In today’s market conditions, simply putting together advertisements is no longer enough. To engage customers and encourage them to build up a positive relationship with your brand, you have to make use of experiential marketing. This strategy involves creating events, such as parties or exhibitions, that are targeted at a particular group and provide potential customers with an exciting and memorable experience.
While the concept sounds simple, it can be hard to set up a successful experiential event. You’ll have to make sure it’s convenient for your target group, unique, represents your business’s goals and values, includes a standout feature, and leaves a lasting impression. Because this can be a big challenge, hiring marketing experts to plan your event for you could be a great idea.
How Can You Make a Lasting Impression Through Experiential Marketing?
Every day, people are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages, but most of them don’t sink in. While TV ads and billboards are often seen as negative, exciting experiences can create a positive impression on potential customers. They add value to people’s lives and therefore encourage your leads to see your brand in a positive light.
To make the most of your experiential event, you have to focus on the planning stages. By defining the goal of your party or installation, including a standout feature, and personalizing each attendee’s experience, you can make sure the day will be remembered for many months or years. Let’s have a closer look at the various factors that contribute to the success of an experiential event.
Planning a Unique Experience
If you want your event to stand out from all the others, you have to make sure it’s fun, exciting, and unique. Since you won’t just want to go with common types of entertainment, this requires a lot of thought and planning. You have to thoroughly research various aspects of the event, such as the venue, the music, the food and drinks, and the entertainment you will offer.
As you can see, there are a lot of variables at play, and planning an event for more than a handful of people can quickly become a big challenge. One of the easiest ways to keep all the information in one place is to use planning software. This will help you keep track of every element and prevent mistakes or omissions. Your event planners can recommend the best software to you or, in some cases, even provide it.
Defining the Goal
Before you can plan a great event, you have to define what success means to you. Do you want your attendees to come away feeling more positive about your brand? Do you want to raise awareness for your product or service? Or do you want to highlight an important issue in your industry? In most cases, the goal of an experiential event isn’t to sell as much as you possibly can.
In fact, you might not sell your product or service at all during the party, exhibition, or installation. Instead, you are working on the relationship with your potential customers and building up your company’s reputation. Together with your marketing experts, you will come up with two to three goals for the day, then think about the best ways of achieving them.
The Standout Feature
Most experiential events should have a standout feature in addition to food, drinks, and music. This is the element that will be remembered by your customers. In some cases, it could be related to your business. For instance, a company that sells clothes could have a fashion show, during which their new collection is presented in an original way. However, some standout features, such as concerts or theaters, are unrelated to the company.
While shows can work very well, some firms have found that an immersive or hands-on experience is even more engaging for customers. You could ask your attendees to help you design your new workspace, create unique versions of your product, or participate in a workshop. All these ideas could be memorable, and they lend themselves to sharing on social media platforms.
Even if you put on an amazing party or installation, you won’t benefit from experiential marketing if your customers aren’t able to attend. For this reason, you should always make sure that the time is suitable for the majority of your attendees and that the venue is easy to get to. In some cases, you might need to organize transportation such as a shuttle bus.
An easy way to find out whether a certain date, time, and place work for your potential customers is to ask them directly. You could do so via an online survey which you send to them in an email or text message. This works especially well if your potential customers are already on your email list. If not, you could share your event plan on social media and ask for input from your followers.
Personalizing Your Event
Because there are countless brands all vying for people’s attention, personalized marketing is more important than ever. While planning your experiential event, ask yourself how you can make the day amazing for the people you’re inviting. This starts with the invitations, which should be addressed to each individual and reflect their tastes. In some cases, hand-written invitations can feel extra special and encourage people to reply.
You will also have to think about seating arrangements to make sure everyone feels comfortable during the event. At the end, you can give your participants a swag bag, which can either be the same for everyone or tailored to the individual’s interests.
Maximizing the Aftermath
You’re not done when your event is over. Together with your marketing experts, you will come up with several ways to capitalize on your success and engage your attendees further. For instance, your swag bag should contain information about your product or service and how to access it. You could also place a small taster inside, so potential customers can see why they should work with you in the future.
Another great way to engage more people is to encourage social sharing. You can create a hashtag related to the event or organize a social media competition, where the person with the most interesting or popular post wins something related to your brand. That way, you can engage the audience and widen your reach considerably.
Why Should You Hire Professionals?
As you can see, creating a successful experiential event that stays in the minds of your customers can be a big challenge. You’ll not only have to come up with an excellent plan, but you’ll also have to manage a wide variety of elements, such as the food and drink, the venue, the invitations, the swag bag, and the entertainment.
Since you’re busy running your company, finding the time to organize your event can be extremely challenging. What’s more, you might not have the necessary experience to create the best party or installation possible. Thus, hiring professional marketers can be a great way to take the pressure off you and ensure the success of your event.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
Your party, installation, or exhibition is only one component of your overall marketing strategy. To see continued success, you’ll have to think long-term and determine how you will connect your event to your other marketing efforts, which might include a social media presence, paid ads, and community engagement.
Good planners can help you integrate the event into your overall strategy and make sure the various elements correspond to your brand’s values. That way, your party or installation will help you reach your goals.
Less Stress During the Event
As the host, you’ll want to appear friendly and relaxed during the event, and you’ll need time to speak to your guests, so you can make a personal connection. However, this can be a big challenge when you have to deal with dozens of potential issues and coordinate the various elements. The best way to reduce your stress levels is to hand over the logistics to someone else and focus on making a good impression on your guests.
How to Get Started Today
Are you ready to set up your first experiential event? If so, you should reach out to professional event planners as soon as possible. Remember, it can take months to set up a successful party or installation, especially if you’d like to invite hundreds of guests.
When you get in touch with us at King Sixteen, we will book you in for a meeting, so we can find out more about your company and the type of marketing you need. If you decide you’d like to hire us, we can then provide you with a quote and come up with the best strategy possible.
Experiential marketing is a highly effective way of engaging your audience and creating a lasting impression on potential customers. But to maximize the return on your investment during an experiential event, you have to consider a wide range of factors, including the logistics, the standout feature, and the goal of the party or installation. Contact us now at King Sixteen and tell us more about your business. We will be delighted to help you plan a fantastic event.