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Julia Manoukian


December 7, 2017

How to Keep the Hype Going Even After Your Event Is Over

Julia Manoukian

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Running a successful experiential marketing campaign is only half the battle when it comes to forming meaningful connections with customers. The way you follow up after the event could make or break your success, and has a huge impact on how wide your reach is.

According to EMI & Mosaic, 84% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted after the event.

Using digital tools is a smart way to share highlights of your event, drive online engagement, connect with customers after the event is over and boost attendance at future events.

Keep reading to find out how to keep the hype going long after your event is over.

Document the Event on Your Social Media Pages

Whether your followers are attending your event or not, they need to know that it's happening — and social media is the perfect way to share the excitement.

One great example of an experiential marketing campaign that was successfully shared online is Crayola's "Retired Crayon" campaign.

Crayola placed a giant crayon pack, complete with countdown timer, in Times Square and encouraged social media followers to guess which crayon would be retired in the following days. This generated tons of engagement, even from followers who didn't physically see the installment.

Once the crayon was revealed, Crayola kept the buzz going by announcing a "retirement tour" for the crayon, sharing a YouTube video of the retired crayon, and encouraging followers to post on social media using #CelebrateDandelion. As John Kell at Fortune points out, this campaign was a really smart way to boost interest in a legacy brand.

Sharing details before, during and after your event is one of the best ways to keep engagement levels high, generate excitement and widen your reach. Research by Annuitas Group showed that businesses who use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. Use experiential marketing software to easily automate your campaign.

Encourage Attendees to Share Photos

A picture speaks a thousand words, and encouraging attendees to share their own photos of your event is a great way to generate buzz.

While sharing event photos yourself can look inauthentic, customer photos are genuine and persuasive. Steve Olenski at Forbes points out that user-generated content is one of the best sources of social proof, and creating organic photo opportunities is key to getting attendees to share.

Dulux, a leading UK paint company, did this really well at its "Color Run" event. The race involved covering runners in different colors of powder after each milestone, which is an awesome photo opportunity in itself.

Dulux then upped its game by offering photos with the Dulux dog and inside the Dulux "color dome." The Marketing Agencies Association reported that the event attracted over 90k runners and had a social reach of 16 million — an impressive result.

By creating a novel event and encouraging photo sharing online, Dulux managed to increase its reach and position itself as a fun, modern brand.

Create an Online Event Community

Creating a community around your campaign is a smart way to keep the excitement up, even after it's over.

Furniture store Ikea did just this when it created a Facebook group called "I wanna have a sleepover in Ikea." The group attracted over 100k members, with 100 winners being given the chance to spend the night at an Ikea store, where they were treated to goody bags, hot cocoa and tips from a sleep expert.

Even after the event was over, Ikea had access to a community of engaged users who could share highlights from the event, hopes for future events and other useful insights.

Lois Blenkinsop, from Ikea UK, said, "Social media has opened up a unique platform for us to interact directly with our customers... and the Big Sleepover is just one example of how we're using such instant and open feedback to better inform our marketing activity."

Creating a community around your event increases excitement, encourages sharing and allows you to get more insight into what your customers want. Communities also offer a great opportunity to tap into experiential marketing analytics and better inform future campaigns.

Offer Special Content to Event Attendees

People attending your event need to feel special — and people not attending should feel left out. Offering special content to attendees is a great way to achieve this, and Guinness got it right with its "Guinness Class" campaign.

Staff dressed as Guinness airline crew entered bars and offered drinkers the chance to win various prizes, including a night out in Dublin via private jet. Drinkers entered by ordering a pint of Guinness, entering some personal details, and shaking a mobile tablet to instantly find out what they'd won.

Nick Britton, Marketing Manager Guinness Western Europe, said, "Our analysis showed that the activity not only directly resulted in a sales uplift but it also had lasting appeal, long after the campaign finished."

This is an excellent example of an experience that could only be accessed by those attending the event. It sticks in the minds of those who won prizes and gives anyone who wasn't there some serious envy.

Running an experiential marketing campaign without a solid follow-up plan is a big mistake. You'll miss out on a valuable chance to generate brand excitement, increase your reach and drive conversions. Use the examples above to plan an experiential marketing campaign that doesn't end the moment your event does.

CTA image to view A Guide To Proving & Improving Experiential & Live Marketing ROI eBook

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