EventMarketer Archives - Mirrored Media

EventMarketer: How Brands Served Up Live-Action Games, Lounges, and Charitable Panels at Sundance

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It’s not easy to attract the biggest names in the film industry to Park City, UT, in the middle of winter, but the Sundance Institute made it happen once again for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, this year Jan. 23 through Feb. 3. The event, which serves as the largest independent film festival in the U.S., offered 12 days of panels, screenings and competitions, but festivalgoers were also treated to a variety of sponsorship activations that catered to the creative community. Here, we take a look at how some of the world’s top brands engaged attendees on the ground. Now, zip up your parka and grab a cup of hot cocoa. We’re headed to the mountains.

Talent agency UTA launched a residency at Sundance this year at an off-site estate where it offered three days of programming to clients and industry professionals. The space, dubbed Sundance House, was converted from a private residence into an event venue featuring panels, lounges, meeting spaces and parties. Highlights included UTA’s annual Brand Leaders Dinner featuring a surprise performance by Ryland James, a celebration of women of color hosted by UTA client Issa Rae, the larger-than-life UTA House Party and an art exhibition featuring photography by Kwame Brathwaite.

Agency: Mirrored Media.

Read the full story HERE.

EventMarketer: Ways Musicians are Leveraging Pop-ups to Connect with Fans

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The late rapper Malcolm James McCormick, better known as Mac Miller, passed away in 2018, but his memory lived on Jan. 17-18 thanks to pop-up events in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and New York City. Timed to the release of his posthumous album, “Circles: Til Infinity,” the events served as museum-style experiences where fans could get a closer look at the artist’s life—and they showed up in droves. The venues were at capacity from opening until closing each day, with lines averaging three to six hours in all three cities. Each pop-up featured a multimedia fan art exhibition, a gallery, exclusive artworks and merchandise, an intimate living room listening experience where attendees could hear “Circles” in Ultra HD, and a chance for fans to leave digital notes. All net proceeds from merch sales benefitted the Mac Miller Fund, an organization that supports young musicians.

Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.

Read the full story at eventmarketer.com

EventMarketer: Stories of the Year, No. 1: Marketers Take a Deep Dive into Gen Z’s Values

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As we entered the new decade, EventMarketer reflected on their top stories of 2019. Coming in first place was Kaylee Hultgren‘s coverage of how marketers are connecting with the elusive consumers of Generation Z. The cover of this story features the “Share Your Voice” wall from the NBCUniversal booth at VidCon 2019, produced by Mirrored Media. The painted wall was part of a larger booth that catered to the Gen Z segment and also featured E! News’ The Rundown, People’s Choice Awards, and NBC News Stay Tuned.

Marketers have had their sights set on engaging millennials for several years, but as Gen Z enters the workforce (and increases its purchasing power), all eyes are now on the younger demographic. Members of this generation grew up eating social media for breakfast. They watch “TV” on YouTube. And when it comes to events, they’re most likely to connect with environmentally-conscious brands and inclusive experiences. Oh, and the Instagram-bait museum? They’re over it.

The Gen Z target can’t recall a time without technology. Generally defined as those born during the late 1990s to the late 2000s, Gen Z is estimated to have a direct spending power of up to $143 billion in the U.S. alone, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan study. A new trend report, compiled by We’re Magnetic, digs into the characteristics and values that define Gen Z—open-mindedness, pragmatism, creative expression, ambition, healthy hedonism and innovation. Here, we explore the report’s “jumping-off” points for marketers, and what it means for your events.

1. Filters are out.

Gen Z consumers aren’t fans of “living-my-best-life” highlights and macro influencers. Nearly 80 percent of them instead trust a company more if the images they use are not photoshopped. They are looking for consistent and relevant content from companies (82 percent), and they trust a brand more if actual customers are used in its marketing. 

2. Instagram museums are out, too.

Gen Z consumers aren’t falling for static, staged photo opportunities anymore. This generation wants to attend pop-ups and snap pics, too, but the key is to include personalization and allow younger consumers the opportunity to co-create with the brand from their unique perspectives.

3. Art is a passion point.

An interest for Gen Z, according to the report, is modern and urban art. So, strategic collabs and interactive and multi-sensory experiences are likely to attract this generation by appealing to their desire for creative expression. Think artist collabs, sneaker drops and exclusive fashion or merch at events.

