Event Architecture Engages the Crowd at this Year’s Experiential Marketing Summit

Engagement is the name of the game in marketing, which is why there is now an entire conference dedicated to experiential marketing. More and more, consumers want to take part in an event – they want to be part of something as opposed to sit passively and be sold to. The more a brand can to do actively engage with their consumers, the more likely it will be to turn those people into loyal consumers.

The Experiential Marketing Summit occurred May 14-16 in San Francisco. The event, produced by EventMarketer, is dedicated to sharing engagement ideas and best practices by some of the heaviest hitters across several industries. Some of those in attendance this year included representatives form Pepsi, Uber, General Mills, Under Armour, Samsung, and General Motors.

Event Architecture made a splash when we displayed our modular event structures.

“The Experiential Marketing Summit is known as the premier event for marketers and brands seeking the latest trends and insights in experiential marketing, one of Event Architecture's primary areas of expertise,” said Tim Bookout, Director of Sales at Event Architecture. “More brands are using our modular structures to facilitate live events, activations and experiences, so exhibiting at this event felt like a natural fit for us.”

In the spirit of the Experiential Marketing Summit, we had plenty of representatives on hand to answer any questions and offer solutions about conceiving, planning, and executing live brand experiences.

“Our team has been helping brands create memorable experiences for more than three decades,” said Bookout. “We look forward to speaking with attendees and sharing how our team and our products can help them meet their experiential marketing goals.”

Visitors were also able to experience detailed 3D models of our various modular structures, including the OiO, YumYum, Snoozy, XPO, and the xDek. All of these were printed using our in-house 3D printer.

These semi-permanent structures feature a durable, modern design comprised of sturdy, aluminum supports and a double layer of coated fabric that is pressurized to create tension. Due to the line's modular design, these structures work equally well for applications big and small and are ideal for indoor and outdoor activations.

 

“Whether you need a pop-up retail kiosk for an outdoor festival or a large, temporary building to host a VIP experience or product showcase, our modular event structures literally have you covered. Brands love the flexibility, because it's easy to customize the units with fabric wraps and graphics, as well as your choice of flooring, lighting, comfortable seating, A/V equipment, and even climate control,” said Bookout.

Of course, the Event Architecture display wasn’t the only show at this year’s event.

The festivities actually kicked off with a half-day pre-conference exclusively for client-side marketers that featured Ariel Kelman, VP of worldwide marketing at Amazon Web Services. This talk, coproduced with Opus, was a detailed look at event strategies, data trends, and digital amplification.

Other workshops throughout the event included an introductory Experiential Marketing 101 workshop for those just looking to break in; “Festival University,” which was a deep dive into the “festivalization” of events; a look at the best practices surrounding the use of artificial intelligence; a look at boosting the time people spend taking in the sights at festivals; the impact of pop-up concerts; how a social conscious can enhance brand visibility; insights on promoting the features of an entire city as an event venue; and esports insights provided by EA Sports.

Day two also included three back-to-back general sessions:

  • VP of Consumer Experience Zach Overton discussed Samsung’s new experiential playbook.
  • Three Under Armour execs (Head of Global Experiential Marketing Kelley Walton, Head of Global Communications and Brand Campaigns Erin Wendell, and Head of Social Media Strategy Jack Daley) detailed the brand’s campaigns from an event, branding, and social perspective.
  • SVP of Global Event Technology & Operations Sean McBrien conducted a fireside chat about Citigroup’s marketing strategy.

There were some topics that reoccurred throughout several of these events.

Experiential marketing will soon just be known as marketing.

Across all industries, people are focused on aspects like “audience nurture,” “targeted promotion,” and “brand experience design” because companies are realizing that this is what they need to do to cultivate loyalty.

As a result, the experiential industry is creating core competencies (such as immersive brand storytelling, audience insights, etc.) that can be shared and honed across industries to further enhance universal best practices.

The smartphone is both your best friend and greatest enemy.

The fact that everyone walks around with a computer in their pockets has improved several aspects of events, from ticketing to registration and onsite-tracking to event communications (including pre and post).

However, it also means that event planners are constantly competing for attention. From social media to Clash Royale, email to the occasional call, the phone is always beckoning. This is the new reality of event planning and it’s not going away soon.

Photo Credit: Business 2 Community

There’s a talent crunch occurring in the engagement industry.

Experimental marketing employees so many disciplines that not only are you competing with other marketers for talent, you are also competing with other industries (such as technology, etc.).

To recruit top talent, experimental marketers must employ some of their own tactics by developing engagement with potential and new employees.

According to recent polling from Gallup, “A staggering 87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged. Many companies are experiencing a crisis of engagement and aren't aware of it.” The economic consequences of this are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity globally. The United States fares a little better by averaging about 32 percent overall engagement, although that number has not changed over the past several years.

The experiential marketing industry should actually be one of the most engaging opportunities available – now, it’s our job to make sure potential employees are aware of that fact.

The Experiential Marketing Summit was an immersive, deep dive into the emerging trends and best practices of the future of brand engagement. To learn more about our experience at the conference, our views on experiential marketing preparing and executing, and how to incorporate our modular event structures into your event plans, give Event Architecture a call at 972-343-9433.

sofia krsmanovic