Adelante Live – A Look Back at the Past 10 Years

10 year badge 2015It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago I started Adelante Live. At the time, I had left the modeling industry where I had been working for several years as a commercial print agent and I was working as a field manager and product specialist. I began providing staff for various events and promotions and decided to turn it into a full service business. Ten years later, we’re still growing and excited to see what the future brings.

I’ve seen a lot of changes in the past ten years in the experiential marketing industry. But even today, the same basic concept holds true- a consumer’s experience with the brand influences their feelings about the brand and therefore their likelihood of purchase. For us, the most important and influential part of that experience is the brand ambassador. A brand ambassador who educates the consumer on the product and creates excitement for the brand and promotion makes the real difference in that consumer interaction. Brands rely on brand ambassadors to introduce their products and services to consumers in the retail environment, at festivals, in restaurants, in grocery stores, and now even in their own homes. Something as simple as being handed a free sample or coupon by a smiling, happy brand ambassador has turned potential customers into lifelong brand advocates. The face to face interaction between the brand and consumer is still the core of what we do.

So what has changed over the past 10 years?

Use of Technology: I remember when we filled out lead cards and surveys on paper! From handheld devices and tablets, to interactive games to virtual-reality activations at events, technology has been the big game changer for this industry. Experiential marketers embrace it, promote it and are constantly trying to find cool ways interact with their consumers, which means embracing the latest technological trends.

Growth of Smartphones: Cell phones and cell phone plans have come such a long way since 2005. I distinctly remember talent couldn’t receive text messages because of the price per text or some people who still didn’t have a cell phone. Today 90% of adults have a cell phone and 58% of adults have a smartphone. These smartphones have the best cameras, email capabilities, calendars, and apps so that talent in the field can stay organized and consumers can interact with brands directly from their phone. In order to stay current, mobile version of our web platform so that talent can easily submit their availability, confirm or look for their event details quickly at a glance. Making sure that everything is smartphone compatible and optimized has been a huge change in our industry.

Explosion of Social Media: Back in 2005 the hot social media platform was MySpace. But brands and businesses weren’t really using it to connect with their consumers. Today MySpace has totally changed directions into the entertainment arena and the big players are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also add Pinterest, Tumbler and LinkedIn to this list and you can see the need for brands to connect with their consumers across all of these social media platforms. Experiential marketing has become one of the tools for expanding brand social networks. So many activations today have a specialized hashtag or interaction that allows consumers to post a photo directly to their social media page and like the brand on Facebook. Brand ambassadors are so social media savvy that brands are requesting more often to use the ambassadors’ networks to continue the promotion before during and after the event execution. As a company we use social media today to keep in touch with our clients and talent, to recruit in new markets and also to continue to promote and support our clients’ events and promotions.

Online Presence: Where would we be today is a business without our web platform the A-live Apex? We invested heavily in the early years in a proprietary online platform that could bring together our talent, clients and our internal scheduling capabilities to one place in order to provide the best service to both our talent and our clients. We’ve built on the system over the past 10 years to continue to stay current with our clients’ needs such as adding reporting capabilities as well as an online order form. In today’s fast-paced world, it is necessary to be able to communicate with everyone in the most quick and efficient manner as possible. Our online platform has allowed us to do that as well as has allowed us to grow significantly. I consider it to be one of the most important pieces of our company and we’re proud of what we can offer because of the A-live Apex platform.

Online marketing today has significantly expanded and experiential marketing is tied into that in many ways. Typically at promotions or events, there is an online component or a call to action that drives consumers back to a specific promotional website address or contest that happens online. Experiential marketing ties together the online marketing tactics for the brand with the real world experience that events and promotions provide. It’s really exciting to see where online marketing is going and the creative ways markers will continue to try to connect these two worlds through experiential.

 A Time to Say Thank You

I could not have done this without the help of multiple people throughout the years. From the introductions that have been made on my behalf which led to clients to talent saying a good word about what we do and helping to promote and represent our company in the best light, we are so thankful. To our team of advisers and vendors that helped us build and expand our business over the years, all of them helped make us what we are today. And for that, I am forever grateful.

