How to Know the Value of a Live Brand Experience

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The Value of Live Brand Experiences

“You’re drinking what?” My husband had gone to grab a beer at a recent music festival, but returned with gin – an unusual choice for him in any venue. He had surprised himself, too, but he had been fascinated by the Hendrick’s Gin booth and decided to give it a try. This booth, he said, as he handed me a deck of playing cards branded Hendrick’s, was something I had to see. And, he was right.

There, sitting in the corner of the “food truck park,” was Hendrick’s three-story exhibit. It was rust-colored and decorated with large cogs, yet reminiscent of an old saloon. My eyes immediately went to the roof, where bearded men wearing top hats and aprons blew bubbles and threw flower petals. On the second floor, women in the same outfits and sunglasses kept cool with antique hand fans. And, on the ground, other event staff served up craft cocktails to people who came in droves to buy them. Some may have done so with intent. But, many passersby, including my husband and several friends, were unexpectedly drawn in by the live brand experience.

No matter the reason, it was easy to see their attendees’ satisfaction topped that of festival-goers who waited in long lines at other booths. In short, Hendrick’s Gin offered value not found with most other brands on the festival’s grounds.

The Value of a Live Brand Experience

A live brand experience has the ability to provide value for all involved. For consumers, it fulfills a universal human desire for a unique experience. After all, more and more people are choosing to buy experiences over products. Experiences tend to make people happier for a longer period than a physical purchase. Experiences also leave lasting memories and result in greater bonds with those who share in them. Read More

How to Create the Best Event Marketing Plan

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Event Marketing PlanEvent marketing is one of the best ways to promote your product, build brand awareness, and create personal relationships with your customers. But even the most exciting events will not sell themselves. If you want to maximize event attendance, you will need an event marketing plan.

The right event marketing plan will help you increase attendance and create a more memorable event for your guests. The right plan will help you determine who will be interested in your event and how you can spread the word.

How to Create the Best Event Marketing Plan

Of course, even the best-laid plans can go awry. You will need to constantly re-evaluate yours based on your budget, timeline, and target market.

That being said, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances for success. Here are seven steps to creating the best event marketing plan.

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Creating an Interactive Brand Experience, Experiential for Finance Brands, & Tips for Black Friday Marketing [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Interactive brand experience


As an event marketer, you know that in the digital age, the interactive brand experience is king. Data shows that U.S. consumers now spend an average of 5 hours on mobile devices. Yet, when it comes to digital ads, there seems to be a point of diminishing returns. As time online increases, so does exposure to marketing messages. This has resulted in over-saturation. Consumers have become generally immune to receiving this type of information. Now, enter brand experiences. These events are unique, visceral, and personalized. They are memorable, and the data shows that people are more likely to take the brand’s desired action. This week, the EPS Water Cooler features an article that shows how companies can use strategic planning to create a memorable, interactive brand experience. We also touch on tips for Black Friday marketing and ways to boost sampling events. Read More

This is the Future of Retail Stores

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Future of Retail Stores


It never fails. Every time my husband walks by the Microsoft® store he lets a little laugh and exclaims “wow.” And, surprisingly for him, it’s not from his admiration of all the technology. It’s from all the traffic and activity that keeps the store abuzz, unlike of many of its neighbors.

Some have said the company followed Apple’s lead in its retail initiative. And, that’s fine. Bill Gates once said, “Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.” Still, Microsoft discovered the future of retail stores before many others did. And, it’s pulling out all the stops to keep shoppers coming through its doors.

A quick glance at the events calendar for “my” store lets me know who they’re targeting and how. And, their efforts aren’t run-of-the-mill. For example, Microsoft is engaging gamers through in-store competitions and prizes. One great part of this strategy is that they’re creating a physical community for customers who are typically virtual. This experience can create positive and lasting impressions among participants for the brand.

Kids are another target audience. Microsoft is attracting them, and their parents and educators, through hands-on STEM activities. And, we can’t forget business execs, who need computer hardware and software on every desktop. Through interactive assessments, the brand helps them identify rising cyber security threats. More important, it offers solutions to mitigate them.

In short, the brand is doing exactly what it needs to do to compete in the now and, without a doubt, the future of retail. It’s executing experiential retail and offering consumers what they are drawn to.

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How to Use Social Media to Boost Event Attendance

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Boost event attendance


Remember that famous line from the movie Field of Dreams? “If you build it, they will come.” But while that might work in the movies, it’s not a great marketing strategy for an event. If you want to boost event attendance, you need to promote it.

There is nothing worse than spending months planning an event, only to have a disappointing turnout. The best event marketers know that it’s important to utilize several marketing strategies. And, one that has been shown to boost event attendance is social media.

How to Use Social Media to Boost Event Attendance

Social media has proven to be a game changer for event marketing. 87 percent of B2B companies now use social media to promote their events. It is the second most effective channel for event promotion.

Social media marketing tends to cost less than other traditional forms of marketing. Whatever event you have in the works, social media can help you make a bigger impact before, during, and after your event.

Here are 6 ways to use social media to boost event attendance.

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Building Your Brand? Here is the Right Way

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Building your brand


Which came first: the chicken or the egg? This age-old question continues to stump people everywhere, despite its various theories. Some are scientific in nature, while faith or philosophical thoughts are the foundation of others. A Fox News article attempted to explain many – or what could be all – of them.

