When it comes to pulling off a successful immersive event experience for a brand, you need a modern, tech-ready event space to make it happen. The most successful brand immersion experiences will be on the bleeding-edge of innovation, meaning not just any event space and location will do. The rush of every over-the-top detail executing seamlessly, when an event is in full swing, is brand immersion at its best.
Applying Brand Immersion Methodology for Event Marketing
The Brand Immersion methodology requires a pull-marketing approach that drips content into unique user journeys based on where users are on their path to discovering your brand, considering your solution, and converting into a customer. Immersion branding requires reach that is omni-channel and a strategy of messaging that is a united front. While brand immersion is a holistic approach to marketing, the event is an opportunity to go beyond conversion by turning interest into full-blown obsession.
To create an immersive brand experience using the Brand Immersion method, the planner needs to rely on personas built on data. Knowing who your audience is will help to anticipate needs, design experiences, and create messaging that is consistent from the entrance right up to the main showpiece of your event. Once you have your target persona, sketch out the attendee journey; anticipating every need.
The journey points for the event planner may include:
• Break outs
Real data from past events is used to create your persona and in-person interviews or surveys are conducted with past attendees to inform the basis for all messaging throughout the marketing, live experience, and wrap-up of the event. Along the way, when gaps are identified where experiences haven’t been aligned with data findings, treat these as opportunities to create something that further solidifies the brand. There should be a clear understanding of personas and their unique journey throughout the event experience from awareness to attendance.
From there, every message, every break out, every unorthodox offering, every memorable performance, will revolve around what that persona wants with respect to the brand. Once the journey is mapped out, the personas identified, the content captured and the channels chosen, the execution becomes completely holistic. Brand immersion for the event planner means creating a complete end-to-end experience that drives home the obsession and brand loyalty metrics associated with event marketing success. The right event space serves as the key backdrop to optimizing every cutting-edge, technologically-elevated, “wow-factor” element of the event.
The ABCs of Brand Immersion
The ABCs of Brand Immersion are “always be collecting [data]”. Even if you are up to speed on the ways in which technology can be used in events, there are always other ways to connect physical elements with digital channels. One way to collect more data, while also creating an authentic brand experience, is to create a mobile application for your event. The mobile app extends the experience of the event by making it available prior to the event, and during, for greater interaction. Event apps give attendees a way to sign up for sessions, look up other attendees and network, create a profile, and check out break out session details on the go. Having a proprietary branded asset such as an app for your event is a game changer in terms of creating brand immersion and determining success for future brand immersion and event execution.
Experience Designers will also look to years prior to understand and identify trends as to how attendees interacted with vendors onsite, actual event space and setup, the content, and how technology was incorporated and adopted. Use these patterns and trends to determine opportunities for improving the event experience going forward. Data optimization from previous years may come in the form of collecting frequently asked questions through chat bots, previous session preferences of attendees, location data collected through beacons and RFID chips, and survey answers. Learn more about the modern event through incorporating technology in our blog, for ways technology is used to collect better data on your event.
Experience Designers are the New Event Planners
Think like an experience designer to create like a brand immerser. To design the immersed brand experience, is to design with each strategic channel in mind with a focus on the end user experience. In both the digital world, and even more so in the event space, mapping out the user journey is essential to creating the brand immersion experience into a physical experience. Just as we’ve seen branding change with digital in mind, we’ve seen the roles of event planners evolve too. Now Experience Designers are on the front lines of the event planning “battlefield”. Creating a successful brand immersion means taking on Experience Design (XD) as part of the planner role.
When talking about brand immersion in terms of event planning, it’s hard to not talk about experiential design. Event planners today that are understanding ways to leverage data, collect more feedback loops, and making their creative decisions based on data-driven insights, are essentially taking on the updated role of XD. The Event Planner that seamlessly moves into the Experience Design role will understand the activation of digital channels for events, leveraging technology, without overdoing it, and mapping out the audience journey from entrance to exit.
Qualitative Brand Immersion Success
Now that you have your data, journeys, and audience in mind, you’ll need a blank canvas to cast your branded experience. If putting on an event is an opportunity to push the boundaries of the brand, then MEET Live in Las Vegas is the conduit for being able to execute that opportunity. Your attendees want to be delighted through innovative lighting, digital interaction, and simplified opportunities for networking. Use a modern event space to bring the brand to life beyond yesterday’s name badges and power points. The event needs to come alive for those attending to achieve organic viral buzz and media coverage and momentum for future activation and execution. Working with data from past events will help to ideate and anticipate the needs of future attendees. The event this year dictates the improvements next year – create and iterate as much as you wish.
When it comes to the physical world, a successful brand immersion is determined not by conversions, but through conversations. The ease of striking up conversation can be built into the event space through the physical application of planned experiences, through incorporating integrated technology assets like a mobile app dedicated to the event, or strategically placing social media at the center of the conversation via digital dashboards for virality and greater engagement.
Quantitative measures will be measured through digital channels, and the tech you implement into the experience. Qualitatively, you are seeing user generated content, viral buzz on social media, and collecting engagement data points that indicate obsessed customers with the brand. The point of brand immersion is to be so “on-message”, cutting-edge, innovative, and surprising enough to create a ripple effect that will appeal to future attendees for years to come.
Brand Immersion Ideas
If the goal of true holistic marketing is to always be converting prospects into customers, then the goal of an event is to take those customers and absolutely “wow” them into full-blown brand loyalists. A few ways to elevate a branding experience through an event may be to offer unorthodox activities like Tarot card reading or laughing yoga as options. Providing a new experience will be something that is memorable and sticks in your audience’s mind. In other instances, creating a contest that the audience can invest in can shore up who is the most engaged to inform future contests.
Events are just as much about the exciting people that will be leading sessions. MEET allows for intimate roundtable conversations, hands-on creative workshops, and memorable performances that all come together to create an immersive brand experience. If you’ve ever seen America’s Got Talent, you’ve seen pop-singers, sparkly-bendy dancers, glow-in-the-dark violinists, knife throwers, and sword swallowers, and that’s only a few of the acts shown in one intro clip. The point is that Las Vegas is a hub of talent, primed for tapping into for that “wow-factor” level of engagement. Knowing your persona will help align just how far over-the-top you’ll want to go.
The Event Experience That is Your Brand
By taking raw data and drilling down trends into simple insights, you’ll have the necessary mindset for creating an immersive experience. Start with the audience in mind, draw out the journey, leverage and keep collecting data, and think like an experience designer. These are the aspects for creating an immersive brand experience. By connecting and engaging with your audience, success will be converting attendees into brand loyalists.
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