To my employees over the years and today, especially to Jon Drago and Kristen Brown, I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and support. Kristen has been with us for six years and Jon for three years and that long-term dedication really makes a difference in a small business. We set goals, we made plans to achieve them and we were successful. They offer the best client service and are always looking out for the interests of the business while being creative and offering ways to improve so we continue to stay competitive.

We’ve been lucky to have so many long-term clients we’ve worked with since 2005. I believe that’s a testament to the quality of service we provide. I believe in long-term relationships that grow and evolve and I’m happy that we’ve been able to see our clients businesses also grow. We’ve worked on multiple EX award winning programs and other programs you may not have heard about but made a big impact in their communities. We’re proud to have played a part in so many successful marketing programs.

I need to thank the talent that we have worked with over the past 10 years. We are excited that this industry has grown so much and has been able to provide opportunities for these dynamic and personable people to represent the world’s greatest brands. Promotions and events need outgoing people with excellent communication skills to go out into the field to meet consumers and be the face of the brands they represent. What our talent does is special and important to us, our clients and the brands. Thank you again.

The most important thing I’ve learned in the past 10 years is that you can’t do it alone. You need a strong support team around you to be a successful small business owner. I have had the guidance and support of so many people over the years and I couldn’t be more grateful for their time and attention. Their advice helped me grow both the business and as a person. I’d also like to thank my friends and family who sometimes went to the back burner while I dealt with the business or a huge project. They always understood as they saw my vision for this company. I appreciate their love and support through the years and respect them so much for their encouragement and understanding.

Here’s to the next 10 years…

With Thanks,

Janice

Janice Rodriguez is the President and Agency Director of Adelante Live. Please follow her on Twitter @jvrodrig1029 or on Google+. You can view her full bio here.

6 Tips for Promotional Talent to Stay Healthy This Winter

Follow These Simple Tips to Keep Promoting All Winter Long

Adelante Live Sick Brand AmbassadorThere seems to be no end in sight for this long winter. In order to get through this cold and flu season and still maintain your health, you must take care of yourself. As a brand ambassador who is dealing with the public at every promotion, you’re in a prime position to get sick or to get someone else sick. Here are some common sense tips on how to stay healthy so you can keep working as a promotional talent this winter.

Wash Your Hands!

One of the most important and easiest things you can do to stay healthy this cold and flu season is to wash your hands often. Most doctors recommend that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds- which is as long as singing “Happy Birthday’ twice.

 

And if You Can’t Wash Your Hands…

If you are working a promotion or event, taking frequent bathroom breaks is probably not going to be an option. So the second best thing is to use hand sanitizer often. There are plenty of travel size and hand sanitizer spray that can easily fit in your pocket. Use these (discreetly) in between consumers especially if you are shaking hands and/or handing out samples. Remember whenever you are sampling food (and some beverages), you should always have on gloves on so please change those often as well.

 

Exercise and Eat Right

It’s easy when it’s cold outside to overindulge on those creamy soups and other comfort foods that make us feel warm and toasty. Please keep in mind that those comfort foods are often very high in calories and carbohydrates. Make sure you’re eating right and get your full serving daily of vegetables and fruits. These vitamin rich foods will also support your immune system. In addition to overeating, this time of year it’s easy to pack on extra pounds by general inactivity. The key is to keep up with your normal exercise routine or make adjustments if you can’t workout or take walks outside. No matter how cold it is outside, there are plenty of exercises you can do inside your home. Check out these great at-home workout for women and men.

 

Cough or Sneeze in the Crook of your ElbowAdelante Live - Sneeze into elbow

Avoid coughing or sneezing directly in your hands. Please remember you’ll be shaking hands with people, touching products and premiums and also potentially samples of food or drinks. When you feel a sneeze coming on, turn away from people and sneeze in your elbow. Also make sure you have tissues readily available and use that hand sanitizer!

 

Feel the Sniffles Coming On? Rest!

Don’t you love it when someone tells you they’re feeling sick, then you see photos on Facebook of them partying? If you start to feel that little tickle in your throat – listen to your body. Go to bed. Don’t drink alcohol. Stay warm and inside (if you can).  Consider vitamin C or zinc to stave off or lessen the duration of a cold.

