As the pandemic continues to put large conferences and festivals on hold, new trends are emerging in experiential marketing, both in-person and virtual. Here are some activations that have come our way at All Aces Promotional Staffing.
Drive-In Events: Drive-in programs are a “net positive!” They are safe and easy to activate and maximize on the often-forgotten real estate: your company’s parking lot. Since June, our team has staffed activations for outdoor film festival screenings, COVID-19 testing sites and a large national food drive, which has been our most impactful project of the year. With the emergence of QR technology, brands can create experiences that gather first party data without attendees ever needing to leave their vehicles, in addition to giving out swag. Big box stores such as Walmart have gone full force on converting their parking lots to accommodate drive-in experiences, creating a great opportunity for lifestyle brands associated with those stores.
Virtual Monitors & Tech Assistants: Multiple behind-the-scenes support roles have emerged for virtual events, whether it’s managing panelists during a webinar or monitoring breakout rooms and social media pages, particularly when the event is being streamed on those handles. Event managers and staff are leading and lending crucial support on tech checks, media content management, and emceeing events. This category is vast; for more info on the emerging virtual job roles, read our blog post here.
Remote Virtual Experiences: We have all had our fair share of technical snafus, but the virtual space is also about being fun and limitless on the entertainment! Airbnb is hosting a variety of remote virtual experiences, from coffee master classes in Mexico to meditation with a Buddhist monk in Japan. On a practical scale, small and midsize companies are starting to replace customer appreciation events and client dinners with delectable experiences such as group demos from celebrity craft brew masters, hot sauce creations, and even magic shows, depending on the crowd. This requires some planning and resources, so send us a note to request info about producing a remote virtual experience.
Product photo and video shoots: Fashion and beauty brands have multiple reasons to create amazing photo and video content right now: rebuilding and enhancing e-commerce stores, boosting social media engagement, and the pivot to virtually attended fashion shows and conference exhibitions. Just like with drive-in events, our COVID-19 safe shoots are easy-to-staff live events because they require very little interaction; you can choose a low traffic location or somewhere outdoors, and work with 1-2 models at a time.
Virtual Brand Ambassadors: Online brand ambassadors are like influencers; they leverage their social media followings to increase brand awareness about a product or service. This can include posting on their own SM handles, reviewing a product on your blog, writing customer reviews, or promoting virtual events or conferences. They can also make guest appearances or emcee a virtual event. Most them also have experience as brand ambassadors for live events, which is perfect for virtual exhibitor corners that have a live chat function.
Contactless street teams: Many companies are hiring field staff to put flyers and business cards on car windshield wipers and other areas that don’t require in-person contact, such as bulletin boards, outdoor signage and even concierge areas of office buildings. As small, outdoor events begin to reemerge in select markets, so will opportunities for brand ambassadors to gear up in PPE and hand off flyers or promotional material to attendees.
Road Shows: While many price clubs are still not allowing food or beverage sampling, stores such as Costco have reinstalled their booth shows for other types of products, like home flooring and kitchen gadgets. If you’ve ever taken a detour from food shopping only to be seduced into watching a demo on the Cadillac of frying pans, you’ve seen a road show. They are great for companies that want to target a select audience with product demos and/or sales, without the expense and logistics of renting space for a pop-up shop.
We hope this article has been helpful and will continue to take notes on new trends in experiential marketing, as we continue to navigate a new normal. Let us know if we can help you brainstorm some other ideas!