One of the greatest challenges with hosting events is the ability to keep your audience engaged during a general session or a long day of meetings. So what can you do to keep them interested? How can you make your event stand out from the rest? One of the best ways and newest trends to keep your audience engaged is through experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, is a strategy that directly engages the customer with a brand, by introducing new ways to engage the brand and maximize exposure, all while creating memorable experiences for the customer. An online article posted by Commpro gives a few great examples of how a brand can promote engagement with interactive elements. Finding new and exciting ways to get customers out of their seats and engaging with products creates lasting impressions.
Consider having a photo booth at your next event. In this day and age, who doesn’t love a good selfie? Throw in some event branding signage, product samples, or other fun props, and your attendees will have a field day! Companies can also take advantage of social media to promote their events and brands by using custom hashtags or snapchat filters for their events. Not only does this make the event more fun for attendees, but it also supports your social media campaigns! Upload the photos to your website and social media accounts. This will help market your brand even further by exposing it across multiple platforms, and provides an opportunity for those who were not able to attend the event, a chance to feel like they are a part the program. You can also have these photos playing on a video monitor or screen during a cocktail hour or reception at the event so people can enjoy the photos as they are being taken.
There is a great importance of giving your customers and audiences the opportunity to “feel the elements” of your brand, and opening up a two-way conversation with your audience. I recently read an article on Forbes, where companies were giving away brand-related prizes and doing demos of new products during meetings and conference events. Some cool ways of engaging the audience are to do random call-out of a seat number in the audience or use raffle tickets to give out new products that haven’t been released yet. Have your winning customer try the product, but more importantly, give them an opportunity to give their feedback! People want to be involved, and by giving them an opportunity to try out a product, they feel like they are a part of the unveiling process.
Don’t forget about contests and games too! These are all great ways to develop more meaningful relationships with consumers. If you have just finished giving a long presentation to your attendees, challenge them to prove their knowledge at different game activation stations, where they can answer questions about what they’ve learned in exchange for prizes.