So…how does one go about creating an experience? But not just any experience—it has to be memorable—and, there has to be an emotional connection.
It’s a good question and, a question that all event marketers ask themselves when tasked with crafting an event that will help consumer’s experience a brand. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been part of some great experiential marketing campaigns. On February 2nd, I wrote about the concept behind a Back to the Basics event series, we were one of the partners with Ford of Canada on. Because this event, at Mont Tremblant, garnered such a positive response from the media, I’d said that I would write about another stop on our tour. This time, I’d like to tell you about… what rolled out along the stunning shores of Fraser River, B.C.
On February 28-March 1st, Vancouver media were invited to a getaway at the Fraser River Lodge. The weekend was comprised of a series of back to the basics experiences; which began when the media were paired up and left Vancouver, in a fleet of Ford vehicles, for the one hour drive to the adventure lodge. Upon arrival, like Tremblant, there were more brand experiences involving basic car-care and professional drive instructor Robin Buck was back, sharing winter driving tips and emergency basics with our participants. I’ve included some pictures of the media learning some valuable do-it-yourself skills.
Where the Vancouver program template differed from Tremblant’s (and the Toronto/Muskoka event)was in the out-of-vehicle activities. Our B.C. bloggers were engaged in activities unique to the region, including: a totem pole carving workshop which was led by Don Froese, a local artist and carver. Froese also explained about the history of totem pole carving and watched over the bloggers while they tried their hands at carving. Up next, was a wine tasting followed by a gourmet dinner. To wind down the evening and what was a very busy day participants gathered around a fire pit to make s’mores—doesn’t get much better than melted chocolate and marsh mellows for a bedtime snack!
With a night of rest behind them, equipped with hip-waders, fishing jackets and hot chocolate, it was time for the bloggers to head to the river for some sturgeon fishing. With a population of more than 60,000 sturgeons… the odds of our crew catching a fish were in our favour! It’s no wonder this area attracts anglers from all over the world. I think the pictures speak for themselves—can you believe the size of that fish?! I can assure you to reel one of these fellas in was no easy task…the biggest sturgeon caught that day was almost eight feet long and weighted in at 800 pounds. It also involved over half an hour and the effort of three people to reel him in! BTW…we released all of the fish we caught and as you can see from the pictures the hip-waders came in handy.
So… that is how one goes about creating an experience. Or, I should say that’s the end result—one goes about creating a campaign much like reeling in the sturgeon. In order to create memorable and emotional brand connections involves persistence, team work, and a lot of hard work. But when the events come together as they did in Back to the Basics—as an event marketer, I’ll tell you… what a fantastic experiential campaign to be a part of! It really was a lot of fun.