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5 Fundamentals of Successful Event Marketing

Experiential Marketing

Hosting any type of event— a conference, seminar, workshop, or something else— needs a proper plan. Successful event marketing is the most effective channel for achieving business goals. But, what’s the difference between a good experience and a great one? Here are the five fundamentals of successful event marketing that will transform your brand’s awareness and reach with consumers.

successful event marketing tips

What Is Event Marketing?

Event marketing— at its core— is the promotional strategy of a brand, product, or service. It’s a tactic that involves in-person, face-to-face interactions. Every event, however, is different; it has various audiences, content, and values. For example, brands can use event marketing to build relationships or educate consumers. But, regardless, successful event marketing leverages the power of live experiences to achieve brand goals.

1. Knowing Why You’re Hosting an Event 

Successful event marketing always needs a reason to exist. Therefore, it’s critical to know its primary purpose. Once you understand that, you can better plan and properly allocate your resources. To achieve maximum success, ask yourself these two questions before you begin:

  • Why is this event important? This question is the framework for your event’s key objectives. Answering this question is the defining factor that will help you decide and communicate your event marketing strategy.
  • Why should people attend this event? While you may feel your event is important, it’s not about you at the end of the day. It’s about your target audience. So, what’s in it for them? How does your event benefit them? Your event must add value, solve a problem, or offer a solution.

2. Deciphering The Consumer Perspective

Answering that last question leads us to the next fundamental of successful event marketing. Take a step back and think like a consumer. Look at your event from the consumer perspective. Often, there are compound motivations for attending an event, but they’re all equally valid. For you as an event marketer, it’s your job to figure out ways to appeal to these competing rationales. Why? Aside from the fact that 82% of marketers believe audience engagement is an important KPI for success, attendees will disengage if your event’s purpose is unclear. In a hyper-media ecosystem, audiences are savvy and disinterested in spending time looking for a reason to attend an event if the advantages aren’t clear. On the flip side, if you offer them benefits to invest in your brand or solutions to their problems, they’re more likely to take notice.

3. Stand Out With Unique Venues

More and more, marketers are turning to unique locations to launch successful event marketing that stands out. But there should always be an alignment between your brand’s values, your audience’s expectations, and your event’s goals. Having said that, demand for non-traditional spaces is on the rise. So, let’s look closer at some of the benefits of unique venues:

  • They help you leave your comfort zone: Depending on your brand, pushing the envelope may make your event more memorable versus traditional spaces. 
  • They boost attendee engagement on and offline: When you host an event in an unusual space, you’re going against the grain while giving attendees something to talk about and post about.
  • They’re customizable: Because of their uniqueness, non-traditional venues are often more versatile. This allows you to transform your space to suit your event’s needs.
  • They are complementary: If you don’t want a unique venue as your primary location, they can be an extension of your event. Instead, use non-traditional spaces for offsite receptions or as a venue for smaller, test events.       
marketing event venue

4. Ensure Your Timing Is Right With a Great Plan

Now that you have defined goals, understand your audience’s wants and needs, and have a unique venue in mind, it’s time to draft a detailed plan. This will help you stay on track, execute efficiently, and achieve your event’s goals. But when should you start creating your plan? Depending on its size and complexity, it’s crucial to start as early as possible, so you have time to understand logistics, requirements, and necessary actions. Your plan should also be fluid, meaning it should hold up to revisions that will likely happen during the planning process. 

Along with a solid and sturdy plan, successful event marketing also depends on the right timing. What does that mean? Several factors to consider include; weekdays vs. weekends, holidays, event type, and location. As you progress through your plan, mark significant milestones and critical deadlines, so your plan is always current and updated.

5. Create Delicious Content That Satisfies Audiences

No matter how much planning you put into your event, if it’s boring, you’ve lost the war before it even started. Creating compelling content that captivates your audience increases engagement. For example, when German luxury goods brand MCM wanted to promote its Global Creative Platform, they partnered with street artist SAMBYPEN to launch an experiential marketing pop-up. Recognizing South Korea’s youth culture and Berlin’s dynamic street art scene, the MCM x SAMBYPEN campaign blended the artist’s graffiti style into the brand’s apparel and accessories. 

MCM invited consumers in New York and Los Angeles to immerse themselves in the collection in a multi-city experiential marketing mobile tour. Using a branded food truck, attendees received complimentary cups of La Colombe coffee and sweets from LA’s Sprinkles Cupcakes and cookies from NYC’s Chip City. As brand ambassadors showcased ready-to-wear items displayed on the food truck, MCM executed successful event marketing using a non-traditional platform that added value for its target audience.

