By Kait Shea

To say that experiential marketing has come a long way since its inception is a vast understatement. Once viewed as a superfluous “add-on” that lacked any strategic backing, the industry has grown to be recognized as a critical part of the marketing mix—and in the era of the experience economy, its influence will only continue to expand. Brands of every stripe have witnessed the power of live events, and they’re passionate about driving the industry forward. Here, 10 brand executives weigh in on the value of experiential marketing and why it continues to play an essential role in their overall marketing strategy.

“Over the past year, we’ve started incorporating our MakerLabs into events. That really gave kids of all ages the opportunity to sit down in a fully equipped creation studio and build sneakers or customize apparel using the same tools our own designers have access to. We think experiential enables us to provide these real-life tools, resources and opportunities for the next generation of creators, not just in the streetwear community, but across music, art, fashion, sport.”

—Jason Greenblatt, senior events manager at adidas Originals North America

craigellachie-teaser“It’s all about driving ‘liquid to lips,’ and also, ‘occasionality.’ When you look at whisky, your whisky choice is based on an occasion and creating special moments in life. So live events are really important for us because it means we can talk our whisky lovers through the Craigellachie story. Instead of reading it on a website, we can tell all those amazing tales and answer questions, and also guide them through the whisky in their glass.”

—Georgie Bell, global malts ambassador at Bacardi, parent brand of Craigellachie

nat-geo_valley-of-the-boom_teaser“To do exactly what we’re trying to accomplish with WeWork—which is how can you have some fun in an immersive environment, but also take a practical element—the live environment allows you to do that… The other thing is, particularly for an entertainment brand like National Geographic, we have access to incredible talent and influencers. And we know that for our audience, which is very hungry for facts and information in context, that providing an environment where they can have those interactions really helps to drive not only the practical intent-to-view for content, but it makes them feel much stronger affinity and affection for the National Geographic brand.”

—Jill Cress, chief marketing and communications officer at National Geographic Partners

canon-teaser“We very much believe that experiencing is believing. People take pictures all the time with their phones, but there is a real difference when you use the proper camera. A lot of people haven’t had that experience, so we want to give that to them so they really see the difference and they understand the creative possibilities… What we see all the time is once …read more

Via:: Event Marketer b-to-c Events