4. Retail events are effective.

The majority of Gen Z consumers actually prefer to shop in-person, but they prefer retail environments that are more innovative, tactile, high-tech and interactive. Touching and testing the products is a priority for them, with 75 percent saying shopping in physical stores is better than shopping online. That said, they often take their recommendations from social media—the discovery of a brand is what takes place online.

5. You can bet on gaming.

Video game revenue in the U.S. exceeded $35 billion last year. And since Gen Z is fueling much of the growing popularity of gaming and esports, it behooves brands to embrace gaming culture in events with creative integrations, sponsorships and collabs. The Gen Z generation also enjoys the community aspect of gaming, which allows fans to gather IRL at events, tournaments and meet-and-greets—an area of opportunity for event marketers.

6. Inclusivity is important.

Almost 50 percent of Gen Z consumers identify as a racial or ethnic minority, making them the most diverse generation yet. It follows that brand marketing needs to be representative of that diversity if it’s to be taken seriously by this group. More than 60 percent of Gen Z consumers say they like seeing ads featuring diverse families.

7. Intimate festivals are a draw.

Gen Z consumers are ditching the elevated ticket prices at major music festivals for more affordable events that focus on a specific passion point or genre. Though they still love live music, additional interests include food and beverage, health and wellness, urban/modern art and extreme sports. They’re also receptive to events dedicated to a brand they feel devoted to.

8. TikTok is a preferred platform.

TikTok is huge with Gen Z. In fact, 41 percent of users are between the ages of 16 and 24. So, brands considering targeting this demo should consider building a presence there. The platform has a playful feel and is ideal for lighthearted and comedic content as opposed to the finely curated and filtered content found on other social platforms.

9. Co-creation with brands is in.

The majority of Gen Z consumers, 71 percent, believe that brands should help them achieve their personal goals and aspirations. Many of these folks also want to start their own businesses. To tap into this entrepreneurial spirit, brands can offer classes, workshops and networking events and even enlist them to co-create campaigns and product lines.

10. Shareworthy travel experiences are popular.

Gen Z consumers are willing to spend more for immersive, experiential travel, and they prefer to live like locals—particularly when it comes to food. A whopping 94 percent of Gen Z consumers said they research where to eat before they travel. This group also likes to pay it forward: Almost a third of them planned to give experiential holiday gifts last year.

11. Environmentally conscious-food is appreciated.

Three quarters of Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable, “do-good” food. Brands that address issues like food waste, sustainable packaging and cellular agriculture will attract their attention. Consider serving socially-conscious food at pop-ups and events.

12. Lifestyle collabs are hot.

This demographic is more likely to shop brand collaborations—about two thirds compared to half of consumers overall. Luxury and streetwear collabs that produce items at attainable price points appeal to Gen Z consumers’ need for exclusivity. Streetwear collabs are still hot, but lifestyle, home/dorm and travel verticals are gaining in popularity.

13. Personalized product branding is in.

Gen Z consumers purchase products and services that highlight their identity. And 58 percent said they’d pay a premium for such items. Individualized products, experiences and rewards allow the generation to communicate their personal style through branded merchandise. Additionally, 42 percent said they enjoy designing their own products through technology like 3D printers.

14. Customization of personal avatars will continue.

A third of Gen Z consumers said they see no difference between their online and offline selves, and 35 percent say those selves are very similar. It follows that they are comfortable with digital projections of humans, or avatars like Bitmoji, which can be personalized with branded items.

15. AI combined with human interaction is preferred.

The fact that retail spend on AI will reach $7.3 billion by 2022 reflects younger generations’ expectation of personalization in shopping experiences. But customer service with a human touch remains important to Gen Z consumers. Brands employing AI in retail should still incorporate human interaction into an experience.

See this article, along with the rest of the Stories of the Year at EventMarketer.com

EventMarketer: Event Safety: How the Industry is Addressing Heightened Security Risks

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Event safety protocols have always been a priority for event marketers. But in the past couple of years, incidents involving active shooters have presented a new, sobering reality for marketers responsible for planning group gatherings. This heightened threat has led to new training and updated event safety plans to ensure that staff, clients and attendees are not only safer on-site, but that they feel safe, too.

