The guest experience will make or break your event. But, what happens when those guests are also your employees? Do the dynamics change? Do the planning processes change? Do the expectations change? Many big brands reward their employees with travel, private events, and high value experiences the same way they surprise and delight attendees at their consumer-focused activations. While each experience is executed with a unique set of goals, the same care and attention to detail must be maintained in the planning and production.
A horse race in Lexington, KY doesn't sound like the greatest opportunity for high-profile brands to execute large-scale activations. But somehow, it works. Last year, more than 167,000 people donned their biggest hats, brightest florals, and seersucker suits headed for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” attendees indulge in mint juleps, place bets on their favorite horses, and attend many pre-race parties and activations.
Pop2Life, in partnership with Macerich and HGTV, has revolutionized the traditional Santa photo and visit for millions of families during the holiday season. What once was a simple (using that word lightly- people simply got tired of waiting) concept of waiting in long, agonizing lines to simply take a photo with Santa has turned into so much more-- we've created a fully immersive, and more importantly fun, experience.
As 2016 winds down, there is no rest for the weary marketer. We are expected to predict the future and plan for 2017 before the champagne has even been popped to ring in the new year. This notion especially applies to experiential marketing - which requires weeks, if not months, of planning.
Travel is one of the most fulfilling experiences money can buy. With travel brings freedom, exposure to unseen people and places, perspective, and… planning. The pain and headaches that come with planning a travel experience don’t slow us down. In fact, the Boston Consulting Group reports that the millennial generation is more interested than older generations in traveling as much as possible—by a 23-percentage-point margin.
The reason experiential marketers produce branded events is to establish an emotional connection with their audience, earn their loyalty, and, ultimately make them feel special. Every last event attendee should feel like they were cordially invited to an exclusive VIP experience, even if they purchased tickets or the event was open to the public.
The events world is anything but one-size-fits-all. While event planners deal with venues, vendors, production, catering, contracts, logistics, decor, and a never-ending stream of changes, it's tough to focus on each individual guest experience. This is especially challenging for events that include different types or levels of guests and events that require travel management (such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival). Moreover, we live in a world where everything is on demand, customized, and personalized. People's expectations are higher than ever and getting a “V.I.P.” experience is no longer the exception, it's the expectation.
Ever heard of the Food Network show Chopped? In the show, four chefs are presented with three baskets filled with mystery ingredients. After each round they must face the dreaded chopping block. What better way to promote MasterCard’s Priceless then to host a live Chopped experience in hotspots like Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and New York.