Costs are rising, companies are not approving travel requests for industry conferences, customers are wary of being out of the office for 3-4 days when there’s so much to do. And yet, participation in virtual programs is lower than its been in a long time. How do we engage customers and prospects in a world that is busier than ever?
Welcome back, field marketing! Yes, local and regional events within driving distance are back in vogue and going gangbusters, so now the big challenge in front of you is: How do you make your event stand out?
Standard field marketing fare includes a suite at a local sporting event, an evening at Top Golf, dinner at a great restaurant, a round of “real” golf, or even a mixology or tasting experience. But if all of your competitors are offering the same opportunities, you have a chance to really stand out.
What’s your goal? To gather customers and prospects for a fun and memorable night out, talking shop, having fun, and laying the groundwork for future prosperous conversations, right? Yes, a suite at the game is always a good time, but it’s also pretty pricey for the 20 people you can fit in the suite, and while it’s AWESOME, it’s easy to say no to because your customer/prospect might not actually like the sport you’ve chosen.
But what if you created an event where…
You go behind the scenes of something iconic in your town (zoo, Broadway theater, aquarium, planetarium, celebrity home, movie studio, recording studio, or even a racetrack). Even better if you can tie the experience to your company in a fun way. For example, if you’re a cyber-security company, can you do an experience at a spy museum or an old prison or something with an epic mission control room?
You make something together that gives you a reason to follow up? Like a clay wheel experience where you get to deliver the kilned/fired and completed project to your attendee a week or two later?
You add in a Spontaneous Think Tank at a “normal” event like a Top Golf experience for collaboration and conversation before the golf competition begins?
You act like a kid again and go to a retro arcade for a quarter-powered throw-down tournament between your guests and your company reps? If your customers are more active, throw them into a laser tag course for 20 minutes to get them good and sweaty!
You learn a new sport together like curling or pickleball?
You take a group lesson in something fascinating like beekeeping or playing the ukulele or tarot card reading?
You find a unique experience in your town that is normally for team-building or grown-up fun? For example, Game On ATX is a game show experience in Austin, Texas with a real host and big wheels to spin to play their version of Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, and more. Beat the Bomb in Brooklyn, New York, is a few steps beyond an escape room… if you don’t escape in time, you get blasted with paint bombs!
You rent out a really amazing studio space and hired a hair and makeup artist to glam up your guests for professional and lifestyle photo shoots?
At The Community Factory, we believe that every gathering is an opportunity to build community through memorable, interactive, and fun experiences. It doesn’t take much to ensure you get Return on Emotion out of your events, leading to measurable Return on Investment.
Can’t think of anything fun to do in your town? Give us a call and we’ll help you craft an incredible small group experience that drives relationships... and business!
Liz Lathan, CMP, is co-founder of The Community Factory and pioneered Haute's Return on Emotion℠ business metric for experiential programs. The Community Factory creates better belonging through transformative gatherings that activate, grow, and engage your community. Contact Liz at email@example.com and join our email list at https://www.thecommunityfactory.com/contact