Dreaming of crafting a dazzling gala? Visualising your boss’s response when you pull off a virtual conference that makes your audience feel like they’re in an awe-inspiring live environment or elating at the level of exclusivity your VIP party oozes? Events are always highly desirable. Be they live, online or hybrid, each event type targets specific audiences and delivers a carefully-honed message in a distinct way (one that also brings you brownie points with the boss). Yet, no matter whether your event is the core of your marketing campaign or the icing on your campaign cake, ensuring it is memorable, thought-provoking and impactful starts with one simple question: Why?
Why choose an event?
This question has never been so pertinent than now, when it’s no longer de rigeur to get down and dirty in a music mosh pit or cram into spaces small or large to cheer on your favourite sports team. Now, the time when ‘social’ has a closer affinity to the word ‘distance’ than it does to drinking or dancing. However, at a base level, events are still one of the most powerful ways to humanise your brand and connect with customers ‘face-to-face’. This live interaction underpins an events’ potential for both high memorability and high impact, as their multi-sensory environments are primed to trigger desire, attention and emotional responses within consumers. However, before diving in headfirst, brands should check that an event is the right marketing channel for their objectives by asking themselves:
Baking an event cake
Having decided an event is right for you, it’s time to get the apron out and get stuck in. That’s because hosting an event is like baking a cake: the chosen style, ingredients and method all come down to the reason. Trying to wow a young Instagram audience? That calls for short bite size pieces of video content like a variety box of brightly-decorated cupcakes. Targeting groups of older high net worth individuals? Delivering a luxury experience across multiple rooms, be they the digital breakout or real world bonding variety is akin to serving a multi-tiered gold leaf-glazed gateau.
In each case, knowing the ‘why’ gives you clear direction and helps you achieve a desired outcome from your target audience. Whether you want to boost sales, position your brand as a thought-leader or make a social media splash, there’s a corresponding mouth-watering event recipe.
The three-step process to making a memorable event
Events are the most effective marketing channel for achieving business goals, but this is only true if the event makes a positive memorable impression on the target audience. To do that, brands should follow a three-step process before setting off on the event journey.
Right event, right impact
Events are only effective when done right. From Snapple’s 25-foot popsicle melting onto New York’s streets to Jagermiester accidentally poisoning guests at a product launch, events have the capacity to fail spectacularly, but they can also miss the beat by just getting the particulars wrong: hosting a loud audio tech-heavy event to a hard of hearing elderly audience, using lots of single-use plastics at an eco-party or bringing a birthday cake to a funeral (eek!).
On the other hand, the right event makes the right impact. Let’s take the current Covid situation, for example. In 2020, Macallan wanted to position themselves as the ultimate luxury spirit for 25-40 year-olds in Asia (the why). They aimed to increase interaction with their target audience and showcase the luxury and rarity of their whisky (the what). Rebel & Soul created an interactive, multi-sensory Macallan Experience that taught ‘whisky worthy stories’ in a unique, memorable way (the how). The result? Despite a pandemic-induced reduction on the number of people allowed into the experience at one time, iover 134% vs target consumers ‘tasted the stories’, 50,000 unique visitors checked out the website, spending an average of 2.38 minutes on it and over $3.2m+ revenue was driven by 37% of footfall purchasing at the event. The experience proved so popular that the brand extended the duration in Singapore for an additional three months before it moved to another APAC market, gaining a Return on Investment of $1.59 for every $1 spent.
Seek bespoke advice
Establishing the ‘why’ of hosting an event, be it virtual or physical, is the crucial first step of a well-planned event strategy, but it’s not as simple as you think. That’s why you should turn to the master memory-makers (and excellent event cake-bakers) at Rebel & Soul. With our holistic understanding of each marketing channel and event style, we can help you choose the ideal methods, tactics and execution that work for your target audience. Have a marketing objective in mind? Come to the marketing and event experts to strategise and grow that idea into reality.
For more information on event planning and management success, read our whitepaper: The ultimate guide to event planning & management.
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