How to Know if Your Brand is Ready for a Pop Up Event

If your brand is like most brands, timing is key. In the business world, pop-up events aren’t used every day—and for good reason. They’re tough to advertise, tough to maintain and very tough to make effective. Experiential marketing of any type gives a brand opportunities to engage with the public. Unlike traditional advertising campaigns, experiential marketing campaigns rely on timing, a good eye and motivating features to succeed.

 

So, is your brand ready for a pop-up event? We’re about to break it down for you.

 

Are Your Goals Defined?

 

Before starting a pop-up campaign, you should nail down your goals. Consider your key messages, and make sure you can measure results. The only way to measure results is through goal definition. Before ever executing your campaign, make sure you have your brand’s message, outreach opportunities and future capabilities grafted.

 

Do You Have a Target Audience?

 

Your pop-up’s target audience is not the same as your brand’s. It is, however, part of it. Who will likely see the pop-up event? Is your brand already hitting it off with this group? If you’re capable of reaching this target audience already, you might be ready for a pop-up experience. Just make sure you’re able to gain the audience’s attraction before setting foot inside the pop-up world.

 

Do You Have a Secure Venue?

 

Next, you should make sure your venue is tied down. Consider the venue’s spatial requirements, and determine which performers you’ll use. If you’re lucky enough to have a venue, it’s time for an experiential event in conjunction with your pop-up event. The double-hitter might seem disjointed, but it’s entirely conducive to a fully formed strategy. Having 70,000 square feet available is good for attracting pop-up crowds—even if the pop-up is hitting the city streets beyond.

 

Do You Have Attractive Offers?

 

Next, you should come to terms with your brand’s ability to offer value. Can you provide sufficiently attractive offers? What about discounts? What have your brand’s past visitors been attracted to? If you’re able to take a small money hit, consider implementing a pop-up campaign to boost long-term revenue.

 

Do You Have a Strong Online Marketing Team?

 

If you’ve recently worked with an online marketing team—either in-house or third-party—you’re ready to implement a pop-up campaign. Effective pop-up experiences are based on research, and the Internet crowd is inherently useful as a pop-up fanbase. Between e-commerce opportunities, growth hacks and lead generation, an online marketing team is your one-stop shop to success.

 

Can You Garner In-Depth Feedback?

 

Many modern marketers make a mistake: They start pop-up campaigns without being able to garner reviews, feedback and subjective opinions. In 2017, quality written feedback is as important as raw data. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t see it as such.

 

Before starting a pop-up campaign, make sure you’re able to get in-depth reviews, comments and rundowns of your event’s “job well done.” High-quality reviews are necessary to connect a brand’s on-the-street efforts with social media marketing campaigns—which are vital to overall marketing success.

 

Do You Have a New Revenue Stream to Test?

 

We don’t suggest getting too experimental with your experiential campaign, but you should use it to gauge a new revenue stream’s long-term viability. Pop-up stands are great for gaining consumer trust, and they’re similarly great for examining possible revenue stream possibilities. Assuming you can popularize your brand’s image and execute an event adequately, you’ll have little trouble measuring future potential revenue.

 

So, where does your brand stand? Is it ready for a pop-up campaign? Be honest with yourself, and make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity. Your brand partners will thank you. More importantly, so will your customers.

Six Things Your Experiential Marketing Event Must Have

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Six Things Your Experiential Marketing Event Must Have

Business events can be hit-or-miss deals, but a good experiential event can influence consumers on a massive scale. In 2017, marketers have a lot of tools to work with. From VR to trending prop logo designs, the list is virtually limitless. We won’t say the “tiny house” fad isn’t a solid resource to look at, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Below, we’re covering four great resources your experiential event should use. You might not be able to mash them all together, but you should at least use one.

 

One: The Tiny House

 

Tiny houses are huge right now. They’re appearing on lifestyle websites, TV shows and magazine photo spreads. Ranging from 100- to 500-square-feet, tiny houses have reached baby boomer and millennial markets alike with their compact, endearing nature.

