Despite the pervasive use of mobile technology and social media, consumers, particularly among younger generations, crave in-person experiences. Brands can build stronger connections with consumers and increase awareness in the media with large-scale events.
Indeed, in a Tamebay study, 73% of Generation Z and Millennials said they favored experiences or engaging events over traditional in-store shopping.
More than 80% of millennials said they had attended a live event in the past year, according to a Harris Poll, and 69% said they felt these events helped them connect with friends and their community.
Here are five tips for planning a successful big event for brands looking to tap into this growing trend:
Find a time that complements your event. In a news cycle consumed by political drama, brands need to be strategic about event timing. If you’re looking for the most media coverage, pick a time of the year when the media slows down, such as December or January, and you’re more likely to get the attention of reporters and editors.
If you’re hoping to capitalize on a celebration or season, plan your event around that time of year. If, for example, you’re launching a new summer beverage, plan an event around Memorial Day.
Pick a location with a “wow” factor. The old adage “location, location, location” applies to big events. Try to find a venue that is recognizable, exciting, and easy to get to. If you’re planning an event in New York City, for instance, consider the new Vessel at Hudson Yards, Chelsea Piers, the Oculus or the High Line.
Create excitement with an influencer campaign. Once you plan your event, you have to spread the word. One of the best ways to get the attention of consumers is to use the voices they follow on a daily basis with an influencer campaign.
Choose influencers who are connected with your target audience, have a large-enough following and strong reputation. Most marketers today conduct campaigns on Instagram or YouTube.
In the future, channels like TikTok may become more popular for influencer campaigns.
Build on a viral trend. Find a trending topic or challenge that fits your brand and put you own unique spin on it. Whether it’s the world_record_egg, Baby Yoda memes, the unboxing trend or the mannequin challenge, make the most of viral trends that have a built-in following. Don’t forget a clever hashtag.
Go big. Think outside the box and do something people aren’t expecting. “Surprise and delight” moments are one way to do this. After all, who can forget Oprah’s car giveaway? Or try inviting consumers to join your event to participate in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to break a world record.
Final thoughts. Pick the right timing and location and capitalize on influencers and what’s trending on social media, and you’re more likely to pull off a successful event.