Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

How to Find the Right Influencer to Promote Your Event

Fashion Rocks Day 2_21

Growing up, we turned to trendsetters to help us decide if low-rise jeans were in, which Spice Girl should be our favorite (an impossible decision), and what brands we should be wearing. While we’ve waved goodbye to the 90s, many of us still turn to influential people to keep us in the loop.

Influencer marketing allows you to gain access to a large following through a social media personality.  If you want a fresh way to boost awareness of your brand event, take a quick sec and learn how to find the right influencer to promote it.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is the newest form of celeb endorsement – and it’s totally worth trying. Brands can collaborate with top social media influencers who have a ton of followers, high engagement rates on their posts, and a persuasive voice. Influencer marketing offers brands a savvy way to promote events, increase sales, and spread their message to a wider audience.

How to get started

#1 Define your audience, and your influencer

To make sure you pick an influencer that targets the same audience as you, you’ll need to understand where your ideal consumer hangs out online. For example, if you’re hosting a food festival, your foodie audience will likely be on following influencers on Insta that serve up pictures of chic dining experiences and mouthwatering meal preps.

#2 Do your research!

Once you know the type of influencer that inspire and excite your audience, it’s time to do some research to find a perfect fit. As the saying goes in Hollywood, “It’s all about who you know”, so don’t be afraid to reach out to connections that can introduce you to people.

However, you can also use the powers of the Internet to search and rank influential social media accounts. Just remember that follower counts aren’t everything: It’s easy to see through vanity metrics to find an influencer that covers your niche and really engages with their followers.

#3 Reach out to your influencers

While it’s all well and good to have a quick stalk of an influencers page (we all do it), you’ll want to avoid liking all of their posts for the past 8 months. Instead, play it cool and put strategic planning behind your initial outreach. If you can, mingle at industry events so you can interact with influencers IRL and spark genuine and authentic interactions. Oh, and keep tabs on who you have and haven’t asked to collaborate with to avoid any cringeworthy mishaps.

#4 Offer incentives

A collaboration with an influencer is a two-way street. While we don’t mean to sound like The Godfather, you’ll essentially need to make them an offer they can’t refuse. This could be monetary compensation, freebies, or VIP invites to your event.

Make sure to clarify your expectations too, and outline the ROI you want to achieve and the number of posts you expect in the weeks leading up to your event.

If you need any help connecting with amazing influencers, we can hook you up! Here at this is LESTER, we’ve been well and truly *blessed* to work with amazing, inspiring and powerful influencers. We’d love to help you target niche audiences in authentic ways, so let’s schedule a call to get started!

 

Stay Ahead of Event Trends this Fall

Fullscreen04As summer festivities come to a close, it’s time to turn our attention to fall. And this year, there’s a lot to look forward to! Jam-packed with show-stopping events, campaigns, and all things Fashion Week, the brand events world during fall is fast-paced, focused and FANTASTIC. However, with so many brands delivering a constant stream of spectacular stunts and shows, it’s important to stay ahead of the crowd. If you want a leg up in the industry, take a look at our pick of the hottest event trends this fall.

#1 Unplugging for a while

We all understand the importance of social media marketing when it comes to the long-term success of an event. However, while we live in a world that’s turned on by being ‘on’, it’s important that we learn to take a break from our devices every once in a while.

Stand out this season by allowing your guests to momentarily disconnect from the digital world at your event. By promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and all-round good vibes, you can focus instead on building genuine connections with your consumers (YAY!).

#2 Creative booth designs

Boring booth setups are getting a makeover. Unsurprisingly, consumers gravitate towards displays that capture their attention and have that wow factor. Brands are thinking outside the box – or booth – with their designs, to captivate consumers and show off what they’re all about. Expect to see technological installations, creative interactive experiences and all things wild, whacky and (hopefully) immersive with booth designs this fall.

#3 Influencer collabs

Social media influencers are the new celebrity. With huge online authority and a loyal following, influencers generate seriously phenomenal audience interaction.  This fall, we’ll see more influencer-brand collabs than ever before – predominantly across Instagram and YouTube. If you want to reach astronomical levels of brand engagement, consider connecting with an influencer that will appeal to your demographic. Just make sure to think creatively and strategically to find someone who is consistent with the message of your brand.

#4 Personalization

Consumers are expecting more from brands. Plain and simple. This means that brands are having to consistently develop new, exciting ways to connect with their audience. From retail to events, brands are tapping into the increasing demand for personalization. Expect to see a rise in direct interactions, user-generated art, gamifying messages, and brands putting the power into consumers hands – now that’s engagement!

#5 Thoughtful sustainability

This trend we can get behind! Globally, there’s been huge changes in society’s attitude towards reusing and recycling – and we’re super excited about it. As a brand, it’s important to show your awareness of social issues, and prove that you are committed to promoting and practicing sustainability and resourcefulness. Tap into your moral conscience at your next event with recyclable name tags, sustainable fair-trade food options, and good, green choices.

We hope these fall trends give you some serious inspo for your next event. If you’re in search of a little creative direction, here at This is LESTER we’re always one step ahead of event trends. We excel at creating extraordinary design concepts and branded experiences that make a statement. If you’re ready to stand out, please get in touch to see what we’re all about.

