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5 Opportunities for Post-Coronavirus Experiential Marketing Programs

Updated on April 27, 2020

As we are experiencing unprecedented times of uncertainty, the experiential marketing world is facing a tumultuous ride for the foreseeable future. While the country slowly begins to reopen, large-scale live events such as music shows, food & wine festivals, and sporting events will likely be some of the last consumer outings to return to normal. The timetable for when trade shows, conventions, and corporate conferences make a comeback remains to be seen. Does that mean experiential marketing is dead? No, it just means that we will have to implement a more personalized approach to engaging consumers and looking at what activations are available at a particular phase in the reopening cycle.

Right now, the plan is for the states to reopen their economies in different phases. Businesses like health clubs, retail stores, banks, and barbershops will be some of the first venues to begin reopening. It is believed that high schools and universities will follow in opening their doors to students in the fall. While the rate at which these and other businesses reopen is not certain at this time, it is clear that some form of social distancing guidelines will remain at the outset of lifting the stay-at-home circumstances.

Keeping these guidelines in mind, we have to adopt our experiential strategies accordingly. The rest of this article will present the different experiential opportunities for brands as the economy moves out of the coronavirus pandemic.

1. B2B and Corporate Office Campaigns

That structure of a B2B experiential program is that brands can activate at private corporate locations as workers return to the office environment. Whether it is conducting ride-and-drives, demonstrating new technology, or even food & beverage sampling, there are many experiential possibilities in activating at corporate locations. In that type of setting, consumers can be limited to smaller groups as they participate in the event. Employees would enter the activation at designated times with a cap on the number of people in each time slot to prevent the footprints from overcrowding.

2. Retail activations and In-store Promotions

As more retail stores begin to open up, setting-up a controlled activation outside of a retail establishment would allow consumers to participate in the activation while adhering to preliminary social distancing guidelines. Event stations would be set-up so that consumers remain within appropriate distance of each other, and there would be a limit to how many consumers would be allowed in the footprint at one time.

In-store product demonstrations with trained specialists, such as building a pop-up kiosk to allow consumers to demonstrate the newest mobile devices, would be a good option to bring back personalized consumer interactions.

3. Guerrilla Marketing and PR Stunts

With the economy opening up, high-traffic locations including train stations, shopping centers, and downtown streets will slowly regain consumer foot traffic. This means experiential guerrilla campaigns and PR stunts can be an effective way to surprise, engage, and excite consumers as they restart their work and shopping routines.

4. High School and College Activations

Assuming high school and college students return to the classrooms in the fall, the deprived students will be yearning for live experiences. Anything from product sampling, to interactive exhibits, or activations that involve a high degree of social sharing will be prime opportunities for brands.

5. Virtual Events

While the rest of the live events remain on hold, brands can still standout from their competitors by putting on memorable virtual events. Whether it be hosting product launches, live seminars, or virtual reality gaming simulations, there are many opportunities to utilize the expertise of experiential marketing agencies in producing outstanding digital experiences.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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