While traditional means like print, TV and radio still have a place in a marketing plan, new-age mediums are emerging to capture consumer attention and raise brand awareness in new, more creative ways. Enter immersive brand experiences.
Fitting to the name, immersive brand experiences aim to fully immerse the consumer into the brand, allowing them to experience a product or service in a unique and innovative way.
And as these experiences are often in-person, trade shows are an ideal space to explore such opportunities.
In this post, we’ll discuss ways to improve your trade show return on investment via immersive brand experiences.
Key Benefits Of Experiential Marketing
Perhaps the biggest benefit of experiential marketing is that it’s extremely effective when it’s done right.
According to studies, brands and marketing campaigns that implement an experiential marketing campaign report more than a 30 percent increase in event attendance and more than a 50 percent increase in sales leads.
About half of all brands report an ROI of between 3:1 and 5:1, and about 30 percent report an ROI of 10:1.
The bottom line is that when an experiential marketing campaign is done right, the results more than speak for themselves.
Marketing is all about promoting or creating awareness for certain products or services, and experiential marketing can do this in an impactful way.
Other key benefits to engaging existing customers and prospects in immersive brand experiences include:
It Creates Brand Awareness
In a way that conventional advertising cannot by fostering authentic connections with consumers.
Immersive campaigns also tend to portray a more positive brand image to your consumers, leaving a positive and memorable impression.
It Takes The Product Directly To The Consumer
Unlike conventional advertising, immersive experiences essentially allow consumers to touch, see and try the product before they make a decision on purchasing it.
These first-hand demonstrations can help boost sales and also give brands some important real-time feedback on how the product is perceived and if any changes or alterations can be made to make it more appealing.
It Can Create Word-of-mouth Buzz
There’s arguably no more powerful marketing tool than a recommendation from a family member, friend or peer – and immersive experiences can create that word-of-mouth buzz that many brands yearn for.
In fact, it’s estimated that consumers who participate in a positive brand experience tell up to 17 others about it.
It Can Build Brand Loyalty
Selling a product or service is one thing. Creating a lifelong customer or “customer cheerleader” who will sing the praises of your brand or service is another.
Immersive experiences can help with the latter, largely due to the face-to-face in-person interaction that experiential marketing helps facilitate.
In immersive experiences, consumers are able to build a connection with the brand that can help build loyalty.
In the next section, we’ll discuss how to improve trade show ROI through immersive brand experiences.
Improving Trade Show ROI Through Immersive Brand Experiences
It’s estimated that the average company spends more than 30 percent of its marketing budget on in-person events or trade shows.
From reserving booth space to shipping booth materials and products to employee travel and lodging to even factoring in lost productivity while employees are attending the trade show, exhibiting at events is expensive.
And if employees aren’t coming back with sales or leads, the time, money and effort spent at the event isn’t likely to be viewed favorably.
Taking the time to create that immersive experience at your trade show booth that creates buzz, improves brand awareness and gives consumers a favorable impression of your product or service is key to capturing the attention of trade show attendees and making your booth the “must-see” space of the event. Here’s a look at some ideas of how to do it:
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are emerging technologies that can help take trade show attendees on a unique experience pertaining to your project or service.
These technologies are especially valuable if your product is too big to bring or too expensive to ship to the event.
By simply slipping on the AR or VR headset, attendees can be transported to any location or experience any product in a unique and memorable way.
Live Hands-On Demonstrations
One of the great things about an immersive experience is that it’s in person.
Hence, one of the best ways to build brand awareness and create buzz at a trade show is to host live, hands-on demonstrations of your product or offering.
This is best done at certain parts in the day to draw a crowd to your booth.
You can even complement this immersive strategy with traditional marketing prior to the show, such as sending targeted emails or postcards to attendees informing them about your plans.
Theme Your Booth
One of the best ways to create buzz around your booth is to theme it – and then have a ton of fun with the theme.
For instance, a Hollywood theme might consist of incorporating a red carpet and then hosting a “premiere” for your new product, where guests who attend feel like true VIPs.
Or a Hawaiian theme may include an evening luau in lieu of a traditional reception.
Or maybe you do an 80s theme, where all employees dress in the proper fashion and an 80s cover band is hired to entertain.
Theming your booth is fun, creates buzz and helps put your brand and products on display.
The Value Of Working With An Experiential Marketing Agency
Creating the ideal immersive trade show experience is easier said than done – and to truly maximize ROI, it makes sense to work with a professional, credible experiential marketing agency.
These agencies specialize in creating the ideal trade show experience for everyone who stops by your booth – and their expertise in this field tends to extend well beyond the capabilities of your typical in-house marketing and creative employees.
Leave the pamphlets and brochures at the office for your next trade show and instead invest in an immersive experience that will wow your guests and create a lasting impression, ultimately helping you grow your business.