Despite the hype of online and social media marketing, surveys indicate that businesses still perceive event marketing to be one of the most effective marketing strategies. Statistics indicate that as many as 67% of marketers still consider event marketing to be the most effective in creating brand awareness.
In-person experiences remain a crucial part of brand activation. The ideal event marketing activity should make customers love the product and then bring them closer to purchase. And that is where event games come in.
Why Event Games?
Using event games in your brand activation will help adjust your target customers’ mindset and make them more open to buying your product. Studies show that using games when engaging audiences puts people’s moods in the sweet spot between heightened awareness (anxiety) and low engagement (boredom). This means people engaged in games while at events are highly focused and yet still open to marketing messages.
When choosing event games for your marketing campaign, you have to consider HCEM, or Holistic Consumer Experience Management. This approach has 5 goals:
1. Gain original insight into the consumer’s world
Pick an event game that will help you see the product from your target’s perspective. This means gathering input from consumers and examining their decision-making process. Such insight can be valuable in your other marketing strategies, and can then help you adapt your event plan to suit your audience’s needs.
2. Develop an experiential strategy platform
As said above, a good event game should help you come up with a better marketing approach. See how you can engage your audience in a way that will draw more attention to the benefits of your product or service.
3. Create a unique and vivid brand experience
The event game should allow your customer to experience the brand in such a way that encourages recall. The more vivid and unique the game experience, the better customers will be able to recall the brand and it’s benefits.
4. Provide dynamic interactions at the consumer interface
Dynamic event games are more successful in engaging the consumer. A recent study has found that people have shorter attention spans than a goldfish: the average person’s is just 8 seconds. If a game manages to capture that person’s attention within those first 8 seconds, then you have earned an additional 4 minutes and 52 seconds to keep them engaged.
5. Innovate continuously to improve consumer’s lives
Your games should show how your product or service can benefit the consumer. It should also highlight your product’s unique features that the competition can’t offer.
Event Games for Brand Activation
Knowing the five HCEM goals can be crucial in picking the right game to play. Here are some of the commonly used event games in brand activation:
1. Guessing Games
Engage your audience’s brain power and deductive skills to make educated guesses. Have them guess the number of beans in a jar, or have them guess as to features or facts about your brand. A guessing game will engage your audience long enough to make them receptive to brand messaging.
2. Raffle draws and prize wheels
These games will help capture your potential customers’ contact information for continued post-event engagement. It also incentivizes interaction and provides a sense of reciprocity when they can win prizes.
3. Hashtag contests
Encourage your audience to tweet or Instagram a photo of themselves at your event. Have your consumers share their photos through social media using a unique hashtag, or even have them link to your own social media accounts. This provides you with consumer engagement and free word-of-mouth advertising for your brand.
4. Carnival games
Games of skill and luck can excite guests and provide you with a captive audience. Games like these not only draw the attention of those playing, but also tend to draw crowds of onlookers. These games can evoke a sense of nostalgia and create a fun and vivid brand experience.
5. VR and technology games
If you aim to attract a younger crowd, look into some of the newer technology options, such as virtual reality (VR). VR allows you to craft the exact brand interaction that you want consumers to experience. And because VR is relatively new to the mainstream, your marketing event might be the first time the consumer has been able to try VR, which will certainly lead to a lasting impression.
How to Pick the Right Event Games
When picking an event game for your brand activation, consider the relevance of your product or brand to the game. Remember your first aim: to create a relationship between your brand and the consumer. Make sure that the mechanics or intricacies of the game does not take attention away from your brand, but enhances the message. Other key considerations include:
- When setting up a game, always coordinate properly with the location manager to ensure successful execution.
- Make sure that the game you pick suits your target audience. The wrong game could discourage consumers from participating.
- Preparation and timing is crucial. If you plan on using an event game to introduce your brand, think about how long participation will take and if your audience can spend the time.
Your event game should move your audience that much closer to purchasing your brand or product. The goal is to have the initial game engagement go beyond the event and subsequently lay the foundation for a lasting brand/consumer relationship.
Want more best practices related to event marketing? Download the free Ultimate Experimental Marketing Staffing Guide and Checklist for more great expert advice related to staffing and executing your next marketing event.