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Limelight Platform


January 12, 2022

Boots on the Ground: Experiential Marketing Lessons From 2021

Limelight Platform

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Bold statement: 2021 was a year of huge changes in experiential marketing (Okay, not so bold.). Events came back—albeit with seismic changes in what “event” actually means—and there was an acceleration of trends that live marketers must now embrace if they hope to be successful in 2022. That success will be judged differently, but it will include live experiences. And 2021 wasn’t all doom and gloom—far from it.

“I'm reassured by my conversations with senior marketers across the globe, particularly in the United States, who have put together budgets and plans for attended events in 2022,” says Leon Hudson, Managing Director, APAC for Limelight Platform. “Beyond this, we see indicators playing out more broadly. If we look at the stock market, for instance, stay-at-home stocks are trending downwards… The narrative is shifting. We are, after all, social animals.”

We reached out to a couple of those social animals—Limelight account managers Freya O’Brien and Marcela Romero. They discussed what’s next for the industry and some of the important lessons they learned in 2021 based on their boots-on-the-ground experiences working with brands. Here’s what they had to say.


Romero Not only are we resilient human beings, but most of our clients proved that they're resilient brands.

O’Brien The key is to step back and really assess what people need. The customer is choosing to be part of new experiences, but it's about how we approach facilitating that transition for them as well as for our brand partners.

 Romero We can get through anything and come out stronger than before.


Romero One of my key responsibilities, of course, is to lead my clients to greater success; to keep up on trends, ensure we take competitive actions and do all of that within budget.

O’Brien It's important to think ahead of the curve and essentially predict behaviors in advance. What will [customers’] level of comfort be? What is most important to them now? Those are just some questions you have to think about and apply solutions to.

Romero With a little bit of work and adjustment, [our clients] were able to get back on their feet and, in some instances, see even better results than pre-Covid times.

O’Brien While ensuring that we were still delivering on the full omnichannel experience that maintains customer trust and loyalty, and ultimately, benefits the brand.


O’Brien There should be choice available to customers regarding how they interact with brands and experiences, whether that be the customer leading the charge on their own device, or specifically choosing to speak with a brand expert in person.

Romero [Our] software platform really makes my job a lot easier. I can confidently say to all my clients that anything's possible within our platform. We can make it happen.

O’Brien There's definitely a need to predict and tailor solutions ahead of time, based on what someone in my position—working directly with these brands—believes may be the indicators for how the industry is changing, and then adapting based on those external conditions.

Romero We literally get better on a bi-weekly basis. We have bi-weekly [product] releases, whether it's for the end consumer or to make the platform a lot easier [for clients] to navigate and use. Contactless experiences was the first one we did that enabled existing event activations to continue on with little impact, or as little impact as possible.


O’Brien It's more important than ever to really listen to the experiential stakeholders that we work alongside in guiding product development and thought leadership.

Romero The reality is that [many of our] brands pivoted, and they succeeded.

O’Brien Constant feedback is invaluable for shaping the industry and, in turn, molding the solution systems that we develop.

Romero If there are any last-minute event cancellations, change of plans on dates, or a need to add new event requirements or restrictions on the spot, this is something our platform allows our clients to do.


O’Brien The goal is to really nurture the end-user’s journey from beginning to end. [We] engage them before the experience even begins with messaging that really speaks to them and their interests—ensuring that they feel valued with personalized content based on their experiences. This continues downstream with frequent, consistent communication that can adapt to evolving needs and interests, ultimately retaining that valued commitment long-term for the brand.

Romero That means that not only are we flexible, but we're evolving just as much as our clients.



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