Elle France magazine launches 'Community House' event in Paris
On 27th February, Elle France magazine inaugurated 'Community House', a free four-day event open to its readers at the Studio des Acacias in Paris. The venue will welcome readers from 11 am every day, until 2nd March. Community House got off to a good start, especially on Wednesday 28th, when more than 400 people visited the event.
"Erin Doherty, Editor-in-Chief at Elle since January 2017, wanted an event that went beyond our usual forums," said Stéphanie Videau-Aphatie, the magazine's Deputy Director for Communication and Promotion. "She was keen on the idea when she joined Elle [from Glamour magazine], and when car manufacturer Jaguar approached us, wanting to tap a consumer target similar to that of our readers for the launch of a new model, we suggested a partnership for this event."
Besides being able to test the latest Jaguar model, an SUV targeted to women drivers, visitors are able to enjoy Elle's Community House venue and the workshops organised by the magazine. Guests are welcomed in a dining room featuring Charles Heidsieck champagne, a library where they could browse through a selection of books picked in collaboration with the A l’Eure des Livres bookshop, a room showcasing outfits by Maje, Sandro, Claudie Pierlot and Vanessa Seward, and even a bathroom fitted out with the help of Birchbox, the event's secondary partner.
Each 'room' is as reminder of the magazine's various sections, offering the opportunity to promote some of Elle's advertisers, and also other brands wishing to associate with the event. Journalists host the various workshops, among them some of Elle's best-known names such as Edouard Dutour, feature writer Alix Girod de l’Ain and Olivia de Lamberterie, in charge of the literary review section.
"Reaching out to readers is truly part of Elle's DNA, something we have been doing for years, with events designed for women like the Etats Généraux de la Femme and the Elle Active forums. In each of them, journalists are actively involved. This time too, it was journalists who planned the Community House programme, and devised the various workshops we offer," said Stéphanie Videau-Aphatie. The programme is managed by Anne-Cécile Sarfati, who began to write for Elle in 1997 and, besides her executive editorial role, since last year also holds the post of editor in charge of events.
A function which clearly illustrates how magazines are more and more keen on becoming fully fledged brands, fostering and encouraging their readers' engagement thanks to increasingly diverse initiatives. Like Vogue for example, which launched a festival for industry professionals and, more recently, the Vogue Experience for its aficionados. But while the Condé Nast publication is relying on fee-paying events, Elle decided to invite its readers for free - or almost totally free, since chef-catered meals at Community House come with a price attached.
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