The Avenue of the Arts is known as the home to many of Philadelphia’s finest cultural institutions, including the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center For the Performing Arts, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. However, on Thursday, August 21, 2014, it became home to a new cultural phenomenon – Diner en Blanc.
What began in Paris, France over 25 years ago has become a worldwide sensation, taking place in over 40 cities across 5 continents. This year marked Philadelphia’s third annual celebration of the pop-up soiree, having approximately 3,500 attendees celebrating along Broad Street.
The event inhabits an iconic public space in its host city, where the participants dress from head-to-toe in white garb, equipped with their own tables, chairs, food, table settings, wine and champagne. It only made sense that Diner en Blanc, which celebrates dinner as art, would eventually take place on the Avenue of the Arts.
Diners feasted alongside close friends and perfect strangers with City Hall as the backdrop (which created very Instagram-friendly photo-ops.) After dinner, sparklers were lit and dancing began.
The greatest aspect of Diner en Blanc is the secrecy. The location of the event is not made known to even the participants until they arrive, having been led throughout the city by different team leaders who help plan the event.
I was lucky enough to have attended this year’s Diner en Blanc, and I was amazed. From a PR student’s perspective, the planning and execution of the event was flawless. The attention to detail was immaculate, and it was evident that the planning of Diner en Blanc 2014 began immediately after its predecessor in 2013.
But how do you do PR for an event with a secret location? The social media presence of Diner en Blanc Philadelphia helped to generate buzz for one of the year’s most talked about events on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. From prior to registration through the day of the event, the Diner en Blanc Philadelphia accounts contributed photos, updates, outfit ideas, recipes, and suggestions to create excitement for the event. In addition, the hashtag #DEBphl14 allowed all participants to share their photos, thoughts, and excitement over the event.
Diner en Blanc is a piece of art in itself, and was one of the most awe-inspiring events I’ve ever experienced. It was evident that all those who had a part in its success put their whole heart into bringing it to life.
This guest blog was written by PRowl staff member Tyler Cameron.