Posts

IS YOUR TRADE SHOW STRATEGY WORKING?

A great article by Skyline. Check out some new Trade show tips.

IS YOUR TRADE SHOW STRATEGY WORKING?

Let’s tackle this two ways. First, discuss the 2 least-effective “strategies” that are the default strategy for too many exhibitors, and second, what strategies work best for the most common trade show sales and marketing goals.

tradeshow strategy events exhibiting

FAULTY DEFAULT TRADE SHOW STRATEGY #1: KEEP DOING THE SAME THING FOR YEARS

Some trade show exhibitors (hopefully not you!) are stuck in a rut. They go to the same shows, they bring the same booth staffers, they offer the same promotions, they have the same booth design, no matter what show they go to. This is the strategy driven by inertia.

There is no measurement of past shows or research of potential new shows to alter their show schedule. No measurement of qualified lead counts from booth staffers to identify keepers and staffers to stop bringing to shows. No changing of booth graphic messages to adapt to different industry shows. No testing of anything to find a better way.

FAULTY DEFAULT TRADE SHOW STRATEGY #2: LOGISTICS OVER MARKETING

Whoever manages your trade shows must handle hundreds of minute details about shipping, hotels, plane tickets, vendors, executives, timing, and more. It’s a lot to keep track of, and without it, the show doesn’t go on. So, all that must-do activity crowds out the optional, but actually essential, marketing activity.

What gets put on the back burner, and then often not done, is training the booth staff on how to take more leads and then qualify them in the booth, creating a marketing campaign with promotions that get more attendees into the booth, better lead management to ensure better follow up, and more measurement to then decide what is generating sales and marketing results and what needs to be improved.

MOST COMMON TRADE SHOW GOALS: GENERATE LEADS, INCREASING AWARENESS, STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS

Do you already have a primary business goal that you are trying to achieve by your trade show activity? It helps to hit a target if you know what you are aiming for. It may be that your trade show goal has also been stuck in a rut, and it’s time to reevaluate why you are exhibiting at trade shows today, as your company – and its place in the marketplace – may have changed substantially.

The most common goals are generating leads, increasing awareness (of your company, of a new product, in a new industry), and strengthening relationships (with key clients, dealers, business partners). To achieve your primary strategy involves excelling at several trade show tactics, and adapting them to your specific needs.

WAYS TO GENERATE MORE TRADE SHOW LEADS

To get more leads, you need more booth traffic, and then have your booth visitors want to continue the conversation after the show. To get more booth traffic, you need to be at shows where your buyers walk, an attractive exhibit, desirable promotions, and most of all, more and better staffers to get people out of the aisle and into a fruitful dialog. So, do you know what shows have a higher number and percentage of attendees that match your buyer profile? Do you know what kinds of promotions appeals to their demographic? Does you exhibit have enough visual impact to stop attendees? Have you trained your booth staffers how to convince attendees your company offers a viable solution to their problems? These tactics will boost your lead counts.

WAYS TO INCREASE AWARENESS AT TRADE SHOWS

While the tactics you use to generate more trade show leads will also help increase awareness, your focus alters some if your main goal is to increase awareness. Increase your company visibility with an entertainer or activity in your booth that creates a buzz. Or use a promotion that will get talked about, or a giveaway that everyone will see, like a bag or a sponsorship. Run ads, send email and direct mail, and interact on social media promoting your at-show presence. Try to get your top management or subject matter experts placed as speakers at the show. If you are launching a new product and want to increase awareness of that, then enter any contests or special show floor areas or public relations opportunities the show offers around new products. These activities may also bring you leads, but they will boost awareness even more.

WAYS TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS AT TRADE SHOWS

When your goal is to strengthen relationships via trade shows, you are almost always deciding to focus on a smaller audience than when your goals are awareness and leads. That means a shift in scale. Your exhibit may be designed more like a lounge or an office, with spaces for comfortable meetings to honor your key contacts. You may even have a double-deck exhibit with a conference room on top. Your promotions will be fewer, but more expensive, and your booth staffers must be top-notch, either part of executive management, or the best people-persons you have. When your goal is relationship-building, your show plan extends beyond the booth, to include meals (dinners, breakfasts) outside exhibit hours, and even special events (a fun activity in the show city, a night on the town) with the most important people you want to bond with. And your promotions will be more personalized, with account managers contacting their clients, or channel managers inviting their partners.

