Need your next event to be unforgettable? Here are some of our key pointers to ensure you leave an impression that lasts.
Whether you’re presenting at an exhibition, roadshow or holding an instore event, getting your marketing spot on can produce a dramatic spike in both sales and brand visibility. Unfortunately the landscape is more competitive than ever before, since your audience's aren’t always that easily impressed. So here are our 5 tips to make sure that your next event is an occasion to be remembered.
- Provide (Actual) Experiences
Gone are the days when you can simply offer customers the opportunity to win a competition or hand out some freebies to take home. This simple approach just isn’t enough anymore - you need to create actual experiences for your audience.
Take a step back and think about something they can taste, see, hear or feel, as the more senses that are stimulated the more memorable the experience will be.
For example, homeware store IKEA held a sleepover in one of their warehouses in response to a Facebook fan group titled ‘I wanna have a sleepover in IKEA’ (yes, seriously). Out of the 10,000 group members, 100 fans were given the chance to spend a night in the warehouse. This included manicures, bedtimes stories read by TV stars and an on-hand sleep expert to give advice on choosing a new mattress. Not only did this prove that IKEA listened to their customers, but it provided a unique experience that the participants are unlikely to ever have again.
While it’s great to showcase your products, it’s always important to be brand building at the same time and letting people know what you’re about behind the scenes.
One way to make sure that your audience has no choice but to immerse themselves in your event is through physical activation. This is when you switch your customers on using an experience. Old school marketing tactics such as writing your details on a piece of paper to enter a competition don’t require any real engagement, as you could have your mind on a hundred other things while doing it. Activation is about demanding the attention and a physical response from your audience.
Adidas used activation to great extend at their pop-up ‘D Rose Jump Store’ , where customers had to try and jump up to a 10ft high shelf to grab a prize pair of free trainers. Chicago bulls point guard Derrick Rose was there to curate the competition and make the day as memorable as possible for all involved.
If you can start to incorporate activation into your events then you’ll be able to resonate with consumers in a far better way than by relying on classic advertising methods.
- Social Sharing
Thanks to social media you now have the opportunity to market your product to a far wider audience than just the physical attendees at your event.
When people have a great experience they naturally want to share it with others. So rather than just hoping that your audience will take pictures or videos, you should have a framework in place that actively encourages social sharing. This could mean using something such as an Instagram or Twitter vending machine whereby you can receive gifts in exchange for tweets or posted photos.
Oreo has been known to capitalise on the power of social media sharing through their Twitter vending machines, where customers have the chance to print a custom 3D edible Oreo based on a trending hashtag in real-time.
Not only can social sharing provide a direct payoff to your customers at an event, but it’s also a clear indicator of how successful an event was. What are people saying about it the next day? Were people taking lots of pictures? An amazing event should leave people talking for days.
Long gone are the days of roll out banners and posters...really. In an age where Pokemon Go has introduced millions of users to the wonders of mixed reality, it’s going to take a lot more to attract attention of your audience.
You don’t just need great visuals to engage your audience, you need them to spark that initial interest and make them engage with yoour brand/product. If you’re one of many stands at a trade show then visuals can help to attract passersby over your competitors. Think about what colours will catch their eye, what sort of messaging will stop them in the tracks and make sure it’s in keeping with your brand story and guidelines.
Visuals used to just be about messaging, whereas today you can do so much more with them. You can use visuals to tell a story or even explain something quite complex.
- Brand Stamping
Lastly, something that encompasses all of the 4 previous points is brand stamping.
Brand stamping is about making a big impression on your audience. It’s about creating a memorable experience that’s stimulating, engaging and highly shareable.
It’s not easy though...
The fierce competition in the retail has led to consumers becoming desensitised to a lot of advertising and promotion. Therefore to make your mark you must be prepared to shock and awe your audience with new creative ways.
The best way to go about brand stamping at your next event is to do something that hasn’t been done before (easy huh?). There are plenty of tried and tested event marketing tactics such as give aways, celebrities and entertainment that attendees will all be sort of be half expecting. Whereas to make the event memorable you need to catch them completely off guard.
A prime example of brand stamping would be the launch of the Belgian TV channel TNT. They installed a ‘push to add drama’ button in the middle of a quiet Flemish town and then waited for someone to press it. Once the button was triggered an extravagant action scene broke out in the square featuring an ambulance, motorbikes, fighting, a shoot out and loads more. It’s managed to garner a whopping 54 million plays on Youtube...now that’s brand stamping.
Brand stamping is really about going above and beyond. When you watch the spectators faces in the video they are literally speechless, which is the pinnacle of signs that’s you know you’ve done a good job.
Whether you use just one of these tips at your next event or all of them, the point is to manufacture desire around your brand/product.
So don’t just push the product at your event - push the audience's sensorial boundaries and the rest will come.