Events are one of the most powerful marketing tools because they focus on a deliberately designed experience. And experience is in demand. According to a survey by Eventbrite, 77% of millennials say that some of their best memories come from an event or live experience they attended. In addition, they spend much more money on experiences than on products.

Maya Angelou said that people will forget what they said and did, but never forget how they made them feel. This is great news for event marketers and planners who can plan experiential events – events aimed at evoking positive emotions in visitors and being in harmony with their values. Because what makes an incredible event is not the stage and the logistics, but the atmosphere and the positive emotional situation of those present.
Every event can be experienced: conferences, meetings, exhibitions, trade fairs and corporate events. At the heart of experiential events is the intention to involve the participants in a meaningful, action-oriented way. It is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. If done correctly, they increase ROI and strengthen the reputation of a brand.

What is experiential marketing?

As the name suggests, experiential marketing focuses on creating an impactful experience that influences consumer behavior by appealing to their emotions. That’s why it’s also called engagement marketing. And because the designed experience is usually part of a larger event, some consider event marketing as a special kind of experience marketing.
In a sense, all events are experiential. Whether event planners design them on purpose or not, visitors will have had an experience at an event. The task of an experience marketer is to make this experience unforgettable and pleasant, so that the customer can build an emotional connection with the product or brand. In turn, such experiences increase event ROI and help marketers achieve their goals.

The advantages of experience-oriented event marketing

  • The advantages of experience-oriented event marketing are very similar to the advantages of event marketing itself. For this reason, experience marketing should be the guiding light in your entire event marketing strategy:
  • Increase brand awareness and loyalty. Brand activations and product launches can focus on your end-user actions. Give them the opportunity to try out your product or interact with it in a tangible way. By engaging your audience in your marketing efforts, your brand will interact with them much more effectively.
  • Increase your presence on social media. Experience events can be a gold mine for user-generated content. Create a memorable hashtag and give your audience the opportunity to participate in an activity that they want to share on their profiles (for example, social media wall).
  • Highlight your sponsors in an organic way. Co-marketing has even more influence when it comes to an experience. Think about how you can team up with your sponsors and let participants interact with your products at the same time. Research shows that if your customers have a positive experience interacting with brands, they are more likely to buy your products or services in the future.
  • Improve your lead generation skills. Turn your lead generation efforts into a fun experience. Make it a game. Encourage customers to provide their contact details with a giveaway, raffle, etc.
  • Increase visitor retention. Visitors will be much more engaged with your event and have a better time if you follow an experience-oriented marketing strategy. Satisfied customers mean returning customers. Make sure that you measure visitor engagement to prove the ROI of experience-oriented event marketing.

The best experience events encourage participants to have fun and actively participate in challenges, raffles and games. This is a powerful lead generation tool at trade shows and fairs.
It is also a good idea to bring a healthy dose of creativity and imagination to the event. If there is an event theme, gamification offers a great way to double it.
For example, during the tax season, Stella Artois set up a giveaway and added a taste of experiential marketing, aptly referring to the participants as “account holders” and the prize as an “investment tool”, and not just a tandem bike. Their posts were teeming with financial references that served to increase public engagement and increase their loyalty to the brand.

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