For business-to-business marketers, trade shows are perhaps the best medium to achieve your business goals. I hope you now have better ideas on how to focus your trade show strategy so that it aligns to reach those goals, to ensure your trade show strategy is working.

Event and Experiential Activity Marketing Trends

We love the blog by Skyline. Here is an article by them about event and experiential marketing trends.

EVENT & EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING TRENDS

By: Kayla Goeman, Marketing Associate, Skyline Exhibits

I took a look at one of the world’s most comprehensive annual research studies on event & experiential marketing to breakdown industry trends for you. You can use this data to help justify your trade show or event budget and presence to leadership.

Here is what I found.

KEEPING THE GOAL IN MIND

As with most marketing projects, the end goal has to be kept in mind when making tactical decisions.

What is the goal or strategy for events and experiential marketing in 2016? Unsurprisingly, the top two goals for investing in events or experiential activity marketing are to increase brand awareness and drive sales. You can also expect to see significantly more events and experiences hosted by companies in 2016 than in the past, with a whopping 79% of respondents planning to execute more event and experiential activities this year.

MEASUREMENT

Interestingly, the criteria for measurement has changed in the past two years, with total attendance or participation as the highest form of measurement, followed by Facebook likes or social media activity, followed third by leads. The second and third place measurement of social media activity and leads is intriguing due to the complexity of tracking ROI these metrics give. In a perfect world, a lead gathered includes detailed information about a prospect that includes a timeframe for purchase. These types of details are harder to flesh out when someone is retweeting a post or sharing an exciting Facebook status from your company.

A lead will often automatically be entered into your company’s marketing automation or CRM platform, whereas tracking someone through social media into your CRM system can take multiple steps. What you measure should be dictated by your end goal for hosting an event or trade show. If brand awareness is the end goal, social media buzz will be a relatively easy measure to track and give you the most reach, whereas if driving sales is a key goal, detailed lead information will set your company on track.

BUDGETING

So, we know we will be seeing more events and more experiential activity marketing taking place over our year. With more events to host, and theoretically more competition for attendance and “buzz” at these events, a sizable budget to help companies stand out has become important to respondents- as budgets are expected to increase over 6%. The 2015 average growth rate of budgets is nearly three times the level of recent U.S. GDP growth.

THE VALUE OF EVENTS

The goal is to increase brand awareness and generate sales, which will be done by measuring the total attendance, social media presence, and number of leads with an increased company budget. But why? Why are events worthwhile?

We live in a consumer-driven world, where the customer is expecting much more from a company than ever before. Why is the investment of an event worthwhile? The consumer values events. A significant 98% of survey respondents said that participating at the event or experience made them more inclined to purchase.

Is there anything else your marketing department is doing right now that leads to a 98% more inclination to buy? If not, it’s valuable to consider hosting an event. It may even be a good idea to host an event for your best clients if you are exhibiting at a trade show.

If you are attempting to justify an investment in an event or trade show to your boss, know that these consumer and event trends are increasing, and shows the pulse of what’s to come.

Brand activation and its role in driving consumer engagement and awareness

A great article by econsutancy about brand activation and its role with consumer engagement.

Many popular brands are using activations to build popularity and give the consumer an experience that will make them feel a real personal connection to the company.

What is brand activation?

Have you ever noticed when you go to buy a popular brand’s product, do you ever stop to ask yourself, how did they become so trustworthy and admired?

When a product is first manufactured it is virtually unknown to the general public.

Take Volvo as an example. when the company tried to enter into the US car market in 1962, Americans knew very little about this Swedish car maker.

Through the uses of consumer engagement marketing channels, such as memorable ad campaigns, experiential events, viral growth, and consumer participation strategies, Volvo managed to gain the acceptance of the American consumer as being a tough and reliable automobile.

Sales tripled within five years with the campaign “drive it like you hate it” being a huge success.

The process of making a brand well known and loved by consumers is called brand activation.

Consumer brand activations are a very crucial part of building a positive perception of a brand

This can be done through product samplings, in-store retail marketing, sponsorships, and experiential events.

This also encompasses the brand figuring out a few core features that will distinguish them amongst their competition in crowded marketplaces. They have to find brand positioning that will uncover assets that will highlight long term benefits to the company.

Brands must find a way to reach potential customers that can shift perceptions and create a real emotional engagement. These marketing events must bring up positive feeling in the minds about them in order for them to become loyal customers and purchase their products.

