Consumers have plenty of opportunities to attend experiential marketing activations. To attract them to yours, it’s important to offer content that is different, exciting and creates a meaningful interaction with your brand.

For this blog post, we’d like to focus on an aspect of event marketing that we haven’t written about much in the past: the crucial role good design plays in executing outstanding experiential marketing activations. The truth is that consumers are much less likely to walk into a venue or booth with the same old décor or activities they’re used to seeing. It’s vital to consider the physical design and appearance of your event when you plan your company’s next experience.

It’s human nature to like beautiful things. Numerous studies have shown that men, women, even babies prefer to look at the faces of people they determine to be attractive. People also like to be in spaces they find pleasing and beautiful.

Our society has also become increasingly design-focused. When was the last time you went into a restaurant with a hand-printed sign; patronized a business that was dirty and unattractive; or hired a contractor with minimal branding or no marketing materials? It’s so easy and affordable to create professional-looking banners, logos, websites, business cards and more. When someone doesn’t take advantage of these tools, we’re suspect about why.

As consumers’ design literacy increases, it’s more important than ever to ensure experiential marketing event look and feel amazing. Your event’s physical presence communicates the first and perhaps only impression consumers will have of your brand. Make sure that impression is positive and powerful with these tips.

Activation design

When you start designing your experiential marketing campaign, make sure you aren’t doing the same thing everyone else is doing. That’s true for content – you don’t want to be one of five spirit companies offering run-of-the-barley-mill tastings at your local liquor store – but it’s also true for design.

Research what’s already been done in your industry (or better yet, hire an experiential marketing agency that makes a point of keeping up with what’s happening in your industry). Then look outside of your industry to see what else can influence the design of your activation. At Factory 360, we take a broad look at art, architecture and culture to draw inspiration for our clients’ events. This ensures we can offer consumers something that will resonate every time.

It’s smart to tie into current trends when considering the physical design of your activation. But think about ways to use colors, patterns, photographs and other visual elements in a new and exciting way. People are drawn to images that seem familiar, but they have a more vivid memory of them when they’re used in innovative ways.

We try to remind our clients that creating an engaging physical design is important, but creating a design that clearly conveys your brand’s message is absolutely critical. While planning a unique experience can draw consumers into your event and leave them with a favorable impression, their memories must be tied to your brand and what it’s trying to convey. Otherwise the campaign hasn’t accomplished the most important goal.

Physical design and footprint

Here’s one of our top pieces of advice if you want an exciting new look for your experiential marketing event: Don’t hire the same design firm or equipment vendor everyone else in town is using. Look for boutique firms or consultants from out of the area who can help you think outside the photo booth.

When you’re thinking about event décor, here’s what nearly every designer tells us: Take quality over quantity. Too much of a good thing can definitely be a bad thing. You want your event to look visually interesting. You don’t want it to feel overwhelming or like you’re trying too hard.

Make sure your event is easy to navigate, especially if it has a large footprint. You don’t want consumers to get lost or frustrated because they can’t find an important aspect of your activation. Do what you can to manage crowd control and flow so people don’t get overwhelmed. Consider safety at every aspect; there is such thing as bad publicity, and not taking into account people’s physical well-being is a quick way to end up on the negative end of a news story.

As consumers move through the activation, they should have multiple opportunities to view and interact with the brand’s key messages and values. Taking a journey with the brand will help them feel more connected to it. Use technology when appropriate, or low-tech and tactile experiences when the event calls for it.

One of the key ways to extend the reach of your experiential marketing activation is to encourage consumers to take photos and videos of themselves at your activation. If your branding is visible in locations where they’ll be taking photographs (or on people with whom they’ll be taking photographs), that gets your name in front of a much wider audience.

How can you ensure that the design of your activation communicates your brand’s purpose? That’s where we come in. Factory 360 has over 10 years of experience helping brands create well-thought-out events that are memorable and appropriate for your company’s goals. We have great attention to detail when it comes to designing the physical aspects of your campaign. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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