Archive for event marketing

GM at The New England International Auto Show

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

I just finished up an experiential event for General Motors at The New England International Auto Show. I have to say, I am impressed with GM’s current marketing efforts. The event was called “Experience the Drive” and it let event attendees test drive the latest General Motor vehicles without having to deal with sales people and dealers. This created a no-pressure, fun and welcoming experience. The vehicles that were available to test drive were the Chevy Camaro, Chevy Equinox, Chevy Traverse, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Cruze, Buick Regal, Buick LaCrosse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, GMC Terrain and GMC Yukon Hybrid.

My job was to be an “in-vehicle host” and ride around with the test drivers and answer any questions they may have about the vehicles.  After the test drive, we surveyed drivers on how the event effected their impression of GM. Consumer feedback proved that the event was a huge hit.  Almost every single person had a positive reaction and seemed excited about GM. A lot of people had changed their opinion of the company and said that they were much more likely to buy a GM vehicle in the future. Old perceptions usually die hard, but GM seems to be making huge steps in the right direction. This just proves the power of an event that is well thought out and properly executed.


The Cosmopolitan Hotel Experiential Promotion

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

The Cosmopolitan Hotel is an independent hotel that is opening up in Las Vegas in December. The $3.9 billion hotel and casino will feature condo-style rooms; a differentiating factor in Vegas.

The experiential campaign consisted of a plexiglass structure that gave attendees the “Cosmopolitan experience” as they were able to get a feel for what the rooms would be like as well a deck on top which mimics either the pool area or the porches attached to most of the rooms.

This particular promotion took place at the PGA Golf tour and was the only promotion of its kind at the event. Weather helped out the impact of the promotion, as the hotel –room structure was air-conditioned inside and the heat was unbearable.  During the event we passed out ice cooled aroma therapy towels as well as fans and wristbands. On the fans and inside the wristbands, there was a code that attendees could text to enter to win a VIP stay at the hotel.

What I found most effective about this promotion was that when the attendees entered the mock hotel room there was a couch area where they could sit and talk to representatives from the hotel and get as much information as they wanted about it. There was no selling involved, so nobody felt pressured when they were inside.

Overall, I would rate the promotion as a success.  It can be tough to market a hotel to another market during an event since it is intangible at that point. However, creating an atmosphere and a user experience is the best way to go in my opinion.

Will differentiation and the marketing efforts put forth make much of a difference when opening up a luxury hotel in an area that has arguably been hit the hardest by the recession? I guess we shall see..

Will Blackberry’s Experiential Marketing create Loyalty?

Posted in Experiential Marketing, Promotional Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

I recently read an article about how Blackberry users are running out of loyalty. The article stated that “while 89 percent of iPhone owners plan on getting another iPhone, and 71 percent of Android buyers plan to re-up, only 42 percent of BlackBerry owners plan to stick around”.

Around the same time I read that article, I was in the middle of working a month-long gig promoting Blackberry. The marketing that Blackberry has been doing recently is pretty unique and  it shows how Blackberry is trying to stretch their demographic and create brand loyalty. The two different promotions I was working were at the popular downtown bars in Boston as well as the Black Eyed Peas Tour. Both events, which were run by different marketing companies,  consisted of educating and encouraging Blackberry users to use BBM (which stands for Blackberry Messenger, a feature that is exclusive only to Blackberry). I found it interesting that Blackberry is extending their demographic to include young adults in a nightclub setting when their primary target has always been business professionals; a smart move in my opinion if Blackberry wants to keep up with the competition. I also found it interesting that Blackberry’s goal was to make sure their users become accustomed to using BBM. This is also a smart move because it will create loyalty and it is Blackberry’s biggest differentiation from other smartphones. Along with creating loyalty, the promotion of BBM will also encourage users to pressure their friends to get Blackberry so they can chat through the messenger.  The only fault with the marketing, in my opinion, was the timing. This type of extensive experiential marketing should have been done about a year ago, before the other competitors were launched. I think Blackberry realized they were losing loyalty a few months too late and could have held on to some of its younger users if these events were done earlier.

Some Pictures of the bar events.. More from the Black Eyed Peas events to come..

Brand Ambassador Resources

Posted in General Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

Working in the promotional field can be messy sometimes. You are an independent contractor and basically you are your own business that you run yourself. You must keep track of  the agencies you work for, find and book your own work, be careful not to double book (this can be easy to do when you apply but don’t get the confirmation in time), make sure paperwork is filled out and sent in on time, keep track of when you get paid ( sometimes it can be weeks, sometimes over a month), track down your pay (unfortunately this can be a common occurrence),  keep your pictures up to date, keep your promo resume up to date, know the route to the promotion (since you are always working at different events and venues), make sure you have the appropriate attire, and be able to plan for and react to event cancellation and disorganization on the agency side.  This means organization is key.