The Benefits of Brand Giveaways

brand-giveaways

Consumers LOVE giveaways. And seeing as they offer a unique, exciting and innovative way for brands to stand out from the crowd- we love them too! In the US, 8 out of 10 consumers have up to 10 promotional products somewhere in their home. High-quality products entice and attract recipients (for obvious reasons), and are a cost-effective and nifty way to encourage consumer loyalty. If you want to maximize brand awareness and make sure the world knows of all the wonderful things you have to offer, brand giveaways will do just the trick. Here’s why:

Giveaways create lasting impressions

When you spend on traditional or online advertising you pay per impression, or per click. These adverts may lead to a few sales, but it’s unlikely they’re going to resonate with your audience.

With giveaways, it’s a different story. The irresistible treats and freebies that you gift to consumers will have much more impact than any advertisement. Provided your products are useful, high-quality, and have a unique flair and a little pizazz, they will almost certainly secure an exclusive spot inside someone’s home, car or workspace. By having your brand constantly represented in your consumers daily lives, anyone in visual range will be immediately reminded of it – especially if you decorate your product or samples with your brand’s own signature style.

They’re a safe and affordable option

Small businesses can be reluctant to take risks. And we get it. Unlike other forms of marketing however, giveaways are a safe and inexpensive marketing technique that hold very few nasty surprises. Before you begin, it’s easy to pre-determine the budget simply by working out the cost of the prize, and how much you spend marketing it. With low expenses and fantastically high impact, even the littlest freebies serve up a generous ROI – and amen to that!

They help to grow your business

If you really want to leave a lasting impression with both new and existing consumers, business cards probably won’t quite do the trick.

Similar to a business card, giveaways provide all the necessary details and contact information about your brand. However, they also allow you to create a totally unique and creative experience for your consumers that will really set you above your competitors. They open the door to a whole load of brand visibility, brand advocacy and a healthy dose of excitement.

They encourage consumer loyalty

Ideally, a brand wants all of its consumers to feel valued.  So what better way to spread the love than with a meaningful and generous gift? Giveaways help brands to go above and beyond when demonstrating their appreciation for their loyal consumers. In return, giveaways spark genuine engagement with new customers and inspire consumer loyalty. Just remember that consumers will associate how kickass your gift is with the caliber of your brand, so give out high-quality, dazzling gifts that truly represent your brand and everything that it stands for.

Here at this is LESTER, we’re an experiential and event marketing agency based in New York and LA that’s dedicated to spreading the love. We blend generosity and a whopping dollop of creativity to create brand giveaways that have an impact, on both consumers and brands – connect with us to find out more!

What This Festival Season Taught Us About Engaging With Consumers

festivals-engagement

It’s official. Beyoncé reigned supreme this festival season with her flawless performance at Coachella – or rather, Beychella – back in April. But while she took the crown this year, there were also many standout festival performances from top brands. Tuning into a coveted group of people with TONS of purchasing power, brands were getting creative, getting inspired, and getting exposure with their festival marketing techniques. As festival season (sadly) draws to a close and the festi blues kick in, let’s look back at some of the most popular ways brands were sparking engagement this season.

But first, why should your brand bother with festivals?

Attracting a blend of fashionistas and hardcore fans, festivals offer a unique and unparalleled opportunity for brands to interact with their ideal demographic. With millennials, influencers, bloggers and celebs amongst the star-studded crowds, there’s no better platform to get your brand out there and get people talking.

How do you engage consumers?

Giveaways

Festivals are a feast for the senses. But with SO much going on, standing out from the crowd takes a little innovation. Brands tapped into attendees needs by offering freebies and giveaways with a festival theme. From body wipes, to festival beauty essentials, many were using freebies to entice and allure the crowds, spark initial conversation and garner astronomical engagement.

A hands-on approach

We strongly believe that everyone has a little creative flair. And it looks like top brands are feeling this way too. Many brands were opting for unique and exciting hands-on experiences to offer greater engagement with consumers – and their senses. One of the most common was art-centric experiential activations, and interactive art installations that required consumers to show off their creativity.

Teaming up

Brands often fall into the trap of having the same marketing technique every year, with the same old tent and the same old reliable freebies. However, in order to spark engagement, it’s important to mix it up. And this summer, brands were teaming up with brands that they wouldn’t normally associate with to form iconic collabs. Partnerships strengthen a brand and give audiences the opportunity to get to know them in a different context, and brands were coming up with inspired ways to join forces, much to the surprise and delight of festival goers.

By being inclusive but not intrusive

The best way to engage consumers is to provide quick experiences that are authentic for both the event and the brand. 90% of the time, people attend a festival for the music. They’re not there for a brand. So there’s a fine line between enhancing the consumer experience, and dominating it. The brands that consistently play an important role at a festival year after year are the ones that weave themselves into the fabric of the festival.

If you’re curious about how to spark engagement and get people to bond with your brand, please get in touch! Here at this is LESTER, we do brand experiences, and we do them exquisitely. Alternately, if you’ve encountered any phenomenal brands that left a meaningful mark this summer please connect with us on social media– we’d love to see what inspired and impressed you!

Oops…5 Common Mistakes in Experiential Marketing

Experiential is the most exciting, memorable and mesmerizing way to increase connections and elevate brand perception. But in the smooth and smoky words of Ella Fitzgerald, if you want to get a little, you’ve got to give a little! It takes a lot of effort to engage an audience and capture their attention (in a GOOD way). And if you don’t give it all you’ve got, guests can leave your event feeling worse about your brand than they did before. We want the world to know some of the most common mistakes that occur on the road to experiential success, and how you can avoid them at your next event.