Key principles

  • To inspire demand for a particular brand, they must tap into the consumers’ passions using creative strategies and ideas.
  • Timing plays an important role in connecting consumers at the right time, and the right place so that the consumer becomes a motivated user and fan of the brand.
  • Using activation strategies, such as in person experience events, this can lead to the consumer starting to believe in the brand and what it stands for, which is a closer step in the path to purchase.

Brand activation case study

Here is an example of how brand activation can work. Pirelli Tires relies heavily on a strategy built on key partnerships with Formula One grand prix events, in order to promote its tires as being high performance.

There is a huge value with being a part of this world class racing event, as is the value of the premier performance and technology of the tires.

Having the name and logo as a part of the F1 racing circuit emotionally engages the consumer and all fans of racing, since the events are associated with high performance vehicles and expert driving.

Pirelli-tires-formula-1-brand-activation

Strategies for implementing a consumer brand activation campaign:

Experiential events:

Live experiential marketing events are being used by global brands to help position the brand into the consumers’ minds by attracting and emotionally engaging them in personal experience.

These events give people a chance to try a product, ask questions about it and participate in some way that makes them feel apart of the brand.

This can be achieved by blending physical and digital experiences together, so that the participants are encouraged to play apps and games, have their photos taken or ride on virtual reality car and bike simulators.

The purpose is to reach people on multiple levels (emotional, rational, psychological) so that they walk away from event remembering what is was like to touch, taste, and feel the product rather than just reading about it.

Promotional marketing:  

Promotional marketing involves raising awareness of your brand and its products in order to generate more sales and gain a loyal customer base.

The targeting of promotional marketing can take many forms, it can be targeted at businesses, to retail and wholesale companies or it can targeted at the end consumer.  Consumer promotions can be executed by using reward loyalty programs, giveaways, special offers, product samplings as well as point of sale displays.

Business promotions can used in workshops, event sponsorships, trade show booths and direct mail campaigns.  Wholesale trade promotions may consist of using incentives, or providing entertainment value or other methods like bonuses to reward resllers.

In store retail marketing

Ray-Ban-never-hide-consumer-activation

In store retail marketing activations can help a customer choose one brand over another inside a department store. It helps to enhance the image of a product or brand and as well as feature the benefits it offers or introduce the lifestyle associated with purchasing the product.

There are different types of retail marketing, a brand can be activated using point of purchase displays, attractive design or hosting, retail product launch experiences that allow consumers to experience and try a particular product.

For example, Ray-Ban launched a retail consumer activation tour called ‘Never Hide’ inside a number of high department stores, which engaged consumers by allowing them to try on the new polarized sunglasses and encouraged them have their photos taken inside a branded Ray-Ban photo booth.

Other engagement activities involved participants playing the Guitar hero simulator while wearing the shades.

Metrics for brand activation campaigns

When you want to create a brand activation campaign, the underlying objective should be to develop a face to face two way conversation with your customers.

Consumer brand activations help to bring life into a company and can build a very loyal fan base. The caveat is you need to create engaging and memorable experiences that strike real emotions with your consumer.

Here is a list of some of the measurement factors to keep in mind.

  • Consumer reach. How many targeted consumers would this campaign activation touch and reach?  Is it a national scale, worldwide tour, city wide or hyper local?
  • Brand relevance. Is this activation strategy and campaign relevant to the brand’s message and core values?
  • Return on investment. Can you measure the benefits vs the cost? Activation awareness campaigns should not always be measured in financial terms and sales. Were you able to capture consumer data, such as emails, social media followers and other future marketing leads and opportunities?
  • Long term potential. Do these activations campaigns give the brand any potential to gain sizeable long term benefits?
  • Integration capabilities. Will this brand activation campaign compliment and have the ability to integrate with other types of marketing channels within the company?
  • Uniqueness. Does your brand have a unique value or selling proposition that get consumers attention and make them want to talk about it?
  • Amplification. Is it possible if needed to be able to make changes in order to increase the amplification of the overall activation campaign?

Advantages of consumer brand activations

Here are a few of the benefits of consumer activations:

  • Brand activation events, the consumer can give you feedback on what to change or improve as they are interacting with you.
  • It can bring life into an aging brand and even reach younger Millennials audiences.
  • It can help to reinforce the brand’s positioning in the minds of the consumer.
  • Helps to cut through the traditional advertising clutter (TV Commercials, Print, Web Ads)
  • It makes your brand more prominent.

