Experiential Events, and Why Your Brand Should be Doing Them
Experiential marketing is a marketing strategy that allows customers to have tangible and memorable experiences. This is extremely powerful as it creates a bond and forms a relationship between an individual and a brand. Consumers increasingly seek experiences over products. So, brands that can facilitate outstanding customer experiences will immediately outshine their competitors. Experiential events are immersive consumer experiences where the consumer is so much more than a mere observer of proceedings, they are part of it. These are brand events that consumers will never forget.
Event technology is a fast-growing marketplace with increasing technological developments that make bringing experiential events to the masses easier than ever before. And there are many key reasons why brands should choose to do so. Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of experiential events:
Why Are Experiential Events Important?
Experiential events are critical because social media is more important and influential than ever before. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals and 81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts. Creating a successful experiential event will give your brand a way to access free grassroots marketing while engaging consumers at the same time. Every photo or video shared, every view and every like is not only free marketing, but they also pose powerful and valuable recommendations that will strongly impact purchasing decisions.
Using Experiential Events to Boost Your Branding
There are many benefits of using experiential events to boost your branding and your brand identity. Some of the most significant of these are:
- Increased Social Media Presence. There are 57.6 million active social media users in the UK. That figure translates to an 84.3% national social media penetration rate. If your brand isn’t active on social media, then you are missing a huge proportion of your potential audience. Experiences are powerful and are amongst the most shared videos on social media. Video is a rapidly growing medium, with forecasts suggesting that video traffic will make up 82% of IP traffic (web traffic) by the end of 2022. Therefore, the more video shares your brand can receive, the bigger the boost your branding will receive. Holding experiential events is a great way to get these video shares and the increased social media presence you seek.
- Personalised Customer Engagement. Experiential events provide unique opportunities for personalised customer engagement. Consumers want to feel that they really matter to your brand and being treated as an individual person (rather than another sales figure) is very important. Immersing your customers in an exciting, and very human experience is a great way to cement the value that your brand places on them.
- Increased Emotional Connection to Products. It isn’t enough anymore for customers to simply know what your product does or if it’s effective. Many products are effective, but for an individual to choose your branding over a competitor often depends on how the product makes them feel. It depends on their emotional response to it. Experiential events are an excellent opportunity to increase this emotional connection by creating a strong and positive emotional response to a brand.
Examples of Experiential Events
It is likely that, at some point, you have personally related to a brand via an experiential event. Some key global examples of successful experiential events include:
- Ikea’s Big Sleepover. Prompted by a Facebook group with over 100,000 users that expressed a desire to spend the night in an Ikea store, Ikea’s Big Sleepover event gave 100 people from the group the opportunity to have a sleepover in their Essex store. These invited guests were offered pampering services and advice from a host of sleep experts. By reaching out to an existing group of fans, sharing key information that had the potential to go viral, and tapping into their existing homely and friendly appeal, this was an incredibly successful experiential event for Ikea.
- The M&M Flavour Rooms. M&M knew that consumers would discuss their favourite candy flavours, and wanted to create an experiential event that would capitalise on this conversion. Enter the M&M flavour rooms. Created in New York, this was an event experience that allowed fans to enter a space that would fully immerse them in their favourite M&M flavour. The experience also included snack and drink lounges with M&M-themed cocktails. Each room was highly stylised with décor, lighting, and even fragrance to represent the chosen candy. This meant the event was easy to photograph, and quickly gained huge momentum on social media, turning the real-life event into a viral sensation.
- The Budweiser Beer Garage. Our final example is the Budweiser Beer Garage which was created for the 2016 SXSW Festival. This was a fully immersive marketing campaign, and its primary function was to encourage people to have fun whilst celebrating all things Bud. It worked. Consumers left not only with a better understanding of how the product was brewed but also a newfound appreciation for it.
The fact is that experiential events get results. If you can get people to attend your experiential events, and you set the right tone of fun and information sharing with these events, then you can almost guarantee that they will become engaged with your brand, and have a positive perception of it. A survey by EventTrack shows that 74% of people had a more positive brand perception after they attended an experiential event, and 65% purchased the product or service that was being promoted at the event. This is a huge rate of return and one that you are unlikely to achieve from any other marketing technique.
Check out what we do, if you’d like to find out how we can help you to bring experiential event technology to your clients, using our technology for audio visual (av) and lighting, or if our skilled crews can help. With state-of-the-art custom-built technical installations for all types of events, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional customer experiences. If you have any questions please get in touch below.