Loading up your inbox in the first week of January, you'll have seen some 1,137 white papers on 'experiential marketing' as the thing to watch in 2018. In response, do you either sit back, relax and watch the work fly in — or sit up and think about the science of creating impactful experiences?
At its core, the live event experience is about directly engaging an individual and delivering something emotionally touching. The more time you commit to making unique physical experiences for each guest, the better the results. Live experiences that truly connect with the audience will be shared organically, while the right influencers can amplify brand exposure. Here are four rules to remember about live event planning, with examples to match.
Integrate the live and digital experience
A recent event by Adidas saw the brand create individual pages for guests on their WeChat Mini Program. Audiences could make their own avatar, access instant live voting and participate in every interaction on-site. Everything they did at the event was recorded and curated for each attendee, with a final sharable social image that was unique to each guest.
Bring large events down to size
At the opening of Volkswagen’s Future Centre in Beijing, guests could use their mobile phones to engage with a 3D city display brought to life through an AR app. Guests blew into 'wind-o-meters' on their phones to inflate the city digitally on their screens – so each audience member was empowered to personally engage with and curate event content.
Create hands-on personal experiences
With digital, the power of a tangible experience is amplified. Airbnb’s latest event in Shanghai offered individual handicraft and cocktail classes where guests could get their hands dirty creating personalised gifts.
Augment digital in real life
Victoria’s Secret has taken their pop-up bra-fitting stations to malls in cities all over China, letting customers get measured so they know their exact size when shopping online. No money changes hands on-site, but it’s the ultimate personal experience that can’t be replicated in the digital world.
Experiential marketing has come full circle: From live to digital and now back to live. Immersive brand experiences that are highly personalised will be a key part of the marketing mix in 2018.
|Eugene Ng is creative director for Jack Morton Worldwide in Shanghai|