#1 Planning for the best

Creating a brand experience without a thorough plan is similar to venturing into the Amazon without a map (we’re assuming). On your experiential journey, preparation is everything. During an event, things are bound to go awry – speakers break, people are late, it happens. But don’t sweat it. So long as you prepare for the unexpected by planning for the best AND for the worst, you can keep your cool. Oh, and having a kickass team on your side ready to take on the world helps too.

#2 Dodgy scheduling

One of the biggest sins we’ve seen in the business is a poorly designed attendee journey. Brands are keen to give guests as many incredible takeaways as possible, and often make the mistake of bombarding guests with experiential. But this is a brand event, not a boot camp.

Spatial design is essential when it comes to planning the layout of an event. By focusing on how attendees will flow through your dazzling displays, you can combine a feast for the senses with relaxed travel-time windows that will give your guests time to take it all in.

#3 Zero follow up

So you’ve worked your butt off, you’ve delivered an incredibly flawless event, and you’ve packed up all of your props and décor. But hold up! It’s not over yet.

There are UNLIMITED benefits to extending your strategy beyond the event – and keeping the buzz alive. By listening to the online discussion surrounding your do, and by engaging with your audience’s feedback, you can gain valuable information for future marketing strategies.

#4 Forgetting the why

What’s a pool party without an Instagram-chic pool float these days?

In the midst of inspired planning, it’s easy to be tempted by giant inflatables, donut walls, or 20ft-high DJ booths. We love incorporating the latest experiential trends into our events, but our campaigns are more than just clever design concepts. When bringing a brand to life, it’s important to make sure every creative decision has a purpose. To make your message pop, determine the takeaway message of your event at the earliest stage of your planning. And if in doubt, keep it simple and clear as crystal.

#5 Having too many cooks in the kitchen

About that keeping it simple thing…the more companies you involve in the process, the greater the chances of mistakes and delays. While experiential is all about taking risks, you should always play it safe with the team you choose.

And that’s where we come in. Here at this is LESTER we’re a diverse and creative bunch that have been in the business for 15 years, and there ain’t no stopping us! From brand experience strategies to event management, we plan and execute unforgettable events from start to finish and beyond. If you’re ready to get inspired, please hit us up.

How to Engage Millennials at Your Next Brand Event

Millennials are savvy when it comes to marketing. They’ve got their ad blockers on, skip every commercial, and are generally dismissive of traditional marketing efforts. But we get it- it’s a big, bad world out there. Who can blame them for being wary of marketing from big corporations that spill oil, kill trees and damage the planet?

Millennials are influencing consumer-brand relationships unlike any other generation, and they’re forcing brands to rethink marketing strategies. With a budding sense of adventure and a desire for excitement, millennials are attracted to brands that are powerful, passionate, and pack a punch! Whether it’s a branded VIP party, an exclusive sneak peak, or an edgy-chic Soho exhibition, an event is a great way to share your brand with the millennial ‘it’ crowd. Here’s how to ignite engagement at your brand experience and hit all the right notes.

Know what your company stands for

A brand should always convey honesty, transparency and authenticity in everything it does. Millennials have an uncanny ability to spot a phony from a mile off, and they won’t stick around if a brand’s message appears to be inconsistent. To connect with millennials on a deeper level, you need to be sincere and honest about your actions and intentions. It’s important to challenge your own mindset, think outside the box, and align your message with something that truly matters.

Honesty goes a long way, and earlier in the year we teamed up with Journelle for their Valentine’s day Flower Bomb Campaign to showcase what an amazing and genuine brand they are. Our handsome cupids took to the streets of NYC on custom made flower-bikes to hand out smiles, bouquets, winks and Valentine’s wishes.

Was it simple? Yes. But that was the beauty of it! Our stunt was sincere, genuine and designed purely to spread the love – for the people of NYC and for Journelle!

Inject a dose of goodness into the world

Millennials value inclusivity, equality, diversity and social justice, and expect brands to be inclusive regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical ability. In fact, millennials are far more likely to engage with brands who integrate corporate social responsibility into their business models. They’re paying attention to how you create products and the impact you have on the world.

We love how passionate millennials are about social change. While they’re checking your brand, it’s important that you check yourself too! Are you socially responsible? And does your content reflect diversity and inclusivity across the board?

Mega corporations like Starbucks, Google and Ben and Jerry’s are all on a mission to make the world a better place. So, find a cause that your brand truly believes in, and demonstrate that you’re dedicated to doing good.

Let the consumers do the talking

So, you’ve got a great brand. You’ve got a great ethos. And you’re creating genuine and memorable experiences for your consumers. Yay – what’s next?

Instead of marketing your brand at your audience, join forces and market with them. Millennials trust fellow consumer opinions, so encourage your consumers to share their own experiences with your brand online. For a little incentive, we love handing out exclusive freebies and brand giveaways at our events – it’s all about adding that personal touch!

Millennials are not unreachable. They’re switched on, and keen to connect with authentic brands that value genuine consumer-brand relationships over sales. Here at this is LESTER, we get millennials. We work with them, we are them, and we know just how to connect with them. Did we mention we also specialize in throwing out of this world brand experiences? So please get in contact, We’d love to discuss all things millennial.

How to Optimize Your Events for Instagram

It’s hard to imagine a world without Instagram. But 8 years ago – before hashtags, filters and livestreams – if a guest shared a brand event socially it was an added bonus, and not a brand objective.

