December 27, 2019

Create brand affinity and build customer loyalty with live events

If you’ve ever clapped your hands, stomped your feet, and called for an encore at a concert…

Or the joy of victory has ever caused you to high-five the stranger sitting behind you at the stadium…

Or if the maître d’ at a five-star restaurant has ever given you the VIP treatment, you already understand a fundamental truth about experiential marketing.

That truth is this: while life consists of countless moments, only the most exceptional experiences qualify as events. Events tingle our senses, activate our pleasure centers, and, once they’ve ended, become contagious in our imaginations. In short, events can rewire our internal connections and move us to behave differently.

From a marketing perspective, events represent an incredibly meaningful—and frequently underutilized—channel. According to a recent survey conducted by Event Marketer Magazine, a whopping 91 percent of consumers say they have positive feelings about a brand after attending a live event. Eighty-five percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchasing decision after attending a live event.

That kind of brand favorability and those kinds of conversion rates can be hard to come by in a world where digital rules. Not all online platforms can offer brand-safe assurances. Nor can they guarantee that your message will be seen. Ad blockers and OTT media services make it easy for your target audience to pick and choose when and how they are exposed to advertising.

But, by sponsoring live events, hosting activations, or conducting product demonstrations, businesses can meet consumers face-to-face. Doing so transforms the brand interaction from one of passive viewership into one of active participation. And, when your prospects are engaging with your brand on such a personal level, they’re more likely to remember what they learn about its offerings as well as its unique personality.

Each year, our client Cedar Fair’s nationwide network of amusement and water parks receive over 26 million diverse visitors seeking fun and live entertainment. Season after season, Cedar Fair parks host a wide variety of special live events, providing guests with unforgettable experiences and giving sponsoring partners multiple opportunities to start conversations with audiences that are ready to listen.

  • The parks’ Daytime Haunt events attract families with young children. Programming features all sorts of not-so-scary Halloween-themed activities including petting zoos, hay bale mazes, pony rides, miniature tractor rides, and costume contests.
  • Appropriate for tweens, teens, and adults, the Halloween Haunt is a fright-filled after-hours experience. Here guests can lose themselves in mazes, work together to survive scare zones, take hair-raising rides, enjoy themed attractions, and party on park grounds.
  • Finally, each holiday season for six years running, a growing number of parks have been transformed into winter wonderlands full of enchantment and holiday cheer via our WinterFest celebrations.

All in all, Cedar Fair’s live events are capable of generating nearly 30 million highly impactful out-of-home impressions.

  • Scale is not an issue. Cedar Fair has worked with local businesses as well as big international brands such as Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, The Hershey Company, and Grupo Bimbo/Barcel.
  • Nothing compares to direct consumer contact. Event partnerships offer your brand high in-park exposure through product integration, product demonstrations, promotions, giveaways, coupon offers, branded attractions, and traditional media campaigns. And all messaging is optimized to resonate with your target audiences.
  • And these events are popular—very popular. Studies by Edison Research show that:
    • 90 percent of Daytime Haunt participants would recommend the event to their family and friends.
    • Park guests drawn by the Halloween Haunt spend an average of 4.5 hours on-site, and 72 percent of those visitors interact with branded attractions (mazes and scare zones).
    • On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), WinterFest attendees give the event a 4.3 rating and consider it a “must-see.” Moreover, 85 percent of all WinterFest guests indicate they are likely to visit multiple times in one season.

Meet consumers one-to-one or one-to-many. Put your product directly in the hands of Millennials and Gen Zers. Cultivate brand-new audiences by becoming a presenting sponsor of a branded attraction. To accomplish all this and more, contact us today to learn more about the live events being hosted at Cedar Fair.