The A-Z of Experiential Marketing – Q for Q&A

Posted by: Line Up on December 19th, 2013 IN The A-Z of Experiential Marketing

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Answering the 8 questions that we are most frequently asked

 

If you’ve been following our series on the A-Z of Experiential Marketing you may already have read some of our thoughts on topics such as brief writing, engagement, the importance of detailed logistics, the application of new and emerging mobile technology or you may even had a little fun when we shared some of our favourite virals.

 However, we now feel it’s high time that we turned our thoughts to answering some of your questions.  So this week, Crane’s Eye View has been interviewing the Line Up team to uncover the questions that we are most frequently asked by our clients and prospects.

We hope you’ll find the answers useful…

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How much?

 In terms of FAQ’s this one doesn’t get any more frequent.  It’s the 60 million dollar question.

However, this is where we have to turn the tables and ask you how much you have to spend.  Experiential greatness comes from bespoke projects, created for a specific audience to achieve a certain goal.  As such, there is no Line Up rate card.  It just doesn’t exist.  We can create results-driven events, large or small, elaborate or economy-driven.  In fact, we have historically shaped events to a very specific cost-saving brief  and to great effect.

It is important that your agency knows what they have to work with from the outset, with an understanding that crafting a bespoke experience that is going to speak volumes to your audience costs money, takes time and will involve your input. Understanding the budget and how we can use it creatively to deliver the best results will allow you to relax and us to work wonders.

What’s new?

 Another question that we are asked a lot and, if you are a follower of our blog, Crane’s Eye View , you’ll know that our i-SPY feature regularly shares some of the latest and most innovative campaigns, stunts and experiences from around the world.

In the world of experiential, change is always on the horizon and a skilled agency will not only have its finger on the pulse but will also be able to screen the good, the bad and the ugly, tossing aside ideas that may be great in isolation, but that won’t add to the overall message and won’t necessarily engage your audience.

We love working with the latest in ideas and technology for our clients but relevance is the key.  The question should not be, ‘What can I do that’s new?’, but ‘What technology lends itself to my brand narrative?’, or ‘What would create relevant engagement for my target audience?’.

Here are two great applications we’ve seen recently:

Adobe talks to over 13 million people about an event using content marketing

Emart Sunny Sales campaign:

 What are the regulations?

 Again, a huge question most often asked when it comes to exhibitions and venues.  As with artists and music, every country and sometimes, every venue will have its own set of regulations.

For example, in Germany your exhibition stand or environment will most likely come under scrutiny if its ceiling doesn’t comply.  The Germans are hot on sprinkler systems and your ceiling will have to have enough holes in it to let the water in.  In France we’ve experienced issues with the materials that we have used.  The wrong kind of Perspex can lead to all kinds of problems!

The bottom line here is that you have to know what questions to ask and that really comes down to experience.  Make sure that your agency is fully versed on health and safety and never make assumptions based on what you did elsewhere.

How can I measure success?

 There is a common preconception that measuring success in the events arena is a dark art and it is therefore often woefully overlooked.  Members of the team have judged at enough awards to know that ROI is still often the missing link when it comes to unsuccessful submissions.

Evaluation should be built into every project at the outset but your metrics will be as bespoke as your event.  Understanding what these metrics should be will depend on your goals.  If a project is about product trial then you’ll want to know how many people attended, how many people sampled and how many people shared their experiences and you’ll have to ensure that you have the mechanisms in place to gather this information.

Don’t be put off by trying to create over-complex evaluation mechanisms.  Sometimes the answer is under your nose – ask the delegates!  A simple but well-worded survey will often tell you whether you have successfully achieved what you set out to achieve.

Can we use commercial music?

 If we had a penny for every time we’ve been asked this question we could practically pay for all the commercial music in the world.

The simple rule here is that every artist will have their price; the question very often is can you afford it or even, do you need it.  There is no rate card when it comes to commercial music and you need to remember that it’s not just the artist that needs to be paid but all rights holders and MCPS.

What can be misleading these days are the hundreds of thousands of YouTube videos that would have us believe that it’s fine to ‘borrow’ some appropriate music.  The truth is that ‘borrowing’ music is theft but it is highly unlikely that individuals posting on YouTube will ever be prosecuted.  However, record companies will prosecute commercial entities that should know better and the retrospective fee is likely to be far higher than any they might charge had you asked first because you have already lost your right to negotiate.

Our advice here is to listen to your agency who should know all the rules but don’t forget that they should also know of some talented commercial composers who would love to get your brief for that perfect piece of music.

What makes Line Up different?

Line Up is an independent agency housing a highly talented team of strategists, creatives and project managers.  We create experiential campaigns, every kind of live event as well as content and digital communications.

In fact, we can help you communicate to all your audiences, internal and external.  But you’re not the only ones out there doing that, we hear you say.  True, but what makes us different is our commitment to transforming those audiences, creating a roadmap that will take them on a journey and achieving a  mindset shift.  And what really sets us apart are the results that we get to prove it.

It’s no coincidence that Coca-Cola topped the table during the Olympic Torch Relay as the most recognized sponsor and that sponsorship awareness reached 79%.  And it wasn’t by accident that ratings of the Volvo S60 rose by 15% at the global dealer launch event.  We listen to our clients, we agree goals and we achieve them.

It’s our eclectic mix of talent and creativity that allows us to do this and we believe that really sets us apart from the competition.

How can a small team deliver large-scale events?

We’re a deliberately lean team because we know that we can offer our clients better value this way and we believe that it also offers them greater flexibility.

The truth is that small events can be as time consuming as some large events.  The old adage that even the smallest exhibition stand has to have four corners is true and an event for 100 people does not necessarily produce 4 x the work that one for 25 would create.

So large events are never daunting but they do sometimes require more manpower.  We recently geared up for a global event fielding a staff of 100 ensuring that each and every one of them was an expert in that particular field.  Being independent gives us great flexibility and allows us to bring in the right talent at the right time.

However large or small a project may be, the same principles apply: understand your audience, know what you want to achieve with them, set your goals and plan the journey

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We hope you don’t mind pitching?

 No, we never mind pitching.  In fact, it gives us the opportunity to explore ideas and put them to the test.  However, in recognition of the fact that pitches are both time-consuming and expensive for agencies, we always hope for a very clear brief, a level playing field and that the client has a clear idea of the desired outcome.

Pitching is exciting and challenges us and we don’t even mind losing sometimes but we do appreciate feedback.  Knowledge is everything and knowing where we went wrong can only help us next time round.

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We talk a lot about chemistry at Line Up, when working with an agency you need to be able to ask questions and to feel they are being answered.  Experiential events are intense.  There is no sitting back and enjoying the ride (unless you are a delegate!).  It is all about team work, from the boardroom to the drivers of the trucks.  So be prepared to be part of the process.

If you have any other questions you’d like to pose then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You may also like:

6 steps to selecting a new creative agency

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!

Line Up

Line Up

Line Up is an award-winning, creative communications agency, headquartered in London. We create engaging live and digital brand experiences for internal and external audiences all over the world.

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