Let’s take a poll – How many events, conferences, or dinners did you attend in the last year? Which one do you remember the most? What do you remember most about the event? Were there certain parts of the event and experience that resonated with you?
Take a look at the Capture Gallery below! It is a collection of specific examples of event personalization that we’ve had the honor to create for our clients.
Events are a large part of today’s marketing strategy and are about creating personalized, exciting and sharable experiences.
But what makes that one event so memorable? Personalization! Months prior to the event, planners sat down to research, digging deep to really understand who you were and what you were looking to take away from the event. They want you to have a specific relationship and experience with their brand. After research, planning begins. Personalization takes strategy and creativity – both require time. (And we all know how valuable time is.) But in the end, the time you spend personalizing your event will repay you seven-fold.
Renowned event planner, Bronson van Wyck told Business Insider in a recent article, “If we can make someone love something, they will not only buy it, they will also go and tell everyone they know.” He further stated, “We’re reaching the next level of emotional engagement, and you get there by having moments where people have fun.”
Not only that, but B2B marketers believe customer experience, personalization, and big-data hold the most promise in successful marketing over the next five years. A study revealed that 22% of the B2B marketers surveyed named customer experience as the greatest opportunity. (Econsultancy and Adobe via PureB2B)
So now the question becomes, “How can I create an experience that will become the new benchmark for all other, similar events?”
It starts with these five simple questions:
Are you inviting Consumers? Customers? Stakeholders? Supporters? End users? Friends? Coworkers? Decision makers? Will your guests be primarily male? Or female? Children? Families? Adults only?
Understanding who will be at your event is absolutely key before you start planning your event.
Once you know who you want to target, think about the type of events your potential attendees enjoy going to. If it’s a fundraising event – is it a dinner gala? Golf tournament? Charity sports game? Concert? If it’s not a fundraiser – is it a Celebration Event? Holiday Party? Anniversary Party? Sporting Event? Do your guests prefer an intimate atmosphere or something more lively? Do they enjoy the arts? Sporting events? The outdoors?
Location, location, location! Not only is it important to find the type of event your guests will enjoy, but finding a venue and location that is convenient and comfortable for your guests is just as important. Is the location convenient for guests? What type of atmosphere does the venue provide? How big is the venue in relation to your guest list? What is the parking situation? Will the event be indoors or outdoors? Does the venue or location have any significance to your brand?
What time of year will the event take place? What time will it start? Is the time convenient for your guests? Will your guests be driving in or flying in? If they are flying in, when do you expect your guests to arrive in town? Will the event be held after work or during the work day? Will it be on a weekend? Is it a multi-day event? Timing is critical to guest experience.
Picking a time that makes your guests feel rushed is not the way to start.
Why will your attendees want to attend? Are they looking to network with prospective customers? Current customers? Friends? Co-workers? Are they looking to learn something new? Are they just looking to have a good time? Support a cause?
Understanding why your attendees want to attend is critical in order to make their experience great.
Once you have the answers to these five questions, it’s time to connect the dots. How can you connect your attendees and the event experiences you provide back to your brand?
This is where the strategy and creativity part come into play. As a brand, what do you want your attendees to remember about your event? What do you want them to say or share with others when they leave? Let’s say your attendees LOVE fine dining and food presentations. Do some research on unique and creative food presentations and displays. Could the chef create a signature dish just for your company? Are there branding opportunities on the serving ware or napkins? Could you invite a well renowned chef to the event to do a live food presentation? Could the chef wear a company branded shirt or pin?
As you can see, when connecting the dots, you personalize the event and take the attendee experience to the next level. Remember to look at the experience opportunities inside out and upside down to find ways to tie those experiences back to your brand. Not only will this create an even stronger connection and experience for your guests and the future customers who heard about your event, but your event will be the new benchmark for events.
Let us know if you have an event coming up that you need help with. We’re here for you!
Capture Marketing is a public relations and events agency experienced in developing creative solutions on behalf of corporations, foundations, professional athletes and other celebrities. We believe that Doing Good is Good Business™ (DGIGB) and partner with our clients to advance their cause marketing initiatives.