We published 101 blog posts in 2017 - we interviewed co-workers; we interviewed partners; we recapped our concerts, screenings, stunts, festival-appearances, owned activations, and everything in between; we shared our experiential marketing wisdom; and we highlighted other agencies doing kick ass experiences.
Check out our top 5 most popular blogs of the year based on a hot combination of views, clickthroughs, and conversions, below (marketers need to see DATA, so we brought the receipts). Then, susbscribe to our weekly blog updates to get all things Pop2Life straight to your inbox!
1. 17 Experiential Marketing Stats for 2017
2. 65% of the consumers surveyed said live events helped them have a better understanding of a product or service, vastly surpassing digital efforts and TV advertising as methods of recognizing and learning about a brand. (EventTrack)
3. 65% of brands say that their event and experiential programs are directly related to sales. (EMI & Mosaic)
4. 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event. (EventTrack)
5. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the event industry will grow by 44% from 2010 to 2020, exceeding most growth predictions for other industries. (US Bureau of Labor)
6. According to 80% of attendants, live demonstrations and free samples significantly help define their purchasing decision. (EventTrack)
7. 75% of companies with event budgets between $50-100 million say they expect an ROI of more than 5:1 for live event and experiential programs. (EMI & Mosaic)
8. 98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation. (EventTrack)
10. 79% of US marketers generate sales using event marketing. (Statista)Read the rest here!
2. The Best SXSW Brand Activations
The Austin, TX based festival, South by Southwest (referred to as SXSW or simply South by for those in the know), is an experiential, and experimental, marketing opportunity for the world's boldest brands. With 72,000 registrants and artists in attendance, SXSW is one of the most effective channels for promoting your business to professionals connected in the interactive, film, and music industries. SXSW's 100+ sessions, parties, screenings, and keynotes are all centered around one, simple message - the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.
Check out Pop2Life's brand experiences coming to SXSW this year, as well as our favorite experiential activations from 2016 and prior.
Sundance TV: In order to promote Season Two of Hap and Leonard on SundanceTV, we are creating a bull-riding activation across the street from the convention center at SXSW. Inside the activation, fans are invited to test their 'Mojo' (a major theme of the show), by seeing how long they can last on a bucking bull. The longer they stay on the bull, the more Mojo he or she has. The entire experience is being captured by a GoPro that is attached to the bull, which digitally transforms the bull into a horse to match the show's key art, which shows the two main characters jumping over a cop car on a horse. Additionally, fans are invited to take their mug shot against a branded mug shot wall.
Comedy Central: Kegs and Eggs is Comedy Central's annual SXSW party featuring free breakfast tacos and beer for all guests. There are several activations throughout the space that highlight Comedy Central's programming like the Drunk History dunk tank, Broad City paint by numbers wall, South Park couch, gif photo booth and more. Guests can also spin the prize wheel to win prizes from many of the networks' shows.
@Midnight Live: Chris Hardwick's game show @Midnight is coming back to SXSW for the second year in a row. Guests include comedians Thomas Lennon, Nick Swardson and Whitney Cummings who will compete for POINTS! There will be a live audience at the legendary ACL Live at the Moody Theatre on Friday, March 10 - doors at 7 p.m.
3. 6 Questions to Ask in Every Post-Event Survey
1. “Was the event better, worse, or about what you expected?”
This question seems brutal, but it’s important to understand how attendees’ feelings walking into your event compared to their feelings walking out. High expectations are awesome - it means that consumers have positive attributions associated with your brand and expect the best. However, if you don’t meet those high expectations, the experience is tainted. Low expectations aren’t so bad either, as there’s a greater chance of a “better” experience.
2. “Do you plan on engaging with our brand in the future? Why or why not?”
While you might expect a snafu to create negative associations with your brand among attendees, people are remarkably forgiving. In that same vein, a great experience at your event doesn’t always mean consumers will suddenly drop their habits to incorporate you. Like any question, look for patterns in answers and pay close attention to the “why or why not” portion of the question.
3. “Compared to other similar events you have attended, how does this event compare?”
It’s important to know where you stack up against the competition, so include space for attendees to elaborate on the similarities and differences they’ve observed or experienced. You can even take this question a step further and provide examples of events you’d compare yours to or ask for side by side comparisons of specific components such as food, space, entertainment, bathrooms, etc.
4. 12 Travel Hacks From Our Event Concierge Services Team
1. Book your flight on Tuesday at 3pm ET
Most airlines create fare sales on Monday afternoons and then distribute them to travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, and even their own website. By Tuesday morning, competing airlines have seen these sales and adjust their own fares accordingly.
Then, by 3pm ET, final sale pricing hits reservation systems - showing you the maximum number of discounted seats. But, act fast, these sales only last a few days before the process starts all over again.
2. Buy as if you're traveling solo
Say you're purchasing tickets for everyone in your family of four. Airline reservation systems and travel sites will charge you the same price for all four tickets on the reservation - regardless if three seats are available at a lower cost than the fourth. Everyone will be charged the higher price. Instead, browse for one flyer at a time to see the cheapest tickets available.
3. Prepay for your rental car
Obviously, right? You can save around 30% on your total cost by paying when you book your rental care. Except you need to check the fine print for scary stipulations like, “Any change to the reservation may impact the rental charges. The rental rates may be higher if you make any change to your rental, including a change to extend the rental, the drop-off location or return the vehicle prior to the scheduled return date. Additional fees or surcharges may be applied at time of rental.”
Before you fork over your credit card information, actually read the terms and conditions to discover what types of penalties you're agreeing to.
4. Fly and drive to save money
If your travel destination is a little more remote than a major city with a shining, international airport, try flying into the closest metropolis, then renting a car and driving to your final destination. This can save you on airfare into smaller markets and time factoring in connections.
5. Don't Hire Brand Ambassadors, Hire Performers: Q&A with Mustard Lane
Tell us the Mustard Lane story.
Ten years ago, our founder and CEO, Kristal Mallookis, graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in dance. Upon moving to New York, she found herself taking temporary work handing out flyers and noticed her co-workers would often show up late, skip shifts, and not communicate with their bosses. Kristal knew she could find people better than this and that’s when Mustard Lane was born. Over the last decade, Mustard Lane has evolved into a company that does so much more than flyering.
All of our employees, who we lovingly call “Laners," are performers in some capacity. They really love working for us because they can participate in our crazy cool events and still pursue their artistic endeavors. I’m a writer and actor myself, so when I met Kristal I instantly felt like I fit in with her family of performers. Actors make the best BAs because they know how to talk to people, keep them engaged, get dressed up, sell a product, and represent a brand. We make the event special because we're having fun and pursuing our artistic endeavors simultaneously.
It's a great community and our holiday parties are always a blast! We have a talent show every year and everyone gets on stage to show off their skills - last year, one of our male employees did a Nina Simone impersonation. He sounded exactly like her and maybe even better! And the name is a reference to The Beatle’s - our first client called Kristal "Penny Lane" and she called him "Mean Mr. Mustard." So Mustard Lane was born.