First, to be clear, your event does need an iPad (or an android tablet or many smartphones) to be successful. Your activation needs to keep people connected to the digital world at-large to extend reach beyond the physical footprint. Social and mobile devices enable people to talk, share, and tell their friends how cool they are for participating in your awesome brand activation. Whether people are tweeting, checking-in, vine-ing or instagramming on their own or being strongly persuaded by cheerful Brand Ambassadors, people sharing info about your activation is good.
You’re smart, so you know that social sharing creates buzz. But, you want that buzz to be sustained and turn event goers into long-term customers’ and ultimately brand evangelists. So, how can you turn that moment-in-time picture or tweet into a future engagement? A few ways to achieve this goal include:
Track, Monitor and Respond to Conversations in Real-time
Experiential marketing is about engaging with consumers one-on-one, so why not take that principle online? Create an event-specific hashtag to track the conversation. The ubiquitous hashtag, now also on Facebook, groups all messages about a specific topic into an ad-hoc forum that are searchable and indexed by search engines. So, arm everyone with your hashtag. Think of something clever and relevant, but keep it short and sweet. Make sure to put it on all event signage, staff t-shirts, and collateral so that everyone is informed.
With the event hashtag, community managers can easily track the event and respond to attendees via social channels. Answer questions, give suggestions, or launch a contest. By engaging in a two-way conversation, you have the opportunity to build a longer term relationship.
Now people are actively engaging with your brand at your event and online. This is a great opportunity to understand more about your customers and potential customers. More Facebook likes than Instagram posts? 250 check-ins on Foursquare? Looks like you have a peek into which channels to target for future marketing initiatives.
If event-goers are using your social sharing photobooth, you can include opt-in questions to capture email addresses to follow up with them post event. With RFID technology, we are closer to finding out how many people are actually attending your event and engaging on social. Data capture win!
So, when creating a branded experience, be sure to bring iPads or mobile devices to capture the necessary data to follow up with attendees post event. While we all may not ultimately define ‘success’? in the same terms, as experiential marketers, we can agree that extending the reach of our events is a step in the right direction.