This year, the winners of EXHIBITOR Magazine's 13th annual Corporate Event Awards put the experience into "experience marketing." They not only understood the power of face-to-face
engagement, which generates loyalty, memorability, and hard-core sales, but also wielded that force to score everything from an 82-percent increase in event attendance to more than 2 billion media impressions.
In fact, the 2016 jury, a panel of five event-marketing experts, touted winners for their ability to create unique and memorable events that made a clear impact on both attendees and the bottom line. After eight hours of analysis, this year's panel selected four winners that they called "exceptional," "well integrated," and "utterly in tune with the needs of their target audience."
Take the Dom Pérignon brand from Moet Hennessy Diageo Hong Kong Ltd., which received the competition's top honor, the Judges' Choice Award. In an effort to narrate its brand story and reach a larger consumer audience, Dom Pérignon developed a five-part sensory journey centered around three vintages of the brand's celebrated champagne. The elegant affair featured everything from graceful aerialists to a lavish dinner beneath a celestial light installation. Reaching VIP guests and retail partners, the three-day event exceeded social-media goals by more than 40 percent.
The Tresemme brand, owned by Unilever PLC, also crafted a singular experience. To capitalize on its hair-care sponsorship of New York Fashion Week, Tresemme created a pop-up styling salon and media lounge in a key locale between the two main NYFW venues. Offering free styling featuring current runway looks, along with complimentary Wi-Fi, restrooms, and beverages, the experience made a deep connection with consumers and media reps alike – ultimately scoring 2 billion media impressions across 20 markets.
So please join us in congratulating the 2016 Corporate Event Award winners. May their inventive events inspire you to put (or keep) the experience in your experience marketing as well. For as Joe Tripodi, former chief marketing and commercial officer for Coca-Cola Co., once said, "We have to create experiences that perhaps are only had by a few but are compelling enough to fuel conversations with many."
Stephanie Arone, president and general manager, Activity Planners Inc., Las Vegas
Mark Crosier, trade show manager, Heidelberg Engineering Inc., Franklin, MA
Michelle Hernandez, global event strategist, Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, CA
Allison Saget, event marketing consultant, author of "The Event Marketing Handbook," San Francisco
Rob Stout, director of production, Encore Productions Inc., Las Vegas