Oh, how times have changed! Instagram now has over 800 million monthly active users and boasts a brand engagement rate 10 times higher than Facebook. While we’re all about focusing on the here and now, we always create brand experiences with a long-term strategy in mind. We consider post-event social engagements and user-generated content throughout our creative process, and always deliver on spectacular props and installations. Here’s how you can tweak your own event to include those all-important #insta-worthy moments.

#1 Brand your environment

It’s important to include a few sensational design elements and Insta-focal points at your event so people can immediately identify it on social media. What’s great about these installations is that you have complete creative control, so go wild! For some quick inspiration, booth installations make for super-chic photo opportunities, and double up as luxurious and beautiful hang-out spots for your guests. Alternatively, much like Kanye West and Ralph Lauren, we think a statement flower wall is bloomin’ marvelous!

We wanted our iHeart Media Ultimate Pool Party to be instantly recognizable, so we created the ultimate Instagrammable 3-D step and repeat backdrop out of inflatable inner tubes. Combined with beautiful people, amazing world-renowned artists, and VIP parties, this event was every Instagrammers dream. Our installations and funky atmospheric set pieces were snapped and shared all over social media- just check out the pics for yourself!

#2 Make it personal

By including small personalized features throughout our events, you can indulge your guests selfie-obsessions whilst promoting your own brand- it’s genius, right? Even something as small as cute table-setting place cards or photo-booth print-outs will customize their experience and give them a tangible takeaway and a connection that lasts beyond the event.

#3 Ensure good lighting

You know those photos on Instagram that seem to glow, with soft lighting and stunning golden effects? They’re not a coincidence, and most of the time were taken just before sunset, at golden hour. Instagram users love to make the most of natural lighting, and if a picture is dark and grainy most people won’t even consider uploading it.

As Louis Kahn said, ‘a room is not a room without natural light’– and he knows what’s up! If you’re hosting a day event, leverage skylights and large windows to maximize your natural light. And for evening events, shine lights from above to optimize your space for photos.

#4 Be meticulous

One thing that is out of your control is that people will be snapping pics everywhere. Even if they don’t notice a stained tablecloth or dusty corner, you can be assured that people on social media certainly will. To combat this, we micromanage to the max and make sure every inch of your event space is looking flawless and “on brand”. We bring a meticulousness to every creative decision, to create spaces that are designed to be shared socially.

Here at this is LESTER, we’re more than just Insta-lovers. We understand how to optimize events for social media in a way that allows you to regain control over how your event is portrayed online. We thrive at the opportunity to create iconic props and outstanding décor. For custom-built installations, or for advice on how to give your event that je ne sais quoi glamour, you can slide into our DMs right here!

The Power of Pop-Up Stores

 

2017 was a strong year for pop-up stores. Kendrick Lamar was doing it. Kylie Jenner was doing it. And many other savvy individuals were taking their brands to the streets of America to tap into a new genre of consumer engagement. But that was last year. Since then, temporary pop-ups have become more popular than ever before. Hold onto your wigs, because the pop-up industry is now worth over $50 billion- yes, that’s with a b!!

From temporary in-store installations to stand alone kiosks, it’s safe to say that pop-ups are more than just a fad. And it’s easy to see why. They spark an open dialogue between your brand and your consumer, and transform retail transactions into engaging customer experiences. Despite being temporary in nature, here’s why they’re sticking around for good.

They create a buzz. Offline.

Ok, while camping out for 48 hours to secure the latest Yeezy’s may seem a little intense, there’s a reason people are willing to go to such extremes for new releases.

In one word? Exclusivity.

People like to feel like pioneers, setting the pace for new trends and technologies. And pop-up stores tap into this sense of urgency. Unlike online, where consumers can create and come back to a ‘wish list’ of items that tempt them for months, pop-ups offer no such luxury. Customers are well aware that items won’t be around forever, meaning they’re eager to purchase them right away.

Pop-ups are also an awesome way to get a little experimental. They serve as the perfect place to demo products, test out a new stream of revenue, and big up new releases. And with a few funky live demos and alluring free samples, they allow all of this while generating memorable, exciting engagements for your customer. 

What better way to sell yourself?

Consumers are hungry for tangible brand experiences in our digitally fragmented world- and who can blame them?! A pop-up store is the best way to show that you’re an interesting brand with a lil bit of spice. By sparking an open dialogue outside of the digital realm, you can disrupt the status-quo of the consumer-brand relationship.

The store front is a piece of marketing in itself. People will have walked past the spot you choose everyday, so what are you going to do to make them stop? Untraditional is completely in line with pop-up culture, so when you start designing, think creatively, think boldly, and think passionately.

They’re a safe venture

It may sound like music to your ears when we say that pop-up stores have very little financial risk (cue the celebrations!!). You only need to obtain a short-term lease for a month or two, and if you don’t quite get the results you were aiming for in that time, then it’s easy to move onto the next challenge.

With a bit of pre-planning, you can launch your store alongside a popular event or holiday that you know appeals to your target demographic.

We’ve seen pop-up stores in trailers, abandoned warehouses, or even al fresco on the streets of NYC. If you can’t nail down a single location – take inspiration from food trucks and go mobile! This will give you virtually unlimited flexibility to maximize your revenue and get your product out to as many people as possible.

