No one actually likes waiting in line, regardless of whether they’re at the grocery store, movie theater, or post office. But unfortunately, many people end up waiting in long lines in order to get into experiential marketing events or participate in the fun activities the brand has planned. Because waiting in line is an unpleasant experience, long lines can irritate your guests before they’ve even walked into your event.

To avoid this problem, many marketers are coming up with creative ways to keep guests engaged and entertained while they wait in line at events. Here are some fun ways to keep your guests busy while they wait in line at your next experiential marketing event:

Provide Gaming Opportunities

A number of brands have offered guests the opportunity to play various games while they wait in line. For example, over 100 McDonald’s stores recently tested an interactive game that was projected right onto the tile flooring inside the restaurant. Although the game was designed to keep kids happy while they waited, adults ended up playing to pass the time as well.

If you don’t have the resources to implement such a high-tech strategy, you can always take a simpler route by providing tablets to guests who are in line. Allow the guests to play pre-loaded games on the tablet while they wait. You can either hand out the tablets to people who are waiting in line or direct them to gaming kiosks with built-in tablets located nearby. Either way, this strategy will keep your guests happy until they have made it inside your event. They will probably become so wrapped up in the game that they may not even realize how long they’ve been in line.

Let Them Lounge

Some brands can satisfy their guests without providing any entertainment at all. Instead, these brands create a luxurious lounge area and invite their guests to sit back and relax while they wait for their number to be called. If you choose this strategy, make sure there is enough comfortable seating for everyone who is waiting in line. Provide reading materials such as magazines and newspapers or board games to help guests pass the time while they wait. You can even add an extra special touch by serving food or drinks within the lounge area. If you want to take it one step further, offer some sort of small spa service to guests in the lounge area. Shoulder or neck massages work well in this setting since no tools are required and they can be performed out in the open. Guests who have the opportunity to lounge in one of these luxurious areas will feel pampered and appreciated before they even get into the event.

Live Entertainment

Brands also have the option of hiring live entertainment to keep their guests busy while they wait in line. If you’re interested in this strategy, think about what type of live entertainment would work well with your event. Brands that are hosting events for children may want to consider hiring a balloon artist or face painter to distract kids that are waiting in line. If your audience is older, consider hiring live musicians or even a comedian to keep guests happy until they’re inside.

Product Demonstrations

The purpose of hosting an experiential marketing event is to introduce more people to your brand and product line. So, why not introduce them to your brand while they wait in line? If you are hosting an informational event, consider setting up a product demonstration in the area where guests will be waiting in line. Hire a brand ambassador to work this area so they can walk guests through how to use the product and point out the product’s main benefits. The brand ambassador should also be prepared to answer any questions that may arise from the product demonstration. This is a great way to create buzz around the products so your guests are even more eager to get to the front of the line to see what else you have in store.

Give Away Prizes

Make guests look forward to standing in line at your event by giving away prizes to some of the people who have to wait. There are countless ways to host a giveaway, so consider all of your options before deciding how to implement this strategy. Some brands may want to give away prizes using old-fashioned raffle tickets, while others may want to take the more interactive approach by giving away prizes to guests who correctly answer trivia questions. If you want to spread the word about your event on social media, give prizes to the first 20 people who post a photo using your branded hashtag. Choose the strategy that fits your brand’s personality the best, and then select prizes that people will actually be excited to win. No one will complain about having to stand in line if they walk away from the experience with a prize!

For more advice on how to improve your next experiential marketing event, talk to the pros at Factory 360. Our skilled team can plan and implement an effective experiential marketing strategy that will have your guests talking about your brand for weeks after the event. Contact us today to learn how we can make your experiential marketing dreams a reality!

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