Business France

The Challenge

Gain awareness and attendance for a third-year event

Business France, the national agency supporting the development of the French economy, was charged with raising awareness of the resources and opportunities available for American businesses looking to do business in France. As part of this effort, for the past three years, they had hosted a panel discussion, but in 2017 they wanted to take it the next level. Hawthorne Strategy Group was charged with leading communications efforts to gain traditional media coverage, draw attendance and drive social media mentions.

The Solution

Target Chicago influencers and local media

To meet Business France’s communications needs, Hawthorne Strategy Group developed and executed a plan to cultivate content and messaging, identify key influencers in the Chicago area, and run media outreach efforts. The plan started with identifying a clear and consistent brand focus by establishing key messages. Hawthorne then targeted local and regional media with press material and interview opportunities with panelists, and also identified and invited key influencers from prominent Chicago organizations. 

The Results

Standing room only event with significant media engagement

2017 panel discussion was a runaway success. Titled, Smart Cities, The Role of French Technology in Inventing the Cities of Tomorrow, the event featured a distinguished panel of experienced global leaders who spoke on the importance of French innovation and the role it plays in Chicago and across the U.S. Panelists represented some of the most highly regarded French Technology companies in the world included Sigfox, JCDecaux and Schneider Electric

  • Business France and Hawthorne Strategy Group held a successful event with an engaging panel discussion and positive feedback from attendees. Results included:  
  • Successful panel discussion with a standing-room-only audience and 270 total attendees
  • Event mentions across more than 10 local media outlets, including an in-depth WGN Radio interview with panelist
  • Extensive social media engagement with 250+ impressions
  • Tweets from several representatives of influential Chicago organizations such as World Business Chicago, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Illinois Institute of Technology, Women’s Business Development Center and more
  • JCDecaux event posters placed in 10 bus shelters surrounding the event location at 1871