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5 Ways Brands Can Wow Consumers at Experiential Events

November 2023


Experiential events have emerged as powerful tools for brands to connect with consumers on a personal level. With 74% of event attendees forming a positive opinion about a company through branded events, and the industry projected to hit $2.2 trillion by 2026 it’s time to really start paying attention to the influence of experiential. 

Whether it’s in tech, food and drink, or any other industry, creating immersive experiences can leave a lasting impact on consumers, instigating positive behaviour change. It has been proven to not only increase brand awareness, and customer loyalty but also potentially facilitate authentic user-generated content – with 90% of consumers posting about an experience with a brand on social media. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore five strategies you can employ to wow consumers at experiential events, no matter what sector you are marketing in.

1. Immersive tech experiences

In the tech industry, experiential campaigns  offer a unique opportunity to showcase cutting-edge innovations in a tangible way. For example, hosting interactive demos, VR experiences, or live product testing can captivate attendees and make a lasting impression. In 2019, Apple’s “Today at Apple” sessions allowed users to explore the capabilities of their devices through hands-on workshops, creating a sense of community and connection with the brand.

The aim of the campaign was to increase the profile of Hiscox and educate brokers on malicious attacks.

The ‘Hiscox Control Room’ was created using specialist smart glass technology, an LED cube that was placed at the heart of Lloyds Trading floor – something that has never been done before. A stand-out experience was intended to create an escape room-style experience with participants playing in a race against the clock to complete challenges that tested their knowledge and awareness of malicious attacks.

I’ve never seen a structure like this in Lloyd’s. I think it’s really great to have the Cube behind us right next to the Lutine Bell. It just reminds us that insurance is not just about learning from the past but also looking to the future.

Bronek Masajoda, Hiscox Group CE

2. Gastronomic delights in food and drink events

For FMGC brands, engaging the senses is key. Hosting culinary events, tastings, or interactive cooking classes can create memorable experiences. Starbucks, for instance, introduced the “Starbucks Reserve Roastery” concept, offering customers a multisensory experience, from watching the coffee roasting process to enjoying exclusive beverages. This approach not only delights the taste buds but can also strengthen the emotional connection with the brand.

Philadelphia Intense Tour

Purity delivered a two-phase campaign for Philadelphia Intense to launch this new variant.  

Phase 1: 

Partnerships with HelloFresh were created and 40,000  Philadelphia Intense pots were sampled for consumers directly in their homes. 

Phase 2: 

Mass sampling across strategically selected events as well as a launch event.

As part of the second phase to help drive mass-scale reach, Purity branded up an airstream and went on tour to key events including Eurovision, Birmingham Pride and Royal Ascot,  The tour kicked off on the Southbank with TV presenter Gok Wan serving passersby.  Consumers were able to make their own creations from specially prepared stations with a variety of flavours and pairings.  Throughout the tour, local influencers were invited to create media appeal and shareability.

Purity - Cafe Bustelo

3. Leveraging social media and user-generated content (UGC)

Brands can extend the impact of experiential events by incorporating UGC. Create visually appealing and share-worthy installations, encourage attendees to use event-specific hashtags, and leverage platforms like Instagram and Twitter to amplify their reach. According to Eventbrite, events with a strong social media presence have a 20% higher engagement rate than those without.

Purity brought the Cafe Bustelo Latin experience to life in the local communities of Houston and Philadelphia with a pop-up cafe. The cafe presented Latin entertainment, showcased local art, and provided a venue for community events.

An influencer strategy was created to drive media coverage. Cafe Bustelo received 31 million media impressions during this campaign.

4. Harnessing the power of Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors add a personal touch to experiential campaigns creating authentic connections with consumers. Individual influencers or ambassadors allow for a more unique exploration and delivery of your content, allowing you to tap into more diverse markets or increase your social listening capacity. UGC can also significantly amplify your brand’s reach.

Embracing the mantra of “Do Whatever Tastes Good” and letting your inhibitions fly away like the ocean breeze, the Malibu Confession Booth was developed this Summer by Purity. 

Touring festivals including Elrow and We Are Fstvl as well as at Manchester Pride in August  with a team of Brand Ambassadors the Booth allowed up to four friends to step in and release their inhibitions and be unapologetically themselves. As well as getting a printed photo as a keepsake, and a cocktail, Purity has created a personalised gif from the booth experience.

The Malibu Confession Booth is more than just a booth; it is a celebration of individuality, inclusion, and authentic fun!

5. Unleashing creativity with agency support

Collaborating with experiential agencies can elevate your brand strategy to new heights. We specialise in creating unique, memorable experiences tailored to your brand. By tapping into our expertise, you can benefit from innovative ideas, flawless execution, and a comprehensive approach to event marketing. According to the Event Marketing Institute, 74% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after engaging in a branded event, showcasing the potential impact on sales.

Jeep had sponsored the Winter x Games for 16 years. But had become too familiar and was losing relevance.  Purity’s brief was to get thousands of customers excited about the brand and drive sales leads.

We created the Jeep “Champion of Adventure” experience. A 30-foot geodesic dome that puts customers in an immersive jeep test drive, complete with heated seats and mountain drive.

The campaign saw a 635% increase in sales versus two years ago.

Here’s some interesting stats for you to take away….

The impact of experiential campaigns on sales and brand recall is substantial. According to a study by Statista, 65% of consumers who attend live events say they’re more likely to purchase the promoted product. Additionally, 98% of users create digital or social content at events, contributing to the pool of user-generated content that further amplifies the brand’s message.

Experiential campaigns have become a cornerstone of successful marketing strategies across multiple industries. By immersing consumers in memorable, interactive experiences and strategically incorporating elements like social media, user-generated content, and brand ambassadors, brands can foster deeper connections, boost sales, and leave an indelible mark on their target audience. For a truly awe-inspiring experience, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our marketing experts who can turn your vision into a reality.

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For a truly awe-inspiring experience, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our marketing experts who can turn your vision into a reality.

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