 

They’re easy to build, move and remove, too. Check out the SPAM Tiny House Sizzle Tour, if you’re looking for good ideas.

 

Two: Virtual Reality

 

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have made virtual reality a modern event cornerstone. If experiential marketing wasn’t fun before, it certainly is. Virtual Reality might still be in the Wild West, in terms of development, but it’s become something most small brands can afford to use. VR is still stepping up, but even its early-stage models can provide immersive experiences in small event spaces. If you want to upgrade, implement 360-degree video and augmented reality.

 

Three: Special Prop Logos

 

This year, we’ve seen a slew of unique prop logos pop up. Between separate area signs, neon signs and rustic signs, the glitz and glam never ends. You can make unique signs with graffiti or UV-resistant polycarbonate materials, too, if you’re looking for a classic, minimalistic design.

 

Four: Biometrics

 

Biometrics might seem futuristic, but it’s impacting today’s marketing world. Biometrics is the in-depth measurement, and analysis, of an individual’s behavioral and physical characteristics. Giving today’s event marketers an opening to measure target audience feelings, biometric devices are immediate response devices capable of measuring consumer preferences, event effectiveness and product incentives. Plug in the results later, strategize your product line and use both science and statistics to gauge consumer responses.

 

Five: Mobile Data Collection

 

Sticking with the “data is everything” theme, we believe data collection is incredibly important. In the recent past, businesses used experiential marketing events to boost brand engagement. Now, they can use them to collect data via feedback, smartphone engagement and event activations. Use mobile activations to see which consumers are attending, and gauge different responses based upon click-based behavior.

 

Six: Community Voting

 

Because most event-goers are strapped with iPhones and Androids, community voting has experienced a resurgence. Create branded hashtags, get event-goers involved with social media and use SMS to create text-based polls. Or, use an integrated online element to give consumers a chance to participate from home.

 

In any event, you should find out where your audience is already hanging out. This can be a physical place within the event. It can also be on the Internet. If you can find out where your event-goers go, you can strategize entire campaigns for post-event effectiveness. Mix and mash up your event tools, but make sure one thing is prioritized: Your consumer’s time.

The Ultimate Guide to Planning and Producing an Experiential Event

The Ultimate Guide to Planning and Producing an Experiential Event


At Soho Studios we have hosted some of the best experiential marketing events that Miami has seen.  From offering food, to presenting new products, to creating the best experiences for your guests, we have been a part what it takes to create an experiential event that exceeds guest expectations.  

It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to put together an experiential event.  We have put together a quick guide that will help you think about creating the next winning event for your brand.  Grab this free guide and use it as a reference for you and your marketing team. 
Get your Guide here or click the photo below.

Why Thomas Created the Rolling Toaster Tour


Why Thomas Created the Rolling Toaster Tour

The best way to engage your customers is to interact with them live and in-person because this encourages them to participate with you and your brand in whatever you are offering. This type of marketing is often called experiential marketing, engagement marketing, event marketing, ground marketing, or live marketing. Experiential marketing helps create a closer bond between you and your customers, which is a great way to build brand loyalty and a lifelong following.

How Thomas' Developed a Unique Interactive Breakfast Campaign Unlike Anything Before

Thomas', makers of some of the most popular bagels, English muffins and other fine products, came up with a unique way to get up close and personal with as many people as possible.  And they did this by hitting the streets with a truck and trailer, but not just any truck and trailer, a rolling toaster truck and trailer to be exact.

The Thomas' Rolling Toaster Tour Cross Country Marketing Campaign

Talk about experiential marketing at its best. Thomas' has taken this interactive marketing technique to new heights. They fully customized a trailer that was designed to look like a toaster with a huge bagel and English muffin sticking out of the top. So there was no question about who this was or what they were offering.

Thomas' called this event their "Breakfast Like No Other" tour and it was an instant phenomenon. People all over the country flocked to their trailer when it rolled into town. But then Thomas' took their marketing a few steps further which added a viral element to their efforts.  

