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Event Marketing Summit 2018 Takeaways

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The 2018 Experiential Marketing Summit (EMS) took place at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis from May 14-16, providing a unique opportunity – especially for our West Coast MKTG’ers – to attend and learn in their own “backyard”.  It was also a great time to network and reconnect with industry friends, colleagues, and current and potential clients and vendor partners.

Joined by over 1,500 marketers from 32 countries around the world, emerging trends were predicted and dissected, and best practice case studies shared (including participation by some existing MKTG clients such as Amazon, Facebook, and Toyota).  While the buzz from past years focused on the Internet of Things and big data, STRATEGY emerged as the top common theme amongst all of this year’s panels and sessions.

Below we share a summary of the top experiential trends to watch out for in 2018 and beyond.

Macro trends:

-Mixed reality: Use of geo location + _________ [fill in the blank]

-Personalized everything!

-Shoppable everything with same day fulfillment

-Social by design: you must amplify for the brand

-Data drives strategy

Micro trends with some great experiential examples:

-User triggered content and experiences. Examples: Beck’speriment and Beck’s Conductive ink posters.

-The resurgence of cause marketing for all (not just millennials). State Farm and The Marketing Arm not only won the 2018 Best Cause/Community Program at this year’s Ex Awards, but also took home the prize for Grand Ex Award with their Neighborhood of Good campaign. CSR focused initiatives are a win-win!

-Earned experiences: Quid pro quo: Data collection,  social sharing, any behavioral action needed to participate in the experience. Kit Kat staring contest.

-Tradable experiences: Crowdsourcing with a twist. Examples include donating your breakfast in exchange for early admission to general session and this 2017 Ex award winner Take 5 Swap Exchange

-Windows and vending. Tribeca Film Festival ReActor 

-Adaptable engagements. Uber and Visa Ride and Dine mobile tour and KLM care tags

-The maker movement: Letting people create things. Netflix Make It Socks More projects here!

-Surface design: Heineken

-Festivalization: Peer-to-peer dialogs, less content and more networking.

-Hi production, short run of show: WestJet Vegas Surprise. It takes a village!

-Super buzzers: Exclusive tiny events. Taco Bell test kitchen w/ OpenTable.

-BtoB to C: Less content, more choice. Excursions. More peer-to-peer interaction. Keynotes at 8 p.m. not 8 a.m.

 

And that’s a wrap. EMS 2019 will be held in Las Vegas from May 14-16 at Caesars Palace.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 5th, 2018 at 3:58 pm

EMS 2015 Takeaways

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EMS 15

The Good (But Not Surprising) News

Experiential is bigger than ever and only going to grow in importance. More and more brands are putting experiences at or near the center of their marketing mix. It’s increasingly a driving force, making up much of campaign content. One need look no further than this year’s Grand Ex winner – Bud Light and Mosaic’s Up for Whatever – to appreciate the sheer magnitude of this intensifying shift. Some data for 2015:

– 79% of brands plan to execute more experiential programs

– Budgets are expected to increase by more than 6%

Results. We all know that experiential marketing, done well, works. But there’s rising data to back this up which is partly why so many brands are turning to what we do.

– Over 75% of brands see better than a 2:1 ROI on their investment

– After an event, 74% of participants have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted

– 87% of respondents say a live event helps them understand products or services better than a TV spot

– Experiential drives consumers to purchase: 98% of people are more inclined to purchase as a result of attending an event

– 71% of participants tell a friend or family member about their experience

northface

Recurring Themes

In examining the vast array of work showcased and dissected at this year’s summit, there were a few marketer behaviors that generated breakthrough experiences:

– They were bold. A no-fear attitude. The thinking is big risk, big reward. Examples: Heineken and KY Jelly (yes, KY Jelly).

– They pulled at heartstrings. Direct quote: “If they’re crying, you’re doing your job.” Examples: Dove, P&G.

– They created user-triggered experiences. See bullet one – this can be dicey – but not knowing what you’re going to get can be the brilliance of it too. Examples: Visa, Old Navy.

– They used experiences to do what nothing else ever could. This sounds obvious but when you watch the floor drop away at a North Face store in South Korea, you’ll get my meaning. Examples: The North Face, Samsung

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