After speaking last week at the #Ausevents Australian Events Symposium I was asked what is the favorite brand event that I've attended recently and why. To those who attended my talk, I'm sorry - you may know the answer.
The best brand event that I've attended recently is "Breakfast on the Bar', hosted by Visit Sunshine Coast #visitsunshinecoast. This was a breakfast with a difference!
Together with delegates, I walked from the Resort lobby to a riverside jetty before enjoying an early morning boat ride on calm waters. After five minutes we all arrived at a large, pristine sandbar near the mouth of the Maroochy River.
A three-piece steel band began a rhythmic island beat as we made our way into comfy royal blue bean bags that were scattered along the sandbar. Dry bars, Sunshine Coast-branded flags, surf life savers and pop-ups completed the stunning picture. Breakfast was fresh juice, delicious yoghurt and mini toast canapés.
The setting, the chosen color scheme, the choice of menu and of transport all made for the perfect brand event - an event specifically designed to introduce a new audience (delegates, in this instance) to the qualities and features of a brand. In this instance, the brand was a destination.
The event reinforced the major brand message associated with the Sunshine Coast – that the destination is a Naturally Refreshing place.
In a world where traditional forms of marketing are being found to be lacking, events and other forms of experiential marketing are being seen as a shining beacon. Event marketing (when it’s done well) takes "customers" on a fun, emotive and interactive journey – a sensory-filled dalliance with the brand. This explains why a fashion show sells more clothes than a catalogue.
Events are live. Person to person. Face to face. Eyeball to eyeball. Handshake to handshake. This makes them the perfect recipe for connection and engagement.
And that is exactly what the Breakfast on the Bar achieved.