Experiences are the foundation of so many connections: relationships, friendships, partnerships. Within the last decade, consumers across all industries have begun to demand relationships with their brands. Knowing how powerful experiences can be to foster meaningful relationships, marketers have begun to host experiential marketing events to help companies build these connections with their audiences.
But all experiences are not created equally. What type of experiences do audiences want? What types of experiences will help audiences connect to a brand and create brand loyalty?
To help experiential event marketers plan their strategies, we’ve researched the top nine trends in experiential marketing that audiences will want from their brands throughout the rest of 2019.
Top 9 Experiential Marketing Trends of 2019
1. Event Management Software Technology
The number one trend that will help experiential marketers drive connections between a brand and its audience is event management software technology. By using this innovative technology, marketers can become a one-stop-shop for their client’s, eliminating third-party technology organizers. Fully integrated event management software platforms offer so much technology for experiential marketers, like wearables with NFC or RFID technology, mobile event apps, event badging and printing, facial recognition, data collection, and so much more. With so much to offer, event management software platforms are becoming essential to experiential marketers’ strategies.
Although two-thirds of experiential marketing events are free, research has shown that one-third of attendees pay a ticket fee to enter a brand experiential event, a number that is steadily increasing. Especially if you are using an event management software platform, ticketing your event is not only beneficial to your audience, but to your clients. The ticketing funds can be put towards making the experiential event more elaborate, increasing attendee satisfaction and their overall experience. In addition, event badging technology offers your client valuable metrics around their event that can be used to further understand their audience and improve their future events.
3. Instagrammable Settings
To create further buzz around your experiential marketing event, while solidifying relationships with a target and build brand loyalty with them for years to come, make your event Instagrammable! To make your event Instgrammable setup memorable backdrops, offer props, keepsakes, make sure the lighting is perfect, and invite influencers or celebrities for your audience to take photos with. The more you can get your audience to take and share photos of their own on social media, particularly Instagram, the larger the audience your event and company will reach.
4. Greater Personalization
With the integration of technology like event management software, experiential marketers can personalize almost every aspect of the event experience for attendees. Before the event, during registration attendees can note any dietary needs, their seating preferences, and even what they want to get most out of this experiential marketing event. Asking these questions and utilizing this information can help attendees feel even more connected to your event and brand.
5. 5 Sense Engagement
Another top trend for the latter part of 2019 in experiential event marketing is utilizing all five senses during events to fully immerse customers in a brand experience. Since our senses are how we process the experiences around us, it only makes sense that experiential event marketers would incorporate all the senses—sight, sound, tough, taste, and smell—into their event strategies.
With shrinking attention spans thanks to technology, engaging all five of attendee’s senses is a key way to fully capture their attention and create an immersive brand experience.
Wellness has been trending in the event industry a lot this year, but it’s more than just self-care and eating right. There has been a lot of event talk around offering balance food options, alcohol-free, mocktail events, and more.
But if experiential event marketers really want to stay on trend with wellness, they’ll have to do more than just provide salads and mocktails at their experiential events. Attendees will be looking for wellness breaks, like meditation, yoga, or screen-free zones. In addition, you can think about adding a layer of sustainability to your experiential event by eliminating plastic straws, recycling, and going paper-free.
7. Giving Back
A big reason why experiential events are so effective at establishing connections with attendees is that experiences help form emotional connections. To further build on these emotional connections, experiential event marketers can provide attendees with ways to give back at their events. Experiential marketers can also encourage brands to take up a social cause to further connect with their audience. Indeed, research found that 57 percent of Millennials and 55 percent of Generation Z brand consumers believe that brands should use their voice to be a force of good for social or ethical issues. No matter what way you choose to incorporate this trend into your experiential marketing event, it’s a great way to not only engage your audience and build strong bonds, but also help others.
8. Stayable Experiences
For companies in the travel and hospitality industries, stayable experiences are the trend for experiential marketing events. Stayable experiences are what they may sound like, experiences where your attendees spend the entire day and night at your event. Because the experience is so much longer, and because the event usually takes place in a new location to the attendee, the experience is much more memorable and immersive. This tactic is perhaps the most up and coming trend on the list since it has really only been used by a few large brands, like Marriott’s W Hotels. Stayable experiences is definitely an experiential marketing event trend to keep your eye on.
9. Big Data
Capturing key metrics from your experiential marketing events is a key trend in order to build solid attendee relationships and help clients improve their future events. Using event management technology, experiential event marketers can easily capture big data and generate reports that prove their impact and the event’s impact on attendee’s satisfaction with their client’s brand. Overall, collecting big data from your experiential marketing events is more than just a trend. It’s a new way to manage your events that is proven to significantly drive profitability, improve event ROI, and help better understand your attendees.
Have you hosted an experiential marketing event using one of these trends? What’s your favorite? Let us know by commenting below!
If you liked this article, see what the leaders in the event and experiential marketing industry say the top 2019 trends are here.