You don’t need to be Coca Cola, Apple or Nike to pull off amazing customer engagement events.
With imagination, ingenuity and effort, businesses and brands of all sizes can deliver big impact live experiences.
To prove our point, we’ve compiled six standout experiential activations staged by a selection of lesser-known names.
debbie&andrew’s ‘Tweet-to-Eat’ Sausage Sandwich Kitchen
debbie&andrew’s is a British sausage brand that endeavours to provide ‘A Real Taste of the Country’. It teamed up with creative agency Hotcow to do just that, by bringing a rustic, farm-style kitchen to central London, complete with hay bails, vintage farm tractor and farm animals.
The ‘Tweet-to-Eat’ initiative took place during British Sausage Week and incentivised Londoners to engage with the brand on social media in order to earn a free sausage sandwich.
Consumers had to tweet why they deserved a free banger and then present their tweet as a form of social currency to the chef. If the tweet got the thumbs up from the chef, they were given their sausage sandwich.
The activity not only resulted in an online reach of 270,000 and a 100% increase in Twitter followers for debbie&andrew’s, it also achieved media coverage estimated to be worth £29,000.
[embedded content] Anna Lewandowska’s Health & Fitness UK Roadshow
A member of the Polish National Karate Team, Anna Lewandowska is well known in her native country as a health and fitness blogger, but to kick-start her career in the UK she needed to create some noise.
Anna engaged marketing agency GottaBe! to organise a roadshow event that would take place in both Dublin and London. The one-day event included fitness training, nutrition advice and a meet & greet/book signing opportunity.
Although many customer engagement events can take months to realise a return on investment, the roadshow was actually designed to create revenue from the off, through ticket sales, book sales and sponsorship – a total of 900 tickets were sold, while partners that the supported the event included Lebara Mobile and The Polish Bakery.
[embedded content] Poler Stuff’s Poler at The Palace
This event is a brilliant example of what can be achieved when a number of smaller partners team up together. Camping brand Poler Stuff, joined with Allpress Coffee and airstream trailer company Silver Belles to launch its Spring 16 collection with a pop-up at The Brokedown Palace at Boxpark Shoreditch in London.
Held over four days, they offered visitors the opportunity to watch surf movie ‘Freezing’ while lounging in deckchairs and enjoying fresh coffee. Meanwhile Otter Surfboards and The Green Wood Guild also joined the collective to offer daily workshops.
Niftylift’s Open Weekend
Niftylift is a manufacturer of mobile elevated work platforms. To celebrate the opening of its new headquarters in Milton Keynes, the company wanted to host an open weekend.
Niftylift briefed agency Purity to create an event that would appeal to clients, dealers, employees and the general public. Purity put Niftylift’s product range at the centre of the event by featuring machines that visitors could view, operate and ride on!
Inside the new facility there was an exhibition and stage presentations where visitors could learn about the business, its innovations and interactions with the marketplace and local community.
Ensuring there was fun for all the family, the event also included inflatables, music and entertainment.
The Macallan’s Macallan Residence
Premium malt Scotch whisky The Macallan hired experiential agency BEcause to increase brand awareness among younger affluent males.
To do this, BEcause transformed London venue Two Temple Place into The Macallan Residence, for a ticketed sensory tour through The Macallan 1824 Series.
During the two-hour event, guests could enjoy fashion, food and style experiences, whilst savouring a range of Macallan’s single malts and whisky cocktails.
The experience was designed to “enlighten taste buds, educate noses and inspire iconic style choices – unlocking the very essence of The Macallan brand story.”
It succeeded in attracting 700 attendees and increasing the brand’s Facebook following by 28%.
[embedded content] Barkbox’s Barkfest
BarkBox is a US subscription service providing dogs with a monthly supply of toys and treats. In May the brand held its third annual Barkfest – a dog party organised in central New York.
The one-day event, designed by agency MKG, includes agility courses, splash zones, dog-friendly beer garden and a hot dog eating contest. It started out as free-to-attend event but after attracting more than 9,000 attendees last year, BarkBox saw an opportunity to increase revenue by ticketing the event. This year tickets sold from between $40-$130 (it’s safe to say BarkBox is not such a small brand anymore!).
In 2015, Barkfest delighted its four-legged guests by presenting the first-ever dog-friendly fireworks show utilising LED technology, while other attractions included a selfie-station with celebrity dogs such as Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund.
[embedded content] Conclusion
Experiential activity is a brilliant way to put your brand in the spotlight, winning followers, fans and media coverage. Even if you’re working with a small marketing budget, teaming up with partners or ticketing your event can make it achievable.