face at a special event but your budget can’t afford the sponsorship fee? There are a few ways you can still leverage the excitement around the event and interact with the built-in audience without having to pay the high site fees. By planning your experiential marketing program around the excitement of large events you can tap into the crowd of consumers and become the event’s “unofficial sponsor”!
- Guerilla marketing – You can always employ some good old fashioned guerilla marketing tactics. Basically guerilla marketing means that you don’t have prior permission to be at the event. When deciding if guerilla marketing will work for you check out our article, Sampling: Guerilla vs. Permission Based Marketing.
- Example: We used guerilla marketing street teams for Energizer’s Energi to Go Sampling Program at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago and had great results. Brand Ambassadors distributed the portable cell phone chargers to concertgoers before they entered the venue. The results were fantastic and consumers were thrilled to be able to stay connected at the event thanks to Energizer!
- Adjacent Location – If site fees are too expensive to set up onsite at your selected event see if you can find space at a nearby location that will still see foot traffic from the event. Oftentimes consumers will have to park and walk quite a distance to get to a special event which provides marketers the perfect venue to engage consumers on both the way in and out of the event.
- Example: We took the CNN Fit Nation program to the New Orleans Jazz Fest but instead of setting up inside the venue we rented space at a nearby parking lot for a fraction of the price and still had a steady stream of consumers on our footprint all day long.
- Restaurant/Bar – You can engage the event’s fans at restaurants and bars before and after the event. You can also interact with those consumers who don’t have tickets but still want to come out and celebrate the big event or those who prefer to watch it at the bar.
- Example: Corona wanted to leverage excitement with Hispanic consumers surrounding the World Cup game so they hosted on-premise “sand foosball tournaments” in key markets while the games were being aired.
- Retail – You can also engage consumers at retail locations in and around the special event. When possible set-up directly at a retail location to help close the sales loop and increase immediate sales. Check out this blog on the Pros and Cons of Retail Sampling for more information.
- Example: To launch Three60 Gear’s new hi-def shirts for Major League Baseball we sent street teams to retail locations near the stadiums of those teams playing in the postseason playoff games. Fans were excited to purchase these impressive new shirts to show their support for their favorite team!
With some advanced planning you can still leverage the excitement of a big event and engage the built-in crowd of consumers without breaking your budget on sponsorship fees. Use these tips to help plan your next big event!