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In the past, the main focus of experiential marketing was to create hype for a brand while promoting a product or service.  And while that is still very much the foundation of the strategy, more and more consumers prefer a cohesive brand experience.  One that communicates a brand’s story through various interactions, or touchpoints.  For this reason, it’s important for brands to create exceptional experiential marketing designs.  Experiential design shapes the overall customer experience and is responsible for the impression that a consumer has about the brand.  It can also mean the difference between a successful experiential marketing event and a total flop.

The most successful brands speak directly to their consumers through their preferred medium. They listen to what their customers want and create a brand experience around those preferences. And by fostering those wants and expectations, you will create positive and lasting impressions. Impressions that promote a sense of loyalty and trust between your company and your consumer.  Moreover, ones that make people walk away feeling good about your brand.  But how can you ensure the design of your event makes a positive impression and a lasting impact? By incorporating these design trends into your next campaign.

7 Experiential Marketing Design Trends for 2019

1.  Interactive Video

The technology behind interactive videos is not a new thing, but in late 2018, the concept suddenly became the full focus. Netflix has been a trendsetter for a while and based on industry chatter after their infamous Bandersnatch release, we are starting to see that interactive video will be a forefront trend in 2019. Think less Black Mirror: Bandersnatch “big-brother-is-watching” and more along the lines of “choose your own adventure.” By incorporating interactive video into your experiential marketing design, you will engage your customers and make them feel ownership to your brand.

2.  Swag, Swag, Swag

Y’all, we all know that if there isn’t a freebie or giveaway, that may be a turnoff to some (looking at you college student circa 2011 who only went to campus events if there was free food). According to a recent study by the marketing software company Splash, 47 percent of millennials go to branded events because of the free swag. Have a company pow wow, and create some seriously on-brand swag that will get people hyped to check out your activation.

3.  Co-Create

Let’s face it, long gone are the days where you would show up to an event, sit in a chair and listen to someone ramble about products, and then leave. Consumers want experiences, memories, and immersive brand stories that will stay with them long after the event. People crave to be seen and understood by brands through custom and personalized experiences. The mindset that social media has brought to new generations that we are all micro influencers has changed the way we look at brands. When designing your experiential campaign, think less selling to your consumers, and more engaging with them.  Truly immerse them and allow them to be a part of your brand’s story.

4.  Sensory Engagement

Digital media has brought consumers and companies a plethora of new ways to market and connect. However, one thing that for a long time it has lacked is the ability to utilize all five senses. We are seeing more and more the desire from consumers to feel connected to a brand not only visually and audibly, but with every single sense. In one way, experiential marketing is the best and fastest way to take consumers to a multi-sensory experience, often times accelerating conversations and sale success.

5.  Inclusive Brand Designs and Values

With the rise of movements for female empowerment, LGBTQ rights, minority groups and so on, it is vital for brands to incorporate inclusive support into their designs. Only recently have we seen a focus on bringing more inclusion with keynote speakers, CEOs, and product designs, to name a few. If brands don’t keep up with inclusive designs and products, they will quickly fall to the wayside as untrustworthy and old school in the minds of modern consumers. Make sure your experiential marketing design plan has a strong focus on the current inclusive values in today’s culture.

6.  Integrate Branding into Event Design

“Is there a place I can get a charge?” Think about it, how many times have you heard someone ask this, or asked it yourself? We see it in modern airport designs, coffee shops, shopping centers, etc. Integrated into furniture, art, displays…outlets and charging stations are everywhere these days. Today, consumers expect ease and integration everywhere they go, including events. What better way to keep potential customers lingering at your activation than to offer charging stations while your brand ambassadors work to connect with them and show them the benefits of your brand?

7.  Knowledgeable Staff

Whenever someone interacts with your brand, it creates an impression, good or bad.  And every single customer interaction can influence the way consumers feel about what you’re offering. Hence the reason it is so important to choose the right people to engage with your consumers.  These face-to-face interactions are crucial to the success of your campaign.  Your event staff must be competent and experienced, otherwise, you’re walking down a very slippery slope.  This is the reason that many marketers turn to an event staffing agency.  They understand that an agency can provide staff with the experience and skills necessary to make the campaign a success.

The Bottom Line

Any investment in experiential marketing needs to be weighed against your company’s goals for consumer sales and connections.  Not to mention, your mission and values. The most successful brands utilize both data collection from online sources and personal interactions with their consumers to build the best experiential marketing designs. Incorporating these trends and creating exceptional designs will help to keep your company at the top of the experiential marketing game.

ATN Event Staffing provides clients with experienced and competent event staff to create memorable consumer impressions.  Through a thorough vetting and evaluation process, we hand-select staff based on specific client needs and expectations.  This allows us to provide our clients with the right staff for each and every campaign.  You can count on ATN for all of your experiential event staffing needs.