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Think Outside of the Booth: Branding with Owned Live Events

Branding outside of the booth

You may have noticed that today’s marketers are seeing the best bang for their buck when they engage their audience in non-traditional experience initiatives — and this is backed by numbers reported across the industry. A quick glance at EventTrack confirms this uptick in affinity, education, retention and peer recommendation. While we all know that bringing the brand to the consumer is a winning strategy, our challenge is curating the how and where. Fortunately, private venues are just as eager to rent space as we are to occupy them.

After thinking about the trend toward new/greater flexibility of venues in working with live events, I recently published a post about the power of using multiple substrates. In that post, I mentioned specific examples of how newer substrates can be combined with traditional branding elements. Our ability to experiment with these new elements — like non-marring graphics and repositionable adhesives — has become a reality, partly because event venues have been increasingly open to letting us use them in recent years.

With venues being required to generate different revenue streams, marketers are strategically chasing the opportunity to use their spaces. This is a partnership win-win: brands want to maximize the amount of time that they can be “open for business,” while venues want to minimize the time in which they are shut down for production builds. An example of this classic tug of war? When a restaurant shuts down for a Saturday event on a Friday, the client must pay for Friday’s lost revenue for an event to be profitable for the restaurant. It’s all about finding a happy medium that makes an event a successful endeavor for both sides.

Given the temporary nature of these activations, how can we efficiently create an immersive space that won’t leave a latent footprint of having been there at all? Let’s think about this execution in terms of surfaces and structure.

If we have the opportunity to come in with a light, non-structural touch and spend just a few short hours applying graphical elements to existing features like windows, doors or stairs, we can do that with a low labor count and a less invasive presence. Private venues tend to be a bit cramped as the installation process is taking place, so knowing your capabilities and managing the opportunities at a venue can really streamline the process when you shift from graphical to structural.

Seasoned professionals can manage this ebb and flow and simultaneously respect the needs of the venue, the client and the craftsmen who are pulling it all together. While each venue has its own unique features and idiosyncrasies, so do the people involved. Exceeding expectations is really the primary concern. This is where innovation and execution converge.

Our industry has evolved in such a technical way that nearly any space we enter is more than just a blank canvas; it’s an opportunity to deploy true artists to transform the mind both literally and emotionally. 

POSTED UNDER: Branding, Exhibit, Experiential, Trade Show

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