At a high level, Greek philosopher Aristotle acknowledges both the chicken and the egg. Hinduism and Buddhism faiths recognize neither. Meanwhile, Christianity gives credit to the chicken, and so do British scientists. The latter say an eggshell requires a protein unique to a chicken to form. Yet, another scientific theory says a bird – not a chicken – laid an egg. And, it experienced some minor genetic mutation to produce the first chicken.

It’s likely we’ll never know which came first, though people may have a belief one way or another. Similarly, some marketers believe a brand must be well-established before meeting the public. Yet, you should know there is merit to letting your target consumers assist in building your brand.

Why Consumers Should Help in Building Your Brand

Brands are no longer only a product of their logos or even their products. A brand represents a company’s identity, values and mission. So, in turn, brands come to represent the people who support them, which means consumers don’t take these decisions lightly. In fact, 59% of respondents to a Nielsen survey “prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.” And, that puts new brands at a disadvantage.

Of the report, Nielsen representative Rob Wengel said, “For new products launched without the benefit of a strong brand name, extra care must be taken to provide strong assurance that the product will be perceived as a good value for the money.” A smart means to deliver this extra care is to directly engage with intended consumers. Read More

Launching Great Experiential Marketing Campaigns, Experiential for Automotive, & Elevating the Brand Ambassador Role [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Great Experiential Marketing Campaigns


At EventPro Strategies, we are experiential evangelists. It’s not only because marketing events allow us to pursue our passion of connecting people with the brands that they love. It’s because, over the past 2 decades, we have seen experiential work. Experiential does what no other marketing channel can. It creates an in-person, real time dialogue between consumers and brands. Not to mention, the statistics surrounding marketing events are staggering. We deliver the EPS Water Cooler each week to help companies execute great experiential marketing campaigns. This week, we start with an article that features 8 tips on getting “ridiculously successful” in experiential. We also peer into a crystal ball to discover where B2B events are headed. Read More

3 Errors That Will Ruin Holiday Retail Promotions

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holiday retail promotions


To express one’s delight at something, there are few better sayings than “like a kid at Christmas.” Yet, for those who grew up as “Toys ‘R’ Us kids,” the news of bankruptcy for the long-time leading toy retailer has them feeling anything but. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the state of the retail industry. But, the good news is the future for Toys “R” Us isn’t bleak. In fact, its plans show promise and come just in time for its most lucrative quarter – the holiday shopping season.

Its strategy, dubbed Project Sunrise, will better merge in-store and online shopping experiences. Yet, the ability to win shoppers over the last few months of 2017 will surround other kinds of “experiences.” For example, the company just announced open positions for toy demonstrators. These temporary holiday staff will play with toys and assist shoppers to do the same. It will also activate its Times Square pop-up shop for the second year in a row. This 33,000 square-foot space will have its brand mascot, Geoffrey, greeting customers amid a NYC-themed backdrop. The store’s temporary status should create FOMO in shoppers to draw them in. And, its interactive elements should encourage them to spend.

This is refreshing, since holiday retail promotions may be stale compared to ongoing consumer brand efforts. And, it seems the strategy for Toys “R” Us is here to stay. The New York Times reports the company “hopes to return to its more experiential roots” once it’s regained financial stability. These efforts should bode well for its future. Yet, time will tell if they’ll be good enough to keep our last toy store chain open, and us like kids at Christmas.

Why Experiential is the Way to Go this Holiday Shopping Season

Traditional holiday retail promotions have lost their edge. For instance, the National Retail Federation (NRF) says shoppers no longer feel pressured to “immediately jump” at deals. This is because they’ve come to expect these deals all season long. So, the burden is back on the companies to rollout their best retail marketing campaigns yet. And, with spending expected to top $1 trillion this holiday shopping season, the competition will be hot.

This is especially true considering the new rivalry from peers who provide services. Almost 75% of millennials prefer to buy experiences, not things, with hard-earned dollars. That’s because experiences help them feel connected to their loved ones, forming closer bonds, something the holidays have in common. And, since the NRF reports millennials, our largest generation, to be the “most conservative holiday spenders,” retailers must offer an experience to stand out. But, activations must make the desired impact – and there are mistakes that can ruin them. Read More

How to Run a Successful Event Marketing Team

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event marketing team


Event marketers know how important it is to have the right team by your side. Choosing the right event marketing team can determine whether your event will be a success or a failure. Plus, working with a team of people you enjoy is just plain fun. 

But, if you have gone through the process of putting together a team, you know how challenging it can be. And then, once you find the right people, you have to figure out the best and most effective ways to work together.

How to Build a Successful Event Marketing Team

67% of B2B event marketers think that event marketing is the most effective strategy. And having the right group of people in place will increase your chances for success. Here are five tips for building a successful event marketing team. Read More

Why Experiential is the Most Authentic Marketing, Tips for a Successful Mobile Tour, & Taking Experiential to a New Level [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Authentic marketing tactics


When it comes to traditional advertising and marketing, the statistics can be concerning. While online and traditional marketing methods remain an integral part of a holistic strategy, data has shown that saturation is an issue. According to the New York Times, it is estimated that “a person living in a city 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with up to 5,000 today.” Not only are consumers tuning these messages out, but they also see much of this advertising as impersonal, insincere, and sterile. In today’s world, a company that can show its values through authentic marketing will have an advantage. This week, the EPS Water Cooler features an article that demonstrates why experiential rules when it comes to authenticity. We also talk influencer marketing for B2B and why trade shows are well worth your time. Read More