MOI Dallas/ Event "After Hours" Kick-Off Case Study

MOI Dallas had a collaboration with the Dallasite101, one of the largest lifestyle Instagram accounts in Dallas with over 270K followers, and together they organized a very successful event After Dark at the Museum of Illusions Dallas.


Picture 1. Visitors having fun at the Vortex tunnel

Action Plan

  • Hired Dallasites – social influencer group in Dallas with over 270K followers on Instagram and more than 21K followers on FB

  • Dallasites created the FB event for the After Dark event

  • Booked a food truck

  • Booked a wine vendor

  • Booked a DJ

  • Booked an Illusionist

  • Dallasites also posted the info about the After Dark event in their newsletter and on IG

Where did the Idea Come from?

Two other popular museums in Dallas do a late-night event and it’s always the 3rd Friday of the month. The Nasher Sculpture Center calls it ‘Till Midnight at the Nasher’ and the Dallas Museum of Art calls it ‘Late Night at the DMA.’ People frequently go to both museums on that night and don’t typically only go to just one.


To make the night special these museums offer drinks, food trucks/stands, live music and outdoor movies. The idea was to organize an event on the same day as the other museums since people are already out and they already know that museums are open late that night.


Picture 2. Kaleidoscope with its numerous reflections


What is DallasSite101?

Dallasites101 began with two women, Lily and Kara, organically sharing their adventures on Instagram in 2015. One year after they both moved to Dallas. As transplants, they strived to encourage fellow Dallasites to go beyond their comfort zones and find a sense of place, joy, and home in Dallas, and Texas as a whole.


A few months after their start, they recognized the need to go beyond the 'gram and create real experiences between businesses and Dallasites. From happy hours to bar crawls to yoga classes and beyond, they have hosted countless events that have cultivated

personal relationships, increased local business sales and awareness and fostered a sense of community.


After more than five years, Dallasites101 remains one of the largest lifestyle Instagram accounts in Dallas, about Dallas. Over time, it has morphed into a localized media company, with Kara and Lily leaving their corporate roles to pursue Dallasites101 on a full-time.


Dallasites101 aims to make Dallas a more accessible and fun place to live through daily content about everything involved in integrating into life here, from events to music to food.


Dallasites101 Role

  • Dallasites charges a higher fee to actually host the event versus just posting about it

  • MOI Dallas decided to opt for this solution, which involved Dallasites creating the Facebook invite as if the event was their own

  • This was key to getting their followers. In addition, Dallasites also did 2 Facebook posts, 2 Instagram posts and they did live coverage of the event on their Instagram story

  • It was a great partnership because they had them approve every post and co-create it. Also due to Dallasites followers, they were also featured in the Dallas Observer and D-Magazine contacted them to do coverage at the event.


Picture 3. Anybody hungry? Head on the Platter at MOI Dallas


How to Plan an Event

1. Think about all the necessary permits (Late night permit, food permit, etc.)


2. Think of a fun name like the other museums - like ‘After Dark’ at the Museum of Illusions.


3. Follow sites like Dallasites frequently - they sponsor many events and all of their events have huge turnouts. See if you can find a similar site/influencer group to reach out to.


4. Think of additional features like food trucks/stands and drinks. See if this would be appropriate for your venue. MOI Dallas reached out to one of the favorite food trucks in Dallas after Dallasites gave them suggestions. See if you can arrange to get a percentage of the food sold on the spot.


5. Consider partnering with a nearby restaurant, too. See if any in your vicinity would be interested in a collaboration. Think about the number of staff members you're going to need.


6. Make sure to advertise the event on the Facebook page two weeks before the event and send a newsletter at least a week before the event.



Picture 4. Museum of Illusions Dallas


The Result

  • Partnering with a local restaurant

Since all the advertisements for the event said a bar would be there, they partnered with a neighboring restaurant to do drink specials for them. Due to the rainy night, this actually turned out great because while people were waiting to get into the museum they could go and enjoy a cocktail inside. However, they also think this took sales away from the food truck because the restaurant told them people ate appetizers and dessert there with their cocktails.


  • Sold out event

As a result, they had people interested in attending again next month. Having a line sometimes is a good thing. It entices people to want to go inside and they actually had a few people just walking by that asked if they could get a ticket or asked what was going on at the Museum.


  • The illusionist was a huge success!

Picture 5. Hiring an illusionist turned out to be an amazing idea


Photos

It’s mandatory to have photographers at these events because you can use and share all those photos later on Facebook and Instagram, tag people, potentially make a PR article about the event, and similar.


They didn’t hire a photographer because their illusionist brought a videographer with him and the D-magazine was responsible for taking some amazing photos for them. 54 pictures were uploaded online for press coverage.


Check out their photo gallery.


What Have We Learned

Going forward, the After Dark event will be an online-ticket-only event and no tickets will be sold at the door. This will avoid confusion and lines with people wanting to purchase tickets at the door due to capacity. Also, Dallasites followers are used to buying tickets online and many night events in Dallas are sold online only.

Due to weather, they'll have the food truck only when the temperatures are not too low. However, due to colder temperatures and rain that night, people preferred to eat inside at one of their neighboring restaurants.

In the spring they'd like to have an outside live band next to the drink trailer. People love being outside in Dallas when the weather is nice and this will be a great added value to the whole thing.

The wait got a little long at one point but going forward they will have 1-hour ticket slots, so this will help.

To keep the After Dark event exciting, they will continue to tweak it every month.


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