Apartment Therapy New York Event 2022


NEW YORK-Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool 2022 experience did more than just set home design trends – it was a case study of how the key takeaways from virtual experiences driven by the pandemic, as well as post-event investigations, have the power to inform decisions and create a successful event. Every weekend between April 22 and May 15, the lifestyle blog and interior design and design brand welcomed Small/Cool NYC to a raw space in SoHo.

The physical space was meant to “inspire our audience to live better, happier lives at home,” Lauren Murphy, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy at Apartment Therapy, told BizBash, which only suitable for a post-pandemic world and evolved workforce.

The home design theme was chosen with working from home in mind and was based on people’s invigorated need to “see and touch home items before they buy them,” Murphy noted. “After all, these are the things you’re going to look at, use, maybe even sit on every day – we knew that theme would resonate,” she added.An unusual space? The “Wanderlust Fulfilled” room, with a nearly $7,000 all-white two-tier sofa. The black and white space was designed by master of monochrome interiors Miles Wills McDermott.Photo: Ricki Snyder, courtesy of Apartment Therapy

The Small/Cool Experience showcased 12 different home design trends in 12 distinct 120 square foot rooms.

“Our editors predicted the biggest home trends of 2022, and each designer was assigned one to use as inspiration,” Murphy explained.

With a list of “over 40 brands and retailers to choose from to organize their space,” highlights included a “Memphis-Deco” room, designed by Jessica Davis of Atelier Davis, with funky striped wallpaper, a scribble-shaped mirror and green velvet-covered swivel chairs. Meanwhile, the “Bespoke Style” room designed by Sourya Venumbaka featured a unique floor plan, modeling how a small space can be both a living room and an office when split in two with an artfully decorated bookshelf. . Apartment Therapy New York Event 2022Designer Sourya Venumbaka showed how a small space can be both a living room and an office when split in two with a cleverly decorated shelf in the “Bespoke Style” room.Photo: Ricki Snyder, courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Guests were encouraged to make reservations, but the live event was also open to passers-by, welcoming over 3,000 attendees in the first weekend alone and ultimately hitting the attendance target – the main performance indicator key (KPI) of Apartment Therapy – from 15,000.

Murphy attributed the success to “a combination of organic and paid social promotion, text, email and influencer marketing to get the message out.”

The range of efforts was in response to last year’s Small/Cool post-event survey. After the 2021 hybrid edition, “one thing was clear: our readers were dying to see the spaces in person after taking the virtual tour,” Murphy said. “Based on qualitative feedback, we were absolutely confident that readers would be eager to attend an IRL event.”Apartment Therapy New York Event 2022Anchoring the brightly colored “Be Our Guest” room were two prints by acclaimed artist James Seward, aka PAJAMERZ. Designed to look like a decor-worthy trading card, the statement pieces feature WNBA players Diane Taurasi and Sue Bird.Photo: Ricki Snyder, courtesy of Apartment Therapy

And for Apartment Therapy fans who couldn’t make it to the actual experience, the brand has kept hybrid elements from last year, which have also been adapted following lessons learned from two years of virtual programming.

“Seventy-five percent of virtual event attendees have made or plan to make purchases through the Small/Cool site, and the same number said they were happy with the ability to shop rooms online. So when planning for 2022, there was no doubt that shopping had to become a major part of the program again,” Murphy said.

Cue QR codes in each room, which linked to Apartment Therapy’s e-commerce site for purchase. In fact, no items could be purchased on-site, but Codes put together a product list of at least 20 items per room, where Apartment Therapy fans could use discount codes to purchase or listen to an audio tour of each designer. Any particular piece that made people stop and scan? A nearly $7,000 two-tier all-white sofa that anchored the “Wanderlust Fulfilled” themed black-and-white room, designed by master of monochrome interiors Miles Wills McDermott. Apartment Therapy New York Event 2022Alvin Wayne’s “Take It Outside” room was completely decorated using Ashley HomeStore products. The furniture retailer was also a sponsor of the Small/Cool experience.Photo: Ricki Snyder, courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Murphy noted of the adapted hybrid experience, “We kept the shopping components that readers liked and made a few changes based on things they told us they didn’t have. For example, we reduced the number of hotspots on the 3D tour and simplified the navigation experience based on what we heard.

The best part about integrating digital? “It allowed us to take a local event to a national level,” Murphy said. “So while we were able to open our doors to a large IRL audience this year, we kept the hybrid component intact for a different reason: to allow our readers from across the country, or even the world, to view and shop . the spaces “.

Five main sponsors were featured: BEHR Paint, Chasing Paper, Toyota Motor North America, Yogi® Tea (which held two mid-week workshops in partnership with Toyota Corolla Cross) and Ashley, which was used to decorate “Take It Outside” by Alvin Wayne. piece in its entirety. And the event – which included a bouquet bar on Mother’s Day and a “Small/Cool Haikus” event for National Poetry Day – also benefited Habitat for Humanity New York City and Westchester County, a non-profit organization that works to transform communities by building affordable housing for families in need.


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