Imagine you’re at an industry event, and your business sells cookies – you’d be crazy not to give everyone a taste, right?
Free cookies seem so simple and obvious if you’re a baker, but they’re actually a really smart idea. They will engage the senses, add value, be memorable for your audience and – most importantly – sum up your offering in one easy giveaway. You could say that free cookie samples are an immersive experience. But recreating the same magic for other industries requires a bit more creative thinking, especially in the digital age.
It’s no longer enough to simply show off your brand – to take it to the next level and really draw your new contacts in. You have to create immersive brand experiences that aim to give them a real ‘taste’ of who you are.
Go beyond square-footage
You shouldn’t forget traditional event necessities like printed leaflets, screens, brochures, etc. However you can, and should, be doing more.
You can bring far more of your overall business offering to the event if you expand your stand into digital spaces. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are effective ways to take visitors beyond the physical limits of the room. If this technology doesn’t seem right for your business, you can still digitally expand your space using video walls, or by incorporating mounted screens into your wall elevations. Interactive apps and games are other ways to immerse visitors in your brand. Tech like this is becoming more mainstream, but it’s important to find ways to use it creatively to add value, and not just as a novelty.
Careful, consistent overall branding of your physical and digital assets will make the biggest impact. You want your offering to be varied yet seamless, so you are immersing without overwhelming.
Your ultimate goal is to turn contacts into clients, so it’s in your interests to extend the experience beyond the timeframe of the event. You can start engaging your audience in advance in very simple ways, for example through social media or with personalised invites.
You should also plan follow-ups. For example, you could include ‘interactive giveaways’ using QR codes on your business cards, leaflets or brochures that give recipients access to additional content. More than ever, we want personal treatment from the brands we engage with, so touches like this can make all the difference.
This is also an opportunity to either create new ‘evergreen’ assets that can be updated for each event, or think creatively about what you already have. A simple update including the details of the event is a great way to make your new contacts feel like they’re getting access to ‘exclusive’ content. You can also plan for the long-term by creating materials that are suitable for re-use, for example more broadly branded banners and rollups. This will help you benefit from the investment for a longer period.
Play to your strengths
What makes you unique? Find a way to show that off – don’t spend creative energy forcing an aspect of your business into a format that won’t show off your strengths. AR/VR could complement your event marketing perfectly if you want to show off technology capabilities, product demos or training scenarios. Or, if you have a huge catalogue then an app that matches users with products in a smart, engaging way might be perfect.
With some careful planning and creative thinking, you can create immersive brand experiences that will make a lasting impression on potential clients.
Need to make an impact at your next big event? Get in touch with our team.