In your face: How to maxmise the opportunity of Live Events

Without doubt Experiential has taken the throne as king of the Marketing Mix. But as marketing budgets in this area increase so too does expectation and the demand for proven ROI.


To hold this mantle it’s crucial, now, more than ever, for event professionals to pull out the stops to help clients maximise the opportunity that face-to-face time presents. Here, we explore some of the prinicples the team at WONDER follow when attempting to uncover a stand out solution.


It’s refreshing to read, in hard stats, what we in the industry, have know for years. That events improve brand perception. According to EventTrack 2015 a report by the Event Marketing Institute :  

‘74% of participants have a more positive opinion about the company following an experience.’  

Brand owners are now fully aware that events create long-term engagement and are allocating budgets accordingly. And whilst that’s great news for the events industry, it's important not to get carried away. As spend increases, so too does expectation; clients are crystal clear about what they want to achieve and are looking for more evidence of positive ROI both in the short and long term.

‘More brands now say their event marketing goals are to enhance product knowledge and understanding and influence deeper customer involvement.’

Getting people along to an event is one thing, but once they’re there, how do you maximize the opportunity that face-to-face time presents. Unlike other agencies who claim to ‘do it all’, at WONDER we focus on event fulfilment that maximises interaction through the immersive environments we create. So achieving ‘deeper consumer involvement’ for our clients is top of our agenda. And whether we’re working on a global conference or PR stunt, there a few tried and tested principles we follow to answer a brief. Here’s the most prominent:

Know your audience

Sound obvious, but really understanding the marketplace and audience profile is so often skirted over. Taking time to fully interrogate the brief can be overlooked as we push straight into the big idea. Working with client’s to create an exhaustive list of mandatories and things to steer clear of, all help to build a much clearer picture of the exactly who you are talking to and the reason why they want to engage with your particular brand.

Make it relevant

We know that today’s consumers see beyond a gimmick and are quick to dismiss activations that lack authenticity and relevance. So throughout a project we ask these questions; will this activation relevantly address the needs and wants of its audience? Will it have a lasting impact? Will it move people from thinking to doing?

If there’s not a yes against all three of these statements then we dig a little deeper, research a little harder.

Get personal

We recognise that people prefer to make their own choices and so try and bring as much of that into our events, whether it’s through carefully considered collateral, specially tailored apps, or multiple streams of content. Giving the audience the opportunity to define their own experience goes a long way in gaining respect.

Conferences in particular get bad press for being too generic as brands try to appeal to the masses in a small window of time.  So when Google asked us, earlier this year, to put together a multi venue conference to showcase the effectiveness of Google Cloud Platform as a business solution to around 5000 IT decision makers across EMEA markets, we opted to create a flexible agenda.

The conference agenda included over 13 hours of content from 32 speakers on a range of Cloud based topics. Delegates attended the main plenary but then were free to move between 15 separate sessions featuring a 12 live demos.

In between times guests could visit an ‘interactive playground’ featuring live demo pods from 16 brand partners. This space was to designed spark interest and encourage further engagement with key Cloud Platform products and people. This approach placed Google at the centre of the action but product features and benefits were highlighted by credible third parties. You can find out more about this project and see the video here.

Look beyond the screen

It’s true that in today’s tech obsessed culture it’s relatively easy to create interaction with digital content. Like every other agency we have an armoury of the latest gadgets and tech that bring something new and exciting. However sometimes it’s good to go back-to-basics with physical assets and props to engage and motivate a crowd.

An example of how we incorporate physical assets is evident in a recent PR activation we produced for fashion brand Kipling. The campaign entitled #WeMakeHappy celebrated the people who make the world a beautiful place, and encouraged Londoners to share messages with the special people in their lives. Whilst the activation was set up online the delivery took a physical form.

Our larger than life installation featured over 200 vibrantly coloured balloons, covering London’s South Bank. Invited guests were given the chance to find their own #WeMakeHappy message. On the day around 100,000 people were talking about this activation on Social Media with further amplification post event. More information about this project and a video can be found here.

So here are just a couple of ideas and themes that work for WONDER. None of it's rocket science but it’s often so easy to overlook the basics in our eagerness to find a wow solution. In our experince, when you take the time to work with clients to find the right blend of credible content with personalised details, the impact is powerful, long lasting and highly rewarding.

To find out more about WONDER, our work, team and the services we offer, please click here.