Santa’s done it for years, and so have we. We like to say that we’re “wise before the event” and bringing that wisdom is essential in knowing how to pitch-in, and execute Experiential campaigns. So we’ve made a list, and we’ve checked it twice. Here’s our Christmas Checklist that’ll make your productions as slick as Lapland ice.
Many Wise Men: One Creative Vision
Great Experiential starts here. In our world, we receive ideas from the barmy & bizarre to the contemplative & cerebral, and we make them a reality. This involves bringing various parties to the table, and hashing out ideas that work, while adapting those that don’t. In October, we brought to life the vibes and emotions from Ed Sheeran’s new album, Equals. The creative vision was to build an immersive “Listening Meadow”, full of scents and floral aromas alongside light and sound installations, creating a musical meadow. Ideas for execution meandered: Should the scent be artificial or from real flowers? How long should the album medley be? But all parties fed into the same creative vision.
The starting point for an idea is rarely its end-state, and during the creative process a gentle steer is often required to ensure ideas have the correct dose of realism. Whatever the outcome, all parties have a voice, and there should be many “wise men” from the end-client down. But everyone works to one single creative outcome.
Make Room at the Inn: Choose the Right Space
You were told it was a great venue, but you arrive and you’re in the stables. We’ve all been there, Joseph. Choosing the right location for an event is sometimes taken for granted, but no two spaces are the same.
Smart site selection has a significant impact on visibility, footfall and perception, and can elevate a campaign’s value. But this requires more consideration than simply picking a site with high human traffic: local council and government permissions, nearby retailers, and residential implications all come into effect.
A busy spot renowned for hosting branded events, can be less impactful than a location balancing footfall and uniqueness.
Santa’s Little Helpers: Utilise Subcontractors
Event production companies rely on contractual and freelance talent. This makes them agile, innovative and cost effective, while enabling bespoke, hand-picked teams to be deployed for specific projects. Experienced event production companies can call on expertise from a large family of regular talent to achieve your goals.
It’s worth asking about your production company’s preferred suppliers for A/V, lighting, set builds, and everything in between. Favour those with a variety of contacts. Event production companies with their own equipment can be cost-effective, but at the same time they may use tech that hasn’t been selected specifically to suit your project, or is current. Our preference is to keep in-house costs and tech to a minimum, by working with trusted suppliers who always deploy the best specialist skills and cutting-edge tech for the job.
The Proof is in the Christmas Pudding: Focus on Event Execution
Like assembling all the ingredients for a delectable Christmas dessert, none of the above matters if it’s not well executed. The proof is in the pudding. Execution is where nuts-and-bolts production companies like us come into their own. A well-executed campaign depends on being able to convert an original idea into a reality while still retaining the creative vision. You want people to dive under water to find a watch? No problem. Want to open a bank of bacon? Of course. Well-executed experiential is about building an emotional connection with an audience, and continuing to evoke a positive reaction after the event is over.
Joy to the World: Do Carbon Neutral
The Advertising Association’s Ad Net Zero report states that the sector has to reduce its carbon output at least by 25% by 2025. This shows that agencies have to go further than ever before, moving away from ad-hoc initiatives to create more permanent change.
Experiential and events agencies are a critical part of the conversation. In Event Academy’s 2020 report, the majority of those surveyed said that making events environmentally sustainable was their most important issue to address. The reason is that the single-use events industry is wasteful by default. Shipping sets, people, and gear by road, air & sea leaves a heavy carbon footprint. Bad for brands, and unsustainable in any sense.
At KGA we have started to tackle this issue by going completely carbon neutral - not only operationally as a business, but by ensuring all of our events are 100% carbon neutral too.