Experiential marketing is all the rage these days, as brands have begun to recognize the value of putting on events and creating memorable experiences as part of their marketing campaign. But as the experiential marketing industry is still in its relative infancy, many brands are still trying to understand how to put on an event and — more importantly — who they need in order to do so effectively. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks that brands can use to effectively staff their events.
Finding Top-tier Talent: Internal or External?
The first decision a brand must make when determining how to staff a marketing event is whether to staff internally or source talent externally. Both strategies have advantages, so it is up to the brand to choose what best fits its needs. While building a team internally ensures that every member of the team is more intimately familiar with the brand and its unique needs, hiring externally opens the door to a pool of diverse candidates with unique and creative perspectives.
However, it is also important to emphasize recruiting top-tier talent for experiential marketing. One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is to think that just anyone can represent their brand. Even if the goal is to appeal to an “average” or “everyday” consumer, a successful experiential marketer must have certain qualities to connect with consumers and effectively communicate the brand’s message.
Brands looking to hire top-tier talent for their marketing events should partner with a staffing agency with specific experience and expertise in experiential marketing. These agencies vet employees to ensure they are a good fit personality-wise for the experiential marketing profession.
Staffing agencies can also find candidates with skill sets in more specific aspects of experiential marketing — such as brand ambassadors, street teams, strike crews, and more. Having these more specialized workers will help make the entire event run more efficiently.
Figuring Out How to Resonate with Your Audience
One strategy that brand event organizers should consider is hiring “brand ambassadors” rather than professional models. While a professional model can help add a pretty face to help represent a brand — which works well in certain sectors like fashion and beauty products — more often than not, most brands are served better by having someone more outgoing and personable representing their brand. The goal is to have event attendees see people like them representing the brand, rather than someone whose image seems unattainable.
Of course, to understand how to have people like attendees representing the brand, you must know who is attending the event. This will come down to several factors, including location, the brand’s image, and who you invite to the event. Although the event’s guest list helps control this, you also don’t want the guest list to be too narrow, as this could prevent you from reaching the people you need most at your event.
Once you have a good idea of the target audience for your event and brand, you can determine which types of people are the best fit to hire as brand ambassadors. After all, the goal of a brand ambassador is to relate and resonate with the target audience, so try to find brand ambassadors closest to that demographic.
For example, if your event is on a college campus, the best approach would be to hire college students as your brand ambassadors. Using brand ambassadors that closely resemble your target audience will allow the brand to come across as more sincere and approachable.
The Importance of a Well-trained Team
Regardless of who you hire for the role, it is essential to ensure they are equipped with the proper training and tools to accomplish their job effectively. At the same time, it is important to remember that brand events have many moving parts, and there is an element of unpredictability inherent to them given their live and in-person nature. In addition to the outgoing personality needed for success, a brand ambassador should be trained to handle any number of obstacles that may arise with the event, so that everything can proceed smoothly.
Because of the multifaceted and multi-pronged nature of experiential marketing, it is crucial to establish roles, responsibilities, and objectives early in the event planning process. Divvying up duties between employees can ensure that no one is overwhelmed by the brunt of most of the responsibilities. Additionally, this process can open up the door for even greater collaboration, allowing ideas to flow more freely between employees at different levels of planning the event.
Putting on a great brand event can be a challenge, but with the right team, it can be a rewarding experience that benefits the company and helps it reach its marketing goals. Marketers who are putting on brand events should emphasize qualities like a personable and outgoing personality, focusing more on hiring genuine brand ambassadors than professional models. With these strategies, it will be much easier to create, organize, and run more relatable and personalized events to connect your brand with its target audience.