Bernd Schmitt, author of Experiential Marketing, once noted, “Today’s customers take functional features and benefits, product quality, and a positive brand image as a given.
They want products, communications, and marketing campaigns that dazzle their senses, touch their hearts, and stimulate their minds.
The degree to which a company is able to deliver a desirable customer experience and use brands and integrated communications and entertainment to do so, will largely determine its success in the marketplace.
The most effective media of experiential marketing are events that can bring the brand and the customer close to ultimate intimacy.
In addition to dazzling your customers with your exclusive event, realize too that they are hungry for two-way communication.
In order to first conceptualize and then organize sensually irresistible events you need to focus on the event attributes the attendees perceive as valuable and deliver them with perpetually fresh appeal.
The best way to attract and mobilize more customers to attend your event is to bring an “event biz” mentality to all your marketing and at-event strategies. In today’s marketplace, consumers are drawn by glitter and excitement but turned off by humdrum events.
WALT DISNEY – GREAT PROMOTER
There never was a greater promoter than Walt Disney. Everything he touched became exciting, colorful, and bursting with energy. The Disney legacy continues as the Disney Corporation dazzles and entertains millions with its products, parks, and superb customer service.
What does Disney do that every event organizer should emulate?
Disney injects an event business mentality into everything it does by creating an image that makes people smile and lets them know they’re in for a first-class experience.
Disney employees undergo rigorous customer service training and are famous for their courtesy, cheerfulness, and problem-solving skills.
So when planning your pre-event marketing strategies, remember to think like Disney. Everything you do to promote and implement your event must be first-class, creative, and professional.
Create a well rounded marketing plan, treating your event like an extension of your brand and then injecting the right attributes at the right place. The philosophy can work wonders for any kind of event, i.e. if you are just participating in an exhibition like Lifestyle or sponsoring a concert at a local college.
Following are some tips which will make any branded event, exhibition, or seminar more interesting and exciting and at the end of the day more fruitful for you and the customer.
Make your events interactive
When people manipulate objects or look at images they often form an attachment to them.They get an idea of how the products work.
Thus it is advisable to use as much imagery as possible during a presentation or talk or set up audio-visual displays that attendees can easily operate.
This will make them feel part of the event experience as they connect with your products.
Put the internet to work for you
You can interact with potential customers/attendees of the event through the internet, both in your pre-event marketing and during the event – through website and emailers.
Experts believe that virtually all events will incorporate the internet into their marketing strategies in the near future.
An event emailer and a professionally designed website is an extremely essential and viable way of marketing events.
Make your events unforgettable experiences
Successful events must create emotional experiences for attendees. But the question arises as to how do you generate such an experience?
By capturing the imaginations of attendees by providing a wealth of sights, sounds, aromas and entertainment, along with a high degree of interactivity.
Make your events fun
Live entertainment, theatre performance, one man act, puppeteers, pet shows, and magicians are just a few of the tools you can use to make your event fun and informative.
Do not rely on the products/presentations alone to sell the event biz experience.
A little distraction from presentations in case of a seminar and products in case of trade show will actually help to gain attention and refresh your audience and you’ll have attendees in the palm of your hand.
Provide lots of comfortable space
Make sure you have enough space at your event, to comfortably accommodate your guests.
Don’t try to cram as many seats/booths as possible into the allotted space.
A cramped event environment does not allow attendees free rein to wander comfortably, and harried, crowded consumers don’t make good customers.
Inject event biz excitement into your advertising and public relations
Without resorting to hyperbole, your advertising should reflect the excitement, creativity, and flavor of your event.
Your advertising, whether in the form of press ads, TV commercials, hoardings or below the line activities, should carry the same message and flavor across all mediums.
There are many ways to generate positive PR for your event, for e.g. inviting a prominent showbiz personality as chief guest or adding a unique feature or gift scheme, etc.
Media partners are today’s norm. Take as many media partners as possible for coverage on TV, radio, press as well as outdoor media.
Train your most trusted event management people to handle media and explain the event to them and engage them in exciting activities.
Remember you are in event biz, and you must create and promote an event that is as exciting and dramatic as a great movie or play.
Experimentation is the name of the game.
Each year you need to introduce new ideas and concepts to your event organization and production.
Change doesn’t have to be drastic; small subtitles can make the difference, especially when you implement ideas supplied courtesy of your attendees and make sure you communicate them to your customers.
At the end of the day, event can become one of the most effective media for you.
Whether you plan your own branded event or take part in an exhibition, the event biz approach can bring results which are lasting and can be translated into upward sales trends.