Experiential marketing (or branded experiences) is an engaging way for audiences to physically immerse themselves in a brand instead of simply purchasing the brand’s product or service. Finances Online reports that one-third of consumers have paid to attend a brand experience, and a whopping 70% of people turn into repeat customers after attending experiential marketing events. Experiential marketing events can take place in a variety of settings: they can be ticketed events that run for a limited time – think pop-up experiences or annual events. Or larger brands may have the capacity to create long-standing experiences that straddle the lines between retail activation, museum experience, and marketing opportunity. With the return of in-person events, TH Experiential’s study found there is an appetite for interactive experiences, stating 49% of respondents want the option to navigate events from their mobile device, and 63% stated that sanitization at events was a top priority for them post-COVID. Immerse Your Audience in Your Brand By immersing your audience in your brand, we see three immediate mutual benefits for both you and your audience: Social shareability: Positioning your brand as a source of positive, unique, and personalized experiences is a win when it comes to gaining recognition. Getting organic shares on social media is essentially free advertising. Personalized, memorable engagement: Show your audience how good you are at customizing your product or service. And take this opportunity to surprise and delight them with above and beyond. A better understanding of your audience: A more tailored experience with your audience gives you an opportunity to better understand THEM. Use your branded experience to gather quantitative and qualitative information about your audience: What’s their demographic? Do you have their email for future engagement? What products are they drawn to? What feedback do they have? Examples of Experiential Marketing Kohls + Sephora Beauty Maze: To celebrate the launch of Sephora at Kohl’s in more than 200 stores, the brand set up an outdoor beauty maze for a two-day event that drew about 1,000 attendees. The maze itself was gamified, featuring eight different experiences activated by QR codes where visitors could easily create their own shareable content. Adobe Max: Adobe’s annual event has historically been a way to connect their software’s users from around the world, and more importantly, to further cement itself as a thought leader in the creative industry. While the event has been digital since 2020, the latest in-person event in 2019 included hands-on demos of new technology, augmented reality experiences, personalized swag, and 28 popup shops. The event serves as a perk for Adobe users and a way to build community further than just Adobe’s products. Subaru Winterfest: Subaru’s annual festival markets itself as a “one-of-a-kind music and mountain lifestyle tour that invites friends, family, skiers, snowboarders, music fans, and dog-lovers alike to bask in their love of winter and adventure.” In an article for eventmarketer.com, Subaru’s experiential marketing manager Matt Barber comments: “WinterFest has always been a way for Subaru to connect to its owners, potential owners, and mountain resort visitors. Our goal has always been to make someone’s day at the resort better and to provide a free, memorable experience for whoever wants to come.” While Subaru drivers enjoy perks like VIP parking, all guests enjoy access to live music, regional craft beverages, ski and snowboard gear trials, and of course the opportunity to learn about Subaru’s latest models. Heineken Experience: Heineken’s ticketed flagship experience serves as a way to deepen their customer’s knowledge and appreciation of this iconic brand. More hands-on than the average brewery tour, visitors pay to access Heineken’s original brewery, where they learn about new innovations, the story behind the brand, and the best way to pour their beer. Since 1995, GTR has provided in-person events with innovative technologies and hands-on service, powering more than 12,000 events around the world. Get in touch if you’re looking for on-site or behind-the-scenes help.