Experiential marketing allows your customers to develop an emotional investment in your products or services, literally helping them shape your brand’s evolution. But if it leads to such memorable, cost-effective, testimonial-worthy experiences, why aren’t more trade show marketers using it?
In many respects, exhibitors were the originators of experiential marketing. From product demos to booth games, exhibition halls have long been the testing grounds for interactivity and engagement.
But there’s a big difference between introducing an amusing booth gimmick versus creating an experience that leaves a lasting impression on attendees. The latter is more likely to occur if you remember these simple guidelines:
- Let trade show attendees interact with your brand in a way that doesn’t necessarily involve using your products. Is there an aspirational goal that your audience members have, and that your product or service was designed to help them reach? If so, center your event on that, rather than your offerings themselves. This is much more engaging than interrupting attendees with an intrusive sales pitch or product demo.
- Consider hiring professional speakers or brand ambassadors. While you or your staff may be the most knowledgeable about your products or services, you may or may not be the most charismatic presenters. Brand ambassadors have a knack for drawing and interacting with a crowd.
- Make sure audience participation is a video or picture-worthy moment. By visually representing the impact of participating in your experience, you create a story that can be captured in a single photograph, and that is thus more likely to be shared on attendee’s social media accounts.
- Capitalize on traditional media, too. While your trade show presence itself may not be particularly newsworthy, innovative booth events might be interesting enough to attract the attention of trade or local media.
Traditional marketing techniques will never go away, but you can’t rely exclusively on those intrusive techniques if you want to be noticed. When done effectively, experiential marketing can increase voluntary customer interaction and increase word-of-mouth about your business before and after the trade show.