Small Steps to Enhance Activation Experience

By | October 23, 2015


Events and activation are an integral part of a B2B campaign. Properly executed they are successful in engaging and delivering the message. Unfortunately most of the event and activations are good ideas badly executed. The intent behind the activity and the initial design framework are usually right. Time, budget constraints and plenty of wishful thinking in an attempt to further leverage the opportunity corrupts and derails implementation. So, the uniquely differentiated offering ends up as a mundane event or worst experiential nightmare.  Ultimately there is a chasm  (not just a slip) between the promise and delivery.

While designing the experience, there is a need to focus amplifying smiles. Promote genuine interactions with the audience and do not forget the clients / sponsors.

Be precise in articulating the final impact to be created. If the message is not simple enough, then the onus to break it down into manageable segments lies with the client and the experience-designing agency.

Every sub-segment must be designed to only deliver one simple message. Design it like experiencing a city by walking not like a blind cab ride. Stopping at a tourist point (area of interest) giving the tourist (audience) time to soak it completely. Moving at a pace defined by the audience not your schedule.

Experiences must amplify messages. It is better to have an in-depth experience (learning) of fewer places of attraction (messages) than going all over the city and leaving with out an impression.

Like life, your activation is like a compilation of memories. These memories define the end. The complete experience must be bracketed with positive experiences.  At the start being on time, having best of the speaker upfront, not making audience wait will help. In the later part laughter, smiles, ease and relaxed environment always help. It maybe a good idea to create some bridge ( breather) that allows the audience to reflect and connect the experience with the message.

Minor tweaks and repeating a similar experience to reinforce messages is not going to give great results. The onus of surprising audience and retaining their attention rests with the client. Having an updated content and presenting it in a differentiated way is the easy way out.  Surprise audience in multiple ways. And sometimes, this should be possible without absurd hike in budgets.

Get interactive and really engage the audience. Ensure that the experience is consistent. The last person (or the last table) gets the same experience as the first person. This becomes tough in a long drawn activation. Predesign interventions to helps the team maintain focus and remain motivated to deliver consistent experience.

Surprisngly, all events and activation experiences normally lead to disputes. I am yet to find a client who will not add ‘but’ after appreciating the efforts. It is our attitudinal flaw. Mostly this is because of two things. One there is no matrices for evaluation. Two, we have the chalta hai, ho jayega and  jugaad attitude. One must check against such negatives.

Start seeking positives for your implementations. This does not mean that you stop analysing but defining the follow-up. Check for three things that you could have done better and how. Check for three major faults or error? Think how will you ensure they are not repeated? Do internalise the learning’s and move on.

Man times we get so emotionally attached to activation we forget to tie-in the follow through. For best results, post event actions need to be streamlined. For example having a trained call centre response team or having the promoted website live.

If you manage, that works well and you are happy. Do amplify the experience across right media including leveraging internal communication.


This was first published in TFAQS.COM . You may access his weekly column in mxmindia at KOTMARTIAL . For other published articles click here And if you interested in humour in advertising & marketing here are some real life episodes for you . LESSONS IN LIFE AND MANAGEMENT captures experience from episodes in life
Sanjeev Kotnala is Founder at Intradia World. A Brand, Marketing &  Management UnConsult Advisor. He conducts specialised workshops in the area of IDEATION (Harvest and Liberate) and INNOVATION (InNoWait). He focuses energy in enhancing stakeholders potential and capabilities. In process decreasing dependence  on external resources. Email  or tweet at s_kotnala visit