In today’s fast-moving world, it’s easy to overlook the value of slowing down and interacting with and really meeting the needs of your audience. Experiential design gives you the chance to get back to basics, breaking the business-consumer divide by implementing innovative and exciting engagement techniques. This flexible approach to marketing enhances the way consumers experience your brand and allows you to create an authentic connection with your customer base.
Commercial advertising vs. marketing events
While traditional commercial advertising undoubtedly still holds a well-earned place in the marketing space, many of its strategies are now becoming tired – with both businesses and consumers looking for more from media. This customer engagement tactic is ultimately passive, counting on a proactive response from any prospective customers exposed to a campaign, whereas event marketing removes that limitation. Face-to-face engagement breaks down the barrier between the brand and the customer, inspiring connections in a way that drives legitimate connections.
Event marketing is multidimensional in a way that channels like TV and print media can never be, and allows you to create the live experience that traditional advertising fails to provide. Experiential marketing encourages audience participation in a way that more passive alternatives will never be able to emulate. Rather than waiting for your brand to be discovered, take the discovery element into your own hands – reaping the benefits of a proactive approach by entering the event marketing sphere.
Planning for your event
There are three integral rules to follow to ensure the success of your event: prepare, execute, follow-up – and these all come down to meticulous planning.
1. Prepare – While this seems obvious, you’re unlikely to be able to promote your brand’s core values and create lasting connections without strategic planning prior to the event.
2. Execute – Planning for an event will cost your company time and money – and without a well-executed strategy, this could all be wasted. The time invested into planning for the event all leads up to your moment in focus – make it count and you’ll see your ROI.
3. Follow-up – After meticulously planning your event and successfully engaging your audience, the hard work isn’t over. The connections you worked so hard to create are only valuable if you take action after the event. Whether it’s a follow-up email, phone call or tweet, however you choose to reach out to your consumers, be timely about it. This proactive approach will help you to develop your business-consumer relationships and, ultimately, turn prospects into paying clients.
Creating a journey
From the planning to the follow-up, your event is a journey – and at the heart of that journey is your target audience. By choosing to take your brand to an event, you’re making a commitment to creating a valuable connection with your consumer, and this starts from the moment a prospective customer arrives.
Before they even approach your stand, you have the opportunity to engage with your audience – but be mindful that you’re not the only company showcasing at that event. With a plethora of other businesses using the same platform to promote their brand, it’s important to think about what sets your brand aside. While you may not be in direct competition with every business at the event, you’ll want to get the edge on any company offering something remotely similar. From the positioning of your banner stands to the way your visual brand is projected in a holistic sense, it’s all about encouraging audience interaction – and approachability is everything.
Once you break this barrier with your audience, the brand experience can begin. Whether it’s a brief conversation or the promise of a follow-up phone call, every second spent with a prospect is an opportunity for you to really market your offering. Long-lasting relationships with clients will only be strengthened by your willingness to accommodate their needs and deliver what your brand promised them in the initial meeting.