The way I keep organized is I keep a hard copy of everything as well as keep it digitally stored in my email. It is important to not delete any email confirmations just in case you need to look back at the details to find out who you should be contacting if you didn’t get paid. I use my phone calendar to write in the events and times that I have already booked. I keep a binder of all event confirmations as well as recap forms, w9s and anything else that needs to be faxed into the agency. I also find it helpful to make an excel spreadsheet of the event I worked, date, payment and agency and check it off as I get paid.

Working in the promotional field can also be a gamble sometimes because you could commit to one gig and then get an email for one on the same day that pays a lot more. My advice for this is to set payment standards for the weekends and only commit to working lower paying ones during the week since weekday work is not as common.

Some resources  I find useful are:
An Event Marketing community that has event marketing job posting, discussion and event marketing news.
All things event marketing and tradeshow. Complete with job postings, the latest news and top agency listings.
Similar to, Promo Magazine provides insights into all things promotional marketing.

Fellow BA’s..What are your tips?

Magic Hat Twitter Pub Crawl Marketing Success

Posted in Experiential Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

Magic Hat successfully perfected the art of combining experiential marketing with social media with the Magic Hat Twitter Pub Crawl event that took place last week in Burlington VT.

In my opinion Magic Hat Brewery has some of the best beer marketing anyway, so when they were assigned as a client to my peers in my senior marketing class I didn’t think there was much that they could suggest that Magic Hat hadn’t already thought of themselves. However, the team pulled it off and created the idea that was the Twitter Pub Crawl.

The crawl consisted of having teams of 4 where at least one player had to have a Smartphone. There was one central meeting place and the Magic Hat Twitter account tweeted clues throughout the night on which bars to go.There was a twitter hashtag  as well so players could tweet about the crawl while they were doing it.  The clues were tricky riddles about the different bars around Burlington and players had to collect a receipt from each bar.   At the end, the teams had to come back to the meeting place with their receipts to see if they got them all right.  The teams who went to all the right bars were put into a drawing and the winning team won free plane tickets to anywhere Jet Blue flies.

The event was such a success because it was low-cost for Magic Hat,  money was raised for charity (it cost five dollars for those who participated and the participants got a T-Shirt and the money went to COTS)and a large amount of people were reached (38 teams of 4 participated and people followed the hashtag on twitter).

Everyone was a winner in the Magic Hat Twitter Pub Crawl including COTS, Jet Blue, everyone who participated (because it was so fun!) , the actual winners of the crawl and of course Magic Hat.

The combination of social media and experiential marketing is a powerful, low-cost marketing method that can be tricky to get right, but Magic Hat did it!


Experiential Marketing Vs. Event Marketing

Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing with tags , , , , on March 21, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A large amount of experiential marketing is done through events. However, event marketing is not always experiential marketing.

Experiential Marketing is when an experience is created that results in an interactive connection to a brand.

“Experiential Marketing con­nects audi­ences with the authen­tic nature of a brand through par­tic­i­pa­tion in per­son­ally rel­e­vant, cred­i­ble and mem­o­rable encounters.

Whereas tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing has focused on mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion using ratio­nal, left-brain directed per­sua­sion, expe­ri­en­tial mar­ket­ing focuses on mak­ing a per­son­al­ized con­nec­tion using emo­tional, right-brain directed involvement.” (Via Advent Blog)

Event Marketing is when a brand is presented through face to face interaction at live events such as trade shows , festivals, concerts etc.

Event Marketing aims to be Experiential Marketing but fails at making the necessary connection sometimes. Too many a times a company will spend too much money on setting up a table handing out free samples without going beyond this. I have worked many events of this type, but I have also worked many events that encouraged interaction through a memorable experience. The key is interaction, whatever the form may be. A quick blurb and a free sample may be effective, but not nearly as effective as it would be with more interaction. Interaction creates a connection and is important for any type of success.

Experiential Campaigns

Posted in Experiential Marketing with tags , , , on January 29, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

Experience marketing is the way to go. Putting a face to a brand is what almost every company seeks to do, and what better way to do this than literally hiring someone who has a “friendly face” to represent your brand. In my opinion, experiential marketing is the most effective type of marketing. Yes, companies do take a risk by hiring  people who they don’t even know to represent their brand but when they hit it right they have the ability to directly influence thousands, millions even- depending on how large the campaign is. So how can a company hit it right, and have a successful, profitable campaign?

  • Hire upbeat, personable and energetic people who smile.
  • If you aren’t directly doing the hiring, go with a reputable promotional staffing company. There are many promotional staffing companies out there who only care about getting paid and don’t follow up effectively with their staff.
  • Tour Managers who really care are key. Too often they just care about getting the job over with and promotional items distributed as quickly as possible.
  • Have a clear training manual for the staff so that the intended message doesn’t get lost.
  • Encourage pictures and video.