Conclusion

Do not underestimate the influence of experiential brand activations can play shaping the future and now relevance of a brand.

  1. Brand activations are not meant to be measured in terms of sales made. Instead, they should be viewed as a way to generate awareness and visibility for a company through cultivating real life engagement experiences with the target consumer.

Reaching The Unreachable: How Experiential Marketing Targets Brand-Savvy Millennials

This is a great article by Forbes. It tells us how millennials are targeted with experiential marketing pointing out that in addition to loving the experience of experiential marketing they also crave the authenticity of brands and handing out free swag is a sure fire way to get your brand noticed through following different social platforms on and sharing photos on social media with hashtags.

Reaching The Unreachable: How Experiential Marketing Targets Brand-Savvy Millennials

By Joey Kercher

Marketers are having a difficult time reaching millennials because tech-savvy and brand-savvy millennials tune out most forms of traditional marketing. They use ad blockers when using search engines, stream their entertainment while simultaneously blocking commercials, communicate and share news via social media, and ignore even the most brightly colored highway billboards or snail mail postcards. eMarketer reports that millennials choose to ignore ads, making it more difficult to catch their attention. Millennials know how to use technology to find products and services that meet their needs, but perhaps more importantly, millennials are brand savvy.

So how can experiential marketing target these brand-savvy millennials?

1. Millennials Love Experiences

It’s a sweeping generalization, but millennials are well known for their love of experiences. They eagerly attend festivals, concerts, trade shows, exhibits and sporting events and explore local nightlife and popular attractions. They want to experience the latest thing and are always looking for the next new and exciting thing. In fact, a study from the Harris Group reported that 72% of millennials would rather choose an experience over a material item.

When you take your product or service and highlight it at one of these events, you are sharing your brand with millennials in a context that they enjoy. You are integrating your brand into the millennials’ environment, ensuring that your brand will be on their radar. For brands to integrate themselves into the millennial environment, they need to seek out spaces millennials frequent such as malls, festivals, concerts, sporting events and college campuses (your exact target space will depend on your target demographic).

2. Millennials Crave Authenticity

It may seem counterintuitive to say that millennials crave authenticity when they spend hours each day on social media glamorizing their own lives and altering their personas. However, millennials are interested and attracted to other people and brands that are honest, transparent and authentic. You appear as an authentic brand when you connect person-to-person with millennials. You show them through personalized conversations with another human being what your brand stands for and how your products or services can help them. A Cohn & Wolfe study reported that 87% of all global consumers believed it was necessary for brands to “(act) with integrity at all times.” In fact, consumers went so far as to say that “authenticity” was more important to them than things such as “product uniqueness,” “product utility” and “popularity.” This is a distinct change compared to prior data and is theorized to be the result of millennials, as their “vote” in these studies push the results towards the need for authenticity from brands.

A great example of authenticity in an experiential marketing campaign is to develop a campaign designed to educate and share a product with your consumers rather than get something from them such as an email sign-up. Our agency has worked with Adidas on several campaigns where the goal was to share the latest sneakers with consumers by authentically having conversations about the new design aesthetic and performance changes. The goal was not to push the sneakers through sales but rather develop interest in them by authentically conveying why they were different to consumers. The goal was simply to have a conversation with consumers about the brand.

3. Hand Out Free Swag

Millennials are happy to share their feelings about brands on social media and branded events are no exception. In fact, Splash found (and shared in Adweek) that 81% of millennials shared photos on social media at a branded event, 71% used the event’s hashtag, 67% followed the brand on social and 56% signed up for an email list. All of this interaction took place at a branded event where millennials received products such as bottles, t-shirts, hats, glasses, totes or pens. Although branded swag isn’t required for millennials to talk about their branded event experience on social, it does help when it comes to images. Give millennials something to wear and share and they will.

The best way to encourage millennials to talk about their branded swag is to ensure that you give them a reason to show it off. This can be accomplished through a contest at the end of the day that requires a photo to be taken with the product or while wearing the branded swag. Sometimes it can be as simple as having a really unique and cool branded item that millennials are bound to use and want to show off immediately. In this way, branded swag can masquerade as a free product.

Millennials are not unreachable when you take the time to develop an authentic campaign aimed at connecting instead of selling and building brand awareness.

 

Vodka Absolut Mule Mug Event

This was a great event we did with Absolut Vodka. We personalized mule mugs on-site! The event was a great success with all the men who attended.

