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Many people think experiential is reserved purely for the big end of town with deep pockets.

But, what if…

We’re doing this experiential stuff without realising?

In a trade show environment you’re really already part way there…

You have your audience and they’re actively seeking to learn and explore.

It’s 100% up to YOU how that experience unfolds.

You COULD, do what’s expected…

(Hide behind a counter, thrust a brochure at someone or look like you’d rather be somewhere else).

… OR …

You could create a MEMORABLE ENCOUNTER that is AUTHENTIC and emphasises WHY they should be doing business with you.

You’re meeting them face-to-face and letting them eyeball the people behind the brand.

This has a way of increasing trust and is absolutely why exhibitions work so damn well.

Stats from the EventTrack Survey

  • 62% said consumers gained greater product knowledge as a result of their experiential event
  • 57% developed deeper consumer involvement
  • 74% were more likely to purchase a company’s products or services after an experiential marketing event

Why Experiential Marketing Works So Well

The business’s that get real cut-through are breaking away from the pack by doing just that.

They re-introduce the “human factor” (Yep, my highly technical term).

It’s our detachment from the real world that makes experiential experiences work so well.

We are so busy that when a genuine exchange takes place it’s the most refreshing slap in the face you’ll ever get.

It’s raw, juicy and people lap it up.

If you take the time to connect with your market at an exhibition you will be rewarded a million times over.

When you give your brand human qualities like vulnerability or sharing a value, belief or what you stand for as a business, you become far more relatable to the those humans walking the show floor.

Something special happens when you take one of these concepts and get creative with how you translate your message through your exhibit.

… You invite people to explore.

(We all LOVE to explore)

This really is the secret to getting them to let their guard down and open their minds to something new.

The moment you think experiential, there’s a good chance you think about a campaign like one of these:

 

 

“Most businesses are obsessed with downplaying Mystery. They are determined to frame the world so it fit their own systems and processes.”
– Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi

Is it for me?

Experiential marketing can seem like a big deal.

At it’s core, experiential marketing is about creating a memorable hands-on experience with your brand.

While experiential may be a trending word, there’s good reason.

Following a rise in mass marketing, it’s the strength of the connection each of us have with a brand that is now a highly sought after commodity.

It’s hard to stand out from the crowd and be seen as a business who cares and is authentic rather than one focused solely on sales transactions.

Giving back to the community is one way that people have demonstrated this in an experiential setting.

Either donations for completing an activity or a feel good story showcasing how your company is helping in the community.

This has been a trend that has really taken off with pharmaceutical exhibits because they can’t even give a pen away any more without raising eyebrows! (If I was a Dr, I’m not sure I could be bribed by a pen… But them be the rules.)

It could be theming that transports the visitor outside of the show floor.

Or an activity to break up the incredibly ordinary experience of walking the aisles.

To me, experiential marketing relates to how we want the people to interact with the brand.

I always try to consider what I want from the visitors before mapping out an experience.

Key Questions to Ask:

  • Do you want to provoke thoughts?
  • Engage senses to feel a particular way?
  • Get them to behave in a certain way?
  • Relate, shock, excite, amaze, grab their attention..
  • Or is it a purely indulgent experience you want them to enjoy?

Nikon Guerilla Marketing

Another example: Nikon’s paparazzi ad led commuters at a subway in South Korea along a red carpet that led them to the Nikon store. The graphic itself is brilliant in its simplicity, but it also had a sensor that tripped set of flashes of those passing by.

 

 

It’s only after knowing what a client is trying to ACHIEVE (the goal) that I will ever consider the structure that would best represent the business and create the mood or behaviours we want from the visitor.

The approach you take doesn’t have to be outrageously obvious either.

The funny part is that it’s actually doing the opposite to what people expect that usually works best.

When it comes to the basics, lighting, product layout and signage are just as important at influencing outcomes.

Eg, if you want visitors to be able to direct themselves you would need a hierarchy of signage. They would need to see the subject, then the category, product grout etc so it filters down to the product they are interested in.

In the computer software market they have successfully cut out middle men while reducing costs and increasing accessibility.

We now go to the app store to search for a program online, download the app, pay online and even search for help when troubleshooting.

Boy, do they have us trained!

The whole experience is very different to getting in your car, talking to someone at a store, paying over the counter, flicking through a physical manual and dealing with multiple discs to install your software like we had to…

What about our beloved Apple Store?

Rather than calling the trouble centre “Repairs, Issues & Faulty Goods” they wisely named it the “Genius Bar”, which drastically alters public perception and therefore the experience they have with the brand.

Brilliant choice of words. Well played, Apple.

If you really want to make a difference to the impact you make with you’re exhibit, take a giant step back and look at WHAT you’re telling your audience and HOW you’re doing it.

If you knew nothing about your business or your product, would you want to find out more?

Once you get a clear idea of your message you can get creative with your obstacles. 

Despite being told not to “judge a book by it’s cover”, it’s human nature to and we are doing it unconsciously everyday.

Sometimes we are just too close to our business to be able to see what outsiders see.

If you would like help creating your next experiential experience at an exhibition, get in touch and book in a 20min call.

Yours in Exhibiting,

Jessica Turnbull
Tradeshow Strategist
0417 468 487