Over the past few weeks, I have been in Regina, Prince George, Vancouver, Calgary, Surrey. Presently, I’m in Summerside, PEI. Before the end of the month, I will have added St. Catharines, Toronto (twice), and Montreal. On these journeys, I have attended several events, and observed activations and experiential activities. In fact, tomorrow I am speaking at the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games Sponsor Summit. The topic is activation. I thought I would share what I have seen this month and what I am speaking about tomorrow.
It appears that everything we learned because we had to be innovative during the pandemic has been tossed aside. We’ve gone back to doing what we did before. We are sampling products by handing them out at booths. We are asking people to fill out ballots manually. We have speakers appearing on stage only (versus bringing them in virtually for a keynote session). We are back to hanging banners and getting logos on posters.
Successful sponsors and properties are integrating what they learned during the pandemic into today’s activations. Sure, not all of it is applicable, but much of it is. Here are a few considerations.
- Use QR codes to showcase sponsors, provide wayfinding, offer information, or opportunities and gather critical data that cannot be recovered through filling out a ballot at a booth!
- Look at using more gaming to engage and educate consumers while retrieving critical data.
- Create virtual opportunities in live experiences so more people can “play,” and be engaged and educated while retrieving more data.
- Still sample on site, but provide people with access to coupons or discounts through QR codes or other digital access.
- Use augmented reality and AI to enhance experiences like Chipotle and the Colorado Avalanche.
If you want your brand to stand out in a sea of marketers, you need to differentiate yourself. If you want brands to work with your property, you need to be creative and differentiate yourself with innovation and the ability to deliver ROI better than the next organization. For more activation ideas, examples, and insights, spend time online looking at what others are doing or invest in your future by attending training and professional development opportunities like the WSC – Alberta Forum. This fall, the WSC – Alberta Forum will host a wide range of speakers, panels, and breakout sessions, many of which will focus on activation ideas and insight.
This is where you want to be, so get registered today!
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