Sitting at the dinner table one night recently, my son Austin looked up from his phone to answer my “what the heck are you doing over there that’s so important you can’t communicate with us during a meal” question. “Sorry, I’m keeping my streaks alive on Snapchat,” he tells me. Perplexed, as I am with much of my son’s mostly digital social life, I asked him to explain. Turns out, one of the most popular trends on Snapchat is to earn a “Snapstreak”.
The buzz around the office is often about the latest apps and convenient solutions that make our lives easier. After settling into a shiny new high-rise in the Financial District this summer, we’ve found ourselves relying on apps and up-and-coming technologies to help navigate the Boston food and parking scene — by far our biggest challenges.
Experiencing something first-hand within an educational setting creates curiosity and retention that extends beyond the classroom. For a brand, “edutainment” is an effective way to get the attention of the next generation of consumers.
As someone who has been to over 700 live shows over the past 30 years for reasons both professional and personal, I can say things have certainly evolved. Events and concerts today are more dynamic than ever and have to touch all the senses to be relevant. For better or worse technology, security concerns, social media and society have changed the face of the event biz.
Expectations. We all have them. Especially when it comes to attending an event. We scout out who’s going to be there, guess what the entertainment will be like, what our exit strategy is in case it sucks. Most of the time we are pleasantly surprised by how it turns out. Sometimes we are underwhelmed. Either way, it’s usually not exactly how we envisioned it would be. Managing an event brings on the same jitters, and expectations.
I have a real appreciation for experiential campaigns done right — ones that are well-thought-out and not just one-off activations with no legs. And what I mean by that is, I appreciate experiential campaigns that are crafted to live elsewhere. Outside of that one day and venue. Ones that can be followed up and played out via other marketing channels. You will rarely have a positive ROI if you don’t think through how you can maximize your experiential investment.
Today more than ever it’s become harder and harder to connect with people face-to-face. Why? Because in our society, people — especially millennials and emerging generations — hide behind digital screens. Phones, tablets, computers, TV screens, wearable tech — it’s become, dare I say, almost an addiction.
Anyone in the event business can tell you about the all too familiar pit they had in their stomach last night watching Warren Beatty announce the wrong movie for the Oscar “Best Picture” win. To say that details matter in those situations is an understatement. One snafu and the whole operation goes haywire. What the heck happened?
With Valentine’s day on the horizon, I’ll get a little sappy — if marketing is all about romancing a consumer into wanting to buy a product or service that you are offering, then isn’t experiential marketing almost like a date? Meeting face-to-face has the power to establish a real emotional connection, and maybe even a life-long companion.
The lessons that I learned on tour were priceless, and all the experiences that I’ve gone through…I like to think that I wear them on my sleeves. Experiential is a lifestyle, like most businesses, but make sure not to take yourself too seriously.