There’s never been a better time to market an event you’re planning, and between the internet and social media, there are seemingly endless ways for your target audience to interact with your brand.
But with so much of the world moving digital, do people still value the ability to interact with a brand physically, and are physical events a successful marketing tool in the modern world?
Event activation, also called experiential marketing, is a way for brands to create immersive experiences that allow them to connect directly with their customers. In this article, you’ll learn what event activation is, how it might be a beneficial marketing tool, and how to use it to connect with your target audience.
What Is the Event Activation Approach to Marketing?
When you hear the phrase “event activation approach to marketing,” your mind might immediately wander to flow charts and a multi-step campaign conceived by your marketing department and executed by your sales team.
But an event activation approach to marketing is so much simpler than that. Simply put, when a brand utilizes this approach, they plan a single event designed to be fun and memorable and inspire loyalty in their customers.
The type of activation event you plan to organize can vary widely to meet your needs. If executed correctly, it will be unique and exclusive enough that a small selection of your target audience will form an emotional attachment to your brand long-term.
Its Benefits for Both Event Attendees and Your Team
The event activation approach to marketing offers numerous benefits to your target audience and your team. These events are mutually beneficial and allow your brand to come together and connect with its most loyal and essential customer base.
Event activation offers the following benefits to your team:
- It allows you to connect with your target audience: The whole purpose of a brand activation event is to form a lasting connection with a small but essential percentage of your customer base.
- It gives you the opportunity to communicate why your customers should be loyal to your brand: These events are about more than just throwing a great party. They give you a chance to tell your story and create value. This means your customers can form a personal attachment to your brand and feel good about supporting it.
Event activation also benefits your target audience:
- This marketing campaign is designed to be fun and meaningful to a small group of individuals: Brand event activation is an exclusive marketing campaign dedicated to making your customers happy. The event is designed to be a fun and memorable experience they’ll continually associate with your brand.
- It gives you the ability to personalize your event to their preferences: Depending on the size of your event, you may or may not be able to individualize every detail of your event, but you can create a personal experience that reflects the desires of your target audience. Research the demographics of this group and be sure you tailor your event to create one that they will find fun and memorable.
Event Activation Ideas To Incorporate Into Your Event Strategy
Crafting an event activation approach to marketing sounds daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Incorporate the following event activation ideas into your strategy to ensure your brand activation event goes smoothly.
Adopt Event Management Technology
Even the most seasoned event organizer would benefit from utilizing top-of-the-line event management technology to help organize their event. Organizing an event of this magnitude is exceptionally high-stakes and requires near perfection to maximize the benefits.
Event management technology allows event organizers to plan well-organized, successful events through online tools, such as:
- Online and on-site sales
- Online and on-site check-in
- Promotional tools like promo codes and social media integrations
- Digital marketing services
These tools are just a sample of what online event management technology can offer, but having one place where your entire event is organized can significantly improve the experience of the event organizers and the attendees when planning a brand activation event.
Share Impactful Stories
Brand activation events are the perfect way to connect with your target audience and help them create a personal affinity with you. Sharing stories that help craft the image you want to share is essential to forming personal connections.
The motivation behind event activation is creating a connection with your customers that doesn’t directly promote sales. Instead, use speaker sessions and other methods of communicating the story behind your brand to help customers connect with the heart and soul of what makes your brand unique.
Leverage Social Media Channels
Social media marketing is essential to every modern marketing campaign, and event brand activation is no different. Craft a unique social media narrative that can help promote buzz about your event, and consider incorporating an air of mystery or exclusivity.
Remember that event activation is designed to form deep, lasting connections with smaller groups of targeted individuals; event brand activation focuses on quality over quantity.
Craft a content creation tactic to attract your target audience and help them connect with your brand.
Lead Fun and Interactive Activities
Although using impactful stories to create personal connections with your target audience is essential in making sure they connect with your brand’s values, the purpose of your event is also to ensure guests have such a good time that they’ll think of your event for years to come.
Make sure fun is at the forefront of all your event activation ideas, and don’t be afraid to branch out. Consider a cohesive theme that will guide your event’s activities, and research the types of activities your target audience enjoys.
Create a Memorable Experience With Virtual Reality
Although virtual reality doesn’t conjure up the futuristic mystery it once did, most people still don’t have a way of accessing virtual reality in a meaningful way. Utilizing virtual reality can help event attendees make lasting memories they’ll share with their community, potentially broadening your reach.
Virtual reality has recently become a trend in the upscale event-hosting industry, and it’s one of the few ways that event organizers can create a genuinely memorable experience for events hosted virtually.
Although brand activation events are best when held in person, if the Covid-19 pandemic has proven anything, it’s that you should be prepared to shift your marketing strategy to an entirely digital format at a moment’s notice.
Have a Food Station Set Up
Don’t overlook the importance of providing guests with an immersive experience pleasing to all their senses. A designated booth or area of your event for food is essential in creating an elevated appearance and ensuring attendee satisfaction.
Although a sit-down dinner may prevent guests from making the most of the activities at your event, having high-quality food readily available will ensure they don’t get hungry, keeping them happy and at your event for longer.
Pro tip: If you’re willing to set a larger budget for food, opting for unusual and expensive food items can be an opportunity to wow your guests.
One of the easiest ways to ensure attendee satisfaction is through giveaways. Whether you incorporate a raffle into your event or you offer products as prizes for game winners, you should be prepared to provide your attendees with gifts.
Remembering the purpose of a brand activation event is essential to organizing every aspect of the event, and because the purpose of this type of event is to cement yourself in the mind of your target audience, offering gift bags and other product giveaways can help achieve this goal.
Keep Your Staff up To Speed
Every individual working on your brand activation event should be aware of the importance of this event. Creating a cohesive team mentality dedicated to providing your target audience with the experience of a lifetime can help ensure your event maximizes its potential.
Everyone from your event organization team to the event serving staff should be prepared to provide guests with an experience they’ll never forget. Every event element should be designed to meet this goal.
Your Event Activation Strategy Is Incomplete Without Event Software
Event activation differs from regular event planning in its purpose and execution. While a wide range of events might be held to promote your organization or even connect with your target audience, event activation is significantly more targeted.
Because these events aim to build lasting memories in your customers’ minds, they must be highly organized and well executed. The easiest and best way to ensure your event activation strategy goes off without a hitch is by using event software to manage every aspect of your event.
Partner with Events.com for access to the latest online event management tools, including:
- Custom events pages
- Ticket sale tracking
- Event insight from custom reports
- Ticket insurance and upgrades
- Third-party software integration