How exciting is it when you see your audience really engaging with your property or Shopping Centre activation? Imagine being able to create that level of excitement and engagement at every activation – what a perfect world that would be!
We understand how important community engagement is when it comes to achieving your property or Shopping Centre goals. Community engagement is after all the strongest indicator of your audience’s feelings about your brand and of course, we all want them to feel great about your brand.
This is why we have drawn on our years of experience to give you our top insights and tips to get your audience excited, engaged and make the most of your next activation campaign.
Let’s get started!
1. Partner with a local charity
There are no doubts that your Centre, property or business is making valuable contributions to your local community. A great way to amplify your contribution is to partner with a local charity. We recommend teaming up with an organisation that is actively making a positive difference in a way that directly impacts your local community.
2. Connect with a local school, community group or sporting team
This is a great way to show your audience that you care about what matters to them and you are in touch with the community to which your organisation belongs. Bringing a local school, community group or sporting team into your activation and making them a part of it in a unique and creative way will result in greater engagement through their active community.
3. Connect with a local artist
Who is creating a buzz in your local area? Is there a local artist, performer or photographer that hails from the area where your Centre or property is located? This is a great opportunity to use your space to showcase their work and talent. Supporting your local community is key to gaining greater engagement, this will also encourage new and repeat visitation and longer dwell times. An activation showcasing their work and your space is the perfect combination for community engagement.
4. Engage local influencers
Have you just had a recent renovation or had a new retailer open up? There is no better time to undertake an activation and no better way to increase community engagement than to engage with local influencers. They already have an established audience that is immersed in their content and this is an opportunity to have them immersed in yours.
5. Tie your brand to stories that resonate
Your activation doesn’t always need to be directly related to your brand, often the best activations are those that are a little left of centre. Those that create a story that resonates, yet is cleverly tied to your brand is a great recipe for creating an impactful activation that leads to a whole new level of community engagement. For example, there could be an organisation seeking to raise awareness of their cause, providing your space for their activation ties their story to your brand, resulting in new visitors, greater exposure and engagement with your centre or property.
6. Promote Social Good
With the social media take over, we live in a time where awareness and emphasis on social good is paramount. People want to feel like they are a part of this movement and this tip will have an incredible impact on your community engagement. Imagine your property filled with adorable guide dog puppies or an educational and fun school holiday activation that has kids making puppets using all recycled and reusable materials. An activation centred around social good ticks all the boxes for creating successful community engagement!
7. Make it last
How amazing is it when you create an activation that continues to generate an impact long after the physical activation is finished? This is exactly what you can do when you incorporate a digital online component into your brand activation. This elevates your community engagement and carries it over to your online presence. Introducing an online component allows the community engagement that was generated at the activation to continue to be amplified, creating longevity and keeping your brand top of mind long after your successful activation is completed.
We are passionate about community engagement and see it is a vital ingredient to ensuring your activation goals are exceeded. We would love to hear how these tips work for you.
Have you seen Minority Report? No, me neither! All I know is that it’s all about futuristic stuff and looked too cool to be real. Check out the trailer!
Well, the good news is that the technology is already available and could be the WOW factor for your next brand activation campaign.
Whilst we are not as geek as it seems we are all about new technology and are in love with the endless possibilities it brings to the activation space. And let’s be real it is pretty fun too!
From mixed reality to brainwave neurosensing (I know right?!) and everything in between, we are always exploring and seeking ways to integrate new technology into the brand experience to maximise community engagement.
Let us expand a little on some of our favourite new technologies that we are excited to get creative with.
One of our favourites is gesture recognition. Imagine giving your audience the power to interact with your activation at the swipe of their hand and discover a new renovation while it is still in the making or create their own virtual journey through your property. I know I would like to engage with something that cool and this is just a few of the many possibilities!
Looking for a creative way for your retailers to do a giveaway? Then look no further than the digital vending machine – we love these! Perfect for launching a new product, these digital vending machines create an interactive experience where your audience can receive the giveaway through facial recognition. Check out the example below to see how clever this is and how it works. It will blow your mind!
Our clients are particularly loving the addition of augmented reality (AR) into their brand activation and community engagement events and so are we!
Augmented reality elevated our client, Fostering Connections, campaign to a new level of engagement when we used AR in a playful way during Foster Care week. The lobby of 530 Collins Street was abuzz with beautiful graphics that played real-life stories from foster carers when people scanned the images with their phones, helping to break down the myths about becoming a foster parent.
AR is also amazing for gaining insights into your audience and measuring the success of your activation. In addition to being able to gauge key demographics of your audience, it provides an excellent opportunity for data collection.
This is just one of the many inspired and innovative ways new technology can create a greater impact in the world of activation. Leading to greater community engagement, longer dwell times and increased brand awareness that leaves a lasting impact.
We have touched on a few of the exciting technology options that can be personalised to achieve your desired outcomes, aid in gaining awareness, increased interaction and brand recognition as well as social amplification.
The possibilities are limitless and we are excited about the creative and strategic opportunities that exist through clever implementation with technology. We will never look at a screen, a vending machine, an iPad or space the same way again and we hope you won’t either.
Nothing makes me want to break the rules more than when I see a Guide Dog and know I’m not allowed to pat it. Thanks to my best day of the job so far, I got to fulfil this dream all while ringing in the Lunar New Year!
As 2018 kicks off I am reflecting on all the fabulous events and brand experiences we have been involved with in the past 12 months. One of my personal favourites was Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day in Melbourne’s Federation Square in August.
The bar has been raised, and the standard Shopping Centre has flourished into a destination for activations. Here at ENGAGE we are ahead of the game, and know how to design and produce a successful Shopping Centre activation in order to achieve community engagement, and keep that newly formed spark of the Shopping Centre alive and current.
Not to toot our own (biased) horn, but as abrand events agency, here at ENGAGEwe are known for our love of going above and beyond for our Brand Activations. We don’t believe in the ‘less is more’ rule, despite Coco Chanel advising us to “…look in the mirror and take one thing off.” We look at our floor plans and put one more thing on.
MORE is most definitely MORE!
More WOW leads to more ‘Ooohs and ahhs’ and more consumers talking about your brand.
Like the clichéd Instagram quote “fill your life with experiences, not things”, being an experiential agency, we live by this motto and can see the results daily! Life is about experiences. It’s how we grow, interact and create memories. It’s what drives our passion and incidentally, drivers business. Despite the materialistic society we live in, “experiences, no matter how good or bad, holds a purpose.” And creating experiences is what the ENGAGE team thrive on!
How do you create a successful community event if it doesn’t engage the community? Is it really a success for the community, if it doesn’t engage them? Here at ENGAGE, we believe the best community events engage the local community authentically and sensitively from the very initial stages. Like the noodles in a Laksa soup, the two combined is where the magic happens! The two needs to be together for an engaged community (or if we are still talking about Laska, a happy tummy!)