What Thomas' Did to Create Excitement, Encourage Engagement and Cause Their Efforts to Go Viral

Obviously, Thomas' Rolling Toaster Tour was a live event that stretched across the country. But how they engaged their customers at each stop was really what skyrocketed their efforts into a marketing sensation.

  • Customers were able to order freshly made breakfast sandwiches created by the resident chef.
  • While waiting for their order, customers were invited to walk into the giant toaster to take selfies in front of a seven-foot tall English muffin statue. Which was a great tactic for getting their message to go viral.
  • Then they were offered a turn at a toaster-themed game that awarded prizes to the winners who then again took selfies of their winnings.
  • Once receiving their freshly made breakfast sandwiches, customers were encouraged to eat at one of Thomas' custom designed tables that were built to look like stacks of English muffins and bagels.
  • After the meal, Thomas' provided some fun outdoor games such as a Ring Toss, some Cornhole, and KanJam for their customers to enjoy.

The Secret Sauce Thomas' Used to Kickoff Their Tour

To kickoff the tour Thomas' held a special free sampling event at Santa Monica Place to celebrate National Bagel Day. This allowed their customers to be among the first to try their new limited edition Lemon Blueberry flavor that was only offered for six weeks. Then they donated over 2,000 packages of bagels to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

What Thomas' Did That Made This Campaign So Successful

Thomas' made this a memorable interactive experience that no one is likely to forget. And they did this by thinking outside the box, so to speak. They came up with a unique idea for their marketing campaign. Then they continued to drill down their ideas to further ensure its success, as well as turn it into a viral sensation which is ultimately free advertising and unlimited brand exposure. And so much more!

This is the beauty of hosting a live event, one that allows you to get up close and personal with your customers. This is also what helps create loyal, lifetime followers of your brand. It is all about the experience and making your customer feel special and appreciated. If you haven't tried hosting a live event to build your brand and your customer base, you are definitely leaving money on the table. 

How Lyft Celebrated its Birthday with Style  

How Lyft Celebrated its Birthday with Style  


A birthday celebration should always be special, and this is even truer for corporations than it is for individuals. Celebrations give companies the chance to pump up their branding in fun and memorable ways, and such opportunities should never be missed. This is why Lyft chose to create an unforgettable experience for its drivers in its home town of Los Angeles as a way to mark its fifth anniversary of operations. It also made sure that everyone else who came near the event site would see a very memorable ad for the company.

To make this happen, Lyft started by painting a historic car wash – La Cienega Car Wash & Oil Change – in a bright, light shade of pink. As expected, this brought immediate attention, but it was just the start. Inside, Lyft drivers can get car washes for just $1 and get discounts on services like oil changes. This display and deal will run for a total of 30 days. It opened on July 14.

The location was chosen based on several criteria. One was its iconic status in the immediate area. Changing it, especially in such a radical way, made it easy to get plenty of local press coverage. Another was the condition of the structure itself. It had to be solid enough to not only paint it, but return it to its original form once the event ended. Finally, it had to be able to handle the increase in traffic the event would bring.

It wasn't just the paint that was changed. The car wash's original sign was modified into a retro one that temporarily renames the venue as the Lyft Car Wash. All of the changes combined took seven days to do.

Since opening under the promotional name, about 100 Lyft drivers a day have taken advantage of the $1 car washes. Meanwhile, regular customers continue to use the facility at its standard rates. To speed things up and keep everyone properly sorted, Lyft drivers are directed into a special lane when they enter the lot.

The point of the Lyft makeover is to increase the company's branding and thank its drivers for their service rather than to make money from selling car washes. Therefore, all proceeds from this event are being donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. This both helps the community and increases goodwill from this socially-forward area.

Good planning like this is the key to holding a successful single-venue event. As Lyft's experience shows, choosing the venue is, in itself, a big part of making something like this work.

For an excellent venue in Miami, Florida, try Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of indoor space and two outdoor areas that can be configured to meet your company's specific needs. We also have concierge services to help you find the perfect event firms to provide all of the equipment, planning, and execution services you need. This frees you to concentrate on essentials like your branding and marketing efforts and helps to ensure that your event will create wonderful memories for both your guests and your business.