                                         

                     

                   t

The Psychology of Personalization: Why We Crave Customized Experiences

In fact, to watch their favorite TV shows, people had to “tune in” at specific times. Presumably, the TV industry was creating content for us. Yet if we ever wanted to watch it, we had to do so on their schedules.

It was truly a dark time.

OK, so my Medieval history might be a little off. But my underlying point here is that people prefer — and often crave — personalized experiences. And by “personalized experience,” I mean an interaction or engagement with a piece of software, a piece of content, or a person (duh) that leaves you feeling like your interests and preferences were actually being taken into account.

Personalization is like someone giving you a fitted baseball cap with your favorite team’s logo on the front and your initials stitched in on the side.

In contrast, non-personalization is like someone giving you a one-size-fits-all baseball cap with some team you hate’s logo on the front. No initials. No consideration for your preferences whatsoever. It’s like the person who gave it to you bought a 48-pack of baseball caps on Amazon and you were just one of the many “lucky” recipients.

Fortunately, modern (non-Dark Age) technology allows us to take advantage of personalization like never before. For example, as marketers, we’re now able personalize our home pages, landing pages, forms, calls-to-action (CTAs), and emails so the content and messaging we display is always tailored to the person engaging with it.

Why Do We Prefer Personalized Experiences?

According to a study from the University of Texas, we can attribute our preference for personalized experiences to two key factors: desire for control and information overload. Let’s tackle “desire for control” first.

So, we know that a personalized experience — by its very nature — is in some way different from the status quo. You’re not just getting what everyone else is getting with personalization. Instead, you’re getting something tailored to you. And because of that, it makes you feel more in control.

Truth be told, you aren’t actually making a choice when, for example, you view personalized content on a site page. But when you know you’re getting something that’s tailored to your interests, you still perceive having some level of control over what you’re engaging with.

Even if this sense of control is an illusion, it’s still powerful, and can have a positive effect on your psyche. According to Psychology Today, people who feel an internal sense of control — i.e. they believe that they are in control of their life outcomes, as opposed believing external forces are responsible — tend to be healthier physiologically and more successful.

Now, let’s turn to the second factor mentioned in the University of Texas study: information overload.

According to the study, another reason we prefer personalized experiences is because they help reduce information overload. Or, more precisely, personalization can help reduce our perception of information overload.

For example, when you know that the content being displayed on a website is tailored to you, it provides a more manageable framework for engagement. With personalization, you aren’t presented with thousands of resources to sort through and consume. Instead, you are — ideally — presented with exactly the information you were looking for. Hence, you never feel “overloaded” with information.

Relevance to the Rescue

Of course, the notion that personalization can satisfy our collective desire for control, as well as our desire to reduce information overload, only applies when we know that personalization is actually happening.

Think about it: If there are no overt signals of personalization (like seeing your first name in the greeting of an email), how can you even tell that something has been personalized?

In those cases — when someone isn’t aware that they’re engaging with personalized content — feelings of control and reduced information overload don’t come into play. And yet, research (including this study) confirms that people prefer personalization, even if they aren’t aware they’re experiencing it.

So why, psychology speaking, do we still like personalized content better in these cases? Simple: It’s more relevant. And, as human beings, we are naturally more inclined to engage with information that we find relevant and interesting.

Not satisfied with that answer? Me neither. Let’s dive a little deeper.

You see, it all has to do with your brain’s reticular activating system, or RAS (which, FYI, is number 7 on my list of “Top 10 Favorite Activating Systems”). Moving on …

Your RAS is the gateway that information passes through in order to reach your brain, and it filters that information so you know what you should pay attention to. Ever hear of “selective attention” or “selective hearing”? This ability to focus on one bit of information, while simultaneously ignoring other information, is controlled by your RAS.

As Dr. Rachna Jain once noted in a Social Media Examiner article about psychological influence, “Most commonly, the RAS is associated with the concept of selective attention, which means that we naturally orient to information or ideas that we are invested in.”

reticular_activating_system

One of the most common examples of your RAS in action is known as the “cocktail party effect.” Here’s how it works:

If you’re at a party with dozens of people chatting around you, you’ll likely find that you can easily ignore or tune out of those conversations. They’re just background noise. But, as soon as someone says something that is of particular interest to you, you will magically tune into that specific conversation. The important information will, thanks to your RAS, rise above the noise.

Want to know one of — if not the — biggest “cocktail party effect” triggers around? We’ll explore that next.

