8 Ways In-Person Brand-Sponsored Events Drive Results [Brand Highlight]
Looking for ways to get your brand’s product in the hands of just the right target audience? At the same time, do you want to both amplify online buzz while driving sharing of evergreen content? And, do all of the above via credible, authentic testimonials while building super fans? Easy peasy, right? It actually can be. In-person, brand-sponsored events offer the perfect and simple solution to drive an incredible return on investment (ROI).
Let’s take a look at what Nintendo did right to drive ROI in 8 different ways—including generating sales—through brand-sponsored events.
8 Ways Nintendo Drives Incredible Results Through Brand-Sponsored Events
Over the past nine years, FORWARD has organized or helped host more than 250 meet-ups where brands and bloggers connect. As a recent example and just last week, we helped host an in-person, brand-sponsored event for Nintendo. The event was in partnership with our talented and amazing friends over at 360+ PR. Our invite generated a sold-out response in under 10 minutes. Then, 42 Influencers and their families (200+ people) joined us after-hours at the Children’s Discovery Gateway Museum in downtown Salt Lake City. Nintendo created a hands-on evening of fun and gaming for what we called: “Family Night With Nintendo.” The VIP experience started with dinner and prizes and ended with swag, including the latest trend in handheld gaming devices—the 2DS XL.
Nintendo experienced ROI in these eight ways, following some simple best practices called out below.
1. Nintendo educated families on the Nintendo brand and its products.
During dinner, Nintendo representatives educated influencers and their families on the latest and greatest gaming trends. They did this as follows:
- They shared product information directly by having one of their team members speak to the group.
- Then, they played a trivia game, asking key questions and awarding Nintendo product prizes for the first person to guess the answers.
Their main message was to promote the 2DS XL as the ideal carry-on for summer travel. With summer right around the corner, this resonated well with attendees.
What I took away? Nintendo 3DS games work with the new Nintendo 2DS XL system and even older units. So, no need to buy new games when upgrading handheld devices. Score!
2. Influencers shared real-time social media posts.
Raising product awareness, providing Instagrammable moments (check out that amazing backdrop below), and making a professional photographer available were keys to Nintendo’s success in driving social media posts. Influencers couldn’t stop snapping and sharing pics, myself included. Here’s one of my favorite shares from the evening:
3. Bloggers shared post-event promotional and evergreen content.
Not even one day passed before post-event sponsored content went live. This post from NewspaperMom.com shows that Nintendo met the mark when sharing brand-specific and product information. Not only did she capture the summer travel gear theme, but also shared product benefits. What brand doesn’t love seeing immediate ROI?
4. Family members of all ages sampled Nintendo 2DS XL handheld devices and games.
Being able to test product is the best way for bloggers to produce an authentic review. And watching their kids game (or gaming with them)? Even better for gaining knowledge on product benefits and best practices.
Knowing that more than 100 children and teenagers were coming, Nintendo set up pods with handheld devices plus had extras on hand to accommodate all players. This went a long way in keeping even the littlest of gamers happy.
5. Nintendo team members engaged with the influencers.
Probably the highlight of this brand-sponsored event for me was watching the Nintendo team engage with gamers of all ages. If influencers had brand- or product-related questions, the Nintendo team was right there to provide answers. When teenagers wanted to interview them on camera about how to get a job at Nintendo, they shared advice. If kids wanted to know tips for advancing levels, they shared information. And my favorite? When the Associate Communications Director sat with a group of teenagers and gamed with them.
Nintendo’s engaging team approach resulted in the Influencers sharing on social media, creating awesome content, raising product-specific awareness, and feeling special as a guest of the event. They clearly love their job and their customers. This is David from Nintendo and my son after a nearly six-minute video interview.
6. The attending digital movers and shakers connected.
Influencers are often busy at home and behind the screen, managing their blogs and social media. Being able to attend a live brand-sponsored event with their entire family is a treat. And, meeting other bloggers, talking shop, and getting to know each other’s families? Well, that’s the cherry on top.
Nintendo’s engaging approach and giving influencers a chance to meet up left bloggers with an emotional connection to the brand. They can’t help but think back on their positive experience when seeing product after the event. And, though hard to track, this positive emotional connection can result in future promotional social shares, sales, reviews, and/or recommendations.
7. Influencers’ perceptions shifted about Nintendo and its 2DS XL products.
Event survey results are still coming it, but so far, half of the attendees had not heard of the 2DS before the event. Surprising! I know. Additionally, a little less than half of the guest’s perceptions of the 2DS was slightly favorable or worse. After the event (per the survey)? Every attendee but one marked “Much more favorable” when asked: “How has your perception of NINTENDO’s handheld devices changed after attending their live event?” The other person answered, “Other” with the response: “Like it even more!”
Thanks to Nintendo’s top-notch experiential setup, engaging approach, helpful product information, and perfect selfie stations, all of these items helped drive a shift in perception.
8. Nintendo got a sale the very next day.
I’d be preaching to the PR choir if I talked about how tough it is to track PR-related activations to sales. Proof of sales is what we’re all working toward, but it is the hardest metric to prove. So, when this guest posted this Facebook comment on my personal profile, to say we were thrilled was an understatement.
Nintendo provided swag bags to all of the event attendees that included the 2DS XL along with Nintendo games and a gift card to purchase even more. So, the fact that she went out and bought a second 2DS XL? Just amazing! That’s the power of in-person, brand-sponsored events.
Check out this post on Why Talk Metrics before Tactics.
Why Host Brand-Sponsored Events?
In summary, brand-sponsored events give you a way to:
- Engage with your target audience.
- Drive online buzz both real-time and post-event.
- Sample product while sharing tips, best practices, and product information.
- Create an environment that breeds connection, thus leaving guests with a positive emotional tie to your brand.
- Make picture perfect places throughout the venue to get user-generated branded selfies, family photos, and candid pics.
- Take advantage of interviews or other content creation opportunities with influencers.
- Increase sales.
How We Can Move Your Events FORWARD
If you’re looking for in-home, off-site, retail, corporate headquarters, or other events, we’ve got you covered. Our vast in-person, brand-sponsored event experience includes:
- In-home events for brands like Honey Bunches of Oats, HP, Nestle, Reading Is Fundamental
- Off-site events for brands like Huggies, Invisalign, OfficeMax, TinyPrints, TreeTop
- On-site events for brands like HomeAway, KOA, Orkin, Royal Caribbean, Universal Orlando Resort, and Zion Ponderosa
- Conference/retreat sponsorships for brands like Barilla, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Hasbro, National Geographic Kids, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Southwest Airlines, and many more
- Retail events with brands like Aveda, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, and T-Mobile
- Other fun offerings such as concerts with Atlantic Records and spooning in the park with Breyer’s Ice Cream
We can’t wait to help you take your next in-person, brand-sponsored event FORWARD whether through sharing the secrets to our success via training or by helping you with the organization/hosting process.
What are your best practices to drive tremendous ROI from brand-sponsored events?