So long as you deliver a unique and enticing pop-up experience, there’s very little that can go wrong. At this is LESTER, we’re a creative bunch that love the unlimited potential of the pop-up venue. Whether it’s a humble food truck or an industrial warehouse, we’ll get to work transforming blank canvases into pieces of art that pack a punch! We’d love to connect with you and show you what we’re all about – you can find all of our contact details here.

Maximise the ROI of Your Brand Experience

We know that brand experiences aren’t cheap. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth every penny.

Done right, physical experiences are much more of a worthy investment than digital experiences. They have the potential to reach a wider audience, deliver a higher Return on Investment, and create amazing in-person engagements. By extending the life of carefully crafted, one-off stunts, it’s easy to maximise the ROI of an experiential event, and reap long-term benefits. Here’s how:

#1 Make a great lasting impression

We love to reminisce, and share our favourite experiential event gems with our friends and followers. While we love our work, it’s important that consumers love it more. To continue leveraging social engagements, and getting post-event ROI, we make sure to leave guests with a final impression that will inspire them to get tweeting.

A nice gesture goes a long way! By making a quick speech thanking guests for coming, or having staff saying goodbye to them individually at exists, you can give your attendees that final little buzz. Gift bags or brand merchandise giveaways are also great for creating great last impressions (but more on that another time…).

#2 Make shareable content

Live events combined with social engagements are like the golden ticket when it comes to a brand’s ROI. Post-event tweets, Instagrams, and Facebook posts will continue to strengthen your (already budding!) relationship with guests – and expose your brand to a whole new audience.

To create amazing content, always make sure that it fits in with the objectives of your event, and that it will enrich your consumer’s life in some way. Content with quality, relevant images and videos unsurprisingly gets shared a whole lot more than blurry snaps, so don’t scrimp on a great photographer or videographer.

#3 Track your earned media

We love self-love! By all means, blog about the success of your event to your hearts content. However, if you’re the only one talking about your event online, your message will soon fail to resonate with your audience.

Try gaining the attention of the press to really maximise your ROI. All it takes is telling the right story to the right editors and bloggers. Then, you can track the number of articles that mention your event, and see how many people your earned media efforts are reaching.

#4 Measure your brand experience

There’s a widespread rumour that experiential isn’t measurable.

Do. NOT. LISTEN.

The truth is, brand experiences are easy to evaluate and analyse, so long as you develop a clear measurement strategy from the start. Dig into your business goals, and think about the effect you want the event to have on brand awareness and advocacy. Then, with an end goal in mind, you can measure attendee participation, social activity, leads and conversation ratios, and get rewarding and rich customer data.

Here at this is LESTER, we develop long-term brand strategies that make sure you get maximum use out of your brand experience. We design events with intention, and use our creativity to exceed your business goals and expectations. To talk all things business, or to get creative, please get in contact! We also create awesome post-event content- just check out our reel.

Brand Experiences: Why Bother?

From global experiential marketing campaigns, to intimate, exclusive affairs, experiential is everywhere. And we’re over the moon that everyone is suddenly catching on to the best marketing strategy around.

Besides allowing us to satisfy our insatiable creative cravings, the brand experience delivers an excellent and long-term Return on Investment. Here’s why brand experiences matter, and why they deserve the hype they’re getting.

You can create a cohesive brand image

Consumers are smart. They’re freethinkers. So hiding behind a computer screen telling them how great a brand is just isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you need to show them.

A brand’s reputation is defined by the positive and negative experiences of customers at every touch point. Which means that every single touchpoint matters.

Contrary to the old (and wise!) “don’t judge a book by its cover” phrase, your company is scrutinized from cover to cover everyday. It’s important to match a flawless real-life service with a brand’s online excellence to create a cohesive, positive image of a brand. If there’s a disconnect between the advertised message and the consumer’s actual experience, then it’s game over.

You’ll create a genuine customer-brand bond, that will greatly leverage your brand

We’re all driven by experiences – from great ones, to ones that still make us cringe to this day. We use experiences to help us determine our favourite people, restaurants, cities – and brands. In fact, consumers today value experiences over material possessions (and rightly so!).

By creating enriching, memorable consumer-brand interactions that your consumers can capture and share, you’ll nail the customer experience, and prove that you’re a brand that just gets it.

FYI, remember that every new positive interaction changes the way people think. It’s never too late to improve a brand experience!

And, you’ll garner great long-term ROI

We know that planning and executing a successful brand experience is not a cheap venture, but it’s worth every penny. Brand experiences blow traditional advertising channels out of the water- and deliver the greatest long-term ROI.

After an experience, 98% of consumers are more inclined to buy your product or use your services, and 65% of marketers see a direct sales boost from experiential marketing. And they’re the kind of figures we can get behind!

While these experiences usually only involve a few hundred or thousand people, never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

If you give guests something worth talking about, they’ll share their experience with an average of 17 people. These people then tell another 1.5, and the snowballing continues. This organic promotion is completely free (yay!), and the most rewarding and valuable adverting medium, as consumers trust their friends.

Getting that mega brand recognition doesn’t happen overnight. A kickass brand experience takes a lot of meticulous planning. But sweating the small stuff is what we do! Here at this is LESTER, we honour our creativity every step of the way, and design killer experiences that garner great long-term results. Drop us an email or give us a bell for anything experiential- we’d love to get started on something great!

Why Virtual Reality is a Brand Event Essential

Above all, experiential events must be immersive. We’re sure you’ve heard this before, but we can’t reiterate it enough! An immersive and engaging experience is an unforgettable one.

