The Social and Digital Optimisation of the Live Event Experience

Live experiences remain one of the most effective ways to engage an audience. Coupled with digital, and with the addition of new and upcoming technology, brands now have the opportunity to amplify the conversation far beyond the experience itself. Alongside this, the integration of digital provides a wealth of data, making experiential more measurable than ever before.
We recently held an event in which we explored how to optimise the live experience through the use of digital. We were joined by speakers from Snapchat, SAM Labs, Mondelez, iProspect and Isobar. The event focused on gaining a better understanding of how social and digital platforms can optimise live experiences, driving consumers to interact with and engage with brands, ultimately driving purchase consideration. Brand advertising used to carry a lot of trust, and now instead of simply trusting advertising messages, this has become a two way communication between brand and consumer, and our activity must reflect this shift.
MKTG Managing Director, Michael Brown, emphasised that today’s connected consumer craves experiences not things, sharing that 87% of people want more meaningful relationships with brands. The current attention span of consumers is now around eight seconds and this heavily affects their engagement with brands. Live experience should be at the heart of brand strategy, a real world experience creates digital content which helps brands to define what their audience looks like and map out a digital strategy by understanding who is engaging with them during a live experience. Live experiences therefore play an important part in creating and maintaining consumer relationships.
At the event we heard from social expert, Philip Dyte from iProspect who delved into the role of data capture and how to maximise sharing potential at the live experience.
Claudia Miceli from Mondelez talked us through their Easter Bunny campaign and how this live, real world experience helped them to create digital content and engagement opportunities with their consumers.
Matt Gee from Isobar looked at linking mobile search and proximity to retail to help drive sales, showcasing new products that allow brands to take the best of the high street and online shopping to the live experience.
Rounding up the day was Morten Hagen from SAM Labs who make toys that introduce coding, as their goal is to empower everyone to have access to coding and tech, even at an introductory level. They demonstrated their revolutionary Microsoft VC funded technology, showing us that technology can be the Lego of the future! This hands-on practical demonstration brought to life the crowd engagement opportunities that technology can create during a live experience. By using connected devices and the Internet of Things at live experiences, it is now possible to measure and track the success of real world things. This technology is readily available to everyone and doesn’t have to cost the earth. You can map engagement at the events.
Key takeaways from the session included:
Audience profiling
Successful brands are able to map a clear picture of which audience type has the highest engagement levels. They then use digital and social data to create look-alike profiles to use for targeting. This means that the right people are being targeted and engagement is higher.
Before the live experience on top of sending invites, it is valuable to create local awareness and start the conversation, teaser content is ideal to build anticipation. Although most live experiences are often surprises, it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people before.
During the experience you can amplify the activity by live streaming and sharing content, both consumer and brand created. Data capture plays an important role at the live experience and helps to build a story of how people interacted with your brand at the experience.
After the experience it’s time for amplification and distribution. Using content from the day to share with attendees as well as consumers with a similar profile to attendees. You can segment your audience based on how they acted digitally at the live experience, to create more personalised messages for them.
Digital content creation
We saw the value of how the live experience can create digital content. The Easter Bunny campaign from Mondelez was a great example of how a live, real world experience can create digital content and engagement opportunities for brands.
Commerce as experience
Technology can be used to streamline the consumer experience at live events. For example using wristbands as a speedy form of payment, and utilising technology such as beacons can help with crowd management and acquiring live data. There are many ways that technology can enhance the consumer experience with the end goal being to reduce the time between storytelling and purchase.