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10 Experiential Marketing Trends to Help Your Events Stand Out
In a world where your audience is bombarded with messages from brands, it’s more difficult than ever to stand out. How can you harness the power of word of mouth to raise product awareness and drive sales in such a crowded market place? Provide them with amazing experiences at your events through experiential marketing.
1. Mobile trucks
Marketers are discovering that mobile trucks are more cost effective than storefront pop-up shops and great for increasing brand awareness.
Converse turned a van into a mobile portrait studio. Brand ambassadors drove to New York City and Los Angeles neighborhoods and invited locals to get their picture taken. Then, Converse transformed those photos into an outdoor advertising campaign throughout the two cities.
Keep in mind that mobile trucks can be perfect for a multi-event campaigns since they can easily travel to campuses and other hotspots with large crowds.
What is it? Geofencing lets you put a “fence” around a targeted area and gain insights into what’s happening within its boundaries. It uses GPS or radio-frequency identification (RFID) to connect to smartphones inside your fence and help you connect with customers.
For example, if an event attendee is near a sponsor’s booth, they can receive a push notification via your event app, prompting them to stop by for a giveaway.
3. Virtual swag bags
Virtual swag bags allow you to give attendees relevant goodies and cut down on waste. For example, the University of Oklahoma gave virtual swag bags to incoming freshmen. This eliminated hours of endless bag stuffing while giving the housing team insight into which offers appealed the most to new students.
4. Sponsorship matchmaking
With sponsors becoming more selective, event marketers are turning to sponsorship matchmaking services to find the right partners. These services come in handy if your marketing team is small and doesn’t have the time to call around looking for sponsors.
Sponsorship Matchmaking Websites
5. Use big data to provide experiences
Harnessing the power of data can take your experiences to the next level. For example, you can provide attendees with a customized experience based on their interests, roles or stage in your sales cycle.
The College Football Hall of Fame uses data to personalize each visitor’s experience. When visitors sign in, they note their favorite team in the museum’s radio-frequency identification (RFID) software. Then, they are treated to customized exhibits.
6. Wearable technologies and sensors
Wearables have gone beyond just monitoring steps, they can help you improve the attendee experience and engage more with your brand.
Wearable Experiments created a high-tech jersey that allows sports fans to feel the excitement and adrenaline that the athletes are feeling. This makes fans feel like they are in the middle of the action – whether they are in the stands or watching from home.
7. Use Crowdshaping
Crowdshaping can make you more responsive to attendee needs.This allows you to provide a great experience that attendees will rave about long after your event ends.
For example, you can use iBeacons or radio-frequency identification (RFID) to track the lines at your food stations. You can see which items need to be refreshed and if you should open an extra line for attendees.
8. Millennial engagement and beyond
Millennials crave genuine engagement with brands and prefer experiences over buying stuff. Offering amazing experiences cuts through the noise and allows you to reach more millennials. For example, you can give them insider access to your organization – such as the ability to leave direct feedback, become brand ambassadors, or meet your team members in person.
Gamification makes experiences exciting, memorable, and shareable.
HBO created a virtual reality experience (VR) around Game of Thrones at SXSW. Attendees wore the Oculus Rift VR headset and experienced Game of Thrones – and battle Wildlings – firsthand. The exhibition attracted more than 175,000 visitors. Not too shabby!
10. Crowd streaming
Crowd streaming gives attendees the power to share their personal experiences by streaming what they want when they want. Encourage attendees to host live “TV shows” during your events. Offer a prize for the best show or tap some influencers to host.
They can discuss industry trends, interview people and share all of the excitement with their audience.