We jump at the chance to integrate virtual reality into our events, as it allows us to quite literally immerse our guests in carefully, custom-designed worlds. According to Garner, the definitive guide to emerging technologies, virtual reality isn’t going to become mainstream for 5-10 years. However, the event industry loves to stay ahead of the crowd, and we’ve already welcomed VR technology as a huge trend that isn’t going anywhere.

Virtual and augmented realities are leading the charge for creating unique experiences for guest, and are a fantastic way to ensure a healthy ROI. Here’s everything to know about these headset gizmos, and why they’re the perfect addition to your event.

What actually is virtual reality?

Virtual reality (VR) is artificial, computer-generated simulation, and it’s as amazing as it sounds. It’s an immersive (there’s that word again) experience that uses headsets to block out real-world visions. VR allows you to transport your guests – minus the flight costs- to any destination, and give them a 360-degree view of entirely new worlds.

Augmented reality (AR) is a little different, as it marries computer-generated images and reality. A great example is Pokemon Go: even though a rare Pokemon wasn’t actually hiding somewhere in Central Park in 2016, AR technology blended the real and virtual worlds to make it appear so – and people went WILD for it.

Why should we use it?

 

#1 For memorable brand experiences

Millennials today value experiences over material items- and we couldn’t agree more! However, a spot in someone’s memory bank is a precious and privileged spot to have, so you’re going to have to earn it. Providing a custom-made experience unlike any other is a good way to start, as you can leave your guests with a unique, unforgettable memory that they’ll treasure as one of their greatest.

We love using VR in our events, and always make sure it’s fitting with the overall message of your brand.

Recently we teamed up with The Annenberg Foundation to kick-off Opening Night at the Annenberg Space for Photography, launching the ‘Cuba Is’ exhibit. We know how to run wild with a theme, and were eager to take the Cuban-inspired event to a whole other dimension.

We used VR to give guests the feeling of strolling along Cuba’s soulful seaside boulevard, Malecon. And people loved it! It was an amazingly fun, fresh and exciting addition to our event, and really helped to create an everlasting impression.

#2 For increased engagement levels

VR gives you a unique way to demo your products, and provides users with first-hand experience of how awesome your brand is. Using VR for product demos actually increases sales by 135%– and the facts speak for themselves.

We believe that giving guests the opportunity to fully engage with your brand or product is the best way for them to realise how badass it is. Plus, as a society we love to (over)share, so if you create an event worth sharing, people won’t be able to stop themselves from spreading the word about how much fun they had.

#3 For marketing automation

If you’re running an experiential marketing campaign, you’re going to want analyse the results and see how well your efforts paid off.

When working with traditional live marketing campaigns, like giveaways and samples, it’s really hard to capture enough consumer data to work with. VR makes it incredibly easy to capture consumer data, before during and after the experience. You can track how many people participate, how long they spend engaged with your VR experience, and whether they keep coming back for more and engage with it again.

Being an evolving technology, VR has a tremendous potential for creating distinguishing experiences. We use VR to create rich, life-enhancing experiences that connect people to one another. We make sure each VR experience is tailored specifically to your brand, and will help create an unforgettable event. Our LA and NY teams at this is LESTER love mixing the real and virtual world to create memorable, extraordinary design concepts and brand experiences. If you are as captivated by all things techy as we are, hit us up! We can’t wait to get creating together.

How to Find the Perfect NYC Event Space

The Met Gala, the 2018 GRAMMY Awards, and Times Square New Years Eve: All iconic events in their own right known for their decadence, A-list guest-list, and, most importantly, outrageous venues. If you want your brand experience to be equally fantastic (and who says it can’t?!), you’ll need to find an equally impressive event space.

In New York, we are spoilt for choice. We love NYC’s unbeatable skyline, and are forever conjuring up new, unforgettable ways to transform such stunning architecture. However, unless you’re completely in the know, finding THE perfect venue can be a chore. Here’s what we always consider (and you should too!) before locking down the hottest spots.

Why does it matter?

Whether it’s a black-tie affair, campaign launch, or sultry, raucous afterparty, finding the perfect location elevates an event from great to incredible.

Finding a distinctive and exceptional event space shows you appreciate all the support for your brand, and want to do something to repay the favour. Marketing, spatial design and custom fabrication can only come after the venue is booked, so we recommend getting ahead and looking around ASAP (no pressure).

Whereabouts should you look?

Location is key! And as much as a remote island in the Mediterranean sounds appealing, you need to pick somewhere that’s easily accessible to your guests.

Unfortunately, if you’re throwing a celebration in the middle of NYC you’ll need to consider a dreaded reality…traffic. We’d never want you to have to cancel a guest speaker because they’re stuck across town, and that’s why we recommend being as meticulous as possible with your planning.

In 2012, we created a global media event to celebrate Cedella Marley teaming up with Puma to design her first clothing line for the Jamaican Olympic Team. With many outstanding venues in the running, we knew we needed a central location to accommodate our guests busy with Fashion Week (like Vogue Paris, Vogue Milan, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, W).

The venue we chose was stark white, but it’s location made it the perfect spot, and we quickly Jamaica-fied it with wayfinding decals and graffiti-style creative instalments to create something spectacular.

While it was easy to transform a Manhattan venue into a Jamaican haven, it would have been impossible to physically move it. Had we gone with a venue further afield, many of our guests would have missed out on our Jamaican celebration, so make sure to prioritize location, and make it as easy as possible for guests to attend.

