7 Experiential Marketing Ideas
The conferences, concerts, seminars, parties, and weddings I have had the pleasure of attending were impressive because of one thing: the experience. In engagement marketing or experiential marketing, brand advocates know that in order to have a meaningful exchange with their customers, they need to make the interaction special. Making experiential event history dates back to the World’s Fair in Chicago and continues to be a thrilling occasion at large scale events like SXSW. Here are some ways to make your next presentation, party, conference a memorable experience.
As Daymond John spoke to a group of 500+, his storytelling was accented with thoughtfully selected songs to underscore his life chapters and accomplishments. It made for a lively presentation that entertained and educated at the same time.
We love party favors. At Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s event featuring “The People’s Shark” we got floating sharks that Moms eagerly took home for their children and grandchildren. At a Super Bowl party, Bud Light reps roamed the bar and restaurant handing out magnetic bottle openers in the shape of a football. The key is to keep it small. Inc.com has a list of 11 cool swag ideas here.
Inviting guests to participate makes your event distinctive. You can ask your presentation audience to “raise their hands if…”. You can host a contest with winners. At an Academy Awards party, the hostess encouraged each guest to bring a prop that represented a previous Best Picture film. We voted on best prop and the winners (it was a tie) took home a golden bottle of champs.
If your event has food (let’s be serious, personally I hope it does), then plan the menu in advance. Creative presentation will surprise and delight your guests. Some ideas such as adding height or pairing contrasting colors will help you plate like a pro.
Try on your outfit a few days before the event. If you’re a brilliant artist, skip a stiff grey suit that is not synonymous with your personality. Find that balance between expressing yourself while still exuding professionalism. Since you are the host/hostess, then you can be slightly over dressed than everyone else. You need to feel like your best self in your outfit, this is the first impression that demonstrates your brand. Finally, your best accessory is your grin. Smiling is good for you as it can release stress and improve your mood.
Sitting is not healthy. Standing in one spot is not healthy, either. Move around. Invite your audience to take stretch breaks. It might seem odd at first, but releasing tension will bring an energetic vibe to the room.
Demonstrate your gratitude to your attendees throughout and after your event. You can direct them to your social media profiles and encourage them to continue the conversation there. After the event is over, take 5 to jot down what worked well, ideas for next time, and those people and things for which you are grateful.