How the Irvine Marriott Lauched its Grand Opening with Multisensory Events


How the Irvine Marriott Launched its Grand Opening with Multisensory Events

When you put $35 million into the redesign of a business like Irvine Marriott did in California, you want to put on an event to showcase the updated and improved spot. Instead of a traditional ribbon-cutting or stuffy event, this Marriott created an impressive experience to interact with participants with its multisensory event series from February to April. This is a fantastic example of experiential marketing that other brands could follow.

Multisensory Events

For its reopening, the hotel created an event series that would evoke the senses and imagination of event goers to help them experience different aspects of the hotel and the brand. It focused on the Marriott brand’s guiding principles of taste, culture and innovation with three events in the series. While normal grand opening parties can bring people to the premises and create excitement, they tend to fail on conveying the experience of staying at the hotel. This aspect is where Irvine Marriott shined with its multisensory event series. When people see a hotel room or meeting space, for example, they can't always imagine what it's like to use that space. Irvine Marriott's series helped event goers experience the hotel. 

The taste event provided a sensory dinner for high-level customers and bloggers, who had the chance to try food stations prepared by different Marriott properties. These stations incorporated different senses to create an experience. For instance, one station combined auditory and taste sensations by having participants eat seafood along with audio of the ocean. The culture event hosted a larger number of guests, providing networking and performing arts. Finally, the innovation event incorporated virtual reality, robot experiences and other interactive displays and workshops that focused on the past to the future.

All of the events highlighted areas of the hotel and showed guests how these areas could be used. Guests also got to experience Marriott catering, which they could incorporate into their own events.

Learning From Irvine Marriott

Multisensory marketing like Irvine Marriott’s guest series can create an effective and memorable event for many brands. Marriott used different senses, including sight, sound, touch, taste and smell through food aromas, textures, audio and other methods. Any brand could find ways to incorporate multiple senses into one experience. For instance, create a food serving station that focuses on the aroma or texture of the food in addition to the taste.

Irvine Marriott’s event series provides a great example for similar types of businesses in particular. That’s because it helped guests experience what it’s like to stay at the hotel and use its services. You could create a similar event if your business is based on on-site experiences. This could work for hotels, restaurants, recreational activities and other experiences.

The idea is to showcase the site and how it could be used. It’s similar to a real estate agent staging a home to give an idea of living in the home. The Irvine Marriott showcased its cuisine, while captivating multiple senses. It had artists perform around the pool to highlight the hotel’s pool while giving guests the feeling of traveling and experiencing a new place and culture. 

How and Why Taste of Home Upgraded its Tour

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How and Why Taste of Home Upgraded its Tour

Taste of Home, a multi-platform producer of food-related information, has launched a new series of cooking events this year. This version has expanded greatly from prior iterations, and is going by the name Taste of Home LIVE. It began with a tour of 10 major markets, including Chicago and Atlanta, and by the end of the year, will travel through 40 different cities. Next year, it is slated to expand to 80 cities.

For the new model of events, Taste of Home has expanded to include more experiential marketing aspects, more sponsors, and a charitable experience. Many of the changes are geared for engagement with Millennial moms and other younger people, but is also working to please its core audience. To meet this and other objectives, it has made specific changes:

  • On-stage experiences and social media sharing are now being prioritized. Millennials are more likely to be comfortable with getting up on stage – and sharing their experiences across multiple platforms. Therefore, the shows are offering plenty of on-stage experiences. To have a chance to participate in these, attendees must first post to Facebook or Twitter about the event.
  • The show has partnered with Fusion Marketing, an experiential marketing agency, for "creative event activations." The companies will work together to provide a cohesive and powerful branding experience to the effort. Fusion will plan and execute each city's event.
  • Taste of Home will support local charities. Ten percent of the proceeds from merchandise sales will be going to Feeding America, a hunger-fighting charity that operates in all of the markets where events will be held. Each event will also include a food drive. By choosing Feeding America as its beneficiary, Taste of Home can provide local support while dealing with just one main office.
  • The events will still teach kitchen tips and food hacks to participants. It will also have advice from expert chefs. This will please long-time fans and make it easier for new cooks to get up to speed.
  • Expert chefs will still prepare great meals at each event. This aspect is another one that is sure to be a winner with both long-time and new attendees. Everyone loves to see an expert at work!

