On The Fifth Hour of Set Up.

On the fifth hour of set up M2W produced for me…

Five Golden Rings, with Aerialists A-Swinging

(Aerialists compliments of Cirque Central)

Tip: More than just a pretty face, performers can act as a functional piece of decor.

Promotional Idea: Natural Juice – Smoothie Company. Redefine your taste tests by transforming them into a fantastical journey. Image your current sampling campaign meets a Mid Summer’s Night Dream.

Aerialists in custom outfits can perform on custom cirque equipment that will transform our performers into nature spirits performing in a mythical forest. Higher performers can call attention while performers closer to ground level can provide the ultimate Instagram or Snap Chat post. Guests can snap pictures or videos of our aerialists pouring samples from high up in their mythical trees amidst mid performance.

* Music in Aerialist Video compliments of http://www.bensound.com

On The Fourth Hour of Set Up

On the fourth hour of set up M2W produced for me…

Four Giant Games

Tip: People love simple competitions they can play with friends.  A game like Connect 4 is all that plus it plays on nostalgia and can easily be painted to match company colors.

Promotional Idea: Cell Phone – Technology. Tell the story of how family game night was transformed from a physical to digital experience.  Create a booth that uses giant games to attract attention.  Match the physical games you have set up to corresponding tablets & phones you have on display. Then show costumers how technology can help connect families in all sorts of interesting and fun ways while getting the actual product in peoples hands.

(T-Mobile’s Family Game Zone Activation produced by M2W at Maryland State Fair.)

Three Photo Options

Two Illusionists Performing

& The Perfect Set Design

On The Second Hour of Set Up

On the second hour of set up M2W produced for me…

Two Illusionists Performing

(Ryan Oakes & Doug McKenzie)

Tip: Illusionists, mentalists, magicians are perfect ice breakers. They can approach lonely parties and bring them back into the group. They are a great way to build excitement easily and early. Use them at the start of your event.

Promotional Idea: Cell Phone / Technology companies – magic evolves with the times.  Illusionists today use phones to do many of their tricks.  Imagine having an illusionist perform within a cellphone store.  The illusionists can perform short show times every hour that we promote around the mall.  All of the tricks will revolve around the phones on displays.  A few quick tricks will pull people into the store, but won’t distract the sales force for too long.

(Doug McKenzie showing how “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” )

Eight Mobile Spa Treatments

Seven Impersonators Impersonating

Six Social Media Walls

Five Golden Rings, with Aerialists A-Swinging

Four Giant Games

Three Photo Options

Two Illusionists Performing

& The Perfect Set Design

The 12 Hours of Set Up

The 12 days of Christmas are Upon us.

To have a little fun, to give a shout out to our vendors and to help you appreciate a little deeper the crazy world we help manage for you, M2W has come up with it’s own spin on the holiday classic.

On the 12 Hours of Set Up…

For the next 12 days we will give you 12 different activation possibilities and tips for using each at your promotional event.

On the first hour of set-up M2W produced for me…

The Perfect Set Design

(Floor plan & corresponding image from M2W T-Mobile NYC Pride Campaign)

Tip: The entire design of the event layout needs to facilitate the efficient movement of your guests. It needs to guide people out of the main event and bring them fully into the “world” of your activation. If you do not take people out of the main event, you will never capture their full attention.

Promotional Idea: Universal – Any Company. The perfect set design for a mobile tour is transport-efficient. The easiest way to create a cost-effective, mobile world is to highlight one or two signature décor pieces, and support those pieces with vinyl backdrops that can be easily rolled, transported, and hung.

(Showcase decor created by Surface Grooves.com)

 

*Header Image compliments of Google Search – 12 Days of Christmas

Eight Mobile Spa Treatments

Seven Impersonators Impersonating

Six Social Media Walls

Five Golden Rings, with Aerialists A-Swinging

Four Giant Games

Three Photo Options

Two Illusionists Performing

& The Perfect Set Design

Training Is Everything

Never underestimate the selling power of a well-trained street team

The more “complicated” our clients’ brand becomes the more important it becomes to train our Brand Experts really well. At M2W we are known as YOUR ARMS AND LEGS IN THE FIELD…but if I could add something to our event division’s slogan it would be Your Arms, Legs and BRAINS In the Field!

At M2W we have very long term relationships with our customers, and with long term relationships come the challenge of constantly trying to raise the bar. Most event companies think this means coming up with a bigger and better WOW! factor – it does, but it also means raising the bar on the staffing/training side. Training takes a lot of brain power, not only from the Brand Experts as they learn, but from our management team as they put together a creative, dynamic training curriculum.

Fortunately at M2W we have an incredibly talented staff that understands the importance of a well- trained, well-branded street team. While they themselves aren’t always the most structured bunch, it seems to me they really put client product training, appropriate staffing (the right peeps for the event demographically) and key message delivery as a priority.

