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The Rise of Experiential Events

The growth of experiential events has skyrocketed recently, we look at how brands are utilising the trend.

Created: 11th Oct 2017
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70% of attendees become regular customers after an experiential event.

Experiential events have been enjoying a major resurgence over the last few years. With leading brands like McDonald’s and Gillette investing a lot of money in immersive experiences in London, the ‘experiential phenomenon’ has been receiving more focus and spend.

Why the sudden growing popularity?

As our digital lives expand, we want engaging, rich, and interactive experiences that we can share with our friends and family on social media. Unique and themed events fit that need nicely if the stats are any indication.

  • 74% of experiential event attendees say that they are left with a more positive opinion of the company and its offerings afterwards (Event Marketing Institute)
  • 70% of attendees become regular customers after an experiential event (EventTrack)
  • 80% of attendees say that free samples and live demonstrations guide their purchasing decisions

Companies such as Gingerline are taking the hint and mastering the immersive experience in London. One of its most popular attractions is the Lost Gardens of Gingerline, which gathers event attendees on the 100 year anniversary of the gardens’ creator to enjoy a uniquely British experience that includes tasty treats from picnic baskets and enjoying a bowl of boating pond soup.

In this digital era, all money spent on an event has a much greater ROI than it used to. Even if your event only has 100 attendees, if they are wowed enough to share your branded experiential event with their social media friends and followers, you can reach thousands of potential customers via the same event, without having to spend an extra pound.

The new way to advertise

The president of George P. Johnson Experiential Marketing, Denise Wong, described experiential events as the place where advertising and the Amazon review meet. She said that an event can not only deliver a brand’s message and dream but provide consumers with an opportunity to try it first.

Fergus Rooney, co-founder of U.S. agency AgencyEA, said that traditional advertising channels may not be completely dead, but consumers tend to ignore 89% of ad content. He reported that client spend for experiential marketing has been increasing 10 to 14% year on year. 

Ms Wong explained the shift by emphasising the growing value of sharing an experience, which can’t really be done when you’re watching an ad.

Consumers today live in a three-dimensional world that is increasingly incompatible with two-dimensional communications that have been the rule until now. The desire to experience more has increased, which is prompting events agencies to deliver more experiential events. 

Clients and the agencies they work with appreciate that every interaction, be it in B2B or B2C forms, should be planned as a live experience.

Experiential events build trust, belief in, and appreciation of brand truths and values because the live experience is regarded as authentic. In the near future, a brand will not have defined itself successfully unless it has consumers coming to it and experiencing it. 

Such real-world experiences add depth and dimension to a brand that might otherwise be regarded as remote and contrived.

If you are looking for a venue to host your experiential event, contact a member of our team today. For an events management company to plan your event, contact our sister company AlchemyLive.

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