Live events are on the rise. Over the next few years, spending on in-person brand experiences and events is going to increase. This is in part due to that fact that people, especially millennials, are choosing to spend their money on experiences and events over buying things. However, they crave new experiences and want events to meet their expectations.
So, how can you not only cater to these expectations but also built anticipation for your event? For answers, let’s look to a master showman: Walt Disney, well … his legacy, anyway.
I have a friend who recently took a trip to Disney World. This trip was for the family, and my friend was being a team player, fully expecting to hate every second. It should come as no surprise that my friend wound up loving the trip – in part because it’s a place of magic and only someone with a heart of stone would not fall for it, even a little.
However, my friend’s stony veneer began to crack well before the trip started because of the great job the park did in building anticipation for the upcoming event.
About a month before the trip, a box arrived in the mail clearly branded that it pertained to the upcoming trip. After opening the box, which was pretty fun in and of itself, inside were the tickets, luggage tags, and various information about the upcoming extravaganza. It was like receiving a surprise present.
The idea of event paraphernalia arriving in specialized packaging is wonderfully fun and adds a sense of whimsy.
- How could you use this idea to build anticipation for your event?
- Even better, how could you get your sponsors involved?
- What sort of sponsored giveaways / promotional items could be included in the box that are both event specific and thrilling to receive?
- How could you use this to simultaneously add value to the event and the attendee?
As to the actual tickets – they weren’t actually tickets. They were RFID wristbands personalized with each family member’s name: convenient, fun, and – best of all – impossible to lose.
These wristbands contained all the essentials for the entire trip: tickets to each park, fast passes for the rides, hotel room keys, and meal plan info. In addition, a credit card could be synced to the wristband, so mom and dad could leave their wallets safely locked in the hotel room.
Plus, these wristbands are “on trend” since wearable technology is all the rage.
- What sort of “out of the box” ticketing could you use to make your event unique and convenient for your attendees?
- What sort of personalization could you use to make each attendee feel special?
- How could using this or similar technology help you, you sponsors, and exhibitors efficiently collect data on attendees?
The Online Event
Part of the fun, my friend told me, was planning each day: mapping out the rides they wanted to do, places they wanted to eat, and shows they wanted to see. This created a familiarity with the parks even though they had never been there before.
- How can you bridge your event with the pre-show online experience?
- How can you team with sponsors to create moments that attendees can look forward to?
- How can you embed social media holistically into this online experience?
With the right approach, you can make your event feel like a ticket to Disney World and The Trade Group can help. Give us a call at 800-343-2005 to see how.