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Local Events Are Gaining Momentum. Here’s Why.

  • Madison Vettorino

As far as brand activations are concerned, bigger is not necessarily better. Smaller, local events are gaining momentum—and harnessing the power of local events could prove beneficial to your brand. 

In 2015, event/experiential marketing publication BizBash boldly predicted that the future of events would be smaller, more intimate gatherings. No one could have guessed that just five years later, a global pandemic would completely upend and revolutionize the events industry. 

For instance, hybrid events were not nearly as widespread then as they are now, and there’s reason to believe that this format will retain its popularity even after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Experiential marketing was not untouched by the pandemic, and even afterward, it’s unlikely that time will erase the pandemic’s imprint on the industry. Brands would be wise to work with these changes instead of ignoring them. Getting involved locally is one way to do that. 

Why local?

Local events are experiencing a boom.  A brand that utilizes local event brand activations has the opportunity to harness the value of community, demonstrate their commitment to doing good, and reach consumers where they are—close to home.

Community is more valuable than ever

A 2020 report from Vox indicated that 55% of consumers say the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their sense of unity with their community. Additionally, a whopping 72% are looking for more information regarding how to support local businesses. 

Consequently, marketers should consider the power local businesses have and create community-level partnerships. Local businesses have a deep understanding of what matters most to the community, so they can provide insight on how to craft an experience that will be mindful of that. Ultimately, these partnerships can forge meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers for both brands and the local businesses.

Local events offer brands the opportunity to give back, which consumers view favorably

In 2020, a global study indicated that consumers are four to six times more likely to purchase from, protect, and champion brands that they consider to be purpose-driven. In addition to this, a company’s charitable giving impacts a tremendous 73% of Americans’ purchasing decisions. Consumers want to support companies that are doing good, and giving back. Local events provide brands the opportunity to do this in a highly targeted way. 

This summer, Inspira helped Ball Park Buns bring a local, do-good brand activation to life.  Ball Park Buns and Little League joined together in an invaluable partnership in which several new community initiatives were launched. 

The brand launched a Fielder’s Choice initiative which was created to support almost 20 local Little League Programs across the U.S. This provides local sponsorship funding,  signage, and even coupons for enough Ball Park buns and rolls to stock the concession stands for the entire season. Additionally, three local Little League programs in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. were selected to receive significant field renovations courtesy of Ball Park Buns. 

Inspira also recently worked on a Save The Children mobile brand activation, which took the organization’s youth reading campaign on the road to reach local students. Brand partners included T.J. Maxx, SC Johnson, and Nickelodeon. The organization was able to deliver school-supply-stocked backpacks and educational games to children during a mobile tour that spanned 10 cities across the U.S. These are just a sampling of local campaigns Inspira has been involved in.

People are still wary of travel, so meet them where they are—close to home

An August 2021 report revealed that consumer sentiment regarding travel is still varied. However, only 33% of Americans say that they are “ready to go again.” This could possibly be attributed to the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

And while 10 million travelers went through TSA checkpoints at airports during the Fourth of July Weekend, 18% reported that they’re unsure if they’ll ever feel safe again whilst traveling. Local events meet consumers where they currently are: close to home.

Inspira can help you craft a local, intimate brand activation consumers won’t forget

Inspira has a plethora of experience creating brand activations that forge an indelible connection between the consumer and brand. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can help your brand craft a local, intimate brand activation that consumers won’t forget. 

SOURCES: 

The Future of Event Design: What Will Live Experiences Look Like in the Next Few Years? | BizBash   

Vox Media research shows 9 out of 10 consumers have tried new brands during the pandemic | Vox Media

While Travel Gradually Resumes,  Americans Remain  Wary | YouGov

Save the Children Tour Provides Kids with Hands-on Education, Resources |  Event Marketer  

Two Iconic Brands Hit the Field as Ball Park® Buns and Little League® Announce New Partnership to Support Little Leaguers® | Little League 

Global  Study Reveals Consumers Are Four To Six Times More Likely To Purchase, Protect,  And Champion  Purpose-Driven Companies | Forbes 

Companies’ charitable work affects consumers’ spending | Mintel