It was the first time, but the acclaim was unanimous: the special event to launch Van Hool’s new coach series was a smash hit. The bus builder and 450 personally invited guests attended the glittering show at Gare Maritime in Brussels. The perfect way to wrap up an event campaign that impressed across the board.
Paris to Brussels…
Most new models of buses and coaches are presented for the first time at a trade fair. That was also the case for Van Hool, which in June 2022 unveiled its A series at the European Mobility Expo in Paris. But to drive an even better response to the international product launch, our full-service event agency Eventique persuaded the bus builder from Koningshooikt to go that extra mile for its next launch – the T series – by hosting an event in the heart of Europe that would get the whole bus world chattering.
Pre-event campaign builds excitement
In the runup to the launch event we revved up the expectation levels over several months in advance with a steady stream of teasers on social media. We created a buzz on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn among (potential) customers by revealing different details of the new coaches every week.
A short video on the design, photos of the interior, info about the innovative LED lamps... Along with our video and content team we ensured that everyone was dying to know more and sign up for the T series sneak preview by the time the invitation was delivered. Good to know: the pre-event campaign on its own gave the advance sale a big boost.
About the invitation… It was printed in stylish black with golden accents. Generosity is its own reward. That’s why invitees from Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Scandinavia and Switzerland were addressed in their own language.
We also set up an online registration platform to ensure the process went smoothly. The 450 invitees used the platform to book their hotel and transfers to and from the event location in Brussels.
Event with appropriate grandeur
Our event team selected a suitable venue for the show itself. One that was both big enough to host the presentation of the coaches and prestigious enough to give the international product launch the grandeur it warranted: the former Gare Maritime goods station at the Tour & Taxis site in Brussels. This vast, beautifully renovated post-industrial space was specially fitted up for the occasion as a fashion show venue with a wide catwalk for the ‘models’ and a raised floor on each side where the audience could sit at tables to watch the show.
Before the latest Van Hool designs were unveiled, the guests were treated to a perfectly orchestrated dinner show. The programme boasted: Top-notch Belgian cuisine by Senzanome and L’air du temps (the signature chefs attended in person), magical musical intermezzos and presentations by CEO Filip Van Hool and other, simultaneously translated for the multinational guestlist. Hanne Decoutere took on the show compering duties.
And the moment of truth. As the beats pulsated and the fireworks crackled the coaches rode in escorted by a dazzle of dancers. First in the convoy were some of Van Hool’s most iconic bestsellers, followed by three prototypes of the new T series. A world first. The audience were suitably impressed, raising their smartphone lens to capture the moment. After parading the length of the catwalk the coaches parked up to give everyone an opportunity to check out the interior. Rest assured that no one demurred. As the show wrapped up the guests began to make their way home with a bulging goody bag as souvenir of a successful product launch that confirmed Van Hool’s leading role on their market… in pure Eventique style.