As expected, much of the work on this issue is taking place behind the scenes. We tapped three agency partners to understand what they’re hearing from clients, the best practices they’ve implemented and the technologies that are supporting their efforts.

SECURITY CONSULTANTS

Four years ago, Mirrored Media hired Dustin Burt, owner and managing partner of Superior Protection Consultants, to supplement the agency’s security measures. Since Mirrored frequently produces music events and collaborates with celebrities, the benefit of having a consultant is twofold.

“We have to come up with a safety plan for our guests and for the general public, as well as a safety plan for any talent and celebrities that may be there. It’s being able to have a security consultant that can look at both plans simultaneously and know how they can interact,” says Justin Lefkovitch, founder and CEO of Mirrored Media. Moreover, he says, a consultant will look at the totality of the safety plan, including entry and exit points, ingress and egress for fire safety, an active shooter plan, training staff, adding bag checks, metal detectors, and assessing risk.

According to Burt, communication and collaboration between the various parties, including local police departments and other safety agencies, is paramount.

“Being able to have that line of open communication between everybody plays a huge role,” he says. “It sounds simple, but 90 percent of what we do is just communicating between all the departments that have to work together, which in return will promote a bigger, healthier and safer environment, but also a fun event.”

Mirrored has noticed—and happily welcomed—a shift in perception toward added security measures.

“It’s gone from a nuisance to a benefit,” Lefkovitch says. “We’re seeing a positive shift both from our clients, in their willingness to pay for it and understand why we’re putting such an emphasis on it, as well as from the guests. Now, when you say, ‘If you’re going to have a bag over this size it needs to be clear,’ people say, OK, and they plan accordingly.”

This means sending out additional communications to attendees ahead of the event to set their expectations (for instance, the size of the bag they may carry in)  and make them aware of the added safety measures in order to expedite the process on-site. And in that way, there’s safety in numbers.

Read the full article at eventmarketer.com

EventMarketer: Why the Music Industry is Tapping Into the Power of the Pop-Up

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By: Kait Shea

The allure of the pop-up has permeated a new industry: the music biz. Artists from Slipknot to Madonna are leveraging pop-ups to hype new tours, engage fans and push merchandise in an era when album sales are no longer a musician’s bread and butter. Some feature brand partners, many include interactive experiences and virtually every genre of music has been covered (look no further than this pop-up dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach). For some experiential inspiration, take a look at the following steal-worthy pop-up strategies inspired by the modern music industry.

Khalid

With his sights set on balancing “Instagrammable moments and a tangible item” Khalid promoted his sophomore album “Free Spirit” with a pop-up shop created in partnership with BMW during this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The contemporary soul artist (and BMW driver) helped the automaker outfit an assortment of its vehicles to match the aesthetic of his album cover, which features flames and a wolf, ahead of the event.

During the festival, the “Pit Stop” pop-up offered limited-edition merchandise, a look at the fleet of “Free Spirit”-inspired BMWs and Khalid’s own restored ’70s-era van, which was also designed to match the album cover. In addition to shoppable merch, the pop-up experience featured a claw machine that gave fans a chance to snag exclusive Khalid bandanas (which could be custom embroidered on-site), food trucks, games, music and, on one afternoon—a visit from Khalid himself. Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.

Read the full story from EventMarketer here.

EventMarketer: The 2019 IT LIST: Recognizing the Top 100 Event Agencies

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The experiential marketing industry’s first and only comprehensive guide to the best agency partners in the business

Mirrored Media is honored to announce that we have been named one of Event Marketers top experiential agencies for another consistent year.

The Event Marketer annual It List turns 17 this year, and like all 17-year-olds—it’s going through some changes. The It List is designed to reflect the changing needs of the brands and marketers who use it. So this year, they gave the It List application a facelift—tweaking the questions and selection criteria to better illuminate the agencies that are keeping pace with the industry—and what you need to be successful.

Among updates, they put less emphasis on office culture and years in business and more emphasis on strategic thinking, creative culture and work. “We wanted to understand better how the most innovative companies in events think. We also put more emphasis on new work as well as metrics, giving those companies delivering exceptional results for clients higher marks on our checklist. And we weighed the overall growth of the organizations: their top headlines of their year, awards won, client wins and new hires.

