Event activation is a great way to activate your brand as it generates that all important awareness and engagement. Apparently, 60% of leadership personnel believes that events are the most critical marketing channel for achieving business goals (Bizzabo). To reach these goals, event marketing requires a well-thought-out strategy for it to have a positive impact. So why should brands adopt this strategy? Because event marketing is effective in creating a positive and long-lasting impact on attendees, through live brand promotion via various activities. Ready to improve lead generation? Then read on…

Event activation is done through hosting informal conferences, events, and product launches. Attendees can get together and connect with a brand, either via physical or virtual means. A trade-show style physical event allows a brand to showcase its products and services in real-time, demonstrating brand output and its working ethos – giving attendees the opportunity to engage the brand and its offerings.

On the other hand, a virtual, live-event gives the audience an opportunity to become part of the action – similarly to a physical event without the restrictions imposed in terms of capacity and quality of the experience; given the interaction takes place on screen as opposed to in person. It’s suggested that 97% of event marketers believe we will see more hybrid events in 2021 (Bizzabo). Now that we’ve introduced event marketing, let’s look at the current state of event activation upon Covid restrictions lifting and how to move forward.

Post Covid event activation

Covid changed the dynamic of event marketing. Activating physical events became impossible due to the restrictions put in place. Last year, it was reported that leading brand experience agencies in the UK estimated the value loss in the beginning of the pandemic at around £15.4m, due to well over 200 events being cancelled (CampaignLive). This year, brands and agencies have pivoted to adapt to restrictions, and it’s now important to consider what comes next as they lift.

The way forwards for brand activation seems events are to take place with a degree of social distancing in mind, however social distancing rules are set to lift entirely in the UK. This means that approaching them with caution should improve the appeal to attendees. Points to consider include the capacity, in terms of control and timing of activities. In addition to the use of props and merchandise to distribute as freebies to generate brand awareness.

Strategic development is something to consider as brands get back to physical events. It’s important to consider the summer as a great starting point to activate seasonally relevant products. Additionally, taking advantage of the ‘summer staycation’ trend currently hyped across most mediums. It seems September is looking like a more appropriate start for non-seasonal brands. All things considered, brands should look to integrate both physical and virtual elements to event activations for maximum inclusivity and content distribution. Now let’s look at the importance of each consideration element in event activation.

Making the most of events with video

All events require video, the successful ones anyway! Video is important for event activation because of the emotional connection it makes with the audience. Video captures people’s attention and drives excitement, which boosts the chance of the content being engaged with. Capturing the essence of the experience is vital for the audience to relate to what they’re seeing. The key to this is storytelling – tell a story they’ll engage with, coupled with well caught footage of the event creates an opportunity to inspire action across all mediums. Just look at our award-winning work with NSPCC as an example.

Pre-event video is important to consider for building awareness of the occasion prior to going live. It also provides opportunity for a brand to showcase content at the event to really engage attendees. Pre-event video will really help market the event itself, giving attendees an insight into what to expect. This can only help boost awareness and engagement – promoting content with that WOW factor. This content hits home and prompts them to carry out the desired action! See an example of us recording elements prior to Vyaire’s webinar.

On-event videography is important to make the most of the experience. All the magic of the event is captured here, which can be repurposed for use across varying mediums to maximise overall exposure. Making different types of videos for the event like AR, animations and interactive projections brings the event to life, which creates a memorable experience. It’s always a bonus to vary content types to maximise audience engagement. For example, making highlight reels from specific parts of the event, to post across social afterwards to further spur conversations and maintain the trend. Why not see this example of our work with Kwik Fit at BTCC’s Media Day.

Post-event footage is useful to create multiple deliverables with varying call-to-actions, such as highlights prompting the audience to follow on social or visit the website. This type of video should be shorter with the intention of gaining immediate engagement with a soft call-to-action. In addition, one of the most important factors to consider is that this type of footage will benefit anyone that was unable to attend, or people looking to reference the content for other purposes. For example, see some of our work with Motorola.

Capturing imagery that tells a story

It goes without saying that taking photos at a physical event or capturing images of a virtual event is paramount. Events are temporary, so we rely on this content to narrate them. Images help spread the word of the event even after it’s done, much like video. Images also allow marketing efforts to continue long after the onsite marketing exhibition, and we will discuss the importance of that in the next section. But while we’re on the importance of images, let’s look at exactly why they’re needed.

Capturing images with a keen eye provides valuable assets at the brands disposal. Seizing the moment provides opportunity to tell a story. To do this effectively, it’s important to consider goals and what the brand wants to achieve – capturing the right shots to communicate the brand’s identity. Check out our work with Wystle to see this in action. Coordinating with the photographer ahead of time is key to ensure a clear brief is set for effective marketing communications. Organisation is also key for personnel to be in the right place at the right time. A schedule of what’s happening, when and where will streamline the process to capture crucial moments for optimal assets.

When considering the images themselves, formatting is important as clear instructions need to be set on the asset type. Include notes on whether the images need to be in portrait or landscape, their dimensions, and file format for optimal distribution across traditional and online mediums.

Lighting is also an important factor to consider when activating an event. Some venues, especially ones indoors may provide challenges if it isn’t well lit. Streamline the process by consulting with the photographer, ensuring they have the means to equip themselves properly to capture every moment. Include this information alongside the brief with other key details such as the event schedule and overall goals. Examples of Momentum capturing indoor content that tells a story includes work with Motorola and Buddah Tek. Having looked at video and imagery, let’s look at the opportunities events marketing presents.

PR & advertising opportunities

It’s important to consider events as PR opportunities as a gathering of professionals, potential clients and fans provides various ways to build brand relationships. Event activation is the perfect environment to network and promote a brand identity within the industry. It also provides scope to talk to potential clients and showcase what’s on offer first-hand. Communicating at these events gives a brand the chance to build credibility and a profile, sharing ideas and promoting the brand’s image.

Event activation provides ample advertising opportunities, giving brands the freedom to interact face-to-face with their audience. As well as clients, potential sponsors, and partners. Events are seen as fruitful occasions where all stakeholders can meet and explore the brand’s identity, whilst developing relationships and building up potential partnerships to further the businesses goals.

Social media integration

Social media is a fantastic way to expose the event to a larger audience. Especially before it takes place to generate initial awareness. Posting images and video with snappy and descriptive copy pre, post and on-event is a priceless form of publicity. As stated previously, these content types allow marketing efforts to continue well after the event. This is important because it encourages followers to keep up with the brand’s ongoings and may boost interest in future events and activities. It is important to integrate as much of the event as possible with social media. This achieves maximum exposure, awareness, and engagement. Social provides the platform for subsequent campaign development, furthering marketing activities around the event to generate conversations and build up an online following. This audience is essential to engage with for virtual and hybrid events. Without them, the engagement rate on these events may not reflect the brand’s true potential and could produce less than adequate results. So, how can we do all this?

Our experienced in-house media team will take care of every aspect of events marketing; looking after all media production needs from start to finish – from lifestyle or product shoots through to videography and animation. We tailor briefs to match exact requirements, taking all aspects of the above information into consideration for optimal output to reach business goals. Ready to discuss an effective, value-based events marketing package?

The Momentum team is ready to take your brand forward in 2021. Considering event activation? Then contact us for a chat. Let’s get started!