Event marketers know organizing an event requires thought, hard work, and time. After all that, it is crucial to make your event stand out.
Various activation ideas for events can help create a memorable experience with standout elements for a lasting impression. Such events increase customer loyalty and brand recognition and encourage word-of-mouth promotion.
When an event stands out, it can turn and boost attendance rates, increase participation and generate buzz in the industry. Also, by offering something different, event marketers create a unique selling point that sets them apart from the competition. Moreover, a standout event generates significant ROI, business leads, and sponsorship opportunities and attracts attendees to the next event.
What is Event Activation?
Event activation is an integral part of the event plan that requires creating a memorable experience for attendees to ensure they keep returning every year. Event marketing activation requires careful planning and strategies to maximize attendance and engagement.
From interactive display units to social media campaigns, event activation helps promote your events to a broader audience. It adds the “wow” factor to your event and inspires people to discuss it.
Here are a few benefits of event activation:
- Increase engagement to keep attendees interested
- Improved brand recognition among attendees
- Boost revenue and increase the willingness of sponsors to invest
There are different activation ideas for events that you can use according to your goals and needs. If implemented correctly, event activation develops a connection with the audience, making it fun and memorable.
Statistics on the Importance of Standing Out in Events
The global event industry is growing at a CAGR of 11.2% and is expected to reach $1,552.9 billion by 2028. According to the global marketing leaders’ survey, 72% said they effectively delivered value for the company through in-person events.
During the 2021 survey, it was revealed that marketers worldwide conducted 40% of events online, 35% of events hybrid and 35% of events in person. At the same time, the 2023 look at the event industry indicates that 87% of marketers will organize in-person events.
Only 21% of the event marketers worldwide measured event ROI by the number of attendees, while the others didn’t consider it the only factor or an event to stand out.
8 Brand Activation Ideas for Successful Events
When you think about event activation, you might think about flow charts and project milestones. However, it isn’t as complicated as you think. It is a simple process but requires creative and critical planning ahead. You must include the right event content marketing tactics to boost your event significantly.
Here are eight creative brand event activations ideas that you can implement to make your event stand out:
- Interactive experiences
- Immersive technology
- Collaborations with influencers
- Themed events
- Branded swag and merchandise
- Event marketing
- Creating a Seamless Customer Experience
- Resolving Customer Pain Points
1. Interactive Experiences
An interactive experience refers to a person’s participation in a system or environment of content. Interactive experiences for brand activations enables more engagement as the user’s action and choices directly impact the outcome.
For example, Aesku Group used this interactive experience, a dynamic 3D screen with interactive content experience at the MedLab2023 event to captivate the attendees.
To make your event stand out, you must incorporate interactive experiences to add value and engage more people. There are numerous benefits of hosting interactive experiences at the event, including:
- Enhance attendee engagement
- Build teamwork and collaboration
- Improves learning and retention
- Boost brand awareness
Interactive experiences can significantly enhance attendance at your event and create a lasting impression. Here are some ways you can make your event stand out with interactive elements:
- Introduce interactive games with VR & AR stations
- Install interactive displays, touchscreens, and interactive exhibits
- Encourage attendees to use interactive social photo booths
- Facilitate personalized content experience
- Interactive overlays in the physical environment
2. Immersive Technology
Immersive technology refers is referred to the way of extending reality and creating a new reality with the physical environment leveraging technology. This technology allows the creator to bring together virtual and physical elements with the use of sound, sight and even touch.
Today, immersive technology is revolutionizing marketing activation events and delivering unforgettable adventures for attendees.
For example, Blox Bytes, a leading blockchain and web3 development company, participated at the METAVSUMMIT and offered the people to book meetings with experts in Metaverse.
Event technology is revolutionizing, and it is becoming important to deliver high-impact immersive experiences for the attendees at the event. Here’s how you can incorporate immersive technology into your events.
- Use AR and VR to tell your brand story
- Showcase your product experience
- Add experiential booths
- Use interactive displays
The main idea is to incorporate these technologies to merge with the environment and drive higher engagement rates.
