Experiential Events – A Fad or a Phenomenon?

Given that 77%of all marketers use experiential events (and budgets for such have increased from 21-50%)it’s clear that this sector of the events industry is thriving.

From Red Bull sponsoring Felix Baumgartner to do a parachute jump at 128,000 feet to Refinery29’s mind-blowing interactive art exhibition, we all love an experiential event that pushes boundaries.

But are our efforts wasted? We weigh up the pros and cons of these crazy events to see if they truly bring any benefit.

PROS:

PROVIDES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR DIRECT INTERACTION WITH POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

In an age of technology, with soulless sales calls and repetitive social media ads, it is easy to forget the benefits of face-to-face interaction. Attendees do crave a personal touch now more than ever – 48% prefer this method of marketing.

Experiential events provide a refreshing chance to communicate on a personal level with potential clients. In fact, 95%of event marketers agree with this!

Being able to access a brand whatever time of the day thanks to social media does have a time and place. However, talking on a personal level, making eye contact and building a rapport will establish a much more memorable and long-lasting relationship.

A HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE WILL CONVERT SALES

Today’s try before you buy culture requires a hands-on experience of the product. The interactivity of an experiential event provides clients with this chance to fully experience the product before they commit.

If you offer live demonstrations, free samples and slots for meeting company representatives at your events, attendees will truly know if the product is right for them. 65% of people feel that they gain a better understanding of your product through these methods.

Create a platform to engage with your audience as up to 80%of people’s purchasing decision is made during an interactive experience; make the most of it!

Our most recent experiential event to launch our latest Christmas themes at our partner venue resulted in 25 new enquiries for the venue and 196 social engagements. The proof is definitely in the pudding!

ENHANCES YOUR BRAND BY COMPLIMENTING OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS

With a social media crazed audience, it is very likely that they will capture your event if it’s exciting and ‘instagramable’.

Experiential events provide a platform for this free grassroots promotion due to their engaging and unique features that inspire guests to brag.

Do this correctly and you will have free promotional material as well as user-generated content. This is extremely important as 72%of people are more likely to purchase from a brand if their friends have posted about it.

CONS:

EXPOSING YOUR PRODUCT TO COMPETITORS

The whole purpose of experiential events is to demonstrate your product in an open and interactive way. By allowing the public to know so much, you can run the risk of exposing yourself to competition.

Top secrets, advice, demonstrations and the mechanics of the product are all put into the public domain at an experiential event. You will need to decide if this is a risk worth taking!

THE COST CAN BLOW THE BUDGET

With more elaborate and crazy experiential events popping up every day, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. Therefore, gaining your event any attention can be near impossible unless you have the luxury of a never-ending budget.

You will need to rub a few magic lamps to do so as the annual budget for experiential events can be as high as £1.2 million!

This begs to argue that more traditional, cost-effective methods might be more suited.

ULTIMATELY, IT WORKS!

Ignore the facts all you want, but ultimately experiential marketing gets results!

There’s a reason why 79%of brands plan to do more experiential events – it gets results! It converts sales due to personal interaction whilst promoting your company to an audience who actually want to listen and invest in the long term.

It’s expected that the return on investment can be 5:1with these types of events! More importantly, 74%have a more positive identification with a brand after attending an experiential event with 70%becoming repeat customers. This is long-term loyalty is hard to create in any other form of marketing.

If you’re looking for some help with your next experiential event, contact our event team.