Harnessing the power of experiential events allows brands to stand out in a crowded marketplace and engage with their customers in meaningful ways. Recently, the TK team took to the stage at Canadian Special Events CSE Live event to offer tips and best practices in Experience Design. We pulled back the curtain on our approach to creating an experiential event.
Experiential Marketing Campaigns
Experiential marketing is one of the most powerful ways for brands to engage with their target audience. A successful experiential event marketing campaign will:
Invite customers to interact with a brand and foster a sense of connection
Build brand loyalty
Create emotional connections
When you take all the marketing speak away - experiential events help a company feel more human and less like a corporation. In fact, a recent study outlined in a cvent post stated that 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event. Now that's the power of event marketing!
Experiential Marketing Campaign Examples
For us at TK Events – creating an event experience means starting with the client's objectives. What outcomes are they looking for, how will they be measured? And then it's about engagement through meaningful experiences. We've all heard the term immersive experience.
im· mer· sive i-ˈmər-siv
providing, involving, or characterized by deep absorption or immersion in something
In event marketing - it's telling a brand story through every element of your event through moments of engagement and activations. It's about creating an emotional connection and building lasting impressions. It's less about talking at your customers and more about participation marketing.
We start every event ideation by developing an event strategy to deliver on the client's objectives. Then comes the fun part - brainstorming all the cool and fun things we can do in creative ways for an event that will engage audiences, promote interaction and create memorable experiences. We ensure the event experience touches all areas of the program from stage design and content creation to developing the food and beverage experience, interactive activations that link to the client's brand, to decor and entertainment. Every event element has a purpose that ties back to the client's brand.
Our Experience Design presentation took the audience through several examples of experiential events including a campaign for a client's objective to: Demonstrate leadership in the industry and increase knowledge of products.
The strategy: Highlight the client's legacy with interactive timelines and a product showcase. The 25th anniversary of the product prompted us to build creative around 90's nostalgia. An entrance designed as a time capsule, taking attendees through the product's history. Life size vintage products were created for photo opps. A room wrap took attendees down memory lane, all combined with 90's props, decor and entertainment. Product showcases included side by side examples of then and now technology and where the future might lead us.
For a copy of the presentation along with more real-world experience design examples, drop us a line at the form below with the subject line: Experience Design Presentation and we'll share the presentation with you!
Drawing Inspiration From Other Experiential Marketing Campaigns
It's fun to create. In fact using our creativity is the absolute best part of our jobs! We love to draw inspiration from pop culture and consumer events. It's festival season and there's plenty to get the creative juices flowing in all the celebrity and influencer pop up events at the likes of Coachella and SXSW.
More valuable event examples provided by Hubspot highlight some top experiential marketing campaigns by global brands. Moreover, the post links to a Forbes article reporting on experiential strategy - "80% of marketers believe live events are critical to their company’s success, and 77% use experiential marketing as a vital part of a brand’s advertising strategy." If there's anything the last few years has taught us it's the power of personal connections!
Hint: There is a wealth of inspiration to be drawn from consumer experiential events.
For a recent event we produced for Paramount + Rain Agency telling the Paramount brand story at Banff World Media Festival meant creating an experience around the hit series Yellowstone. The Dutton family home was brought to life at a classic Western venue, Mountview BBQ. Guests were immersed in the Yellowstone brand through a curated roundhouse experience featuring striking images from the t.v. series and bespoke furnishings. The Paramount marketing campaign and brand story was further captured in visuals, projection treatments, a specially designed western menu, roaring fires, and an outdoor playground keeping attendees networking in a Paramount+ Lodge activation to remember.
How Do I Apply Experiential Marketing To My Events?
First and foremost - Understand the client's objectives.
Know the audience. This is important - a floral wall activation won't be appropriate for a gathering of a mainly male demographic. That's an obvious one but you get the idea!
Research experiential events to hone ideas. What has resonated with you? Your instincts are valuable. You're a consumer too - what has caught your attention? What do you remember? What did you share to your own social accounts?
Brainstorm what will resonate with the audience but also be on-brand for your client. Our north star is to tell the client's brand story in every creative proposal and campaign we develop.