Consider capacity

No artist wants their highly anticipated exhibition ruined by overcrowding and general chaos, right? Not only will this ruin the vibe, but it will also breach some serious fire and safety codes.

When choosing your location, you’ll need to consider the size and layout to make sure you can fill it up just right. Walk around your faves with this handy checklist, and try and mentally map out your event as you go:

Make sure to also request illustrated floor plans from the get-go, as this will make it so much easier when it comes to designing installations later on.

Make sure it’s got that WOW factor

We’re not saying every event must be held in a French Renaissance castle (although there’s an idea), but you do want your event space to give off a certain je ne sais quoi.

We understand how important it is to stay on brand, so look at the existing décor of potential venues to see if they match with your own brand’s image or message. The less the ambiance matches the desired feel of your event, the more you’ll have to transform it.

Ultimately, only you know when the venue is right for you. Here at this is LESTER, we love to meet and exceed expectations, and we’re bursting with unconventional, fantastic ways to re-invent traditional event spaces with insane décor and installations.  We pay attention to every single detail of an event to create seamless, spectacular experiences that are unique to you. If you have any queries about booking an event space here in our fabulous city, or would like advice on how to create the venue of your dreams, give us a bell, or drop into our NY office on 243 5th Ave for a chat- the coffee is on us!

The Summer 2018 Event Trends you Don’t Want to Miss

 

The interior design of an event is the first impression that guests get  of a brand when they walk in. So we want to nail it.

Filling a room with assorted décor (you know- party streamers, balloons and paper plates) just isn’t going to cut it in 2018! An event can only be made perfect by an equally perfect design concept, which expresses the personality or message of a brand in a cohesive and flawless way.

We love coming up with innovative and badass concepts, and are savvy at understanding, predicting, and creating new design trends. If you want to be in the loop on upcoming event trends, check out our pick of the hottest styles that are going to be popping up everywhere this summer.

 

It’s all about the #tb

Grab your flares for this one as we’re throwing it back. It’s as if the Bee Gees knew ‘70s trends would be stayin alive, as retro décor is back this summer- bigger, better and more vibrant than ever.

Think bold prints, structural glass, and an abundance of velvet. The electric aesthetics of the ‘80s are also energetically bursting onto the scene, and we’re here for this retro revival! 2018 isn’t just a copycat of decades past: It’s all about a fresh take, and spicing up vintage eras with a modern flair, so expect the unexpected.

 

2018’s bold color code

The past few years have been dominated by neutral colors: In 2016 Pantone named Rose Quartz and Serenity as its Color(s) of the Year, and we all saw millennial pink dominating fashion, restaurants…and all of our Insta feeds.

Well that’s all a-changing this summer, as our favorite bright colors are back in the game. Event design is going BOLD, and we’re forgoing creamy pastels for warm ‘70s and vivid ‘80s tones. Gold is (rightfully) regaining its crown as the color of the season, and we’re seeing it mixed with bold purples, warm yellows and bright oranges for an iconic, luxurious look.

 

Think non-traditional spaces

Finally we get to say goodbye to conventional conference rooms, and hello to unique, intimate venues. This summer we’re thinking outside the box/building, as unconventional spaces are becoming increasingly popular. Try an al fresco poolside celebration or sunlit after-party to exude effortless glamour, and make your event a truly memorable experience.

We are thrilled with the sudden excitement over exclusive, sensational locations. We’ve worked in some fantastic venues, including 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where we designed and produced an action-packed day to get people excited for the NBC Locals Only Campaign.

It was epic, and we really appreciated being able to personalize and transform such classic architecture with over 500 feet of hand-drawn cityscapes. The event garnered a lot of positive interest, and the stunning venue could not have been more perfect for creating an unforgettable experience.

 

Think all things techy

We love interweaving technological installations into our brand experiences, and the event world seems to agree. With event tech becoming more reasonably priced (yay!), expect to see a steady rise of gadgets and gizmos at events.

While drones are nothing new, they’ve rightfully earned their spot at summer soirees. With new advanced controls and an impressive quality capture service, they’re great for event documentation, and getting stunning aerial shots.

The other hot trend is Artificial Intelligence. AI has been hyped up for years, but it’s only really starting to have its moment. We can’t promise robot bartenders, but more brands are using Chatbots to speedily answer attendee questions, both during the event, and before it on apps like Facebook Messenger. Nearly all of us already use Siri or Amazon Echo, so this seems like a natural step.

 

And finally, the most unusual trend of the season…

Pets.

When goat yoga burst onto the scene as the most adorable fitness fad ever, we had no idea what was in store. Our beloved household pets are now getting a taste of experiential action, as people are being encouraged to bring their pets to parties, and even festivals.

We’ve all heard of dog and cat cafes – where you can enjoy a coffee while basking in the company of furry friends – but next time you attend an event, it’s worth checking to see if your four-legged companion is also on the guest list.

As much as we love event industry trends, they never control us. Here at this is LESTER, we are creators, and we’re constantly pioneering new and spectacular ways to showcase your brand. If you need creative direction, our LA and NY teams are innovative geniuses and custom fabrication whizzes. We’d love to bring your fantastical event and campaign ideas to life, so get in contact- all of our deets are here.

 

How to Get Started with Experiential Marketing Campaigns

 

Brand events and other work related dos have got something of a bad rep. You know the ones we’re talking about – stuffy conference rooms, name badges, and a weird mix of cheese and pineapple canapés!