The Sweetest Sound

“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

– Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Carnegie’s point here was that remembering a person’s name — and using it whenever appropriate — is key to winning that person over to your way of thinking. He was so keen on this notion, in fact, that he came up with his own system for remembering names effectively.

Clearly, Carnegie understood that something special occurs when people hear their own name. And, as I alluded to in the previous section, the “cocktail party effect” also backs up this idea: Your name, as it turns out, is one of the easiest sounds for your RAS to hone in on.

While you can easily ignore that stranger in the background complaining about their job or talking about their kitchen renovations, as soon as they mention your name, your ears will inevitably perk up.

So, what exactly is going on here? My scientific answer is as follows:

Something. Something is definitely going on. And yes, there is scientific research that backs up my bold claim.

According to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Brain Research, when people hear their own first name (vs. hearing other first names), there is a unique reaction in the brain.

More specifically, hearing your own name — as opposed to other names — triggers greater brain activation, particularly in the middle frontal cortex (which is associated with social behavior), the middle and superior temporal cortex (which are associated with long-term memory and auditory processing, respectively), as well as the cuneus (which is associated with visual processing).

Based on this research, it’s clear that hearing your own name definitely causes something special to happen in your brain. But how can you use this information practically for improving your marketing?

Possibilities are endless.

5 WAYS TO MAKE SWAG GIVEAWAYS COUNT

This is a great article by PR Daily. It gives great ideas on what it takes to make a great swag bag giveaway. Notice it includes an idea to “make it personal”, which is exactly what we at Digital Events aim to achieve. What better way to make a giveaway personal than personalizing the swag!

Image result for giveaways

5 WAYS TO MAKE SWAG GIVEAWAYS COUNT.

By Allie Gray Freeland | Posted: May 29, 2015

Swag bags were a major trend in the early 2000s, but are they still relevant today? They can be, if done right.

For those of you who were born after 1990, swag bags are packets of free, promotional goodies, usually given at parties or events by sponsors.

The contents of the 2015 Oscars swag bag totaled $168,000, with celebrity horoscopes, personal training, liposuction wearables and “glamping” products. For those of us with smaller budgets, how do we provide bags for our event attendees and journalists that make the products we’re trying to promote stand out?

Here are five tips that will help your brand stand apart from the rest through swag promotions:

1. Create a digital swag bag.

In 2011, SXSW attendees raved about the digital swag bag they received. The most popular item: business cards from Moo.com.

If your product or service is not digital, don’t fear. Make products digital through giveaways. For instance, a product called the C² Insert helps turn traditional marketing into digital marketing with rewards programs, QR codes and barcodes.

“Think Starbucks, which now has its own ecosystem which starts with a plastic card. Same thing here,” says Amy Silvers, online marketing Web development coordinator at My1Stop.Com. Giving your attendees digital exclusives will drive them visit your website and landing page, and even cash in on your offer.

2. Make your swag bag newsworthy.

It’s always important to mitigate crises as a PR pro, but walk the line of controversy by including a unique item in the bag. A great example is including an item that will spark interest in a product launch.

Be mindful of being too controversial, however. A brand called Bright Stars distributed “giggle pills” at a 2014 BlogHer conference. Conference attendees were not amused. They thought the swag was insensitive and over the top.

3. Avoid junk.

Don’t waste your budget on items such as koozies, pens, tote bags and t-shirts. Offer products that are meaningful, functional and relevant. To avoid meaningless goodies, set a goal that you want the swag item or bag to achieve, and ensure everything in the bag helps achieve that goal. Giving people random goods is a wasted opportunity, according to the Event Manager Blog.

4. Keep the desk in mind.

What better way to hold the attention reporters than to offer swag for their workspace?

Connect the brand you represent with an item that can be used for work, and brand it accordingly with your logo. It could be something as unconventional as a trash can. Business card carriers, screen protectors, and mobile phone covers are all functional items that people will use.

5. Make it personal.

The key to improving your bags is to make them an integral part of the overall event strategy. Have a communication plan for the conference bag and solid reasons for its contents.

Above else, ask yourself this question: “Will people bring home the items in my swag bag?” If not, think twice. Quality control is important, even though swag is a fun aspect of your promotional plan.

 

The deeper connection: Corporate Activations and extraordinary experiences

A great article focusing on activations, events and the emotional experiences they create.