- Design on-brand activations. We took inspiration from floral archway entrances for a Salesforce event at a festival and created a cloudscape entrance. This tied back to the Salesforce truck activation outside the main festival as well as the client's Trailblazer campaign. It was a combination of our creative and design teams coming together to create a custom activation.
Turn to your supplier network and share a creative brief to obtain quotes and proposals. The Salesforce activation was a combination of our inspiration combined with what the supplier proposed in answer to our brief. Collaboration is key, our ideas are often heightened by external perspective. For a recent Loblaw event - our inspiration was to create a 'Zen Lounge' to support the client's Energize theme. By providing a brief and inspiration images to our suppliers, we arrived at the perfect solution with colourful bean bag chairs and further expanded the Zen theme by providing headsets and a Spotify playlist for attendees to have a quiet break.
Apply Experience Design and create experiences through every event element.
Not your same old F&B.
"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
– Luciano Pavarotti
We are foodies at TK Events and planning the food and beverage experience might just be the favourite part of our jobs! Don't let your budget hold you back. Even the most basic budgets can be pushed past too cold food in chafing dishes. Always ask the venue/caterer what their service style is, what is the food served on, and push them to be creative and clever with what they have. Bring the culture and flavour of your location to your menu design. Make it interactive. For recent Destination Canada events we brought the flavour of Canada to international audiences through curated stations unique to Canada. We introduced Canadian gin, build your own Caesar bar, and menus highlighting each region in Canada.
Let's put the swagger in swag. Your giveaway is part of the brand story. Go beyond shirts and think further - tie your giveaway to the location, something memorable from where the event is taking place. Tie it to your theme. Make it a keepsake. Points for making it sustainable. For a picnic themed event the giveaway was a branded picnic blanket - an item the audience will use. Let's face it we've all wished for one for weekends away! Here's a secret - it doesn't always have to be branded. We've gifted Herschel cross body bags and wrapped them in a branded gift bag. The item itself doesn't need an obvious logo - the attendee will remember where they received their valuable gift. In today's climate, offer the guest choice or a link to an online gifting store so that they can choose something on brand and memorable that they will actually make use of, not add to landfill.
Utilize technology. AR, VR are all great ways to immerse audiences in an event with the ability for a brand to come to life. Our Salesforce activation brought case studies to life through a custom AR activation. Touchscreen gaming and clever projection mapping can really draw the audience in.
Make stage production an event experience. Go beyond pipe and drape, scenery is an integral part of the experience and we can be clever even on low budgets with how to convey brand through set pieces that invite attention. Content creation helps your brand stand apart and there's nothing our 3D designers love more than to take a client's brand and tell their story through animation. Stage and environment design is a key way to re-inforce a client's brand and drive home powerful messages.
Thoughtful and purposeful and fun are words to live by.
More examples are provided in the presentation - sign up below by providing your name, company, title and corporate email to receive a copy!
Of course your marketing strategy means nothing if you can't measure results. We create measurable opportunities that are trackable and data-driven. Every customer touch-point, engagement at an activation, will be captured and provided in a final report, complete with a breakdown of the data and social media reports. More on how we use event tech to measure ROI and the importance of event analytics is here in our recent blog.
Use this Experience Design guide to ensure you're checking all the boxes to create an experiential event. Talk to us about how we can use our Experience Design and creative approach to design your next Experiential event!
Additional useful tips:
What is an experiential event?
The name indicates experiential activities are events or experiences created for the purpose of causing an emotional connection with the brands customers. Unlike TV ads, experiential advertising is aimed at engaging consumers through interaction with some component.
What is experiential marketing?
Experiential marketing helps companies build connections with consumers via experience and helps brands bring their products to life. They are usually held in-person with digital elements and offer great tools for capturing unique experiences.
What are the types of experiential marketing?
Different kinds of Experiential Market Strategy - Experiential. Showcase products. It’s probably the most common form of experiential advertising in general. '. Immersion experience. ... Stunt. ... Innovative services for businesses. ... Organizers of events. - The. ... Branding activities. The eagle is a fag. Guerrilla marketing.
What does an experiential marketer do?
Experiential marketing involves creating experiences and not a conventional marketing technique. Creating an interesting, unique experience for your customers can be a great way to get more information about a product or service that they want to see.
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