 

Already Sick or Just Got Over a Cold? CLEAN!

If you are sick or have just recovered, make sure you clean the hard surfaces of your house and don’t forget to clean your keyboard and cell phone. Those are items that you constantly touch and often forget to clean. Use an antibacterial all purpose cleaner to wipe down remotes, knobs, doors and other handles around your house and car. This helps you from spreading it to other family members and from making yourself sick again! Here are additional tips on what to clean during/after an illness.

 

We know its cold outside but do us and yourself a favor and take care. There are already fewer promos in the winter season (particularly in the colder climates) than in the summer so it’s harder for promotional talent to get booked this time of year. Therefore it’s really important to stay health so you can jump on those opportunities.   Also use over the counter medicines to combat your symptoms and be very careful before calling out because you are ‘sick’. We don’t want you to get others sick by any means, but there is a huge difference between needing a cough drop and having the flu.

Happy promoting and stay healthy!

Janice Rodriguez is the President and Agency Director of Adelante Live. Please follow her on Twitter @jvrodrig1029, Facebook or  Google+. You can view her full bio here. She just got over a cold that knocked her out for a week- so she knows what she’s talking about (although a little too late).

Checkers Restaurants

How Checkers Reaches their Consumers Where They Work and Play

Consumers Where They Work and Play

Since February 2012, Adelante Live, Inc. has executed an extensive Street Team and Brand Ambassador program for the Checkers/Rally’s brand throughout various U.S. cities. These events have included promotions of specific Limited Time Offers (LTOs) on food and beverage items, Grand Openings, and Grand Re-Openings of restaurants across 10 states. Our Street Teams have also been responsible for driving traffic to stores during targeted time frames such as lunchtime or late-night hours. The right mix of talent, promotional offer, brand training, and promotion location selection have allowed our Checkers/Rally’s Street Teams to grow to a success unseen by other forms of media. And although we can’t reveal the exact ingredients that make these Street Teams so successful, we can show the results of our recipe.

Late Night Promotion
Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania- 2012

During a 7-week program that promoted new late-night hours and a discounted menu during February 2012 and March 2012, our Street Teams had amazing results. Their main goal was to attend to pre-selected events and other heavy populated locations to interact with consumers and remind them that Checkers/Rally’s was the place to eat for those late night cravings.

KEY STATS

Street Teams hit major events in the urban centers of Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans and Philadelphia for 2.5 weeks each over a 7 week period Over 30 Checkers/Rally Brand Ambassadors booked across the five markets Approximately 100,000 TOTAL brand impressions Approximately 34,700 TOTAL consumer in-depth interactions
Over 50,350 Coupons hand delivered to consumers Bottom line: Being able to personally interact with consumers via street team marketing has increased awareness of the Checkers/Rally’s brand in their respective markets which in turn have increased store visits.

Grand Openings/Re-openings – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, New York - 2013

As Checkers is opening new restaurant locations and remodeling older stores, they have utilized our services to help promote and execute their Grand Openings (GO) events. We provide a combination of Street Teams on the days leading up to the GO, Brand Ambassadors at the event  and  family friendly entertainers such as DJs, face painters, balloon artists, and caricaturists to create buzz and execute a successful and well attended event. Street Team members canvass a targeted area around the store’s location with the main goal being to drive traffic to the store and event.  While speaking with consumers in the days leading up to the GO, they distribute coupons for a special offer and generate excitement about the upcoming event and the special entertainment to be provided. The one-on-one contact with consumers creates a personal invitation from Checkers/Rally’s and promotes the specific location. The locations for the teams to visit are hand selected by Adelante Live, Inc. based on a variety of criteria. Our years of experience providing street teams has allowed us to create a formula by which we schedule and staff street teams to maximize exposure to consumers. The Grand Opening events are continuing through the end of 2013 and have been extremely successful and well attended. Franchise owners have confirmed that coupons distributed as a result of our street team and GO events have a higher redemption rate than other type of coupons. Checkers/Rally's continues to use our services to promote specific restaurant locations and create life-long fans of the brand.