By expanding its show to include more sponsored equipment and other features, Taste of Home will make its shows more interesting while sticking to its theme of creating great food. This tight adherence to its theme will make the branding aspect of the events more powerful, while the expansion and modernization of the presentation will bring in younger people and improve the event's word-of-mouth marketing. Taste of Home's new event style is sure to gain the brand many new fans.

If you're looking for a venue to hold a Miami stop for your company's event tour, consider Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of indoor space that can be configured to your specifications. We also have two outdoor pavilions if you would rather have your expo in the open air. Our concierge service offers all of the help you want or need, so you won't have to search for local companies to assist you. Just give us a call for more information.

BMW's Ultimate Driving Experience Returns for Another Tour

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BMW's Ultimate Driving Experience Returns for Another Tour


The need for speed is something every driver understands, and so is the desire to drive a luxury car. Imagine having both urges fulfilled at the same time, and you have the appeal of the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience.

After a year-long break, the Ultimate Driving Experience is back and making the rounds. It features activities for everyone from experienced racers to beginning drivers, instruction from BMW's staff of professional drivers, and of course, the chance to drive plenty of fast BMW cars.

Unlike many experiential marketing events, these activities aren't all available for free or even a token price. It costs $750 to attend the M Car Control Clinic, which provides students with a full eight hours of driving M-Series cars, instruction and practice at performing high-speed skids, and the chance to maneuver through slalom courses. Other activities include a two-hour closed-course driving program featuring the BMW 5 Series. These programs both come with automatic entry into a driving competition.

Twelve winners will be selected for the finals of the driving competition. They will win a trip to BMW Performance Center West in Thermal, CA to complete the driving competition.

Teen drivers aren't left out of the loop. They'll get to take a driver's education program that features basics like adapting driving methods for different weather conditions, avoiding accidents, and braking. This traveling program is based on the driver training program offered at the Thermal CA location, but what makes this program truly different is that participants will be learning to drive in BMW 2 Series and 3 Series cars. That certainly beats the basic workhorses most driver's ed programs use!

The goal of these programs is to prove to attendees that BMW's tagline, "the Ultimate Driving Machine," is not just marketing hyperbole. After experiencing the speed and maneuverability of BMWs under the no-limits conditions of a closed course, drivers should be quite convinced that this brand isn't about driving around slowly in land yachts. Instead, it is just as much about having fun as it is about attention to the finer details.

Six cities will be visited during this year's tour of the Ultimate Driving Experience. It began its trek at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and will finish back home in Thermal, CA. With such a range of activities to choose from, attendees will always be sure to have a fun and unforgettable experience.

One of the keys to success with a touring experiential marketing program is to choose the right cities and venues for your stops. If your tour will be coming to Florida, consider Miami's Soho Studios. Our venue has up to 70,000 square feet of indoor space and two outdoor pavilions. These can be configured to meet your needs whether you need all of the space or just part of it. We can also handle the design, set-up, and peripheral needs of your event. To learn more or book space for your Miami stop, just contact us.

How High Brew Samples its Coffee with Style

How High Brew Gets Consumers to Sample its Coffee in Style


Not every brew is a type of beer. For High Brew, it's all about coffee – and adventure. The company recently sent a refurbished 1952 GMC bus on a nationwide tour to reach millennials with its cold-brew coffee, old-fashioned great taste, and to reinforce its branding. Since this branding is all about travel and adventure, the company figured that sending a big Coach bus, once a favorite of tour operators, would create an image that was a perfect fit.

The High Brew Tour is expected to cover a total of over 16,000 miles, with plenty of stops in key places. At each stop, it sets up a sampling bar inside the bus complete with stools so that those who come over can enjoy tasting their coffees in comfort. When the bus is on the road, the bar folds into what was once the luggage compartment. This makes it easy to set it up and take it down, and the innovative system adds to the attention-getting qualities of the stops.

