4 ways to transform your brand experiences in 2023
Demand for innovative event experiences is surging—and “business as usual” is no longer an option for organizations seeking to create brand advocates in the new era.
Attendee expectations have evolved, and brands are turning to transformational experiential marketing solutions propelled by creativity, strategy, technology and innovation to engage and energize diverse audiences in new ways. In fact, 71% of respondents plan to drive organizational growth through innovative event formats, a recent study shows.¹
When planning your next experience, consider these four proven and scalable strategies to create compelling differentiation for your brand—and help you rethink your attendee journey.
1. Leverage interactivity to amplify inclusion & engagement
Maintaining the attention and enthusiasm of your attendees is essential for every type of event. To meet your audience where they are and provide an experience most relevant to their preferences and needs, consider a hybrid event experience—which offers the immediacy of an in-person experience and the expanded reach and flexibility of virtual access.
An intentionally designed hybrid event develops and implements two distinct, intertwining attendee journeys to create a unique and meaningful experience for each participant—enabling anyone from around the world to gain access to valuable content.
In most hybrid event experiences, virtual participants often feel isolated and overlooked when compared to the in-person audience. To promote inclusion and amplify engagement, introduce interactive elements that empower everyone to participate, such as: real-time polling, quizzes, games and giveaways. You can even activate movement in your event participants through in-app activities, such as a city scavenger hunt or an activity quest.
Customizable event apps kickstart the attendee journey long before the event begins and extend your momentum long after it ends to create a holistic approach to your long-term engagement strategy. In-person and virtual breakout sessions also facilitate connection and greater interaction between attendees and presenters.
It is no longer sufficient for audience members to passively consume your event content. People expect an immersive experience or the opportunity to be an important part of the conversation. If you do not prioritize inclusion and engagement in your events, a savvy audience will quickly move on to the next better option.
2. Harness next-gen technologies to deepen event immersion
Event attendees are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with expectations at an all-time high. As a result, organizations are turning to innovative tech to inspire and energize. Metaverse experiences including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) represent the next generation of innovative and technology-driven experiences—vehicles for connection that heighten immersion and bring an added dimension to any event.
VR allows remote attendees to feel as though they are in the room and creates a greater sense of connection with in-person attendees. AR allows everyone to feel as though they are in the same space without the need for special equipment. Both engender a metaverse experience that feels genuine, transformational and inclusive.
It is important to remember, these technologies do not have to be complex or overdeveloped to be effective. You can choose your own adventure. Anything from an engaging and novel way to walk key participants through a training module to a fully interactive on-site quest for your incentive attendees. These technologies can add moments of wonder and delight to your rich brand content.
3. Infuse brand experiences with authenticity & sustainability
Selecting the destination for an in-person event should be intentional and strategic. Leverage local ambiance to create an experience for attendees that is memorable and authentic. Explore venues, talk to local experts and capitalize on the expertise of a team of professionals to create an experience that provides the chance to experience the unique flavor of your location of choice.
Intentional commitment to sustainability means balancing the priorities of people, plant and profit. Integrate sustainable business strategies and the safety, health and the welfare of your attendees into event experiences to reinforce your values and promote greater brand loyalty. This can be accomplished for both in-person and hybrid experiences by weaving sustainability values throughout each element of your event.
4. Think outside the box to energize attendees
Whether you’re orchestrating a corporate meeting, convention, expo, awards dinner, gifting ceremony or incentive trip, get creative to inspire your attendees with a memorable experience with lasting impact. Here are two ideas and proven crowd-pleasers to kickstart your imagination:
- Customizable drone shows offer an impressive display to wow your audience, and they are kinder to the environment than fireworks. Drones can be programmed to create visuals that support your message, and they demonstrate environmental awareness that is top of mind for many employees and customers. These shows can be enjoyed in person or remotely.
- Technology can give your attendees a real voice. Instead of simply being consumers of content, they can help create the experience. One easy way of doing this is to give audience members the ability to text questions and ideas to the speaker or event organizers. Event engagement is no longer a one-way street, but rather a continuum of content, conversation and feedback. This type of 3D audience engagement can be the difference between an audience that is leaning back and checked-out and an audience that is leaning in and actively part of the experience.
More than ever, audience expectations are high and burgeoning technology is driving them higher. An event that exceeds expectations while advancing your organization’s goals will be transformational for both your attendees and your brand.
Let's connect to discuss how Augeo can help your brand create compelling event experiences. To learn more about our full-service experiential marketing engine, watch our video:
¹ Harvard Business Review | How Marketing Leaders Are Driving Growth In the New Era of Event Planning