Ways to spice up your next event activation

Ideas for event activationWe’ve all been there. After planning event after event, things start to get a little bit stale. Your activation is probably still getting you leads and things are going relatively well, but you want to take things to the next level. What do you do? 

Get Interactive

When you meet someone for the first time, you likely introduce yourself and shake their hand and make generally uncomfortable small talk. But when you introduce consumers to your brand, how do you want them to be introduced? Put a consumer behind the wheel of a car on a ride-and-drive or let them see for themselves why the latest virtual-reality system really is the best. Hands-on experiences reinforce the relationship consumers have with a brand.

Incorporating tech elements like simulators or virtual reality can be a major draw for consumers to your activation. Even low-tech games like Cornhole or Jenga keep people entertained and interested in your display. If you’re the most interesting booth at a convention or display in a race track midway, people will take notice.

Interactive elements in your activation don’t have to be difficult or labor-intensive and will pay off more over the course of your event.


Get creative with the property that you’re activating within. How can you involve the race track, stadium or even city in your activation? Creating experiences that tie into the larger event or location can create consumer loyalty to the brand.

If you’re a sponsor at a football stadium, a simple football toss game or football obstacle course could suffice. Or if you want to go big, we’ve even seen Dr. Pepper take the football toss to the next level in college football over the years.

A great integration at the race track is an announcer contest. With the final laps of a famous race at the track, contestants will “call” the action on stage as if they’re the broadcaster.


Free promotional giveaways will always be relevant in events. Specifically, t-shirts always seem to work to draw people to your activation. The free t-shirt is tried-and-true, brands still give them away for a reason. Not only do they draw people to your space, but they then create hundreds of walking billboards of your brand. How much better does it get than that? Consider getting creative with artwork on t-shirts and make unique ties to the event. Anything that is “one of a kind” is far more in-demand than a plain white t-shirt with your logo on it.

Some venues may have restrictions on what you can give away, whether it’s apparel or other items. If every other sponsor or vendor is giving items away, consider giving away branded tote bags. If you’re activating at an outdoors event, look into sunglasses, lunchboxes or sunscreen.

Make sure your items are visually attractive. You know you have a great giveaway when someone leaves your display and people ask them where they got it throughout the day.

What have been keys to your most successful marketing events recently? Drop me a line on Twitter, @KGinty and check out our ebook, Trends in Experiential Marketing.

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