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From the desk of Dayna Gilchrist
Are you excited for another year of big ideas and brand activations? We are!
And the great news is- the experiences are set to get even better! Experiential marketing has been climbing to the top of the brand-world totem pole for a few years now and shows no signs of slowing down. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the event industry will “grow by 44 % from 2010 until 2020, and for good reason: 98% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy a product after attending an activation.” Now that we are comfortably into 2019, marketers need to think big and give customers a reason to engage!
At the beginning of the year, all eyes were on the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) showcasing the newest technologies available to consumers. Interest is so high in the experiential world because we leverage those consumer-facing technologies to extend the consumer experiences at events. Whether it’s live streaming or VR, brands can use technology to amplify the engagement and evoke an emotional connection with the brand.
As important as the effective use of technology and artificial intelligence will be for experiential marketing going forward, it’s just one detail. Memorable experiences bring people and brands together in authentic ways. In our world, that means face-to-face engagements that truly move audiences to react, remember, and respond in real time. The key to make a splash this year with your campaign is having the right staff. As the experiences become more advanced and the activations become more involved, it is crucial to have a staffing partner that grasps all the elements involved in the event.
“[Experiential is] the only place you can have a physical interaction with the product directly from the corporation, and it’s also one of the few places where you can have an open-ended dialogue… in experiential, we’re able to talk to consumers, understand what’s most important to them and have a dialogue back-and-forth,” writes Kristina Monllos, senior editor, Adweek. It’s no wonder that 70 percent of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event. Unlike other channels, experiential demands sensory engagement, a critical factor for creating lasting memories and long-term customer loyalty.”
So how do we prepare for this continued upswing in experiential and constantly evolving landscape of experiences?
I put together the ultimate staffing guide:
1) Engage with your staffing partner early.
All the details may not have been flushed out yet and plans are still coming together but be sure to reach out to your staffing partner to plant the seed with them on what the basic premise of the engagement is. What type of staff will be needed to make this experience successful? Starting the outreach to potential talent that fits the profile is important to ensure staffing is on-point at your event!
2) Knowledge is power.
Training is key to the success of the program. Think about how much time goes into an idea…weeks, months, even years? And then all of this information has to be transferred to a brand ambassador for an experiential event that may only be 6 hours long. Proper training will prepare the brand ambassadors to ensure your event goes as planned. If there is a significant amount of technology, be sure to hold an on-site training with the staff to walk them through all the necessary components of the experience and trouble shoot with them early.
3) More than a pretty face.
As we spoke about back in our Event Marketer “Course in Confidence” article; the evolution of event staffers from “add-ons” to strategic components of a live event has opened doors of opportunity for brand ambassadors looking to break into the event marketing industry. Staffers have a variety of roles to play in events today, each forming a strategic layer of the overall experience. To review, they are more than just brand ambassadors- they are the Experience Guides, the Product Gurus, the Logistics Liaisons or the Social Media Mavens for your event–
THE EXPERIENCE GUIDE
They have the ability to transform a first-timer into a believer, whether it be walking a consumer through a virtual reality experience or driving lead gen. In an age where experiences have become far more complex and integrated, this staffer is able to communicate tools well, keep lines moving, and ignite the “wow” factor.
THE PRODUCT GURU
There’s no worse scenario than a staffer who can’t answer questions about a brand’s product or services on-site. Enter: the guru—the staffer who is a product specialist that can offer a deep dive into a brand, product, or service and, ultimately, convert a sale. Consumers today are researchers, so brands need a staffer who’s an open book.
THE LOGISTICS LIAISON
Having a technical issue? This staffer is a natural problem solver and tinkerer, able to decipher the complicated components of many build- outs- from the A/V to the wi-fi. Because there’s nothing more disappointing than an outage. Of any kind.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA MAVEN
Social media influencers have become the “celebrity” persona among brands looking to organically amplify their events across platforms. But young millennial-minded staffers often have a heck of a lot of influence in their own rite. The mavens understand the value of shared “moments,” and will help create, capture, and hashtag them.
As you look ahead for 2019 and begin planning your experiential events, don’t leave event staffing to the last minute! If you are searching for an experienced and passionate staffing partner for your next campaign, HYPE! is your answer! Reach out to us today and start early!