I look at training/staffing the most desirable street team like cooking a healthy dinner: make sure you have a lean protein to start, one or two strong BE veterans that have worked many of this specific clients’ events. Then add the green veggies for simple carbohydrates, a couple of rookies are OK (they have great energy since they are new to the biz – or to this specific client – and energy abounds) and then add a few complex carbohydrates (these are your constant BEs – they won’t win any “bubbly energy” contests, but they are always on time, have key messaging down and always follow the rules). This would be an ideal group to train.

Leslie Voigt-Kenfield, M2W Director of Operations, has been dynamic in developing some really great training programs, including a training webinar that she and our client MetroPCS worked on together. Leslie also conducts some really “FUN” training sessions in her markets coast-2-coast. We are also fortunate to have some other good trainers in both our management teams and Brand Experts. My hat goes off to Sophia Jackson (NY/NJ Market Manager) and Joseph Lanzarin, also on our NY/NJ team…and then there is John Mitchell – a Brand Expert extraordinaire – he is truly the best Brand Expert I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. On the video below you will see Sophia, Joseph and John on stage as they train and interact with our A Team of Brand Experts during extensive, high profile training in Manhattan. The video is courtesy of our Director of Business Strategy, also out of NY/NJ, Jen Cho, as she oversees all trainings in NY/NJ.

Some key points of a good training session:

  • Plan on spending 4 hours of preparation for every one hour of training
  • Make sure that you have the client buy-in, that the client knows exactly what your training entails and that they have provided the necessary training materials
  • MAKE IT FUN- Games, prize drawings…yes, even role playing can be fun!
  • MAKE IT INTERACTIVE-let the hams get up and strut their stuff, if anyone is a little bit introverted now is the time to put them to the test…and weed them out…this business is absolutely NO place for an introvert
  • Feed them, if you are feeding them you don’t have to pay them. I’m not a proponent of paying any Brand Expert to show up for training…as long as we are guaranteeing them work.  If you are not guaranteeing the BE work, then you should AT LEAST feed them. My staff disagrees with me on this, but that’s OK.
  • Give them the next training date…make sure that you have a follow-up date for the next get together, you might even give some of your “training superstars”  a chance to be involved in the next training.
  • Take pictures…or make a video like this one…

 

Training Is Everything

So, to our potential clients, make sure that you hire an Experiential Event Company that believes and executes (often) training for their staff, which ultimately will be representing YOU in the consumer’s eyes.

 

Effective Branding in Experiential and Event Marketing…

 

It takes some pretty awesome companies to pull off effective branding in an event marketing or experiential marketing program. Often times the only way to brand is with “KEY MESSAGING” or “Talking Points”. Our principle and CEO, Clare Wynne, suggests that if you can take the company’s logo and color scheme OUT of the event and consumers can still figure out which brand is represented just based on the atmosphere and vibe that your Brand Experts have created, then you have successfully “Branded” the event. This is not easily accomplished without properly defining your Brand and training your team, in detail, about your Brand Platform.

Consider this…companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Hershey’s have done an outstanding job at branding, these same companies are also some of the best Experiential Marketers on the planet. I’m not talking about their logo from a branding standpoint, but from their core traits as define with their Brand Platforms. Let me explain: Coca-Cola = Happiness (brilliant idea btw), Nike = Empowering, Hershey = Chocolate makes you happy. These core Brand Platforms help each company decide and strategize on where they need to be. Do you think it’s coincidence that Coca-Cola sponsors events and locations that truly bring people happiness? That Nike organizes Guerilla training events for marathons in order to empower and motivate consumers on their upcoming run? Or that Hershey has a mega-store in Time Square where tourists can experience the wonders of Chocolate? These are perfect examples of how Brands are strategically choosing sponsorships and events in order to strengthen their Brand Platform and align themselves, in consumers eyes, with exactly how they want people to experience and interact with their brand.

I often times like to imagine what other Brands would do if they took an Experiential approach to marketing based on their brand platform. Wouldn’t it be cool if a company like Chipotle, whose Brand Platform is based around good quality food that is not going to kill you (well maybe not that last part) took over hospital cafeterias across the nation and educated consumers about the importance of choosing the right place to eat “Fast food doesn’t have to be bad for you, have a Chipotle burrito!”. It’s always fun to consider what companies can do to drive sales and increase their brand awareness. Something to always consider is, you must always make sure that the foundation of your company (your Brand) doesn’t get lost in the process. Branding is like building a foundation for everything else to be built upon. A strong Brand foundation will insure that your beautifully, well crafted, house of bricks doesn’t come tumbling down. Through proper planning, training, and staffing, your most valuable asset, YOUR BRAND, can be right at home doing what it does best…driving your brand.