Amp Up Your Hype and Design Anticipation for Your Next Event

July 16, 2016

Jenny Wang

Jenny Wang is an associate strategist at FreemanXP, where she works on portfolio planning, research strategies, and brand messaging to help her clients reach success. 

Can you design anticipation? Get people so excited about your event that they are literally counting down the days until it kicks off?

That’s how I felt leading up to this year’s Coachella — and it got me thinking about brand experiences. Statistics show that our current generation puts much greater value on experiences and events than ever before. But what makes certain events stand out? How can you amp up your hype?

Based on my recent experience at Coachella, here are a few tips to maximize attendee anticipation for your next event: 

The Whole Package

Part of the excitement comes in the packaging of how the tickets are delivered. For example, Coachella tickets come in a nifty box along with other promotional items, which are all sponsored. While sponsored giveaways have been the norm, it’s important to consider how they relate to the event. Why give away a mouse pad at a dental conference? It needs to not only make sense, but also add value.

This year, Coachella partnered with Doppler Labs to integrate Here Active Listening headphones. Using the Coachella app and Here access code, attendees could access exclusive and personalized listening experiences throughout the festival, optimized presets for specific stages, and special audio filters. Not only does this increase attendee engagement, it also collects attendee preference data through the app.

The Cool Badge

Tickets are out and wearable technology is in. Forget clunky badges! At Coachella, attendees sported chic RFID wristbands—efficient for check in (can’t lose your ticket) and also fashionable (they played off the Coachella “bohemian” look). Festival-goers could load cash onto their wristbands and happily forget the wallet at home, meaning less things to carry and worry about. Using RFID wristbands can also help organizers collect data on attendee preferences to create a more personalized experience. Win-win!

Take Me Places

In the same lines of personalization, Coachella incorporated virtual reality for “sneak peeks” to get audiences intrigued. Using the Coachella app and a cardboard VR headset, attendees could enter the Sahara stage or check out the rush of when the entry gates open. Whether you’re a Coachella veteran or a rookie, the experience evokes either a sense of nostalgia or anticipation — all building up excitement for the event. While VR reality may not be possible for every event, consider fun promo videos, infographics, and other forms of multimedia to amp up the hype!

Think about which emotions you want to evoke from the audience at your next event and use some of these ideas to design the anticipation for it! 

This blog was first published on the FreemanXP blog

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