As an event planner, one of your biggest goals is to provide an experience that attendees will remember. This article highlights how industry trends in experiential marketing can help plan your next event, trade show, or meeting.
Corporate events have drastically changed over the past decade.
Event marketers are now challenged to create a full-service experience for attendees that is engaging and memorable.
In fact, a 2018 report from IACC revealed that 75% of meeting planners say that their role involves more “experience creation” than it did two to five years ago.
When people pay thousands of dollars and dedicate time spent away from work to attend a conference they want an experience to remember.
It is important that event marketers think outside of the box and reinvent the corporate event for the modern-day business era.
How can you give conference attendees an experience they can’t get online or on social media?
Let’s take a look at a few experiential marketing ideas to excite and engage event attendees.
Start each day with a health and wellness experience
The health and wellness space is expanding rapidly, making its way outside of the home and into corporate events.
Fun runs, meditation sessions, smoothie bars, and hydrations stations are just a few examples of opportunities to get attendees blood flowing and mindset right before the conference starts.
Hosting one of these activities each morning of the conference offers a unique experience for the health enthusiast who is missing their morning workout or trip to the smoothie bar.
Offer power napping suits
By the time the clock strikes 2 p.m. many guests will be looking for a chance to slip out of the sessions, find a place to relax and recharge their cell phones and computers.
Having napping lounges at the conference gives attendees the chance to rest and rehydrate for a few minutes before continuing on with their day.
Attendees can check into the napping lounge for a maximum of 20 minutes and someone from the host team can monitor the area to make sure someone isn’t sleeping the day away.
Host an event scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are an interactive way to engage with attendees and promote teamwork. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?
Transform your meeting space into a scavenger hunters paradise filled with clues and prizes scattered throughout the show floor.
Have attendees create original content throughout the conference that they can post on the mobile app and social media using the event hashtag. This will help drive conversation and increase engagement throughout the event.
Prizes can be awarded to the participants who engage the most.
Step up the Menu with Culinary Experiences
The food and beverage options served at an event can make and break the success. With the rise of the culinary landscape around the world food expectations have raised the bar for the catering industry.
So it’s important to offer experiential food options that will enhance the dining experience like chef carving stations, yogurt bars, snack breaks, a custom cocktail bar, food trucks to meet the needs of the modern day foodie.
Design VR or AR experiences
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality has been the hottest trend in event marketing for the past few years. The use of VR and AR are a fun and creative way to enhance the conference experience.
It’s an excellent opportunity to leverage the announcement of new products and allow attendees to test out the experience first hand. The more attendees are engaged throughout the conference, the more likely they will return for a consecutive year.
Set up personalization of conference tracks
There is a high demand right now from consumers for personalized experiences and this is changing the way event marketers plan conferences and trade shows. The personalization aspect should start before the conference begins.
Allow event attendees the opportunity to select what sessions they want to attend based on their interest and job descriptions in advance.
This will also help you determine which sessions are in demand and gather analytics about the audience before the conference starts. With the help of backend IT support this is an easy task to do in the mobile app.
Invite everyone to a food tour in the host city
After a long day at a conference, event attendees will most likely be rushing to find something to eat and drink at a nearby restaurant.
Giving attendees the option to add on a progressive dining experience like a culinary tour of the city eliminates the stress of finding a place to eat and a chance to taste the local food scene.
You can partner with the local tourism board to coordinate with local restaurants to offer a private tasting of the menu. Who doesn’t love the opportunity to eat and explore a new city?
So the next time you prepare your event marketing strategy think of these fun and interactive ideas to surprise and delight conference attendees.