Experiential events are taking over the marketing landscape. Brands are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd in this continuously expanding and overcrowded environment. Brands are achieving this originality by out-of-the-box thinking, and experiential events are one way to accomplish this. By stepping away from the mainstream, they aim to create an intimate relationship between the brand and the consumer to prompt an emotional connection. Experiential marketing campaigns often involve events like pop-up stores or restaurants where groups of people come together, which elicits a sentimental response.
These events take consumers on a journey from what they experience when arriving, what they see during the registration, how they feel when they walk in, and what message they take away from the event. These journeys are designed to leave a lasting memory. Something you’ve seen or heard during the event might resonate with you much further down the line. The events are designed in such a way that they build a true relationship between the brand and the consumer, so they feel a certain affinity towards the brand, which in turn leads to boosted long-term sales.
People understand experiences by nature. What you feel, see, touch, smell and hear. Experiential events provide brands with the opportunity to be seen and heard. Whether it’s a launch event or a networking event, an experiential event will have different touch points throughout the space that almost subliminally deliver the brand’s message. Standard meets and greet or networking events are something of the past. Faces or conversations can be very forgettable if you haven’t built a true connection, but you are guaranteed to remember an interactive activation you have experienced. Brands naturally want to be seen and heard, so experiential events are the way to achieve this.
Everyone is now trying to stay away from being corporate as it is no longer what gets attention. Even the likes of Fortune 500 companies are adding experiential events to their calendar as a way of reaching their target audience. Traditional marketing may be effective to attract some people, but a physical connection will remain unbeaten. Recently, we have seen an increase in brands using custom applications, interactive games, and connected experiences to help sell their brand to the public.
People want experiences, to see other people, and make real connections. These events feed off other people’s energies. For brands to reach their target audience, it’s simply not enough to do it through screens. Showcasing is done in different ways and many experiential events have proven to be extremely successful ways to do that. What is a better way to tell people that you have launched something new than telling them in person and getting them to experience what the product actually is? It is all about gaining that instant connection that will create a lasting memory.
Experiential events are unique in their ability to provide personal interactions with existing and potential new customers. New customers get the chance to experience the brand, and brands get the opportunity to form an emotional connection, which may progress to a longer-term customer relationship. Brands like Red Bull with their “Stratos” jump, M&M’s “Flavour Rooms” and Coca-Cola’s “FIFA World Cup VR Experience” are just some of the many big brands utilising experiential events to further their brand image.
The landscape of the consumer-brand relationship is ever-changing, but one thing is for certain: experiential events are currently at the forefront of modern marketing and look like they will be for the foreseeable future.