Well, the days of awkward event small talk are over!! Experiential marketing is blowing up right now, and it can be your most powerful tool to transform your events or marketing campaigns from nada to Prada. Done well, you can create the most badass, creative experience for your audience that will completely bowl them over and increase their affinity to your brand. Win win, right?

We’re not claiming that the following pearls of wisdom are going to magically transform you into an experiential design guru. Nevertheless, there are a few basics you can, nay, SHOULD, learn before you dive into creating an immersive and unforgettable brand experience.

#1 What’s the point?

If you’ve pulled your hair out trying to put an event or campaign together chances are you started out without identifying a clear goal. We know experiential design is having a moment, but jumping on the bandwagon just to blend in could seriously backfire or at least cost you a pretty penny and not give you a lot in return.

Instead, develop a strategy and have a clear vision in your mind. Sit yourself down and ask what you hope to achieve, and the lasting impact you want this experience to have. Nailing down the prime objective will help you in deciding how best to promote your product, service or brand.

As an example, if your goal is to prove how comfortable your new super amazing bowling shoe is, then giving people a chance to try the shoe seems like a logical way to showcase this benefit. Perhaps a pop-up bowling lane at a popular sporting event where people can try the shoe for themselves.

Alternatively, if the goal is to convince people your bowling shoe is indestructible – perhaps a demonstration with fire may be more appropriate.

Once you have a concept and core message, the rest of the glitz and glamour can follow.

 

#2 Don’t be afraid to get creative

You definitely want your brand experience to be a stand out event. So don’t hesitate to get a little crazy.

For our project with Task Rabbit, an online marketplace for handymen services, we built a tiny home in 72 hours right in the middle of New York’s Meatpacking District. It was disruptive, informative and generated a lot of positive interest. Including some fabulous free publicity from awesome publications like CNN Money and inhabitat. In the end our beautiful tiny home was auctioned off raising $26K for charity.

This entirely unique project was a huge success and showcased Task Rabbit’s offerings perfectly while building brand awareness and interest. A little creativity can go a long way so try to think outside the box.

 

#3 Get techy with it

The physical and digital worlds are no longer mutually exclusive – don’t we live in amazing times?? Technological installations are a great way to fully immerse your guests in the experience you’ve created, and captivate all of their senses.

We honestly live for augmented and virtual reality experiences. They’re really cool and deliver high emotional engagement, which means they’re pretty great for creating memorable brand experiences. You can decide how intrusive you want these to be at your event: go low-key with a VR game in the corner, or take note from Rihanna’s recent Savage X Fenty launch and go full on extra with holographic installations of yourself all over the venue – we won’t judge.

 

#4 Spread the love

The most realistic and immersive experiences get the greatest emotional response, so give your guests a valuable takeaway and create an overwhelmingly positive lasting impression.

We’re not saying make it so emotional that they start weeping, but if they leave feeling their lives have been enriched in some way, you will have improved their connection with your brand and got yourself some loyal supporters. Pay attention to every little detail so your attendees have a smooth and untarnished experience.

 

#5 Trust the Pros

This might all sound like a lot. But, in the famous words of the king of pop MJ, “You are not alone”. Here at this is LESTER, our teams in LA and New York are experiential marketing masterminds. We specialize in creating unforgettable, extraordinary design concepts and branded experiences, and can help turn your simple ideas into jaw-dropping events and creations. If you’re ready to get creative, inspired, and maybe a lil wild, we would LOVE to hear from you. You can also check out some of our previous work here.

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

80% of Americans believe women are guaranteed equal rights in the Constitution.

Newsflash. They aren’t.


WHAT IS THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (ERA)?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

First proposed in Congress in 1923, the ERA is the only way to provide legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. In 1982, it fell three states short of the 38 needed for ratification. It remains the only clear-cut way to protect against all legal gender-based discrimination in the US, and is supported by 94% of Americans (source).

Without the ERA, women are not federally guaranteed basic rights, like:
equal pay / protection against gender-based violence / reproductive health care / bodily safety

You can TAKE ACTION Here: https://www.passtheera.co/tools, and use these amazing assets to spread the word!


THANK YOU Enso.co
, for bringing awareness and taking action towards this extremely important cause. We were very pleased for founder, Lesley Morphy, to take part.

https://www.passtheera.co/

Farmville & Amex Collaboration

SO. MUCH. FUN. This project was da cutest. Amex was thrilled at their partnership with Farmville and we had the pleasure of bringing this indredibly dynmaic tree to life.
Have a look at our process!

Sage Advice

Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with.
And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes.
And the changes are what you become.
Change the outcome by changing your circle.

Seth Godin

this is OUR CULTURE

The ‘this is LESTER’ team are artists first. Creativity is our lifeblood. We’re fueled by a cocktail of inspiration, imagination and audacity. We take time to understand your brand or client, the message and mission and find experiential ways to give that meaning and impact in the real world.

this is Dreaming

First and foremost, we’re a team of creatives that think in terms of what could be, not what has come before.

this is Doing

We’ve been in the business 15 years. We know what it takes to make an experience go off without a hitch. We sweat the small stuff and are pedantic when it comes to production.

this is Real

We show up to our work with all that we’ve got. We’re raw, real and brimming with passion for what we do and a commitment to honoring our creativity… and having fun a little fun as we go.

this is Connected

We don’t work in a vacuum. We get off on collaborating with top artists, originators and influencers to heighten the creative vision.

Subscribe to our Newsletter: