January 22, 2019
With the world of art drastically evolving along with the development of technology, a particular form of art has been on the rise: experiential art. A form of art that allows a direct experience with the art exhibit, event, or installation itself. Through a mix of art, technology, science, and hands-on experience, a new profound of participation among attendees or consumers at an exhibit or event, promotes an unforgettable, shareable moment. These are exactly the kinds of moments that are being captured on social media, for example, and they increase awareness of brands and companies alike from the consumers themselves.
Many companies who are utilizing the likes of experiential marketing are seeing that the consumers are becoming immersed in the event, which is a part of the brand — and this sends a message, both to the consumer and to everyone in their circle. CEO of digital marketing firm Joseph Ayoub, Adweek reports, finds that “Users are much more likely to share posts with their friends and engage in the comments if they connect to the story you’re telling on a personal level.” You want to keep this in mind when creating the space for your event, as the specs for the event can determine whether or not a consumer feels connected to your brand. Remember, first impressions count!
Three Must Haves
Eventbrite interviewed Anyi Raimondi, the head of brand activation at Airbnb, who says these following three things are necessary for successful experiential marketing.
- Focus on engaging people offline, in the real world
- Create brand presence to earn attribution, but generate less of an interaction with consumers (the example given is thought about logo placement)
- Create content that scales engagement via social media or advertising distribution
Raimondi says, “In this way, an intimate experience becomes above-the-line advertising that engages the masses.”
A Unique Hashtag
Since what makes experiential marketing so powerful is the way it’s spread to the masses via social media, you want to include a distinct hashtag. The Hashtag is a part of what becomes the advertising, as mentioned above.
The overall visual aspect of your event and space is key here. Think eye candy, and about covering all of the sensory elements of the experience: colors, sights, sounds, tastes, smells. These are the nuts and bolts of what experiential marketing is all about, and why it can be so engaging and successful if done correctly.
How do you want the attendees or consumers to be first welcomed at the event? Where will you have them enter, and how will the placement of the actual event/exhibit impact their experience? For example, you want consumers to feel welcomed, and you also want them to remember the event, so you may place the most exciting or memorable exhibits toward their exit.
A couple of options for your event space to consider are building your own pop-up space, trade show or concert venues, an art gallery or studio, a hotel, a farm, a warehouse, a restaurant or cocktail bar, or a museum. Whatever space you choose, Harvard Business Review suggests that consumers/customers for example, might want to “feel a sense of belonging” and “feel a sense of freedom.” Since these are two different feelings that are being sought after at the same time, it takes careful consideration when planning for each specific event.
Surveying Your Attendees After An Event
Eventbrite suggests that by doing this, you can measure the impact of the event itself. It’s important not only to campaign and advertise for your event, and to put on a heck of a show, but to follow up with the consumer as well. This complements their experience so that it’s all inclusive one.
Special Venues For Events
For four years now, Upslope, a Rocky Mountain Brewing Company, has led an annual Backcountry trip. The brewing company heads up to Grand Park, Colorado (outside of Boulder) and invites its attendees to join them. The event is set in a tap room which must be hiked up to — through the woods — and upon your arrival, a report of gorgeous views.
Tinder hosted a marketing event located in an airport hangar in Santa Monica, California. The event, as seen on Vimeo, was complete with stewardess’ dressed, airline seats to sit in complete with iPads to connect to Tinder itself, a ‘red carpet’ locale for photo ops, and performances by famous artists Jason Derulo and Zedd. Talk about a complete experience for the senses!
Volkswagen created a piano staircase in Germany — that’s right, a staircase made of piano notes that you can walk on. The Bizzabo Blog points out how this is an interesting choice for Volkswagen, since we know it to be an automobile company. So why the choice of creating a staircase in a public space? The goal, as the blog refers to, was to elicit a concept that all humans share: having fun. To elicit this emotion was a way to create an association of a positive experience (fun) with the brand itself.
Another clever concept for a venue was created by HBO, who made escape rooms at the popular music festival South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. The escape rooms promoted some of the fans’ favorite shows (such as well-known Game of Thrones), where fans had to follow clues in order to ‘escape’ from the room; just as the ever-so-popular escape rooms themselves.
An airport hangar, maybe even an airplane in flight, an outdoor escape, a sporting event, or public place (such as local transit) can all be unique locations for experiential events. Using your creativity, an intention that matches what the brand intends to bring to its customers, and the suggestions above, you can create a successful experiential marketing event for your brand!