Weekly Insights: Why Experiences Matter

Photo: © Depositphotos.com/fyletto

It’s a fact of the new Millennium – people value experiences over things. Research shows that when companies create experiences, they not only become more memorable, but also build better relationships with customers and prospects of all ages.

I mean, let’s face it … you don’t typically get the same feeling from a 30-second commercial for a destination as you do once you’re actually there, experiencing all the destination has to offer. You can’t dip your feet in the ocean or savor the gourmet food from a five-star resort unless you’re actually there, participating with all your senses.

But according to a recent study by the Event Marketing Institute, only one out of four marketers are engaging all five senses.

What are some keys to creating experiential memories? First you’ve got to find ways to incorporate more senses. Get beyond sight and sound to include tactile and scent marketing cues. And if possible, find a way to even include taste. Create an emotional connection to your brand that inspires strong positive memories. Make the experience so real that attendees have nostalgic or aspirational feelings, recalling the experience whenever they hear your brand name.

But it doesn’t have to be big, flashy experiences. Think about what makes you remember a positive experience with a brand, then find ways to replicate that on the show floor. It could be tasting or touching a product for the first time. Or perhaps creating an immersive experience using a virtual reality “tour” in your booth of a location or even going inside how your product works.

Studies consistently show that customers gain better product understanding and spend more per transaction when they’ve have the opportunity to engage with a brand in person. On top of that, they’re much more likely to remain loyal to that brand because of their positive experiences and memories. And trade shows are a natural vehicle for delivering those.

You’ll Exhibit Design That Workslearn more about creating memorable experiences in Exhibit Design That Works, due out in July.



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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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