How To Use Facebook Apps At Events To Promote SponsorsLast week I was fortunate enough to attend Empire by Speigelworld at Crown Rooftop in Melbourne. As well as being a totally amazing spectacular – I highly recommend this show to anyone that likes to be entertained – it also provided a great example of how businesses can use Facebook Apps at events to promote sponsors, therefore adding value to the partnership arrangement.
Here’s what they did.

Product Placement

Upon entry to the venue there was a Mercedes-Benz A Class parked on the rooftop that you couldn’t help but see as you approached the entry to the Speigelworld tent. Inside the Mercedes were images of people that changed regularly. There was quite a buzz around the car with people eagerly watching the rotation of images of people sitting in the drivers and laughing and chatting about the people that appeared to be driving the car. I was intrigued, but eager to find my seat for the show, so made a mental note to come back later and check it out.

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Speigelworld Mecedes-Benz Facebook Photo App_How To Use Facebook Apps At Events To Promote SponsorsImmediately after the show I returned to see what all the fuss was about. At this stage I noticed the two large touch screens on either sides of the vehicle and a rather friendly lady actively encouraging people to come and check out those touch screens and coaching them through what they needed to do. It was at this stage that I realised that if I had my photo taken at one of these screens, then my image would appear inside the car as though I was driving the vehicle. Who wouldn’t want to get behind the wheel of such a great vehicle, even if it was virtually? So I stood in line and waited my turn to have a go.

Social Media Integration & Lead Generation

Once my photo was taken I was prompted to enter my email address so that my photo would be posted to the Mercedes-Benz AU Facebook Page and a notification sent to me when it was live. I also had the option here to receive promotional information from Mercedes-Benz if I wanted to. After entering my details, I quickly returned to the front of the vehicle and within a couple of minutes, there I was behind the wheel of the car for all to see.

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Facebook App & Social Sharing

The following day I received an email advising that my image was live on the Mercedes-Benz Facebook Page, with a link to the App where I could view it.

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This App was “fan-gated”, so I had to Like the Page first in order to view this image. Once I Liked the Page I was able to not only view my image, but save it and share it with my friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I chose to share this with my friends via Facebook and that provided them with a Link to the Facebook App, where they too could see my image and all the other images taken, provided they Liked the Mercedes-Benz Facebook Page first.

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Driving Traffic To Website

In addition to social media integration, Mercedes-Benz also used this promotion to drive interested participants to their website for more information on the vehicle. This was integrated both into the email that was sent and the Facebook App itself.

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Partnership Win/Win

Whilst Mercedes gained an ongoing relationship with potential customers by gaining Facebook Likes and email addresses, Speigelworld also benefited from this partnership. It was able to associate it’s brand with a premium product, it provided an additional form of entertainment at it’s event, adding to the overall experience of the evening in a positive manner and their event was further promoted via the buzz created when social sharing occurred.
In addition to this, the @EmpireOz Twitter handle and hashtag were included as part of this attraction. There are likely to be many further win/win arrangements, but these were the most obvious on the night.

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Conversion To Sale

Now I am not saying that I am anymore likely to purchase a Mercedes-Benz A Class as a result of this promotion – there are a few additional barriers to me purchasing such a vehicle than just my desire. However, what they have achieved as a result of this promotion is to get me to put up my hand as at least being interested in their vehicle. They can now develop a relationship with me over time via my Facebook newsfeed and email address until the point in time when I am ready to purchase, if this ever happens. So time will tell how successful they are in converting me to a paying customer. One thing is for certain, at this stage they are probably one step ahead of BMW in gaining me as a customer.
Selling is a process, not an event and I would say that Mercedes-Benz has done well to partner with Speigelworld to gain the opportunity to commence that process with a new audience using the power of social media.
Have you used social media to provide greater value to your event sponsors? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.