Event Marketing Strategies for Music Festivals, Killer March Madness Activations, & the Importance of Brand Ambassadors in a Digital World [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Event Marketing Strategies

It’s spring, and event marketing is alive and well. Brands are activating across the spectrum. Music festivals such as Coachella are in full swing. College basketball’s March Madness dominated the month as it always does. It is no wonder why spring and summer see an uptick in experiential marketing activations. When people are outdoors and having fun, brands are quick to follow. This week the Water Cooler features articles that focus on event marketing strategies for these springtime events. We also see experiential through the eyes of a 5-year-old and learn why marketers are losing a huge opportunity by not engaging gamers. Read More

How to Create a Buzz with Alcohol Promotions

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Alcohol Promotions

Once upon a time, 100 years ago to be exact, Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr. of St. Louis, Missouri, threw the first-ever cocktail party. Her innovative soiree, dubbed a “Baby Party,” had guests dressing in infant-inspired clothing and drinking cocktails out of baby bottles. There’s no doubt behavior like this in such civilized times turned some heads. Walsh was avant-garde, a party pioneer. But, for today’s liquor, beer and wine brands, it’s not as easy to break new ground. That’s why alcohol promotions must create a buzz to help brands stand out amid their saturated markets.

The Spirit of the Alcohol Industry

In communities across the country, we are seeing a boom in craft breweries, wineries and distilleries. One article sums up the movement well by attributing it to consumers’ desires for “unique products and experiences.” In fact, the popularity of the development has some states reviewing current alcohol laws. The goal is to allow easier access for these small businesses, due to their anticipated contributions to the local economy. When you combine their ability to offer a unique and authentic experience, an important factor for millennial drinkers, it’s a good time to be one of these businesses. But, what does it mean for larger and more established brands?

Looking at top beer companies, CNBC reports missed targets and market share loss. Yet, the exception – Constellation Brands – comes as no surprise. Its strategy to add small craft beers to its winning portfolio appeals to millennials, who make up 35% of beer consumers. Still, America’s most beloved alcoholic beverage, beer, is getting a run for its money. Read More

Event Budget Planning: What is the Value of Event Staff?

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Event Budget Planning

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed labor to be the “true standard of value.” And, he often talked about its place. His view was resolute. Without labor, capital would not exist. Thus, labor should always receive higher consideration than money. If you applied his beliefs to today’s times, Honest Abe would likely subscribe to the old adage “you get what you pay for.” And, as an event marketer, it’s easy to imagine the high value he’d place on the worth of his laborers, aka event staff, as he tackled event budget planning.  

Why Event Staff Are Worthy of Investment

You have an amazing dance choreographed for your street team to perform. You’ve got a delicious new sausage to sample in store. Or, perhaps it’s a big shopping weekend, and you need to draw people in to buy from you. These are all terrific catalysts for a brand to shine and drive sales. Yet, there’s one key consideration. Who are the people actually making this plan a reality? It all rests on the shoulders of your event staff.

Your event staff are on the front lines, executing your well-laid plans and interacting with current and potential customers. They become the face of your brand and help consumers relate to your messaging and your values. They create a sense of brand trust with attendees, a critical purchasing factor that Harvard Business Review sums up best. “Today, trust is more important than ever – and it can be an important source of strategic advantage.” Knowing that event staff have a profound impact on business and revenue, you wouldn’t trust just anyone to do the job. Therefore, make sure, while event budget planning, you are considering their value. This will allow you to get the best people for this critical role, all while keeping expenses on target. Read More

Award-Winning Event and Engagement Marketing Campaigns, Why Experiential Works with Baby Boomers, & Effective Tailgate Marketing Examples [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Engagement Marketing Examples

As in any industry, in experiential marketing there are masters and gurus; brands and agencies that we all look to in awe. Sometimes a company will craft an engagement marketing experience that is so inspiring, we can’t help but pause and take note. Some of these campaigns excel in achieving unbelievable results. Some are so eye-catching or engaging that no passer-by could resist participating. It is these activations that earn peer praise and create huge gains for the brand. This week, we highlight an article that looks at Mashable’s award-winning experiential efforts. We discuss experiential and FOMO (the fear of missing out), tailgate marketing, and reaching baby boomers with events. And, as usual, there is much more, as we highlight some of this week’s best articles related to event marketing. Read More

Featured Event: Wendy’s Drive to the Final Four

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EventPro Strategies teamed up with The Marketing Arm to provide brand ambassadors for the Wendy’s Drive to the Final Four mobile tour. The tour celebrated Wendy’s partnership with NCAA basketball and their title as the Official Hamburger of the NCAA!

Drive to the Final Four Mobile Tour

The three-week tour kicked off on Selection Sunday and then visited campuses of NCAA powerhouses – Xavier University, Butler University and the University of Louisville. From there, the tour went on to the first and second round tournaments in Indianapolis, the regional tournament in Kansas City, and then headed to the Final Four in Phoenix.

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Experiential Events: Get Organized Behind the Scenes

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Experiential Events

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin

In his 84 years, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals, the lightning rod and the Franklin stove. He served as Pennsylvania Governor, U.S. Postmaster and is one of our nation’s Founding Fathers. He published Poor Richard’s Almanack, among other notable works, and established the University of Pennsylvania. And though they are plenty, these are only a few of Benjamin Franklin’s great accomplishments. With all of this under his belt, it’s probably safe to say he was also an expert on organization.

Being organized is important in every aspect of life, and the impact of being otherwise can be detrimental. For example, having clutter adds 40% more house cleaning; in fact, looking for lost items takes up a year of our lives. In business, it’s estimated that disorganization can result in a manager losing one hour of productivity per day. At a salary of $65,000, the annual damage to employers is more than $8,000! When you consider these statistics as it relates to your experiential events, one can imagine the time and money at stake.