3. Collaborations with Influencers
Collaboration with influencers is a marketing tactic that brands adopt to expand their reach on social media. Influencers have their own set of followers on social media. Collaboration enables brands to reach a large and highly engaged target market that they might not have been able to tap otherwise.
Mainly for social media event marketing, influencers help create brand awareness, generate leads, and achieve your event marketing goals.
The benefits of using influencers for event activation are as follows:
- Increased brand awareness by reaching a targeted audience through influencer’s followers
- Increase credibility for the event, as influencers have built trust with the people
- Cost-effective to reach a larger audience
- Results in higher engagement and conversions
For example, Tahira Endean is a tech influencer and collaborator. Companies in the tech industry collaborate to increase their reach and build brand awareness among people. In the example below, Tahira Endean tweets about the IMEX23, America’s largest trade show.
Influencer marketing is powerful, but you must identify and work with the right influencers to achieve the goals. Here are some tips for finding influencers for your event:
- Your personal network
- Online website that provides influencer data
- Google your industry and look for the top influencers
- Use hashtags to search influencers on Instagram
- Search for influencers on Twitter
- Once you’ve shortlisted, look for their followers and engagement
Building effective influencer relationships requires clear communication and time for an influencer to let them work in their creative space. Here’s how you can work with influencers to make your event stand out:
- Decide the budget before you start working
- Decide the platform for your influencer marketing campaign
- Find the target market niche your event focuses on
- Evaluate their workflows and set goals
- Set campaign briefs and milestones for easy tracking
Not only collaboration with influencers will drive engagement but also positively impact your event ticket sales.
4. Themed Events
Themed events are social gatherings around a specific concept, idea or theme. These events are designed to create immersive experiences for the attendees through décor, activities, costumes and other elements that align with the selected theme. Theme-based activating event examples include start-up pitch competitions, industry conferences, leadership seminars, networking events, and workshops.
Themed events for event activation offers several benefits for both organizer and attendees. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Themed events create unique experiences for the attendees
- Drives higher engagement and interaction
- Develops a sense of community for the attendees
- Stands out for its environment and gathering
For example, 4YFN is the world’s largest start-up event for the mobile industry, with programs for start-ups, high-growth verticals, and strategic areas related to investors and launching new business ventures. It is a perfect example of a themed event where every element revolves around a specific idea.
However, choosing a theme for an event can enhance the overall experience, but at the same time, it is a challenging task. Here’s a brief guide on how you can incorporate a theme for your event:
- Understand your objectives and goals
- Know your audience and understand their preferences
- Research and brainstorm industry-specific ideas
- Pay attention to creative details
- Collaborate with experts who specialize in themed events
Moreover, themed events are tailored to suit different target audiences and add a touch of novelty to stand out among others.
5. Branded Swag and Merchandise
Branded swag and merchandise refer to companies’ promotional products to promote their events. It is an actual giveaway merchandise that increases brand recognition and engagement and drives sales. Branded merchandise is essential to brand activation strategy and makes the event stand out.
You can also customize your branded swag and merchandise, and there is a huge range of products, including t-shirts, badges, caps, portable chargers, accessories, bags, and much more. Here are some benefits of branded merchandise:
- Helps to develop the brand association
- Helps in brand recognition
- Increased customer journey
- Attract new customers
For example, the image below showcases branded swag and merchandise the University of Melbourne provided at its events.
Before you start designing or ordering swag for your event, you need to define the objectives that you want to achieve. Here are some tips for designing and producing branded swag and merchandise for your event.
- Make sure your swag grabs your attendee’s attention
- Make it relevant with a message that attendees can relate with
- Make sure it’s appealing to the attendees
- Opt for high-quality branded goods
- Branding goes beyond a logo, thus creating a connection with your attendees
Most importantly, plan your swag and merchandise for the event, and ensure merchandise availability beforehand.
