Navigating Experiential Marketing During COVID-19

The spread of coronavirus has caused event cancellations worldwide, leaving the experiential marketing industry with no other option than to adapt to a new world of remote work and social distancing. While pivoting and adapting to new processes can be difficult, we have found that turbulence brings new opportunities, especially in experiential marketing.

Experiential marketing, also called engagement marketing, is a marketing strategy that invites an audience to interact with a business in order to create experiences between the brand and consumer. This marketing tactic provides an opportunity for your brand to leave an impression on consumers while getting at the heart of what motivates people: their emotions. For that reason, all good experiential campaigns focus on people, aiming to challenge, inspire and motivate. Examples include live experiences, sampling, roadshows, festivals, social content, PR stunts and partnerships.

At DeanHouston, putting people first is what we do best. That’s why we excel within the arena of experiential marketing. But when COVID-19 was causing disruptions and cancellations to most in-person experiential events, we knew we had to begin paving a new path and quickly innovate new offerings for clients in order to stay ahead of the curve. For an answer, we decided to take our experiential marketing virtual – creating virtual events like digital trade shows.

We’re not going to lie; shifting from executing in-person experiential marketing events to virtual events isn’t always easy. However, using the right approach and following a few best practices is key to getting the most out of your virtual experiential events.

Put Your Attendees First

Determine what attendees need and want, and design your event in order to provide them with the best ROI. Make sure attendees feel like you’re investing in them even though your event is virtual.

Keep It Interactive

Provide attendees with a fully immersive experiential marketing experience by gamifying your virtual event. In other words, take your content and make it fun by providing a way for your attendees to interact with your information so they stay attentive and interested.

Don’t Stress About Production

Consumers aren’t looking for a perfectly staged event. Yes, the event should run smoothly, but consumers may feel disconnected if the event is overly produced; just be authentic and entertaining.

Create Scalable Experiences

Experiences vary in size and scale. Don’t be afraid to customize an experience for a smaller audience than what you normally have during an in-person event.

To learn more about how you can turn your experiential marketing virtual, please contact your DeanHouston account/marketing manager.

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