Taste of France (New York, NY)
Havas PR (New York, NY)
September 28-29, 2013
New York City's Taste of France wanted to expand beyond its roots as a small festival focusing on food and wine to a major event promoting French culture.
Event participation was expanded to industries not normally associated with France, such as technology.
Exhibits included jet engines manufactured by Safran and a 3D projection of Paris from Dassault Systèmes, as well as Air France, which was celebrating its 80th anniversary.
To build momentum and encourage travel planning, Taste of France sponsors rang the Nasdaq opening bell a week prior to the festival. Chefs from Les Maîtres Cuisiniers de France prepared breakfast and D'Artagnan foods provided gift bags.
Havas PR worked with Taste of France to create content for the festival's social media platforms using hashtags including #tasteoffrance and #frenchinvasion. Facebook and Twitter were used to promote performances and talks.
Attendance increased from approximately 5,000 in 2012 to more than 100,000 visitors in 2013. Taste of France was mentioned once every 28 minutes on social media during the festival weekend. The Facebook page added more than 5,000 likes and its Twitter following grew about 30%.
The Taste of France Nasdaq opening was covered on outlets including Fox Business and Bloomberg TV. The festival garnered coverage on local TV stations and in Time Out New York and The New York Times, and in French newspaper Le Monde.
"Changing a country's image does not happen overnight, but this event helped achieve that goal by raising awareness of some of France's other strengths," says Taste of France chairman Paul Bensabat.
Taste of France aims to make the next festival even bigger.