When it comes to engaging and ultimately activating event attendees, a few critical initiatives spring to the minds of event marketers right off the bat. Pre-event marketing, the event itself, and post-event follow-up all fall into this bucket. But what about those periods in between? One of the most viable areas of audience engagement is quite literally hidden in plain sight: the concourse. Whether you’re hosting a sporting event for 70,000+ in one of the world’s best stadiums or arenas, or a client user group for less than a hundred select guests, the concourse (or hallway area outside your conference room) is ready and waiting for engaging activities. After all, the concourse is where attendees first enter your event; it’s the place they have to go to get between rooms or events; it’s the one area that connects all other aspects of your main event.
Once you realize the potential, there is an almost limitless number of activations you can stage in a concourse area, regardless of the space you’re working with. Here are a few event activation ideas you can use for your next event, whether it’s in a small hallway or a larger arena concourse:
One of the main things to remember with your concourse activations is that they should connect directly back to the main event you’re hosting. If your event is a professional basketball game, for example, you could set up a variety of arcade pop-shot basketball hoops and have attendees play for prizes. If you’re marketing at an optometrist conference, on the other hand, you should still have exciting activities built for engagement, but tailor them to the specific interests and needs of eye doctors.
Concourses are often the ‘waiting room’ or ‘entryway’ standing between an attendee and the event they are trying to get to. Since they’re no doubt excited to get in and get started with the event, your activations must be visually engaging enough to catch people’s attention. Many event managers are turning to LED video technology for an innovative, visually exciting addition to a stagnant concourse setting. From interactive touch screens to motion-activated ceiling tiles to full-size video tile walls, LEDs are setting the standard in experiential marketing for visual concourse engagement.
Sponsor or partner activations
Many brands take advantage of concourse areas (and events in general) to promote their sponsors and partners to attendees via marketing activations. This makes sense since the concourse is often one of the most heavily-trafficked areas of any meeting or sporting event. And these activations can reach a relevant target audience, especially at conferences and trade shows.
As you’re brainstorming your next sponsorship activation, don’t forget about the concourse space! Digital signage, promotional activities, contests, and free swag giveaways are all fair game in a concourse, as your attendees will be prepared and ready to be engaged in conversations.
Break-out areas or activities
If there is one thing most attendees probably remember most about their concourse experience, it’s the events and activities they participated in while there. While most concourses are defined spaces with clear walls, it’s okay to mix it up a bit. Instead of simply lining the walls of your concourse with vendors, billboards, and food stalls, remove the walls and create a built-in break-out space for attendees to mix and mingle. It could be a bar area for sports fans, a silly (or serious) photo booth, a virtual reality experience, a niche pop-up shop, a meet-and-greet with influencers and brand ambassadors, or a networking area for conference attendees. But really, this space is just a place for people to get ‘out’ of the concourse and feel like they are in a designated area before they ever actually step into the event space. These are also great places to place signs or cards with event hashtags and prompts to share photos on social media.
Ready to get started?
Concourse activations might sound overwhelming, but they can be easily achieved with the right planning and strategic partners. Bluewater has the event experience, tools, technology, and people in place to get your team up and running with the perfect concourse activation for your brand and your attendees. You can learn more with a personal brand activation strategy consultation – request yours today!