July 24, 2017
There have been a number of studies that show consumers want to do business with brands that are committed to going green. In fact, researchers found that many consumers list “sustainability” as a reason why they love their favorite brands. One-third of these consumers even admitted that they stopped purchasing a certain brand after learning that the brand was not doing its part to protect the environment. A Nielsen study even found that consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
What does all of this mean for your brand? Consumers are becoming more eco-conscious, which means brands should be, too. There’s no better way to increase awareness of your brand’s eco-friendly business practices than by hosting an experiential marketing event that allows you to interact directly with consumers. But, if you really want to impress these eco-conscious consumers, you will need to make sure that your event is as eco-friendly as possible. Follow these tips:
Encourage guests to take alternate forms of transportation
One of the first decisions you will have to make when planning your event is the venue. Try to choose a venue that is centrally located so guests don’t necessarily have to drive in order to get there. Then, encourage them to take transportation in the days and weeks leading up to the event. Let the attendees know that you will be providing on-site and secure parking for their bicycles if they choose to bike to the event instead of driving. You should also figure out how guests can get to your event using the city bus, and let them know different routes they can take ahead of time.
If it’s not possible to take the bus or ride a bike to your event, consider rewarding attendees for carpooling with others to the event. Ask a few members of your team to stand by the entrance to your event and hand out gift bags or some other form of prize to anyone who shows up to the event with at least two other passengers in the car. Be sure to promote this incentive as you advertise the event so guests know that they should make an effort to get together.
Use digital marketing materials
Think of the last event that you hosted. How much paper went into creating promotional materials, brochures, signage, and sign-up sheets to capture leads? If you continue to use this much paper, your next event will definitely not very eco-friendly. Instead of relying on paper to get your marketing message across, go digital. Put more effort into your social media and email marketing before and after the event to ensure that guests receive the same information that they would have if you had paper copies of your promotional materials at the event. You should also swap out traditional signs for digital signage. Not only is this more eco-friendly, but it also gives you the opportunity to change your sign’s messaging throughout the event.
What about leads? Don’t ask guests to fill out a contact form with a pen and paper. Instead, invest in a few tablets and set up a table where guests can fill out a digital contact form instead. You can capture the same information, but you don’t have to harm the environment while doing so.
Of course, there may not be a way to completely eliminate paper from your event. For example, you may need guests to wear paper wristbands once inside your event. It’s fine to use paper sparingly, but if you can, try to make it recycled paper.
Design eco-friendly giveaways
What will guests be taking home with them after the event is over? Most experiential marketing events have a free giveaway item for their guests, so this is a great opportunity for you to show the community that your brand is eco-conscious. But, be sure that the giveaway is still relevant to who you are as a brand. For example, dog groomers or pet supply companies that are hosting experiential marketing events could give away biodegradable pet waste bags. If your event is targeted at kids, give away a strip of temporary tattoos that feature a mix of recycling symbols and your brand’s logo.
Don’t panic if you can’t think of an eco-friendly giveaway that is relevant to your brand. When in doubt, stick to reusable items that can be branded with your logo, such as reusable water bottles or tote bags.
Serve locally sourced food
Will you be serving event attendees food? If so, think local. Foods that are not grown locally usually have to travel a great distance to end up in restaurants and grocery stores within your community. This means they spend a lot of time on the back of trucks that release carbon emissions into the atmosphere as they move from Point A to Point B. However, locally sourced foods don’t have to travel as far to get from the farm to your plate. By choosing local foods, you can reduce your event’s carbon footprint.
Research restaurants in the area that only work with locally sourced foods and ask them to cater your event. Be sure that you promote both the restaurant and the fact that they serve locally sourced foods to make it clear that every part of this event will be eco-friendly.
In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, serving locally sourced food will also help you establish a connection with the community. It doesn’t matter whether your brand is headquartered in the community or not, serving locally sourced food will help you earn the respect of event attendees.
Are you ready to plan an eco-friendly event? Let our team of experiential marketing professionals bring your vision to life! Contact Factory 360 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your event needs.