What can be done to combat a national crisis and incite real change, with only a short
window before public and media attention shift to the next breaking headline?
Combine serious celebrity passion, a handful of motivated high schoolers, a dynamic
line-up of A-list entertainers, and a leading national event firm specializing in global
interest events to lead the charge.
While Washington DC is no stranger to rallies, concerts or marches, scale varies drastically which has a direct impact on the level of true expertise required to pull off the seemingly impossible. That’s where we come in.
In the beginning, it was the perfect storm: a brand new global movement, three short weeks, and an exponentially increasing pool of passionate individuals begging for a place and a platform from which to be heard.
In the end, it framed the perfect story: 850,000 people peacefully packed the streets from the Capitol to the White House, with the iconic center of legislative power as the backdrop. Paving the way for change: all-American high school students supported by top talent from the exclusive worlds of Hollywood and music entertainment.
We encourage our clients to present us with tough challenges, as we believe firmly
that the best moments are made when we unveil an underutilized path to possible.
We happily admit that the March for Our Lives DC project called on every ounce of
our industry savvy and domain expertise. The most natural courses of action were
simply unattainable with such an abbreviated planning period (a one-year waiting list
for the National Mall, for example). So, we had the opportunity to get creative.
Hand-in-hand with some incredible partners — from the Mayor’s Office and varying levels of law enforcement to parks and permitting — we shut down the 13 linear blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue to build concert-grade staging and production, serviced and guided hundreds of thousands of people along streets and sidewalks, enhanced cellular and wifi coverage, and mastered a plan for infallible crowd flow while delivering uninhibited media exposure.
The critical planning efforts in the beginning are not always the most sexy, but those are exactly the elements that can make or break an experience: permits, public services such as advance life support, temporary restroom facilities, food and beverage, and special needs arrangements for the sight, hearing or physically impaired; and expanded public transit services such as Metro, geo-targeted zones for private transportation services such as Uber/Lyft, and even pedestrian guidance. And while we always ensure that our planning accommodates three audiences (in-person, social media, and via media or streamed coverage), we maintain a special focus on the in-person experience for an event as widely attended as March for Our Lives DC.
Particularly with such a personal and emotional issue, no attendee’s experience should be inhibited by the presence of several hundred thousand of their closest allies in activism ,be it the placement of countless jumbo-trons with multi-camera feeds for real-time viewing or broadcast media perches along the route so the rest of the world can experience the same virtually.
Washington DC’s March for Our Lives event served as the jumping off point for a series of echo events across the country. A pinnacle of weeks of discussions and detailed coordination with the world’s most respected outlets, it became MSNBC's single most watched media event on a Saturday in more than 15 years — a whopping 9 million television views overall. This unique combination of the speakers, artists, political figures, celebrities and impassioned children created a tour-de-force of activism.