April 20, 2018 | Insights
The following post was written by Doug Shockley, VP Global Events at Czarnowski.
More than ever, people are valuing experiences over things. We get it. Experiences tap into all the senses, changing how we perceive and comprehend what surrounds us.
Experiences also build trust, expand relationships and give you something to believe in. They make great memories that can be shared—both in real life and on your Instagram and Snapchat feeds.
But for companies, it’s not enough to just create opportunities for face-to-face conversations. The people want action. And more than that, they want to be a part of it.
Many brands are responding and adapting to these changing expectations by creating events that encourage exploration, interaction, education, participation and play. It helps them establish a direct connection with their customers. It also helps them generate serious buzz (and revenue).
But as beneficial as dynamic event experiences are when you get them right, they can be equally bad when you get them wrong.
Here are five tips to help you create successful events in the age of experiential marketing.
- 1. Get everyone on the same page
If you want your event to have maximum impact on your brand and business objectives, you need buy-in and support from your key stakeholders.
Getting stakeholders involved in the process is great, but if that’s not an option get them on board and keep them informed as the show evolves. Getting—and keeping—everyone on the same page minimizes challenges and conflicts that could arise later.
- 2. Define your strategic objectives
Once your stakeholders are engaged, determine the key business objectives for your event at both a macro and micro level.
Are you looking to improve awareness? Create engagement? Launch a new product? Generate leads? Educate new customers? Fill seats at your VIP dinner?
Whatever your objectives are, make sure you define them up front. They will be the framework from which your event is built.
- 3. Understand your audience
With your objectives defined, the next step is identifying who your target audience is, where they fall in your sales cycle and what your specific marketing goals and objectives for that audience are.
For example, are they C-level executives or high school students? Do they have decision-making power or are they influencers? Are you looking to sell them a product or hire them for a job?
These factors and more play a role in identifying the type of experience you need to create to achieve your event objectives.
- 4. Connect your experience
Establishing who your audience is allows you to identify your event’s core theme. Understanding your audience also helps you create an experience that resonates with and connects them to your message.
Why are they attending the event? How do they like to learn? Are they active on social media? What is their comfort level with technology?
The answers to these kinds of questions will determine whether your experience should be centered around an interactive game or a virtual reality demo or a kinetic sculpture or insert another idea here.
- 5. Initiate your brand presence
Activate your theme across each physical and digital touchpoint of your experience to make sure it’s consistently represented across all properties and communication channels.
Then focus on getting your sales and marketing teams to “buy-in” and promote your event. This will help generate marketing buzz while giving your sales team something tangible to inform and invite their customers and prospects to.
Creating successful events is easier when you have a plan. These tips not only help get your internal team in line, but they also help guide the development of custom engagements and interactives that amplify the attendee experience—giving your customers exactly what they’re looking for.