What Comes Next? Building Momentum After Special Events

As Minnesota basks in the afterglow of Super Bowl LII, the marketing and communications community gathered to debrief on all things activation at MIMA’s recent event: “How’d we do? Scoring Minnesota marketers on the big game.” I attended the panel with my colleague Jen Bellmont. As two of the team members on the ground during much of our own clients’ Super Bowl activations, we appreciated the insight from the participants, who represented Polaris, Land O’ Lakes, U.S. Bank and the Super Bowl Host Committee. These four panelists offered a peek behind the curtain for what their stellar activations required, and although their events were very different, their advice for tackling projects of this scale was similar: Be creative, be nimble and build relationships.

These are things we also found to be true while working on Super Bowl projects, and in addition, attending the panel sparked even more discussions about how to leverage special event activations well after they have come and gone. Here are a few of our strategies for the answer to “What comes next?” following a big event:

  • A common goal of special event activations is to raise awareness, but an impactful experience and prompt follow-up can turn awareness into consideration. Interacting with posts on social media is a great, efficient way to develop a deeper connection with prospects. Did you collect data from guests who visited your activation? If so, now’s the time to reach out while your brand is still top-of-mind. Consider adding your social media links to any communication going to these prospective customers, and you just might find your followers and sales will increase.
  • Event activations are an opportunity to not just get in front of a new audience but also to connect with your existing customers and reconnect with past clients. After all’s said and done, follow up with these individuals to thank them for participating and make sure they feel appreciated. Think about providing a special offer to this group as a thank-you and to help develop brand loyalty following a positive interaction at the event.
  • There will always be people who aren’t able to attend your activation, whether it’s due to timing, location or other circumstances. To help share your messages and unique experience with this audience, use social media to bring the activation to them. Using photos and videos collected throughout the event, create a content calendar that captures the essence of the festivities, and share it to reach those who weren’t able to attend while also enhancing the connection with those were able to participate.

With large events come large opportunities, and the big game was no exception, allowing local brands to flex their event activation skills on a world-wide stage. Thanks to creativity, planning and, now, the follow-up, these organizations will benefit from what they learned and the connections they made for years to come.

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