So… what’s all the hubbub about ‘experiential marketing”? And why has experiential marketing become an essential strategy for trade shows, events, workshops, and interactive conferences? Before we wander down the path of custom trade show experiences, let’s define experiential marketing. Experiential marketing directly engages consumers and encourages them to participate in a brand experience.
The goal of experiential marketing is to create a positive emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. When consumers have a positive experience with a brand, they are more likely to become loyal customers and advocates. Experiential marketing can also help brands to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales.
How important is this trend? Several years ago, the largest industry association for trade show builders, suppliers, and resellers changed its name from the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association to the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA).
Tips for Creating Experiential Marketing Campaigns
As with all marketing campaigns, creating a successful experiential marketing campaign starts with defining your goals and creating an effective strategy.
- Define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a campaign strategy.
- Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your campaign? Once you know your target audience, you can tailor your experience to their interests and needs.
- Create a memorable experience. Your experiential marketing campaign should be something that consumers will remember long after it is over. Focus on creating an experience that is unique, engaging, and emotional.
- Be consistent with your branding. Your experiential marketing campaign should be consistent with your overall brand image and messaging. This will help to create a unified brand experience for consumers.
- Measure your results. It is important to measure the results of your experiential marketing campaign to see what is working and what is not. This will help you to improve your campaigns in the future.
The 4 Benefits of Immersive Brand Experiences
When done well, experiential marketing can be highly effective. Companies or organizations can connect with their target audience and provide them with an enjoyable experience. Seeing the benefits of a product firsthand increases the likelihood that they’ll further engage with the brand or make a purchase.
1. Boost Brand Awareness
Boosting brand awareness is an ongoing challenge for any company but especially for younger, newly established ones. Elevating your brand with your target audience increases the odds that they’ll choose your product or service. Unlike traditional marketing, experiential marketing is about personal engagement with your audience using creative, educational, and often entertaining experiences. Face-to-face interactions can be critical to boosting your brand’s awareness.
2. Strengthen Customer Loyalty
Loyalty must be earned; retaining loyal customers can mean the difference between success or failure for a business. Additionally, loyal customers are far more likely to suggest a branded product or service to their friends, family, and colleagues. There’s no substitute for
word-of-mouth advertising. And no form of advertising is as impactful and cost-effective.
3. Improve Engagement
Improving engagement is at the heart of experiential marketing. A fun and engaging experience for customers is the perfect way to demonstrate all the benefits of a product or service. When done well, customers will enjoy the demonstration or event and forge a relationship with a brand all while solving a customer’s problem or need.
4. Go Viral
Viral means a brand is featured prominently on social media, and a whole pool of potential customers is exposed to the brand’s offerings. When a brand goes viral, its product or service sales can skyrocket and create healthy growth for them. Many marketing approaches today aim to create an atmosphere that potentially leads to going viral.
When people see a product or service in action, they may upload videos or photos to the internet, where they will be shared over and over by people who see and like what they have to offer. Although going viral is rarely a guarantee, experiential marketing has the potential to create viral opportunities for brands.
11 Inspiring Examples of Experiential Marketing
1. Intel “AI Experience Zones”
At CES 2020, Intel set up AI Experience Zones where attendees could learn about and experience Intel’s artificial intelligence technology. The AI Experience Zones were a popular attraction, and they helped to promote Intel’s AI technology.
Red Bull is known for its extreme sports sponsorships and events, and the Cliff Diving World Series is one of its most popular. The series features the world’s best cliff divers competing in breathtaking locations around the globe. Spectators can watch the divers compete up close, and there are also a variety of other activities and entertainment options available at each event.
3. Nike “FC2”
Nike created an immersive football experience called “FC2” in London. FC2 was a two-day event that featured interactive games, challenges, and training sessions led by professional footballers. Visitors could also purchase exclusive Nike products and meet their favorite players.
Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign was a global marketing campaign that encouraged people to share Coca-Cola with their friends and family. The campaign featured personalized Coke cans with popular names and phrases printed on them. People could also create their own personalized cans online.
