Ain’t No Party Like A Euro Club Party

White Party 2011
White Party 2011

Campus was positively abuzz on the eve of the European Club’s Ibiza White Party.  “Do you have an extra ticket?” was the resounding question  Access to the renowned event was in high demand; online sales for non-members sold out in just twenty seconds a few days before.  The ticketing website clocked more than 6,000 views the afternoon it opened, almost enough for each HBS student to have viewed it three times.

As one of the poor souls who could not hit refresh fast enough to secure a spot, I frantically searched for some way into the most exclusive HBS event of the year.  Why on earth did I feel such a strong need to attend?  I decided to sit down with Euro Club co-presidents Alex Middelmann and Adam Said, architects of the White Party marketing strategy, to find out.

Alex, a native of Germany and active member of the Retail and Luxury Goods Club, arrives to the interview with a bottle of Bacardi in one hand and a highlighted case in the other.   Alex explains that he plans to handle homework for tomorrow on his way to a dinner party this evening.  He is bringing a bottle of Oakheart Smooth Spiced Bacardi to promote the new product he helped develop as an intern at the company this past summer.  Alex’s partner Adam, an Egyptian raised in Switzerland, comes straight from “le gymnase” in a polo with a popped collar.  Both of these trilingual cosmopolitans are certainly work hard, play hard students, as well as good friends.

We begin with the presidents’ priorities for the Euro Club cartier roadster replica.  Upon election in April, Alex and Adam formulated a “party-plus” plan for their term.  In addition to enhancing the club’s academic and career offerings, the team wanted to carry on the organization’s illustrious tradition of providing an important “social service to HBS students” (Adam’s words).  The club’s flagship social event, the White Party, is a key component of this goal.

The co-presidents’ impressive marketing mix for the White Party has all of the right ingredients of the “Four P’s” – product, place, promotion, and price.  Most importantly, the product and its brand concept are well-defined.  In this respect, the Euro Club benefits from its longstanding reputation for excellent party planning; Alex jokes that he and Adam “are standing on the shoulders of giants”.  Indeed, many RC’s know there will be a White Party in the first few weeks of school even before they arrive on campus. Alex explains that “we are lucky to have this White Party brand…There is an element of exclusivity to it.  People don’t want to be excluded.”

To add to this preexisting image, the team is working to promote itself as an alternative to the fratty drinking culture that often pervades the typical American campus cartier santos 100 replica.  Adam observes that the White Party creates “a nice ambience around campus.  It adds a little European feel, more of an easy-going attitude towards drinking compared to the frat…”

As for place and promotion, the co-presidents have developed methods of communicating and distributing their brand to the HBS audience.  Like many retail marketing schemes, the White Party depended primarily on word of mouth. The Euro Club leadership, comprised of around twenty EC students, was charged with this effort.  Adam believes it helps that the “Euro crowd at HBS is sociable in general” so the network spreads across diverse circles.  The team also made sure to promptly appoint Euro Club representatives in all of the RC sections and tasked them with spreading the message to the new class.  These efforts, doubled with an assertive email campaign, resulted in extraordinarily high name recognition for the White Party across campus.

Finally, the ticket pricing was also an important if not delicate consideration.  Selling around 460 tickets at $31.74 apiece, the Euro Club drew some grumbling among students who suspected that the event was simply a means of running up the club’s account balances.  Alex and Adam counter that they don’t plan parties for the money.  The fee covers the cost of the venue rental and any extras (shirts, party favors, dancers, etc) they decide to add.  While the presidents confirm that the European Club has a very healthy surplus in its S.A. reserve account, the club of 400 members demands a lot of working capital for day-to-day operations. Adam believes that “whoever buys a ticket should have as much value from that ticket as possible,” and this sentiment is the key consideration in pricing the ticket.

All in all, the Euro Club seems to have an excellent grasp of the HBS student as a social being.   While exclusivity is universally appealing, it proves to be an especially effective tactic within the HBS demographic.  No one wants to be left out, especially not a new student eager to make friends at the beginning of the semester.

Alex best articulates this phenomenon: “If you only throw parties where people can keep their options open until the last minute, it is not desirable to go.  You don’t want to be in a position as the organizer to be dependent upon peoples’ moods or the weather.  You want to be in the position of the white party.”

Looking ahead, the European Club plans to host an after-party following the Retail and Luxury Goods Club’s annual fashion show.  Alex and Adam have high expectations, and so do we.  Let the buzz begin.



Kate is a former securities analyst for Goldman Sachs, and a graduate of Princeton University.  She hails from Darien, CT.