Event design and event marketing inspiration can come from many sources, a YouTube video, a TV commercial or something that catches you by surprise on your way to work. Every now and then, an approach to marketing is so fresh and innovative that it provides inspiration to event planners.
Recently, two Canadian companies hit it out of the park with innovative multi-channel campaigns demonstrating how impromptu events can be effective for both employee recognition and client appreciation.
Dempster's, one of the brands for Toronto-based Maple Leaf Mills, built a campaign around a viral YouTube video and Twitter parties. First, they launched the commercials that ran as pre-roll on YouTube. Next, a Twitter party with a contest was scheduled for November 27, 2013. In other words, they created a virtual event.
Dempster's Healthy Way Bread
Invitations were posted on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and a number of blogs. Virtual guests were asked to RSVP just like they would for a live party. (There were 423 RSVPs.) To qualify for prizes virtual guests were asked to RSVP, follow @Dempsters and tweet using the #FeelGoodBread hashtag. Prizes were drawn and winners were announced throughout the Twitter Party. Dempster's role modeled an effective strategy for launching a virtual event.
The commercial was also relevant to meetings it depicted valued employees from various companies, getting a surprise flash mob and Healthy Way Feel Good o Grams. Many events would benefit from the element of surprise, particularly during meetings and other live events.
Take a Peek
The Dempster's Bread campaign is an excellent example of using a variety of social media marketing channels a to both reach out to customers and engage with them.
Calgary based WestJet Airlines Canadian effectively leveraged technology to "play Santa" and surprise passengers.
The airline then used multiple social media channels including a viral YouTube video to spread the word about its WestJet Christmas Miracle.
The element of surprise produced a truly magical effect:
The next time you need to create a memorable meeting or event, remember that ideas can come from outside the events industry. Leverage technology, use a variety of social media and off-line marketing channels to spread the word, and find a way to build in the element of surprise. It's effective for employee, client appreciation and marketing events.