Parades are not going anywhere. Why spend the entire day visiting, small talking, breathing on each other, when you can drive through, feel better, say hi, and get back? A meeting, under a blanket! It’s the best!
Don’t get me wrong.
I am over the screens! We have all experienced life behind the screen. It is not super fulfilling. Life behind the screen is mostly numbing. It has worked. It has kept us from being completely disconnected.
I am grateful for the screen, but also I know that we are ready for more.
Here’s the catch 22! Just because zoom makes us miss our friends and family and customers, doesn’t mean that everybody is going to be excited to go back to the way things were.
That is where experiential marketing comes into play. Experiential marketing is both online and in-person events.
Every campaign, website launch, new business venture, reunion, wedding, life celebration, will forever have a beginning life online, a mid-life in person, and an end of life that is back online.
The beginning of the event is online.
It involves communities of interested people coming together. The beginning of the event is when people find each other online, they share their ideas, they offer their support, they financially contribute, they become a part of the foundation of the event. The community of guests becomes stakeholders in the success of the event. A healthy beginning online is important because many people will not be able to participate in the event in person, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to contribute, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to celebrate. A healthy beginning of the event online allows all members of the group to contribute in their own way, and feel part of it. Let’s stop judging people who stay home and only interact online, and let’s embrace facilitating a strong online event life before an in-person event.
The middle of the event is the in-person event itself, which might not be entirely in person.
The portion of the event that is in person, will have strict regulations for health and safety. The in-person event will require technology to connect to the people that are online if that is something people want. Planning the in-person event is the meat and potatoes of the project. All the details need to be coordinated and resolved. This includes who is attending the event, why are they coming, when are they attending, where are they going, what should they do when they get there, what is it going to look like… Etc.… The middle portion of the event requires the most amount of time, energy, attention to detail. But! Here the cool thing! A healthy middle of the event is 100% contingent upon a strong beginning. Event producers must know that the online hype, within the community, to crowdsource and bring all of us together will create a successful in-person event. Event planners must breathe life into both.
The end of the event goes back online.
These are the appreciation posts. Pictures with products, social proof, customer testimonials, referrals. The purpose of the end of the event is to generate excitement for the next event. This could mean the next product launch, the next birthday, the next celebration. A very successful end of the event is 100% contingent upon excellent strategizing for the middle, a.k.a. the in-person event. This means photography, videography, customer service, problem-solving. The social proof that is generated at the end of the event is what lives online will breathe life into your business, your group, moving forward together. Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.