1. Lay a great foundation
It is critical to use effective marketing techniques to announce your experiential marketing event. You need to get creative on how to attract people to your event, because it is never enough to just bank on having a great location. One of the easiest ways to start to get the buzz out about your experiential marketing event is with social media. You can tease the event and get everyone excited before it even happens and build up that customer base. There are lots of techniques you can utilize on social from custom hashtags, event pages to contests or flash sales that are unique to the experiential marketing event. And of course use the brand’s own social channels to get the word out! You can also advertise locally with flyers or posters in the the old fashioned way as well. Also consider teaming up with local designers and neighborhood brands that have a similar ethos to yours. There is always power in numbers and other local brands can bring in their own built in audiences. Also when it comes to PR for your experiential marketing event it is also a good idea to do a charity or donation tie in. Also remember that people love contests and prizes so consider having flash sale or contest on your social channels along with promoting special items that will only be available exclusively at your select experiential event.
2. Hybrid is your new best friend
So in today’s world you need to fully consider how your experiential marketing event will play out both on and offline. There are many reasons to take this aspect into consideration such as you might need to have a solid back up plan to the fact is you can extend the reach and excitement about your experiential marketing event with an online immersive component. A hybrid event means that your experiential marketing event combines live, in-person elements with various digital and online components. It can be as simple as an event that is live streamed to a virtual audience or a fully immersive virtual experience with interactive rooms, home delivered swag bags and more. Whatever the degree of hybrid you do, don’t forget to engage on social media with your fans throughout the experiential activation.
3. Keep it simple
A big mistake we see with a lot of clients is that they do one event a year and try to jam all their marketing messages in it. Keep the overall message of the experiential marketing event unified, clear, and simple. The last thing you want is a confused event attendee. You want the event to result in creating clear, strategic content for attendees, your new brand ambassadors, so they can go forth and spread the word about your brand.
You can check your messaging by asking yourself a couple key questions such as: What about this event ties back to our brand? What is the one sentence (key takeaway) you want people to come out saying after attending your event? For example : “Wow I didn’t realize X BRAND laundry detergent was so sustainable!”
Make sure you don’t get so caught up in creating a cool event that you forget to have distinct, defined messaging that gets your brand point across. That being said you also don’t want to be inundating the audience and boring them with strategy points. The best events are a perfect synergistic balance of buzz worthy content and strategic messaging. Your experiential marketing agency should be able to help you refine the messaging and provide honest, unbiased feedback as well.
4. It’s a balancing act - have one solid team
Experiential marketing is often called the ultimate juggling act with all its moving parts. There is a lot of time, money and effort that goes into these events and you want to ensure that the process is as streamlined as possible. Experiential often includes wild, buzz worthy stunt like elements that take a highly trained production team to pull off. Make sure you have a dedicated management team overseeing and coordinating all the operations to ensure a successful and drama free event. That is why it is always recommended to have a solid, experienced, experiential marketing agency there to support you.
5. It's never over
During the event you should have several markers in place where you can collect data from the attendees. You should not only have various points where the audience is encouraged to discuss and post about your event but ahead of time decide what the KPIs of the event will be and design the event flow accordingly. For example if you want a key performance indicator to be Instagram posts you can tie in a contest or reward to Instagram posts. It's crucial to have a plan in place to evaluate and measure performance.
After your experiential marketing event is done, now you should focus on retaining those new ambassadors for your brand and following up with them. Plan how to utilize the data and customer information you collected during the event - don’t let all that precious information go to waste! Remember, this one event is part of a long conversation between you and your brand audience. You have given them a memorable experience and content to talk about your brand, the next step is to further cultivate that relationship even if it's as simple as a direct email thanking them for coming.
Also after an event is done it is critical to step back and review what worked, what could have been done better and what you would like to do differently next time. What useful feedback did you receive about the experiential marketing event and/or the brand? What is your next big marketing move right after this event? How can you further leverage the reach and impact of this event?
Whether your experiential marketing event takes place in NYC or Tulsa, it's important to keep all these different elements top of mind. Choose your experiential marketing agency partner well and you are sure to have success!
Phil Provost is an experiential & event marketing expert, Integrated marketing consultant & President at PSP Media, an experiential marketing agency based in NYC. We have over 20 years experience in creating turnkey experiential marketing experiences nationwide. Whether you need help coming up with your next pop up shop idea or simply want someone to help take over the operations and management, our event experts are ready to help. NEED HELP WITH YOUR EVENT? Click here to get a Free Event Quote today.