Elevate Your Brand With Successful Event Marketing

The benefits of event marketing are far-reaching. They give your brand the ability to increase awareness, visibility, engagement, and— of course— sales. In addition, your brand can boost its presence on social media and in the press. When you tap into the fundamentals of successful event marketing, you can turn target audiences into loyal customers. So, give them something special with an event that can be enjoyed, shared, and remembered.

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The Future Of Experiential Marketing Post-COVID

Experiential Marketing

In a world emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, our desire to return to live experiences and events is ramping up. With festival line-ups announced and tourists traveling at near pre-pandemic levels, epidemiologists predict we’re entering a second “roaring 20s.” Like consumers, brands are no different, and they’re eagerly awaiting a return to “normal.” With restrictions slowly lifting, they’re plotting ways to reach consumers offline again. But as brands return to traditional experiential campaigns, there’s an understanding that experiential marketing post-COVID has fundamentally changed the landscape. So, how will they find their way into consumers’ consciousness in this new era? More importantly, how will customers engage with them? Let’s take a closer look.

Post Covid Event

Safety First Takes Center Stage

If there’s one thing COVID has taught us, it’s practicing better hygiene to mitigate our chances of infection. As large-scale events return, so will an emphasis on health and safety. From sanitizer dispensers to touchless technology, gone are the days where thousands of strangers pass along their germs. The first global event staged in 2021 is the Cannes Film Festival. But this year, it will take place under strict health and safety guidelines. The biggest changes include the required use of masks during all screenings and around the red carpet. Meanwhile, guests will be required to keep a distance of three feet, and the “fan zone,” where celebrities sign autographs, has been scrapped. While organizers hope to soften some of these restrictions before the July event kicks off, expect most festivals to follow Cannes’ experiential marketing event post-COVID playbook. 

Brands Prioritize Personalization

Spending over a year in practical isolation has made us— many of us at least— become more insular. Our desire for personalization is a byproduct of being forced to be alone for months on end. To combat this, for most of 2020, brands launched virtual events. What they lacked in face-to-face interaction, they made up for with deeply personal experiences to compensate. Even with in-person campaigns resuming, expect the world of experiential marketing post-COVID to retain and expand on this strategy. 

But personalization in experiential marketing isn’t necessarily new. Luxury brands have employed this tactic for years to foster brand loyalty and emotional engagement. For example, this past Mother’s Day, Kate Spade launched Broadway in Bloom, honoring New York moms and the reblossoming of New York City after the pandemic. Without a collection to promote, Kate Spade connected with New Yorkers, memorializing the pandemic’s human impact while celebrating the city’s “return to normal.”

A Greater Emphasis on Wellness

Throughout the pandemic, reports of depression, stress, and anxiety skyrocketed. With attention to mental health, brands spent last year tapping into consumers’ wellbeing to engage with them. Well-positioned to continue that trend, experiential marketing post-COVID will emphasize emotional wellness to connect empathetically during trying times. Last December, Vans commissioned public murals for its annual #VansCheckerboardDay awareness campaign. Rallying fans worldwide to participate in various digital brand initiatives; the campaign supported mental wellness among women and the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. Vans received over two billion views of their #VansCheckerboardDay TikTok challenge. Likewise, the brand raised over $1 million for global mental health charities.

Experiential Marketing Post-COVID Won’t Miss a Beat

The most significant impact the pandemic has had on the public is our lack of human interaction. We as a species crave close comfort, and that connection takes on many forms. To put it simply, we want to do things and, generally, with others. As restrictions lift, brands know that the best way to get consumers to buy a product is to get it in their hands. That’s why experiential marketing post-COVID is likely to resume without hesitation. Why? Because the biggest winners in the game are the ones that create the most immersive experiences. That requires getting up close and personal with target audiences. While there will be changes that outlive the pandemic, the public’s excitement for the world opening back up is high. That makes the long-term forecast for experiential marketing bright and puts the importance of in-person events back into focus.     

Experiential Marketing Post-Covid
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How Food Trucks Elevate the Kardashian’s Brands

Experiential Marketing

The Kardashians (+Jenners): Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie. They are the undisputed queens of marketing and social media. Through different business ventures, lifestyle apps, deals, sponsorships, and high-fashion modeling, they’re more than a family; they’re a multi-billion dollar brand. With a combined 955 million followers on Instagram alone, they’re also more than influencers. They’re arguably the most successful businesswomen of this generation. We’d be remiss if we didn’t examine strategies they use to target their audiences, exemplify their value proposition, and “break the Internet.” Branded food trucks are one of those tactics. Harnessing experiential marketing has helped them increase engagement, sell products, and introduce creative campaigns that captivate the entire pop culture universe.

