Experiential marketing continues to grow in popularity as more marketers move away from traditional advertising methods. According to a study by EventTrack, 77% of marketers use an experiential marketing campaign as part of a brand advertising strategy.
There are a lot of factors that go into planning a successful experiential marketing campaign. And from the early planning stages to the execution of the actual event, there is a lot that can go wrong. Unfortunately, most people won’t see these mistakes until it is too late and, by that point, there probably wasn’t a great return on investment.
5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Experiential Marketing Campaign
Mistakes are a normal part of executing a live event, but certain mistakes will almost certainly doom your event to failure. Here are five mistakes that will kill your experiential marketing campaign.
1. Rushing through preparations
Creating an effective experiential marketing campaign takes months of planning and work. You have to choose a location, plan out logistics, hire staff members, and numerous other tasks. These details can’t be rushed through, as they will make or break your event.
On average, you should allow for several months of planning before your actual event takes place. Talk to your experiential agency partners and fill them in on timing, budget constraints, and your needs for the event. Giving your teams ample time to make arrangements will also allow you to be more strategic about how you reach your event goals.
Most B2B companies spend five to eight weeks planning for an event. Don’t skimp on the planning stages!
2. Forgetting the importance of great staffing
One of the most crucial (and often most overlooked) details of your experiential marketing event is the staff you hire. It’s easy to get so caught up in finding a location, staying on budget, and advertising your event that you leave this critical detail to the last minute.
Staffing your event with the wrong people, or not hiring enough people, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. These are the people who will be interacting with attendees, representing your brand, and facilitating the event itself. They are more than likely your biggest and most important asset.
But just because you have hired staff doesn’t mean they are all qualified to to help you reach your goals. Make sure the people you hire are experienced and properly trained to exceed attendee expectations. Make sure you delegate all details before the event so that everyone understands who will be doing what. When everyone is clear on responsibilities and doing the job that is best suited to their skill set, your event will be set up for success. And remember, it is always better to have too many people on hand than not enough.
3. Not budgeting enough
Event marketing usually consumes 20-25 percent of a company’s marketing budget. Meanwhile, 7.8 percent of marketers are unsure of how exactly much to budget for events.
You will have to invest in resources such as staff, location, promotional materials, and much more. If you are hoping to make a big impact with your event, then your budget needs to reflect this.
4. Not gathering data from the event
An experiential marketing event is a treasure trove of consumer data. At an event you can encourage attendees to give product feedback, provide contact information for continued engagement, convey their purchasing preferences, and more. You can encourage them to provide this critical data by having them enter a contest or drawing. Or you can ask for their email address in exchange for a special discount or offer.
And while you are engaging your audience, why not have them create some amazing content as well? Encourage attendees to post event photos using a custom hashtag, and consider creating a space in your event that is the ideal place for a selfie or photo backdrop.
5. Failing to follow through once the event is over
In many ways, what you do after your event is just as important as the event itself. In addition to analyzing event data, in order to measure your success and find areas of improvement, it is important to track your event. Social media makes it easy for you to track every Tweet, Facebook post, and hashtag used during your event.
Set benchmarks when you are early in the planning stages. Then, analyze attendance and social media engagement after your event.
It is also important to continue to follow up with your attendees after the event. The entire point of your experiential marketing campaign is to engage with the people who came to your event and turn them into lifelong customers.
Don’t let all those people who had a great time at your event forget about you. Send them an email thanking them for attending your event and ask them to fill out a survey about their experience. Provide them with an offer or coupon to reward them for their participation and encourage a future purchase. Use survey feedback as customer testimonials to add to your website.
Experiential marketing is on the rise, but it is still relatively new to many people. With any growing trend comes a steep learning curve, and not every brand will know how to execute a successful event on the first go-round. Avoiding these fives mistakes is crucial if you want to succeed in your experiential marketing campaign.
Experiential events work because they get to the heart of marketing. They are real, interactive, and put a face to a company. And 74% of consumers have a better opinion about a brand after an in-person event.
In a survey completed by EventTrack, 65 percent of customers said that attending a live event gave them a better understanding of a product or service. The bottom line is that customers want to engage with brands that make them feel valued. And a well-executed experiential marketing campaign is the perfect way to do this.
One of the best ways to ensure your experiential marketing campaign is is ensuring you have the right people representing your brand every time. Download our free Ultimate Experiential Marketing Staffing Guide and Checklist for best practices and key considerations that every event marketer needs to know.