This year’s list is comprised of start-ups and boutiques, legacy shops and monolithic organizations. Some have a few dozen employees, and some, hundreds worldwide. Some specialize in b-to-b, while others, in b-to-c. Some, in a little of both.

As we have remarked over the past 17 years, the It List selection task is no walk in the park. Every year we huddle together for several weeks, scrutinizing newbies and veterans alike, digging through portfolios of work, and tracking the standout programs that captured the industry’s attention—all to provide the brand community the list of who it should be working with this year, and why. “

Check out the Mirrored Media portfolio HERE. See the entire list HERE.

Event Marketer: COACHELLA ROUNDUP: BMW Road to Coachella

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April 19, 2019

Spring’s hottest ticket is about to fringe and flaunt its way into a second weekend. We’re talking Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the trendsetting, celebrity hotspot that boasts some pretty epic experiential marketing programs on top of epic performances. Ahead of the Indio, CA festival’s second and final weekend, April 19-21, we offer our roundup of the brands that have come out to play in the desert.

BMW

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For the last two years, BMW has leveraged key partnerships and a fleet of its vehicles to document what the “Road to Coachella” looks  like for influencers and musicians. To maintain its festival narrative and build on its legacy at this year’s event, the automaker again partnered with influencers and a key artist to deliver Road to Coachella content, but its on-site presence for the first time took the form of a “Pit Stop.”

At the heart of the program was Khalid, a Coachella headliner and the biggest musician BMW has worked with to-date. Riding on the success of the April 5 release of his album “Free Spirit,” the contemporary soul artist (and BMW driver) helped the brand outfit an assortment of its vehicles to match the aesthetic of the album cover, which features flames and a wolf. The theme of the campaign: youthful joy and freedom.

WATCH: KHALID REVEALS HIS OWN ROAD TO COACHELLA

Ahead of Coachella’s opening weekend, BMW’s influencer partners, including personalities like Paris Hilton, Laura Marano and Ross Butler, each headed to Palm Springs in a newly decked-out BMW and, of course, documented their journey on social media. Riding on that initial buzz, Khalid then announced his Road to Coachella Pit Stop to fans online.

The Pit Stop, which was located at the BMW of Palm Springs dealership and was open to guests Thursday through Sunday of Coachella’s opening weekend, was home to an array of exclusive merchandise, the “Free Spirit” fleet of BMWs and Khalid’s own van, also designed to match the artist’s album cover. In addition, there was a claw machine that gave fans a chance to snag custom Khalid Road to Coachella bandanas (which could be custom embroidered on-site), food trucks, games, music and, on Saturday—a visit from Khalid himself. Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.

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Photo courtesy: BMW


Check out the full article HERE on EventMarketer.com

Mirrored Media’s “The Magicians Premiere Tour” On Event Marketer

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“To connect with younger audiences and create buzz for its sexy new show, “The Magicians,” Syfy in January launched a five-campus tour that included social media influencers with millions of followers, a local marketing blitz and shareable on-site photo booth activations. All that, plus students got the chance to watch an advanced screening of the first episode of the series, which has been described as “The Vampire Diaries” meets “Harry Potter,” and hear pop singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha perform “No Broken Hearts,” a new single she released with Nicki Minaj in a trailer to promote the show.

“Our goal with the tour was to generate buzz among some of the most influential Millennials—college students,” says Sara Moscowitz, svp-marketing at Syfy. “The effort was overwhelmingly successful. ‘The Magicians’ is delivering some of the youngest audiences we have seen in years, an age segment who is very selective about what they watch on linear tv.”

Influential social media personalities in each market, such as Brittani Taylor (@brittanitaylor) in Los Angeles or Andre (@blacknerd) in Austin, promoted the tour in original YouTube videos and Instagram posts, then hosted the events and took Snapchats of the audience. A local marketing blitz included campus media, newspapers, radio and on-campus groups. On-site photo sharing, including a red carpet photo booth where students could pose with cut-outs of the cast members and a GIF booth, also extended the tour’s reach. A huge share wall inside each theater aggregated and displayed all the shared content. Students also could make custom t-shirts and munch on branded popcorn and soft drinks before the show.

Besides Los Angeles and Austin, the tour visited campuses in Miami, New Orleans and Tucson. Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.”

Read the whole article HERE on EventMarketer.com