Found on The Media Online. http://themediaonline.co.za/

The deeper connection: Activations and extraordinary experiences

Done well, brand experiences such as activations, events and experiences can create emotional connections between consumers and brands, but done poorly, they can have the opposite effect.

I’m often asked by clients and peers to define the difference between brand experience, experiential marketing, and event marketing.

It’s a good question, because there are no universally accepted definitions of these terms. And like all areas of marketing communications – particularly since the advent of digital, social and mobile as mediums – there will always be a lot of overlap and blurring at the edges in these and other marketing strategies.

This creates a dilemma for marketers when choosing an agency, as many agency types lay claim to creating brand experiences.

But some types of experiences require a great deal of specific expertise to conceive and execute, and others require less.

That’s why it’s worth working to establish a common understanding of these tools, how and when they can be used effectively, and who might be best suited to engage for a given brand experience because the wrong choice can mean the difference between success and failure.

Brand experience

There are a wide range of activities that take place in the physical and digital worlds that could accurately be described as brand experiences, including experiential stunts, corporate events, employee/consumer interactions in-store or via phone, or even the use of a brand’s app or site.

That’s because each of these things offers a meaningful experience that can either increase or reduce a person’s brand affinity.

In a world of ever-expanding tactics, I find it simpler and more useful to define and describe brand experience – in all its forms – by what it delivers rather than by the shape the activity takes.

Specifically, if advertising (in all media channels) is intended to create awareness of a brand promise, successful brand experiences deliver proof of a brand’s promise or the benefits of a product or service.

Meaning, effective brand experiences are designed to create specific, valuable interactions between brands and/or products and services and the people that matter most to them.

Done well, these interactions result in deeper emotional connections and greater brand affinity. Done poorly, they can have the opposite effect.

Experiential activations

We think of experiential activations as more consumer-oriented experiences, often promotional in nature and geared toward more general audiences.

Why do marketers do experiential activations? Again, there are many reasons, but these are key:

  • To create physical and emotional engagement with a brand or product
  • To associate the product with the equity of another brand (sports or music sponsorships)
  • To gain earned media through social and press mentions
  • To create an opportunity to grow relationships with participants beyond the physical experience through digital interactions

Like events, experiential activations – often integrated with digital activations – offer prolonged, meaningful interactions with a brand that can help build brand affinity.

And, also like events and other brand experiences, the quality of the experience itself will determine the amount of engagement, earned media or brand affinity it produces.

Who to hire? It depends. Ad agencies can do this work, particularly if they have experiential producers on staff or a relationship with an experiential partner who can ensure that all contingencies are accounted for.

Events need expertise

We define events as brand experiences that are targeted towards specific audiences. These can include meetings, trade shows and conferences for participants (often invited) with common interests that determine the theme and content of the event.

There are many reasons to host such events, but these are the most common and important ones:

  • To educate the participants about a topic or product(s)
  • To provide networking opportunities for the participants and the brand
  • To align and inspire the participants behind a new strategy, initiative or product

Most events offer prolonged interaction with a brand, its people, products and/or services. As such, they are a valuable tool to build brand affinity by deepening people’s exposure to – and relationship with – the brand.

Who to hire? An agency with proven meeting and event experience. These types of experiences require a great deal of specific expertise, particularly on the production side.

Extraordinary experiences

Regardless of the agency you choose, for marketers and brands to get the most value from brand experiences, those experiences must be truly extraordinary. Meaning, they must offer something that is memorable and outside of the range of normal experience. Why? Because brands are built on physical and mental availability, and mental availability is built on memory.

As such, we often encourage our clients to offer people bold experiences – of all types – that are simple, novel and emotionally engaging. We find that those types of extraordinary experiences are much more memorable, and help deliver better return on their investments.

Logo Engraving Videos

Who doesn’t love a good video? Here at Digital Events Inc we love to show off our stuff and give our clients exactly what they want. There are so many options available from stitching or engraving your items to what colors you can choose from.

We have worked with companies like YouTube, Nickelodeon, and Target for brand activations and events to give customers a cherished personalized gift to take home.

The customer already has a loyalty to your brand coming to your event. When you put both together, your logo and the customers name, it solidifies the loyalty even more. By putting both your logo and a customers name on a giveaway gives it that much more meaning.

Everyone loves a take away free gift and it looks even better with your own name on it! Here are some videos that show laser engraving on different items.

 

 

 

In one of our next posts we will show you some other videos including custom embroidery and digital printing. Be sure to check back at our blog for more up to date information, articles and exciting new videos.