6. Event Marketing
When devising online event activation ideas, you must understand the impact they can have on your business. In a nutshell, event marketing allows people to learn about your company and generate leads. Event marketing is full of inspiration to captivate the audience with its uniqueness. Events are essential to give a face to your company and build relationships with your audience.
You can explore the event marketing guide to further look for ways to grow your database of leads, increase sales, and track the ROI of your event marketing efforts.
Using the following steps, you can develop an event marketing strategy to reach your target audience, generate interest in your event and drive ticket sales.
- Set your goals and objectives
- Identify your target audience
- Develop communication plan
- Choose the right platform
- Design compelling content for the event
- Promote the event before, during, and after the event
- Co-ordinate with influencers
- Measure your event ROI
- Iterate and Improve
A successful marketing plan considers all aspects of the company, such as goals, management, promotion, engagement, and use of technology for the event. Aligning event goals with business goals will positively reflect your brand and develop interest among the valuable attendees.
Do you know some ways to promote the event and increase attendance? Here are five practical ways to do so:
- Collaborate with influencers to engage a broader audience
- Showcase event highlights, such as keynote speakers and guests
- Offer discounts such as early bird, alums, percent off or VIP passes
- Leverage the power of social media event marketing
- Share your event through an e-mail marketing campaign
- Excite your attendees with teasers and sneak peeks
- Add a wow factor using the latest event technology
- Get the media to cover your events
Now you’re ready to increase your event attendance. From quality content to event experiences, you must use the most effective ways to promote your event and make sure you fill seats to generate maximum ROI.
7. Creating a Seamless Customer Experience
Customers want a seamless experience at events. According to research, 91% of people are more likely to shop with brands that recognize them, and 42% consider seamless customer experience as the top factor when considering a business.
However, developing a seamless experience may seem overwhelming, requiring many verticals and a complicated design. It’s always great to focus on the core activities of your business and let an expert events marketing agency help you develop a unique and seamless experience considering all pin-points of the attendees.
Here are some important tips to consider for a seamless customer experience:
- Identify a complete customer journey
- Adopt a customer-centric view
- Use appropriate communication channels
- Set your tone and speak with a single voice
- Build relationships and not flings
Remember, customer experience is the number 1 differentiator for your event and can make you stand out among others.
8. Resolving Customer Pain Points
What are your customer pain points? How do you resolve them? And what can make your event valuable in the eyes of customers? If you’re looking for the answer, you must understand ways to remove customer pain points.
Building customer experience and identifying pain points is one of the top elements in the event marketing checklist.
What are customer pain points? It is a specific problem that your customer experiences during all the interactions across the platform. We’ve listed 5 pain points every customer faces during an event:
- Delayed support response
- Inconsistent brand experience
- Lack of adequate knowledge
- Align solutions to customer needs
- Poor quality products or services
By putting in the right efforts and offering valuable benefits, you can resolve customers’ pain points. We’ve compiled ways to solve customer pain points.
- Share testimonials and case studies
- Communicate that you understand pain points
- Show how your solution can help them
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Are Creative Activations Important for Events?
Creative activations are important for events to engage an audience, build interest, create positive brand associations, and ensure a positive experience at your events. It can help you reshape the brand to the audience and how they perceive your products.
How Can Gamification Be Used for Lead Generation?
Gamification leads to better engagement and a desire to be engaged. In gamified marketing initiatives, the attendees are driven to perform an action that improves customer retention and improve operational practices to generate better leads
What Is a Social Media Wall and How Can It Benefit Lead Generation?
A social media wall is a live feed of posts from different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using a digital display at the event. It can benefit lead generation by increasing brand visibility, driving engagement and user-generated content to expand reach through social media interactions.
Events draw different kinds of audiences, and they ask for a certain level of engagement. Choosing activation ideas for events is always best according to your business needs and objectives.
Always remember what can help you better connect with your audience and make the experience positive for them is the right set of experiences you need to offer at your event.
No event is perfect. However, by adopting tips and tactics, you can reach more customers and grow awareness through event marketing.