With consumer confidence on the rebound, experiential enters the growth years—when event budgets would grow 20-30 percent annually through 2008. With increased spending, however, comes increased accountability as agencies become strategic resources rather than tactical crutches. Wireless and other emerging technologies are adding to dimensions to events. Mall events explode.
Photo activations become an industry mainstay, and organizations like The Army National Guard funnels photo leads from trade shows and grassroots events to recruiters in real-time. Another example of early photo activations: Kellogg’s sponsors the American Idols Live! tour, and lets consumers sing karaoke and pose for mock paparazzi photos with Idol cutouts. Samples of the frozen product it was touting are distributed out afterward from disco ball-themed refrigerators.
Eighty-two percent of brand-side event marketers report that technology is impacting their event marketing more than it was a year ago. Reactive media, which is being used for interactive displays that let attendees take control, is poised to blow up. Nintendo works with Reactrix to create a life-size Zelda game for its booth at E3.
Panasonic sponsors the inaugural Dew Action Sports Tour, featuring skateboarding BMX and freestyle motocross. The brand’s “Hi-Def Experience” gives consumers the opportunity to learn how to shoot, edit, and manipulate action sports footage with the brand’s equipment.
Kid-friendly mobile tours are trending—on a Fisher-Price tour, staffers chatted up parents about toy benefits while kids had fun in a play area.