Have you ever felt that guests at your event somehow must have been totally disconnected from what was happening around them? Maybe they even left the venue and you could see your message trying to cling to their feet but eventually it got shaken off right outside the door? But you had done everything right, didn’t you? The visitors had stopped here and there to take a closer look, took in the scenery around them, and filled their stomachs. You even saw them smiling or even laughing, you got through to them and made them happy!
Yet, they still walked away and it seemed that all the time spent at your event was forgotten. They didn’t take anything with, let alone the message you were trying to share or sell to them. In case you were planning your event with a purpose – as we all do – the marketing effect = 0.
How can you improve your event to have started building relationships with your guests by the time they leave?
There is one simple answer to that: start engaging with your audience! This cannot be repeated often enough. Don’t just wait for magic to happen and a visitor suddenly switching on the relationship button. Even if this miraculously happens, as fast as the switch was turned on, it can be turned off again. But that isn’t your intent, is it? You are looking for long-lasting relationships.
Engaging with your event guests starts by appealing to their senses. Present them an event setup that is encouraging them to explore the area. Successful event planning lets them see, hear, smell, taste, and touch your event. It makes the visitor become part of the event by actively experiencing it.
And by changing the experience from passive to active, you almost automatically engage your attendees mind. He is no longer just drinking for the purpose of satisfying his thirst. Your special tea helps containing the accumulation of body fat and therefore, contributes to a health-oriented lifestyle. Drinking your tea engages your customer’s thinking.
Now, support the positive effect your tea has by elements of surprise, intrigue, or provocation. This can be achieved very subtle by having paid performers drinking other regular teas or drinks in general and looking miserable, heavy, grumpy – while the performers with that special tea look fabulous, are widely smiling, sparking energy. Who would you rather be? (And if you want, it doesn’t even need to be obvious for your guests that you hired performers to show the difference.)
In this case, using symbolism for healthy lifestyle and community around the event area or being reflected by walking acts can also help focus people’s thinking and engage visitors. Whenever they are spotting these symbols or the performers, the recognition is connected to instant brand association with that tea company. Even after the event. Furthermore, they can be used to transmit messages as described above without even verbalizing them, and reach a wide audience that unites groups regardless of gender, age, and culture.
You probably already guessed it: a strong theming of your fair or event helps significantly to engage your customers’ thinking. Not only do they know in advance what to expect when entering but also get something to organize impressions around and create lasting memories, which would not occur with a poor or non-existent theme.
However, it is also important to script a story that is incomplete without the participation of your visitor because inclusion finally makes customers reflect messages more closely. You can engage them by stimulating their senses, arousing curiosity, and feeding their need to touch and experience things themselves. Have the entire area designed with sights and smells of a different era you want your guests to experience, to take them back and remind them of pomp and pageantry of the British Empire for example. Have walking acts starting conversations with individuals to ask about their preferences and memories regarding your theme, make their stay at your fair special and individual for each one. Something they can later share proudly because you made them feel special.
Create a story! Another amazing tip for successful event planning. Storytelling is so valuable and one of the best ways to engage the audience. A good story telling is personal and builds up suspense. In the end, people don’t relate to butterflies and rainbows. Use the theme and story around your event to give your company a face, to share also difficult experiences your company went through that finally led to the breakthrough moment.
The audience is curious if they can really relate to a situation. In that moment, you got them, they start involving themselves by activating their minds, putting themselves in your shoes, feeling with you, wanting to hear how you solved that problem. That’s the start of your relationship with them.
If possible let your visitors walk through this conflict situation by passing different stations at your event. Taking our super healthy tea as an example: the audience could be served regular food and drinks in an unspectacular environment, then be asked to pass a parkour with additional weights on their shoulders or attached to their feet, to simulate an excessive state after continuing a consumption like this for years. Exhausted or frustrated they might reach the end of the parkour, where your special tea awaits them as a nice refreshment. This area might look much more vibrant in color, there are no more obstacles to pass over, everything feels light, comfortable, motivating and uplifting music is playing, people in this area are laughing.
What a change! Your audience passed through the conflict, revealed the aha moment, the breakthrough by themselves, and were able to change their perspective on their own. No forced sales strategy and catchy marketing slogan came upon them. By exaggerating the problem, your product became the solution. People tend to choose the easy way, free of struggling. Because the customer wants to be part of the happy, healthy, and bright community.
Don’t make your visitors only walk over your fair and have a cup of tea. Instead, use their curiosity, create surprise moments, and make them think about your company’s ideals. This provides a deeper background which adds power to your brand. And finally, leads to a long-lasting relationship if the customer can identify himself with your product and/or brand.
The creation of personal relationships with customers is important and experiences provided during the event contribute significantly to their development. Therefore, a professional delivery of the event experiences is very important for its success as events in comparison to traditional marketing cannot be tested before and the company runs the risk that the event will backfire. Get in touch with us now to benefit from our event expertise at your next event.
Have a wonderful day!