Blend Experiential and Social to Create an Unforgettable Event
Refinery 29 is a Millennial-focused website covering fashion, culture, and news. In 2015, they kicked off their ambitious 29 Rooms event– literally 29 rooms, each curated by a different artist, filmmaker, or consumer brand (one year, they enlisted Dunkin’ Donuts to create a room).
Initially dreamed up as an employee-only event, 29 Rooms has become a traveling roadshow so popular, it can sell out 18,000 tickets.
29 Rooms is practically a case study to inspire integrated marketers. Besides integrating 29 unique experiences, social media opportunities were everywhere, and Refinery 29 was able to capture and create their own content to leverage later.
Even if it doesn’t sound like your business, you can borrow some of the tactics and thinking to make a big impact at your next event.One Big Experience
Even beyond the installations, Refinery 29 created experiences at every turn. When the brand realized long wait times were frustrating participants, they turned it into an opportunity for engagement and content marketing. They let loose a team of reporters to conduct “man on the street”-style interviews, which were later posted to social. You can use this exact same tactic.
If that’s not quite on-brand, think about how to engage your event attendees even before they get to the booth. Developing your own event-specific app is one idea. You can also organize a speed-networking event
for when participants are standing in lines, or feature roving entertainment. Give Attendees Something to Crow (and Tweet) About
Another indication of the event’s success: go on Instagram, and #29Rooms has generated over 70,000 posts.
Social media has become an integral part of successful event marketing – before, during, and after the event. You’re probably already pushing out content on social channels, but the real payoff comes from having other people do the work for you. Have Instagrammable signage (at least include your handle and an event-specific hashtag) and other photo opps. It really is a big deal: 77% of consumers say their purchase decision is more favorably influenced by user-generated content
, compared to commercial photos. Keep it On-Brand
Don’t sacrifice your brand just to be exciting, novel, or cool. Integrated marketers should find experiences that are a logical extension for their brand or business. Live polls and games
are budget-friendly and engaging. Make sure you achieve the right balance between ‘informative’ and ‘entertaining.’
For even more inspo, don’t miss the story of how one company used post-it notes
to turn their event into an unforgettable experience!