Imagine sipping a beer and being transported into a world full of colors, shapes, and sounds. Pretty amazing, right? Guinness thought so too. Pairing virtual reality with a taste-testing of their new line of beers, the Irish brewer is stimulating senses and enhancing their flavors using unique environments specific to each drink. Impacting participants, Guinness is creating a powerful experience that won’t be forgotten- and is fun! The takeaway? It’s time to start thinking ‘outside of the box’ for event marketing success.

Whether you’re new to marketing events or a seasoned strategist, you know there’s a lot more to it than just creating the perfect trade show, open house, or other experiential activity. Yes, promotion is key, but a crucial part of success is realizing that you need to keep up the momentum and excitement before, during, and after. Follow these tips to ensure you’ll make a lasting, positive impression and generate the most ROI.

Create a plan

What are you trying to accomplish with your event?

Build a total outline of your event in advance. Make realistic goals and be prepared to measure success. Determine audiences you’re targeting and decide how to best reach those groups. Set budgets for every part of your event strategy and set the ROI you are aiming to achieve.

Utilize social media

Are you using each channel the most effectively?

With a plan in place, it’s time to use social media to your advantage. A vital part of utilizing social channels is aligning your message across platforms geared toward your target audience. Paid social is a great tool for expanding your reach and generating awareness prior to the event date. Use a branded hashtag across all social media promotions to spark engagement. Build on momentum with live posts and streaming during the event. Stay relevant to your audiences with engaging visuals and content.

Personalize your content

Are you posting content that’s connecting to your audiences?

Coined by Hubspot, ‘in-bound marketing’ is a technique that’s been proven to have huge digital success. Content is created and distributed, personalized to each channel. Marketers are able to earn attention instead of buying it, which is great for your budget! This engagement approach is a great way to get your audience to post content about your event and extend your reach to their followings, creating a host of loyal, happy followers.

Use innovative technology

Is your event up-to-date with digital trends?

The emergence of new technologies is constantly changing how marketers plan their campaigns. Old tech paired with new produces innovative and unique experiences for everyone in attendance. With 3D mapping, augmented and virtual realities, and RFID, the possibilities are endless. Check out how these technology trends are changing the future of event planning!

Build an experience

Have you created a story that will be memorable?

It’s easy to get caught up in the little details of any event, but don’t lose sight of the big picture. All parts, start to finish, tell a story to your audience.  Make sure that when you’re attendees leave, they have a clear understanding of your message. Immerse them in an unique experience that differentiates your brand, resonating with consumers long after the event is over. A new trend is emerging called ‘sustainable’ experiential marketing, an approach that focuses on creating experiences that inspire, feel personal, and are participatory. Learn more here on how to get your event lasting longer than just the night of. 

The event may be over, but the work isn’t! Measurements are a great indicator of success and what could be improved upon. Conversion metrics like signups, sales, and downloads are useful and can be tracked through a unique URL. Engagement on social media tells how audiences responded to your content. What were people saying using your branded hashtag? Do your social accounts have new followers? Customers love telling about their experiences. Reengage with them using an email survey. Post-event feedback is a great way to learn what you could do better next time! 

Tackling event marketing is a huge task! But these tips are a great guide to help your event reach its full potential. Reference other successful events for more inspiration here to get your creative juices flowing.

Need a bit more assistance? Contact the Array team! We’ve done everything from event activations for Goodyear and SmartStraps to helping with the International Housewares Show for Homz, Libbey and more!   

Sources: Brand Watch, Social Tables