Kylie Jenner Stops Traffic With a Branded Food Truck

Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics is a brand that is a juggernaut to be reckoned with. In less than five years, the youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan has built a nearly $1.2 billion brand. So, how’d she do it? Kylie’s strategy is to leverage her Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat accounts to release images of new collections and by posting videos of her swatching and modeling products. She also sends PR boxes to YouTube beauty influencers (who review her products on their channels). Simply put, Kylie’s skillfully tapped into the seismic shift in today’s eCommerce purchasing culture.

But Kylie dominates headlines because she goes beyond her virtual presence. She reinforces her popularity online with live experiential events that capture media publicity and consumer attention. In 2017, ahead of the release of its holiday collection, Kylie Cosmetics launched the Kylie Truck. This custom-wrapped branded food truck rolled through the streets of L.A. as part of a month-long campaign. From her latest lip kits to accessories, items were displayed on the truck’s front, turning it into a mobile showcase. For an extra special treat, brand ambassadors handed out vanilla cupcakes featuring Kylie Cosmetics’ famous logo on the icing. With tens of thousands of likes on Instagram, her branded food truck dominated social media with a campaign elevating the popularity and charisma of the beauty mogul.

Kendall Jenner’s Branded Tequila Truck Makes a Special Delivery 

Kylie’s older sister Kendall Jenner is ultra-famous in her own right as the world’s highest-paid model. But that doesn’t mean she’s shied away from the occasional brand endorsement. Recently, she’s carved out her niche as a businesswoman, founding the premium spirits brand 818 Tequila. Like Kylie, Kendall launched 818 Tequila with a gallery of videos and images on Instagram that’s currently amassed over six million likes. With agave plants sourced from Jalisco, Mexico, Kendall’s tequila line includes Anejo, Blanco, and Reposado blends.

Ahead of Memorial Day, Kendall rolled up her sleeves and hit the road with a branded tequila truck for 818’s debut. Wanting to be a hands-on boss, she even got behind the wheel and operated the big green truck herself. Because it’s not every day that people see one of the most famous supermodels on the planet driving a food truck. People (including a swarm of paparazzi) flocked to the L.A. event. Not only did Kendall hang out for photo-ops with fans, she even hand-delivered cases of 818 Tequila to local liquor stores.

It’s a tall order to reach the stratospheric levels of the Kardashian/Jenner brand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t launch a successful campaign with branded food trucks. If some of the most successful women in the world are using it, it makes sense to tap into the same strategy. Plus, it’s easy to take your brand to new heights when you have professionals who can handle all the details. Find out how branded food trucks will turn heads and boost your business by getting starting today!

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“Broadway in Bloom” Gives Visual Love Letter to Moms & New York City

Experiential Marketing

A Kate Spade collection is on the way and flowers are in full bloom, which can only mean one thing, summer in New York! The global lifestyle and fashion brand celebrated spring with more than just new apparel and signature handbags this year. Kate Spade took Mother’s Day to the streets of New York.

Kate Spade Broadway In Bloom Mother's Day SoHo

In the time of the city’s rebirth and beautiful flowers growing all around, Kate Spade wanted to share the love. The global giant partnered with Food Truck Promotions to wrap food trucks and food carts in an iconic Kate Spade floral design, which were scattered throughout the city. Five local florists created unique, beautiful bouquets that filled the branded food carts for the special women in our lives, who always show us love and support. 

Kate Spade handed out flowers for Mother's Day

The “Broadway in Bloom” campaign represented a visual love letter the brand, and many people have for the city and their moms. Brand ambassadors delivered flowers along Broadway to all walks of life. Without a new collection announced prior to the event, brand ambassadors used five fashion carts in SoHo to immerse individuals in a sensory experience. From the beautiful shades and hues of the flowers to the unique aromas, it was a Mother’s Day filled with love and beauty. 

Kate Spade partnered with local florists for Mother's Day

This event allowed the Kate Spade brand to connect with humans and share love with one another. Experiential marketing is about human connection, and finding even more ways to connect. This type of engagement is what people remember and brings them back filled with excitement for the next event.

Branded food trucks and fashion carts allow companies to provide a multi-sensory experience. The best way to stay ahead of competition is to provide value to consumer lives. This cannot only be done with new products, messaging and themes, but a physical way to connect with them on a small scale. At the end of the day, we all want human connection and giving exactly that with a branded event will only increase brand loyalty.