Why Organization Matters in Experiential Events

The basis of experiential marketing is the experience. Being face-to-face with attendees allows them to see and ‘feel’ your brand. Your logo and name are made human, and you have the chance to build an emotional connection that lasts for years. So, imagine your event staff show up late. Imagine they don’t have the answers to attendees’ questions and critical components never make it for event set up. Now, imagine your attendees’ overall event experience and their subsequent perception of your brand. You’ve wasted an invaluable opportunity. And, you’ve likely lost the possibility of them purchasing from you forever.

This illustrates the first argument for organized events: your attendees’ satisfaction. Yet, disorganization can also affect the stress level of your event staff. As your experiential event’s most valuable asset, it’s crucial these individuals remain confident and focused on achieving your goals. Your success hinges on their capabilities, so make sure your event is organized behind the scenes to ensure an equally put-together presentation on the front lines. Read More

8 New Street Marketing Ideas That Will Get Attention

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Street Marketing Ideas

If you are a marketing veteran, you are always on the look out for new street marketing ideas. With so many companies actively engaged in all types of experiential marketing, marketers are looking to draw serious distinction between their brand and the competition. In many highly-trafficked urban areas, passers-by have probably seen every trick in the street team playbook.

The good news is that, with the fast pace of technology, there are lots of new ideas both here as well as on the horizon. Here are eight street marketing ideas, from holograms to projection mapping, that are sure to spark instant interest in your event.

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Food Industry Events: How to Serve Up Success

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Food Industry Events

“First we eat, then we do everything else.” – M.F.K. Fisher

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was an American food writer. She wasn’t a critic, but penned her thoughts on our relationships with food in a moving way. Yet, despite her outstanding skills, her peers often questioned why she chose that subject. They even dismissed her for it, per a New York Times article. But, for M.F.K., it was a clear decision. She’d deemed food, along with security and love, “our three basic needs.” She said they “are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.” For her, writing about food is “writing about love and the hunger for it.”

M.F.K. would be an easy fit in today’s “foodie” society. Food lovers would revel in her writings. They would welcome her emotional connection with food and her way of bringing them along on her journey. It’s easy to imagine her influence and the demand she could create for herself at food industry events.

The State of the Food Industry

Opportunity abounds in the food industry, and all players are out for their share. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that new food and beverage introductions hit a nine-year record high at 21,435 launches. And, the National Restaurant Association expects restaurants to bring in almost $800 billion in sales, making 2017 the eighth straight year of growth. Yet, challenges are present.

For new consumer goods, Nielsen has reported that 85% will flop, while CNBC said 60% of restaurants fail their first year. Odds are against newcomers, but existing brands aren’t exempt. Research from Deloitte has stated “many consumers have signaled a distrust of the established food industry.” That’s unfortunate considering trust is a huge factor for today’s consumers in making purchases.

So, how can new brands stand out against veterans? And, how can veterans regain consumer confidence? One solution is activation of – and a presence at – food industry events. Read More

The Best Retail Marketing Strategy for Spring Holidays

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Retail Marketing Strategy

Mother’s Day founder, Anna Jarvis, never imagined, nor wanted, her beloved holiday to be the moneymaker it is. She’d marked the day as a tribute to her own mother, who’d given her time to so many. Anna’s hope was that other children would, like her, use the day to visit with and thank their moms for all they’ve done. So, it may come as no surprise to learn that, to her, its commercialization was a disgrace. She fought it tooth and nail, burning through a large inheritance and even petitioning to have the holiday abolished. That was until it landed her in a sanitarium. The ironic twist? The companies that benefited most from the rise of Mother’s Day paid for her care.

Today, Mother’s Day takes third place among U.S. retail holidays, and it is just around the corner. But first, 87% of Americans will celebrate Easter, also a top-five retail holiday. Is your retail marketing strategy poised to take a share of the upcoming spending sprees associated with Spring holidays?

The “Other” Retail Holidays

With St. Patrick’s Day just behind us, we know the Irish holiday was expected to bring in a record $5.3 billion in retail sales. This number is up almost $1 billion over last year. The youngest generations were expected to do most of the spending, Millennials and Gen Z. So, does its success signal good news for our more traditional retail spring holidays, like Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?

In 2016, Easter and Father’s Day broke 13-year National Retail Federation (NRF) survey records at $17.3 billion and $14.3 billion, respectively. And, Mother’s Day held steady with previous year’s sales at $21.4 billion. For 2017, Kiplinger predicts an almost 4% increase, though recent numbers for some retailers, like Urban Outfitters and Express, may signal otherwise.

Urban Outfitters’ CEO says the problem is an “overabundance of retail stores.” The competition led to deep discounting, giving way to lower margins. These promotions, combined with slower mall traffic, are concerns for the CEO of Express. So, how can retailers drive traffic and stand out without minimizing revenue? Read More

Promotional Campaign Ideas to Boost Engagement, Why People Buy Experiences (Not Just Products), & Tips to Evolve Your Experiential Strategy [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Promotional campaign ideas

Promoting your brand through experiential is a powerful way to generate results for your organization. Yet, to be successful, the event experience needs to grab your attendees’ attention and drive them to your call to action. Rather than depending only on a “wow” factor, you must give attendees the opportunity to interact and build a relationship with your brand. This week’s EPS Water Cooler features an article focused on promotional campaign ideas to boost engagement at your next event. We then provide tips to evolve your event marketing strategy. Finally, PepsiCo’s Chief Design Officer explains why people don’t buy products anymore – they buy experiences. Read More