Consumer Facing Experiential Marketing Trends for 2018

It’s no surprise that experiential marketing over traditional marketing is on the rise. Consumers want a personal, hands-on experience and experiential provides a uniquely fast and effective way to build brand awareness through one-on-one connections. Many industry insiders have predicted that experiential marketing will become a tactic that marketers cannot avoid in 2018.

We’ve gathered some of the top trends you will see in 2018.


Social Media Integration has long been a mainstay in event activations, however, a largely underrated tool that will see a rise in 2018 is the use of Live Streaming. EventTrack’s recent study showed that 50% of consumers capture and share between two and five photos and videos at branded experiences. The study also shows that 72% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand after watching their friends’ branded experience videos.

Live streaming provides the opportunity for a brand to control their content while maintaining authenticity. Consumers engaging in a brand independently is the most authentic and low-cost way to reach beyond the brand’s immediate audience. It can also be repurposed for other marketing campaigns and media placements.


Brands are turning to experiential marketing to entice consumers to shop in-store rather than online. These in-store events create unique in-person shopping experiences that keep them engaged at every point while shopping. Customers will no longer be left to search for items or make purchase decisions on their own. Retailers will be using brand advocates and AI to guide customers through the shopping experience.

Many stores, especially beauty brands, are incorporating augmented reality for the in-store experience. At Sephora, consumers can see how different styles and colors look on their skin without the inconvenience of applying the products. Other brands are using apps that can provide users with games and prizes when they purchase in store. Brands are taking the next step by turning their brick and mortars into pop-up events. These events incorporate activations, celebrity appearances and after-hours private parties.

The key to experiential retail integration is allowing consumers to forge real-world connections with a brand that isn’t a marketing gimmick. These experiences are not to develop new customers but to add meaning and value to their brand loyalist.


Traditional venues such as standalone stores, music festivals, and landmarks provide consistent traffic and accessibility, versatility, and ease of procuring permits. However, as experiential marketing becomes increasing popular, brands are finding ways to differentiate their events from the rest. One way of standing out is in a unique venue.

From compact-sized shipping containers to airplanes 3,000 miles high, unique venues create an unforgettable experience the moment they enter the footprint.

Nontraditional venue spaces give your attendees something to talk about, creates a buzz-worthy backdrop on social media. You can leverage innovative venues to project the image of the brand to the attendees before they reach the activation.


AR/VR are great tools to keep your audience engaged, the message consistent and the recall value high.

AR (Augmented Reality) blends digital components into the real world allowing users to interact with virtual contents in the real world. Thanks to tools like the ARkit, many brands can extend the in-store experience by building their own AR apps. This interactive experience allows consumers to feel more engaged with a brand leading to an increased likelihood of purchase.

VR (Virtual Reality) is a computer generation that stimulates both vision and hearing of user to make them feel as though they are experiencing the simulated reality directly. AR pop up exhibits allow consumer to be fully immersed in the brand experience and can create unique challenges that consumers must complete to move on to another portion of the activation.

Drones are commonly associated with aerial photography and videography, but will increasingly be used as a consumer experience. From synchronized light and music shows to fireworks and smoke generators, drones have the possibilities to enhance any outdoor event experience.

With increase interest of AR, VR and Drones, it is important to remember that these new technologies are meant to enhance the consumer experience not replace the existing marketing strategy

2018 is a new year with new challenges. We’ll help you navigate these changes and apply these trends to your event marketing plans.


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