How to Facilitate Brand Engagement at Live Events
In the face of the rise of the digital age, live events continue to be incredibly important in many businesses’ marketing strategies, and rightly so.
Countless studies have shown that people retain more information – no matter the setting – when multiple senses are engaged. By engaging the senses, live experiences at live events get attendees to feel something about a brand impulsively, without being told what to think.
In fact studies have shown that 50% more learning takes place when people are involved in discussion and 70 – 90 % more information is retained when it’s informed by physical interaction. So it seems that marketing through live events, where you target audience is invited to engage in real experiences, is a no brainer.
Live events do continue to be an important part of the marketing mix. In the Content Marketing Institute’s (CIMs) latest report (2016), 74% of marketers use in-person events to reach their target audience as part of their content marketing strategy and 69% said that in-person events are the most effective means of content marketing. Putting live events on a par with blogs and seen as more effective than social media content, videos and e-news.
Why live events?
The same report lists the top 5 challenges of content marketers in the UK, which includes producing engaging content and then measuring that content’s effectiveness.
Live events provide a fantastic platform for overcoming both of these challenges. Producing engaging content is easy when you have the option to physically engage with your audience – virtual reality, interactive social media applications, custom apps and interactive entertainment are all great ways to do this.
You’ll be on site to generate content from your live event – photos, videos, interviews with attendees and, of course, your attendees will have their own hand in creating content as they share their experience on social media. So your message reach goes far beyond those in physical attendance.
In terms of measuring your content’s effectiveness that’s where smart data capture comes in and there are a whole host of lead-retrieval apps and attendee check-ins that incorporate NFC functionality and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) which will allow you to capture data about how your attendees interact with your event and move about your venue. Boomset are your go to if you need help with this.
Integrating physical and digital
We’ve mentioned virtual reality, interactive social media applications, custom apps and interactive entertainment being used to engage with audiences at live events and create content – they all have one thing in common; they integrate the physical and digital worlds.
Using the digital made physical at events is key and provides a format that offers multi-channel storytelling, combining both elements that are familiar as a part of attendees everyday lives (tech formats) with something that’s more unfamiliar and exciting (content).
Digital technologies also offer plenty of opportunity for personalised experiences.
3 easy ways to create a connection
Here are some specific examples and ideas for how you can create a connection between your brand and attendees at a live event:
Make your brand message feel relevant
You can easily make your brand message feel more relevant to your target audience by presenting it in a familiar way. Giant iTabs and tablets have been used successfully at events to engage with attendees. Using the same iconic design and gesture controls that users are used to, these screens can be used to showcase your latest software, virtual product, and even invite attendees to participate in some form of virtual collaboration.
Social media walls are another highly effective way of making your brand seem relevant to your event attendees. We witnessed their effectiveness first hand at an award sceremony that we attended last year, where we saw attendees competing to have their tweets at the top of the feed.
By evoking emotions in your attendees, you make your brand seem real and more personal, thus forging a real lasting connection.
Immersive storytelling is one of the easiest and most effective ways to forge this lasting relationship between your brand and your event attendees, and it can be done in a number of ways with the help of virtual reality technology and holograms.
You can invite attendees to interact with a new virtual environment that takes them on a particular journey associated with your brand, product, or service. Whether it’s the story of your brand development or the story of how your new product or service will improve your attendees lives, immersive story telling has the ability to make what you’re offering seem more real and applicable to attendees. We recently supplied entertainment for the press launch of FOX TV's new show Legion which helped to complete the event's immersive story and make attendees feel like they were actually in the TV show.
International brands are successfully doing this on a regular basis. For example, Marie Curie have just launched an immersive experience as part of their Daffodil Appeal. Thousands of illuminated handmade daffodils have been installed in London’s Paternoster Square, and members of the public can walk through them whilst listening to recordings of voices telling their individual stores about dealing with terminal illness. This incredible installation is telling a story in an immersive way whilst also appeal to emotions and is having a fantastic response.
— Marie Curie (@mariecurieuk) March 1, 2017
Engage the senses
Marie Curie’s interactive installation also appeals to and engages the senses; light brings an exciting visual element, whilst pathways enable visitors to touch and feel the handmade flowers, and the audio invites visitors to listen.
We know that people retain more information when they are given the information in a physically interactive format. So having an interactive experience at your event that incorporates your brand and message whilst appeal to attendees’ sense will be a huge success. This will not only help your attendees retain information about your brand, but create a sense memory that could be trigger at a later stage.
There are so many different ways to engage your attendees’ senses. Setting up an up an Edible Fragrance Factory engages both taste, touch and smell all in one go. Create a sent and taste relevant to your brand and you’ve got a fantastic memorable experience – the scents are also presented in beautiful photo-worthy bottles. A fantastic alternative is an ‘Aroma DJ’ – combining music and an aroma of your choice, Aroma DJ’s create a unique sensory experience alongside your brand showcase. We recently provided one of our clients with an immersive perfume workshop for their brand event, which you can read about here.
Incorporating sensory experiences like these into an event where your attendees can physically experience and interact with products, services and the core fundamentals of your brand will make event success.
Where to start?
We hope we’ve inspired you to use live events as part of your marketing mix if you don’t already! Hugely beneficial, there are so many way that live events can be used to successfully engage with your target audience.
Our entertainment coordinators have years of experience creating unique interactive experiences and concepts for events where it’s imperative to promote a brand or service effectively and successfully. All you have to do is get in touch and we’ll work with you to create something truly inspirational and memorable for your next product launch or product showcase, brand reveal or brand milestone, PR stunt or advertising campaign.