Unlike many branded experiential marketing efforts, High Brew has chosen to keep things simple and fairly low key. The bus itself isn't completely plastered with its imagery, and inside, the only experience besides the coffee is a station for sending out postcards so attendees can share the news. These postcards include coupons to buy one and get one free.

One of the reasons for the choice of communication medium is that the company is hoping those who partake will tell older people about the brand. Assuming it works, it will get the message across the generations without losing the "cool factor" that helps to sell High Brew to younger people.

The bus will be stopping at some obvious places, such as key retail accounts, but it will also hit areas where it can associate the brand with those on the go. These areas include college towns and city areas that have plenty of professionals. Once the bus leaves, field marketing personnel will continue promotional efforts.

This is just the latest news from the experiential marketing world. Companies all over the world are using new and innovative ways to draw regular people into their brand experiences. A successful campaign doesn't just entertain people; it cements the brand image and gets those who partake to interact with, taste, or otherwise get personal with the products being promoted. This icebreaker can be enough to earn repeat customers for years, and sometimes, for life.

You don't need a bus to set up an experiential marketing event for your company. All you need is a great venue in a thriving city, an innovative idea, a target market, and a solid goal for your brand's image. Here at Soho Studios in Miami, we can provide the venue and the city. Our 70,000 square feet of indoor space can be configured to your needs, and we also have two outdoor pavilions. We can also help with the rest of your needs. Our full-service package includes design, sound, and other support services for your event. Just give us a call to learn more and to get started on producing a memorable experience for your current and potential customers.

Why Strongbow Teamed up to Become More Sustainable

Why Strongbow Teamed up to Become More Sustainable


Recently, Strongbow wanted to come up with an experiential marketing effort that would get people in NYC to interact with its alcoholic cider brand. What better way to get people interested in a major city than to create a nature experience? This is what Strongbow did with its surprising and innovative floating fruit orchard from April to May 2017 within its broader Nature Remix campaign.

Strongbow's Experiential Campaign

The brand experience featured a garden and orchard on a barge that floated on the Hudson River, stopping at various piers to connect with area residents and tourists. When the barge was stopped, people were able to pick their own apples and other produce. In the process, they would learn a thing or two about the nature they were interacting with, which was planted in a sustainable way, and about the Strongbow cider, which is free of artificial flavors and colors. And of course, participants got to try a few of Strongbow’s ciders, which is what the event was designed to promote. This floating orchard was the North American campaign for the brand, which also carried out campaigns throughout the globe as part of the Nature Remix program. 

This event was a great idea to introduce people to Strongbow ciders and to provide a connection to nature that is lacking in such a large city. Even when the barge was on the move from stop to stop, it had the potential to build excitement when people would spot it and wonder what it is. The brand also created excitement through press releases, a YouTube campaign video showing work on the barge, a media cocktail party and various social media efforts. And the brand also began a program to send coasters with seeds in them to nationwide customers who can use them for their cider and then to start their own gardens. Strongbow found ways to share its natural roots and to promote the positive message of caring about the environment.

Takeaways From Strongbow’s Floating Orchard

If your brand is interested in creating an experiential event, you can gain some takeaways from Strongbow. Even if your brand has nothing to do with food or nature, there are some universal points here.

Strongbow didn’t have the know-how to create a garden on a barge, so the brand partnered with Swale, a New York City food forest on a barge. Swale helped it figure out the practical side of a floating orchard so the marketing team could focus on its specialty. In return, Strongbow’s sponsorship is helping support the Swale initiative for the rest of the year. Strongbow also gained marketing insight from PR agency Current Marketing. 

Further, Strongbow really stuck to the mission of experiential marketing by creating an event that directly tied into its product. Orchards are used to create the cider, so it gave people a chance to experience an orchard. You could try the same method by creating an event that connects to your product in some way, whether it shares a piece of the creation process like Strongbow did, ties into a culture surrounding your product or makes some other connection.