The A-Z of Experiential Marketing – L for Logistics

Posted by: Kate Gunn on September 30th, 2013 IN The A-Z of Experiential Marketing


This week in our ongoing series, the A-Z of Experiential Marketing, Kate Gunn, Head of Logistics at Line Up, highlights why good planning, great relationships and careful orchestration are keyto creating great experiential events.

Carey Sheffield Photography

The A-Z of Experiential Marketing: L for Logistics

Experiential marketing is about taking people on a journey, but in order to make that journey believable you need to construct a seamless experience.  This is where logistical prowess comes into play.

A key reason people turn to experiential, rather than traditional events, is because they can create a deep connection with an audience through well-choreographed experiences. You can transport them, involve them, excite them and leave them with a clear idea of why the key event message is important and what their next steps are.  But an imaginative experiential approach will be severely compromised if delegates are exposed to poorly-timed handovers or behind the scenes activity, they should be taken along for the ride and be able to enjoy the experience.

Work with creative…

In fact get stuck in and work with the whole project team from the outset.  Blending the team’s vision with practical limitations is vital.  Logistics in experiential is not just about venue, tick, transport, tick.  It is about finding solutions that accompany the key narrative of the experience and making sure the costs tally.  Collaborative idea sparing can be a great way to marry up the best of both worlds and offer clients something that is going to deliver real results.

Build relationships with suppliers…

This almost goes without saying, but is so very important.  We work on global, pan-European and home-grown events.  We take trips to Dubai, arrange meetings in Sweden and takeover fields in the Home Counties for corporate fun days.  We would be nowhere without the relationships we build with our suppliers. Having a good working relationship also means that we can often sort unexpected problems, quickly, with a couple of phone calls (or emails or texts or Whatspp or facebook messages… get the picture).  We want to make sure that every element of our events contributes to, rather than detracts from the overall experience.  Being at one with your suppliers will help make that a reality.

Make lists…

Knowing exactly where you are with everything is very important. Know what’s been spent, who you need to pay, where the team are, when the lighting rig turns up, who’s going to be there to help, names, numbers, details, details, details – everything should be known about, accounted for and listed.  I am a great believer in the importance of documenting progress and plans and anyone who knows me, knows I love a good spreadsheet!  The clearer you are on where you stand right now the better you can plan ahead and prioritise the right actions in order to get the best results.

Know the budget…

Picking apart the budget and working out where to spend and where to save is vital.  Being able to visualise the project as a whole and see where savings can be made and money spent will help ensure that the budget is spent wisely on the things that are going to make a difference to the experience you offer the attendees.  I have sometimes read about events that sound quite breathtaking, only to see that the props look cobbled together or the ‘walk in environment’ was clearly much better on paper than in the mind’s eye.  Yes, there are budget limitations and corners often have to be cut, but this should not compromise the overall experience.

Create back up plans…

We don’t just have a plan B, we have plan C, D and E and they are all interchangeable.  We work in a fast-paced world where change is often expected and regularly inevitable.  Weather, cost, location, sudden illness, strikes; we have to keep pace with every eventuality so that we can create experiential events that don’t fall short of attendee expectations.  Creating a complex event does not involve depositing people at the door and picking them up on the other side.  If something goes wrong, we need to fix it fast and fix it well.

Incredible Inchcape Yurts (low)

Teaming great project management with a well briefed team and a clear idea of resources and budget will ensure that your audience is transported from point A to point B and walk away feeling that they have gained from the experience.   Logistics for experiential is never a smooth ride, but that is why I love it.  Seeing delegates walk away from an event feeling enthused and armed with information and knowing that is, in part, down to a well-orchestrated logistical operation is actually a genuine pleasure.

Want to read more of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing posts? You can now download and keep A-N as a PDF ebook.

Or select another of the posts from the series to view online:

Audience | Brief | Content | Digital | Engagement | Fun

Global | Hindsight | Insight Journey | Knowledge | Logistics

Mobile | New | Old | Product Launch | Q&A | ROI | Social Media

Target Market | User Experience | Venues | Word of Mouth | X for X Factor | Y for Youth | Z for Zeitgeist

a-zilineupebookDownload our ebook!
You can now download the first part of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing series as a ebook to keep for reference or read on the daily commute!
We are well on our way to Z, but in the meantime click here to get hold of the A-N ebook!

Kate Gunn

Kate Gunn

As Line Up’s Head of Logistics, Kate is a multi-tasker extraordinaire and expert problem solver. Her knowledge of destinations and venues is second to none – the walking, talking Google of the event and incentive world. Her passion for food is right up there with her passion for travel and she claims there is nothing she won’t try!

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