Experiential Events: Get more, “Heck yeah, I wouldn’t miss it!”

Jill Anonson
Jill Anonson

Experiential event venue

It’s your marketing department’s dream: you’ve got a group of 10 to 10,000 people in an environment that gives your brand a tangible presence.

More than that, it affords your brand a digital pulse—and it’s a constant reminder of the vigor and energy your brand conveys.

This is experiential event marketing at its best.

Not convinced that the time is right to pounce on an experiential event? Take a look at six reasons experiential events will work for you.

They Attack the Senses

If you’re considering an experiential event, think about the five senses.

Fill your event with powerful ways to see, hear, touch and experience your brand. If you’re hosting a product launch, give your participants the ability to touch your new product and toy around with it. If you’re launching software, show it off in real time.

Push event attendees to “talk” about it digitally—more than social media and hashtags. When you get true digital interest in your event, you build FOMO. Mix that FOMO with the emotional charge of coming together in a space, and BAM!

It doesn’t get better than this.

They’re Year-Round

Great experiential events stretch well beyond their calendar dates. An event on a weekend in October doesn’t just happen then. There are months of build-up to the event and follow-up communications that wind down from the event, reminding attendees of what they learned—and building participants up toward the next event.

That’s why your event should be 24/7/365. Digital messaging builds up to an event and continues well beyond it. And more than just year-round messaging, you get 24/7/365 brand engagement. Pinch yourself.

They’re a Mindset Shift

Experiential marketing is a shift in mindset for many companies. If you’re coming from a traditional event background, you’re gradually learning that a stage, some lights and a banner aren’t enough anymore.

More and more event professionals are getting on board with experiential marketing. Similarly, organizations are getting comfortable with the idea of using meetings, conferences, and other events to move people to action in the same way.

According to the Event Marketing Institute's EventTrack study, experiential marketing budgets increased over 6% in 2015. And that's a number that isn't shrinking anytime soon.

They Immerse and Engage

When you get your people on site, experiential marketing is about total brand immersion on every level. Here are just a few ways to get the brand immersion your event needs:

  • Big, bold signage
  • Creative, interactive design and décor
  • Impressive music and entertainment
  • Interactive content that brings your people in
  • Momentum-building crowdsourcing
  • Personalized agendas
  • A connectivity-maximizing floor plan
  • Coordinated event staff attire
  • And so much more
Every bold move you make to maximize engagement at your event helps establish your brand in a memorable way. Experiential events put your brand in every corner and conversation.

They Promote Bottom-Line Growth

Of course, all of this doesn’t just look good on the floor of your event. It looks good on paper—your financial reports, especially. And that means a big bottom-line boost fueled by experiential marketing.

Wrap an event in your brand, build some unforgettable experiences around it, toss in some issue-solving content, and it’s hello, ROI! But maybe even more valuable is the emotional connection you’ve created. Loyalty leaves the biggest brand footprint of all.

They Maximize Spend

Naturally, you want The Who playing your event, a five-course caviar dinner, a free Rolex for every attendee and a keynote speech from a former U.S. president. But you probably don’t have the budget for that.

But that doesn’t mean your event will fall flat. Don’t let conservative budgets and limited staff create a roadblock to going experiential with your next event.

In other words, you can have a big-ticket event on a cover-band budget. That is, of course, if you utilize the right event partner. With the right partner, you can turn any event venue into a blank-slate experiential marketing platform and get the most out of your event spend.

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson has over 20 years of diverse experience in event management, incentive travel and sales strategy, and serves as the Events Strategy Advisor at ITA Group. Focused on continuous improvement and challenging standards, she consults clients and team members with impactful strategies and innovative ideas that deliver successful business outcomes. She is a Certified Engagement Practitioner, and certified through Pragmatic Marketing.