As with marketing webinars, the objective of experiential events is typically either lead generation or, for known prospects, to help advance the sales process. These live events will involve a check-in process (and in some cases immediate on-site registration) and some sort of credential, but are simpler than large customer conferences because of their smaller size, greater frequency, and shorter duration.
These events generally won't involve:
- different attendee types;
- call for topics or speakers;
- ecommerce requirements; or
- hotel reservations.
Experiential events are generally short duration, ranging from an hour to half a day (or evening). Among the different types of experiential events are:
- Pop-up shops / pop-up retail: These short-term spaces and events are used by fashion, food & beverage, consumer electronics and other types of vendors to generate flash sales and brand interest. Common examples in the food & beverage space include specialty sauce "pitches" and sales inside grocery stores and adult beverage special promotions inside pubs.
- Ride & drives: Automakers invite local consumers to test-drive new models at dealerships, sporting events (such as baseball games and NASCAR races), and other venues.
- Sponsorships: These include a variety of events at concerts, within other larger events (e.g. an invitation-only dinner at an industry gathering or trade show), and sporting events. One common example is a VIP tent at a major golf tournament.
- Road shows: These may be used in variety of industries but are common in the enterprise software market. Targeted local business executives will be invited to a restaurant for a meal and presentations by a vendor, often featuring a local customer sharing their success story.