Activating the Experience

Summer Camp 2016 has come and gone, leaving us with fond memories from a fabulous weekend.

AWOLNATION with special guest appearance by Duff McKagan (of Guns n Roses fame); the #FlatManley appearance; the gritty beats of Bishop Briggs, a display of great control and power by our own Karate Kid - Gregr, a lively set by my personal favorite Miike Snow, thousands of voracious music lovers, and so much more.

While the music, weather, and people together created an incredible two days; as I wandered the festival grounds, one thing that really stuck out to me was the extent to which fairly uncomplicated activities drove a level of brand activation from our sponsor partners that took Summer Camp attendees from pure passers-by to engaged prospects. It’s one thing to sponsor an event; it’s a whole other to get people to genuinely interact with you. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which our partners got the perpetually occupied millennial to stop and interact.

General Assembly; Henna Tattoo & Bracelet Station
When it comes to fashion and self-expression, Millennials follow their own beat. Accessorizing that unique beat through a DIY bracelet station and professional henna artist complemented their individuality. This one-on-one time gave General Assembly a chance to share more about their suite of courses.

Chaplin’s Bellevue VW; Phantogram Tickets Enter to Win + Misting Tent
It doesn’t matter what generation you’re part of, entering to win a free something can get someone’s attention. But beyond the method and price, the free what is equally important. For this audience - how about tickets to a hot alternative show in Seattle? Yep, that’ll work. While queuing up to enter to win Phantrogram tickets, attendees are exposed to some of VW’s hottest vehicles.

If you’ve been to Marymoor Park concerts before, you know that a hot day can be punishing, with little escape from the heat. You’ll then understand how popular the Chaplin’s Cooling Station was for guests of all ages. There wasn’t a second when someone wasn’t under that tent – thanks to the folks at Chaplin’s.

Sparkling Ice; Sampling Station, Lounge & Face Painting 
Sometimes, you just need a space to sit down, relax and hydrate. Thanks to the team at Sparkling Ice, there was a convenient covered area where Summer Campers could stop to play some games, get their face painted and sample Sparkling Ice’s line of beverages.

As you begin to plan out your next experiential presence and activation, consider a combination of these tips that I’ve aggregated from various sources.

  • As you begin to plan out your next experiential presence and activation, consider a combination of these tips that I’ve aggregated from various sources.
  • Think Small – Small and simple experiences can create truly sticky content. And if executed properly, and documented well, your brand experience will drive your consumers to tell your story better, and more authentically. You don’t have to go big to get big results. A smaller more intimate experience can create more one to one time with your customers, and great opportunities for immediate feedback and insights. Think small, but make it bigger than life.
  • Back to the Basics – Don't overuse technology. If users can't share it from their phone on a social medium they already use, you are probably overthinking it. Pretty simple – stick with the basics when enabling social sharing.
  • Do Good – What’s the cause marketing/social responsibility tie-in? As the Edelman Trust Barometer reported – 80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues. What activity could an attendee perform to trigger a benefit to a local cause? You do some good while building goodwill toward your organization.
  • Peer to Peer – If you’re trying to engage Millennials at the event, consider using Millennials as your event staff/leadership. They’ll better relate with their peers, have a cleaner perspective on the audience, and attendees are more likely to be open and honest with those they have common ground with.