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Why do organisation’s host corporate events? There are many reasons; an annual company convention, a product launch, new office opening or a VIP client incentive event. Whatever the reason, most businesses have one main goal in mind and that is to reinforce and raise brand awareness internally and externally.
As an event planner organising a corporate event, whatever the occasion, don’t underestimate the power of event entertainment. It can attract attendees, create audience satisfaction and increase brand exposure in a big way. That’s why product launches often have big budgets allocated for entertainment. The right performers or shows can be used to create a ‘buzz’ and capture the audience’s imagination, resulting in a company product or brand getting plenty of exposure.
With some clever thinking and some great entertainment your next event could go viral in a big way, giving your business or organisation increased brand awareness to a wider audience. If you get it right people will be talking about your event for weeks to come, ensuring continued exposure for your organisation or business.
Go Back to Basics
Social media, and the mind boggling number of different platforms, is where your event will be shared when it goes viral. As an event planner, you will already have an event or business Facebook page, Twitter account, Linkedin profile and Google + account. So start with the basics and utilise your social media networks to maximise your event exposure, in particular the elements of your event that your friends, business associates, colleagues and acquaintances will want to share; like a surprise, unique or simply ‘wow factor’ moment.
Keep in mind the visual impact of your event. The popularity of visual media is HUGE and this is one of the reasons brands use social media to ensure their event goes viral and reaches a wider audience. Videos and photos are becoming more important across all social media platforms and that’s why Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram users are growing rapidly. Make sure that you are prepared to take plenty of good quality photos and videos of your event and the entertainment to share during the event and afterwards.
Think Big and You’ll Get Big Results
Entertainment has been used successfully for a number of years to make ad campaigns go viral. Think of success stories where entertainment has been used in order to create a viral campaign for an international brand and you might come up with quite a few. This is because it is becoming one of the most effective ways of reinforcing or creating brand awareness without the ‘hard sell’.
One of the first organisations to make use of a viral ad campaign was T-Mobile UK. Flash Mob dancers performed in one of London’s busiest train stations as part of their ‘Life’s for Sharing’ campaign and, to date, the video has had over 39 million views on YouTube. Most recently, McDonalds filmed talented football freestylers from Rio de Janeiro as part of its ‘GOL! FIFA World Cup’ campaign. In the month since its launch, the video has been viewed nearly 4 million times and been re-posted on millions of Facebook and Twitter profiles around the world.
Although these are examples of big-budget brand campaigns, it gives you an idea of how visual and creative entertainment can be used to ensure that an event goes viral to maximise brand awareness. As an event planner you may have a much smaller and more realistic budget available for your event, but the principles are the same. Do something really amazing, and people will want to share it!
Increase Your Chances of Going Viral
You need to be innovative and original, and really create an event that people are going to want to share on their social media networks. People will want to post and share your event if it evokes strong emotions; be it surprise, excitement, awe or amusement! If you use an act, a show or a performer that is so unique (and can also incorporate the brand!) that people are stirred to feeling amazed or surprised, then they are going to want to share their experience with others.
In most cases, it isn’t an accident that an event goes viral. There is usually a clever marketing plan behind most viral campaigns. To increase your chances of creating a ‘viral event’ you might want to create a plan of action, to include these basic tips:
- First off you need to book the right entertainment that will get people talking about and sharing your event. Talk to peers and colleagues for inspiration, or an event entertainment specialist to find out about the newest acts and performers guaranteed to amaze audiences.
- Create ‘buzz’ around your event beforehand by blogging about it and posting to social media. You might even want to tease your audience about the ‘surprise’ or ‘wow factor’ element to create suspense.
- Invite the press to cover the event, or send out a press release with plenty of photos/videos showcasing the entertainment immediately afterwards describing its uniqueness.
- Don’t forget your attendees! They can play their part in helping your event to go viral by taking their own pictures and videos to share.
- Blog about the event on your site and other industry news pages, with accompanying photos and videos!
- Just remember to create plenty of ‘hype’ and excitement around your event and the entertainment.
Entertainment that People Want to Share
So what sort of entertainment will ensure that an event goes viral? People will want to share or talk about something they have never seen before or an act that is so impressive it leaves them spellbound! This may sound like a big ask or a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be 400 flash mob dancers choreographed to perform in London’s Liverpool Street Station in the case of the T-Mobile campaign.
Taking people by surprise (in a pleasant way) is one sure way of getting people to talk about your event online, but just as effective is inspiring them too. When Kseniya Simonova won Ukraine’s Got Talent in 2009, her sand animation video went viral and is still shared on Facebook now. It was an innovative visual spectacle that got people talking because sand animation was so new and different.
Similarly when the electricity harnessing Lords of Lightning performed at a festival in Belfast a couple of years ago, the subsequent video that was posted on to YouTube by an audience member received over 5 million views.
Earlier this year the Dubai Shopping Festival booked a vertical fashion show to perform on the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, with the aim of reaching a wider international audience and raising the profile of the event. As a result, the event was broadcast on radio stations around the world and reported widely in the global press. A great example of how a unique entertainment idea captured the imagination of people around the world and gained maximum exposure for the annual event.
Planning for your event to go viral has many great benefits for an event and the business involved. In making a corporate event go viral you are able to reach out to more people, resulting in wider exposure for an organisation which inevitably has positive results when it comes to reinforcing a brand. As an event organiser, making sure your event is shared on social media gives you the chance to really use your imagination, inspire people and increase brand awareness for your client or organisation.
It doesn’t matter whether your event is on a large scale with a big budget or much smaller with tighter financial constraints; if you get the content of your event right and capture your audience’s imagination and attention, your event will go viral and increase brand awareness successfully. You just need vision, determination, great entertainment and a clever marketing campaign to succeed.