During the recent Cruise Shipping Miami convention and exhibition, Holland America Line staged the biggest and most expensive media event ever held in the history of the 31-year-old annual event.

To announce several new entertainment initiatives, Holland America created three custom stage sets to accommodate a six-piece blues band, a three-piece ensemble and a video presentation. Between performances, spokesmen for the cruise line and Lincoln Center gave brief presentations with a question-and-answer period at the end.

Our agency was fully engaged in the planning and execution of the event, from doing an initial site inspection to handling booking the ballroom, ordering catering and handling press materials and organizing gifts for attending media.

While the overall cost of the show — for it indeed was more show than press briefing — ran into the tens of thousands of dollars, the resulting media value of the coverage came in at just shy of $4.5 million, which more than justified the expense.

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