we knew. I can make the joke that the only thing one could do was a „silent disco” with oneself, in the park.

The whole corporate and private events’ industry being froze, the only aria in which we could retreat ourselves was the one in which we created an entertainment hub in the nature in which we tried to show that can be done safe events, following all the regulations, and the people that went to our events so far. It was a challenging and a differentiation on the market that helped us prove one more time our capabilities in this very competitive industry.

 

What has that adaptation actually meant, how difficult was it?

Razvan: about adaptability can be talked in present and in the future, as we clearly know that the events will never be the same. The Publicis Events team has been thinking even starting 2020 at a different approach in the events area and takes fast steps towards the hybrid events that will have both an offline component that we all know, as well as an online integrated component that will therefore generate a bigger reach.

Miruna: For us it wasn’t that hard to adapt and to react fast. We are in an industry in which the ideas’ reservoir needs to be always accessed and kept fresh. What is important is to have the initiative of generating ideas and a valuable content to put in practice, either in the classic event formula, as well as online. And not to be afraid of testing, trying, make mistakes.

 

What does your new vision mean?

Razvan: It’s very hard to say now what is the winning approach or the key to success, but I believe that it’s the right moment for are evaluation of the market, a better understanding of the new consumer’s needs and of continuing the adaptation depending on the terms of the new paradigma.

 

What will be the impact of the pandemic in the future years, on the events’ industry?

Razvan: This period proved to us the extraordinary and fast evolution of the technology, in all the fields of activity, and that will bring us to a new stage compared to what we used to know. Using the right technology, now, there are no more barriers, one can do anything and that is what impressed me the most until now. One great example would be the impeccable transformation of the festival Tomorrowland in the virtual world and the fact that it succeeded in reaching over 2 million people.

I am not saying it’s good like that, because I am a social person who likes to live anchored in reality, but this is the future and the hybrid events are the ones that will set the tone for the next period of time.

Miruna: I believe it’s very good we have this combination between the offline and the online. They can function very well together, with the note that is vital not to forget to adapt the content depending on the support in which we are doing it.

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