Broadway In Bloom Kate Spade Mother's Day 2021

Contact Food Truck Promotions to create an unforgettable experience for your brand. Don’t forget, flowers are always a great way to show your mom “I love you.”

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How Musicians Use Branded Food Trucks To Connect With Fans

Experiential Marketing

With so many platforms available, it’s more complicated than ever for musicians to break through. Many artists have turned to experiential marketing, specifically branded food trucks, to amplify upcoming releases or partnerships. Coincidentally, this form of PR has been in the music marketer’s playbook for some time. If you’re a Justin Bieber fan, you’ll remember his “Yummy” tacos and sandwiches pop-up last year. Artists like Bieber, Gucci Mane, and DJ Khalid have found the key to building buzz lies through their fans’ stomachs.

Justin Bieber Yummy Food Truck

Salem Ilese Gets Nostalgic With a Branded Cereal Truck

If you’re over 30, you may not have heard of Salem Ilese. But the 21-year-old artist is a TikTok sensation with hits like “Mad at Disney.” Ahead of the release of her EP “(L)only Child” last month, she launched two cereal-themed branded food trucks in L.A. and New York (a homage to the song’s theme). With complimentary frozen GoodMylk, the pop-up’s street marketing team gave away branded mini-boxes of “(L)only Child,” “Asteroids,” and “Break Up Bits” cereals. Plus, attendees could scan a QR code off the branded food truck and download a free copy of (L)only Child. At the L.A. event, Salem was in attendance, giving her fans the extra special treat of meeting the rising pop star in person.

Offset Partners With Atlanta Food Trucks to Get Out the Vote

On Election Day 2020, multi-platinum selling artist Offset rallied voters in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. The Migos rapper partnered with political action committee The Lincoln Project and local food trucks The Slutty Vegan and Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks to feed hunger voters in line. By driving turnout, Offset’s efforts were just the latest in what’s become a popular trend: celebrities enlisting the help of food trucks for a good cause. Offset loves food trucks so much, he treated his wife Cardi B to her own backyard food truck last summer.

Offset Atlanta Food Trucks Voting

Christina Millian Brings Beignets to L.A.

Some musicians use branded food trucks to promote a new song, while others use them to push an initiative. But others enjoy the tasty allure of food trucks so much they decide to get in the business. Take early 2000s-era singer Christina Millian, who founded the popular pop-up food truck Beignet Box in 2019. Criss-crossing California, Beignet Box is giving West Coasters an authentic taste of the New Orleans sweet treat. Beignet Box has developed a cult following, including celebrity fans like Harry Styles and Beyoncé. Millian’s venture into the food truck industry has been so successful; she opened her first brick-and-mortar location in April.

Snoop Dogg and Beyond Meat “Feed Our Future”

In 2019, Beyond Meat went public and, to celebrate, hit the streets of El Segundo, Calif., in a branded food truck. Notably, they had Snoop Dogg serving as the truck’s driver. The iconic rapper served free Beyond Burgers to starstruck locals while promoting the power of living a plant-based lifestyle. As an early investor in Beyond Meat, Snoop is one of its most recognizable brand ambassadors. Along with the Beyond Meat food truck, he partnered with them last spring for the Feed A Million+ campaign. To help fight the pandemic, they donated over a million Beyond Burgers to food banks, hospitals, and other front-line organizations.

Iann Dior Takes “Shots in the Dark” With a Branded Food Truck

Up-and-coming singer and rapper iann dior is most known for his featured spot on 24kGoldn’s #1 single “Mood,” but he’s ready to top the charts on his own. In April dior released his latest single “Shots in the Dark” from his “Still Here” EP. In keeping with the theme of “taking shots,” dior hosted a basketball-themed fan event near Venice Beach. The pop-up featured arcade-style basketball games where fans could shoot hoops, an iann dior merch tent, and photo booth for selfies where they received a branded iann dior digital Polaroid. While attendees were waiting to meet dior, they were treated to complimentary burgers from Fatburger served from an iann dior branded food truck.

While you may not think it at first blush, music and experiential marketing go hand-in-hand. Both evoke powerful emotions, creating and cementing strong bonds with fans or consumers. It makes sense for these worlds to collide and branded food trucks enhance these multisensory experiences. Whether you’re an artist taking the industry by storm, reinventing yourself, or giving back to the community, food trucks enhance positive reactions. After all, food always brings people together!

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