How to Use Experiential Marketing at Events

Gallowglass crew assisting festival goers and their equipment to set up camp

How to Use Experiential Marketing at Events

The term ‘experiential marketing’ has been around for a while now, with many of the world’s largest brands leading the charge in the area. There are countless examples of how companies have used experiences to grow their customer base, improve ROI (return on investment) and increase brand awareness. Many of these campaigns are run in high people-traffic areas such as shopping centres, train stations and, more importantly, events. Experiential marketing and events go hand in hand as they allow brands the opportunity to interact with a captive audience. In this article, we look at understanding the basic principles behind a successful experiential marketing campaign and how they can be implemented at events.

What is an Experience?

One of the main reasons experiential marketing is so unique is that experiences themselves are unique, even if they are shared. An experience could be an interaction with or an observation of something. Experiences are deeply personal, and this is why experiential marketing is so valuable.

Everyone thinks and feels differently, however, there are experiences that many, if not all of us, have shared. Things like a first kiss or a first born child are unique experiences that can bind us all together. The enjoyment, fascination and sheer wonder we experience during these experiences is addictive and can lead us to want to have more.

Experiential Marketing Principles

With experiential marketing, the clue is definitely in the name, as experience is at the heart of the purpose. Bringing a meaningful and resonating experience to a group of people is a challenging task, but when completed successfully, can be ultimately rewarding. The main principles of experiential are below:

Sensory – Using sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing will allow people to engage with the project more immersively. As humans, we’re deeply comforted when we can experience something in person. Although digital has made this less of a necessity, many of the most successful campaigns have focused on the five senses to bring a complete sensory package.

Audience Interaction and Engagement – An experience is only worth remembering (and sharing) if it’s yours. Make it so your campaign is tailored both to the individual and to the masses. This allows each person who interacts with it to leave feeling like they have had their own personal experience. This will encourage sharing via word of mouth and on social media.

Emotional Impact – As humans, we’re driven by emotions, and they are overwhelmingly capable of making decisions for us, both in the short and long term. Creating an emotional connection between the brand and the consumer is a great first step to initiating a lasting relationship. Whether you’re entertaining your consumers, offering an emotional experience or harnessing the power of nostalgia, these can all offer the chance to plant your story at the centre of people’s minds.

Examples of Experiential Marketing

Here at Gallowglass, we’ve had the good fortune of being able to work on a number of experiential campaigns for a selection of the top experiential planners in the UK. Whether this is setting up the framework or actually manning the installation, our team are well trained at bringing experiences to the masses.

Dorset Cereals Campsite Takeover – Dorset Cereals is a premium cereals brand that enjoyed massive success with their 2018 experiential campaign. The project, organised and run by The Circle Agency, saw the brand erect tents in festival campsites offering campers free breakfast and a chance to sit down and chat to friends, family and other festival goers. Gallowglass’ role was to provide backroom support in assisting with the creation and building of the tent, helping festival attendees with bringing their luggage to and from the site, and to promote the breakfast event. The project was a huge success and saw increased time spent at the tent along with 99% brand recall and a whopping 5,377 bowls of cereal served.

Lucozade Roadshow – Having been contracted by TRO, Gallowglass’ responsibility during the Lucozade roadshow was a diverse one. The project aimed at delivering samples to members of the public in 35 venues across 14 towns and cities. Our crew took a supporting role in the project, ensuring sample stations were always stocked and managing the daily deliveries. There was also important site surveillance and coordination with TRO staff across the sites. The project saw over 5.1 million samples handed out to the public, an astonishing amount!

Overall, it’s clear that experiential marketing events can greatly boost a marketing campaign and a brand’s profile. Projects set up at events and festivals have a great opportunity to attract a wide audience to participate in a shared experience. If your brand is looking to arrange an experiential installation, why not get in touch with us for information on crewing. We have event crews in London, Manchester and Glasgow, so there isn’t a part of the UK we don’t have covered!

About the author

Business Development & Marketing Coordinator, Gallowglass Group

A Music Production graduate, Conor has spent the last 12 years in customer service roles. Joining Gallowglass initially as a Crewman, his talent for gaining clients' trust and forming lasting relationships, made him a shoo-in for our business development and marketing team. When he's not liaising with clients, Conor is our visuals expert - overseeing video content and imagery for our website, app and new vehicle and uniform branding.

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