Casper, a mattress company, set up “Nap Pods” in various locations around the world. These Nap Pods were small, private spaces where people could take a nap. Casper also offered free coffee and snacks to visitors.
Ben & Jerry’s “Change the Whirled” campaign invited people to create their own custom ice cream flavors. Ben & Jerry’s also donated a portion of the proceeds from the campaign to social justice organizations.
Netflix invited fans of its hit show “Stranger Things” to step into the world of Hawkins, Indiana at its immersive experience. Visitors could explore the town’s iconic locations, meet their favorite characters, and solve puzzles. The experience was a huge hit with fans, and it helped to promote the show’s fourth season.
8. Tesla “Model X Demo”
Tesla offers a Model X demo that allows potential customers to experience the car’s unique features, such as its falcon-wing doors and self-driving capabilities. The demo is a great way for Tesla to generate interest in its products and to show people what its cars can do.
Apple offers a variety of “Today at Apple” workshops that teach people how to use its products and services. The workshops are free and open to the public, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as photography, coding, and music. The Today at Apple workshops are a great way for Apple to introduce people to its products and services and to build relationships with customers.
Google’s Field Trip app uses augmented reality to provide users with information about the places they are visiting. The app can identify landmarks, museums, and other historical sites, and it can provide users with information about their history and significance. The Field Trip app is a great way for Google to promote its augmented reality technology and to provide users with a more engaging experience of the world around them.
Disney created a Pixar-themed mini-golf experience called “Pixar Putt.” The experience featured 18 holes inspired by popular Pixar films, such as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Monsters, Inc.” Pixar Putt was a fun and family-friendly experience that allowed visitors to immerse themselves in their favorite Pixar films.
Designing an Experiential Trade Show Booth: Professional Tips
There’s no pixie dust required to design an experiential trade show booth. Simply consider the following factors:
- Target Audience: Who are you trying to reach with your booth? What are their interests? What kind of experiences would they find engaging?
- Brand Identity: What do you want your booth to communicate about your brand? What are your brand’s colors, fonts, and overall aesthetic?
- Budget: How much money do you have to spend on your booth?
- Space: What’s the size of the available space for your experiential booth?
- Logistics: How will you transport and install your booth?
Once you have considered these factors, It’s time to design your booth. Some tips:
- Create a Visually Appealing Space: Your booth should be visually appealing.Use bright colors, bold graphics, and interesting design elements to attract attention.
- Create an Interactive Experience: The best trade show booths are the ones that provide an interactive experience for attendees. This could involve anything from product demos to games to contests.
- Make it Comfortable: Your booth should be a comfortable and inviting place for attendees to spend time. Provide seating, refreshments, and other amenities that will make attendees want to stay and learn more about your company.
- Use Technology: Technology can be a great way to create an engaging and interactive experience for attendees. You could use things like touch screens, virtual reality headsets, or augmented reality to showcase your products or services in a new and exciting way.
- Collect Data: Trade shows are a great opportunity to collect data from potential customers. Consider using surveys, lead capture forms, or other methods to collect information about attendees’ interests and needs.
Five examples of experiential trade show booths:
- A car company could set up a test track where attendees can try out the latest car models.
- A software company could set up a virtual reality experience that allows attendees to explore the features of its software in a realistic setting.
- A food company could set up a cooking demonstration where attendees can learn how to make recipes with the company’s products.
- A clothing company could set up a fashion show where attendees can see the latest trends and try on clothes.
- A travel company could set up a virtual travel experience that allows attendees to explore different destinations around the world.
By following these tips, you can design an experiential trade show booth that will help you generate leads, promote your products and services, and build relationships with customers.
Professional Experiential Marketing Services with Exhibits Northwest!
Simply showing up at a trade show or event isn’t an option anymore. Attendees expect companies who want to do business with them to educate, entertain, and engage them. At Exhibits Northwest, we love those experiential challenges. We’ll work with you to create engaging and interactive experiences that build strong emotional connections with your brand and your customers. Get started by contacting the team at Exhibits NW today.