ALI Success Story: Checkers Restaurants

How Checkers Reaches their Consumers Where They Work and Play

Since February 2012, Adelante Live, Inc. has executed an extensive Street Team and Brand Ambassador program for the Checkers/Rally’s brand throughout various U.S. cities. These events have included promotions of specific Limited Time Offers (LTOs) on food and beverage items, Grand Openings, and Grand Re-Openings of restaurants across 10 states. Our Street Teams have also been responsible for driving traffic to stores during targeted time frames such as lunchtime or late-night hours.

The right mix of talent, promotional offer, brand training, and promotion location selection have allowed our Checkers/Rally’s Street Teams to grow to a success unseen by other forms of media. And although we can’t reveal the exact ingredients that make these Street Teams so successful, we can show the results of our recipe.

Late Night Promotion – Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania- 2012

During a 7-week program that promoted new late-night hours and a discounted menu during February 2012 and March 2012, our Street Teams had amazing results. Their main goal was to attend to pre-selected events and other heavy populated locations to interact with consumers and remind them that Checkers/Rally’s was the place to eat for Checkers Street Team 2012those late night cravings.

Key Stats:

  • Street Teams hit major events in the urban centers of Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans and Philadelphia for 2.5 weeks each over a 7 week period
  • Over 30 Checkers/Rally Brand Ambassadors booked across the five markets
  • Approximately 100,000 TOTAL brand impressions
  • Approximately 34,700 TOTAL consumer in-depth interactions
  • Over 50,350 Coupons hand delivered to consumers

Bottom line: Being able to personally interact with consumers via street team marketing has increased awareness of the Checkers/Rally’s brand in their respective markets which in turn have increased store visits.

 

Grand Openings/Re-openings – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, New York – 2013

As Checkers is opening new restaurant locations and remodeling older stores, they have utilized our services to help promote and execute their Grand Openings (GO) events. We provide a combination of Street Teams on the days leading up to the GO, Brand Ambassadors at the event  and  family friendly entertainers such as DJs, face painters, balloon artists, and caricaturists to create buzz and execute a successful and well attended event.

Checkers Grand Opening Events - Adelante Live IncStreet Team members canvass a targeted area around the store’s location with the main goal being to drive traffic to the store and event.  While speaking with consumers in the days leading up to the GO, they distribute coupons for a special offer and generate excitement about the upcoming event and the special entertainment to be provided. The one-on-one contact with consumers creates a personal invitation from Checkers/Rally’s and promotes the specific location.

The locations for the teams to visit are hand selected by Adelante Live, Inc. based on a variety of criteria. Our years of experience providing street teams has allowed us to create a formula by which we schedule and staff street teams to maximize exposure to Checkers Grand Opening Eventconsumers.

The Grand Opening events are continuing through the end of 2013 and have been extremely successful and well attended. Franchise owners have confirmed that coupons distributed as a result of our street team and GO events have a higher redemption rate than other type of coupons. Checkers/Rally’s continues to use our services to promote specific restaurant locations and create life-long fans of the brand.

 

Promotional Talent: 6 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Booked

Not Getting Booked? Adelante LiveIncrease your chances of being booked for an event by following these 6 quick and simple steps.

“Why am I not getting booked??”

I hear that question as least once a week.

You believe you are the perfect fit for the position. You have the right look, attitude and personality. Your experience is on par – or even surpasses – what is being requested. And you are available! But yet you still didn’t get booked.

So why is that?

Let’s explore a few reasons, shall we?

1) Your photos are from 1972.

Well, ok, maybe they’re not that old, but nonetheless, you are obviously wearing a style that is outdated. When we see the same photos in your profile for three years, we know it’s time for you to update them. Always make sure that your photos are current. They should show your latest hairstyle, cut, and color, and current shape and size. Often times clients want a conservative look, so if your photos still show the blue-streak phase that you went through two years ago, chances are you won’t get booked. Got those braces off? Great! Now upload a photo showing off your brand new smile. I cannot stress enough how much a good photo lends to your booking strategy!

2) The only experience that you listed is dog sitting for your mom.

I sort through dozens of profiles on a daily basis. And among the criteria that I look for is prior promotional experience. If you have no prior experience listed in your profile, you may get passed over and never get booked. Now, this doesn’t mean that someone new to the promotional business won’t get a shot. I’ve given several newbies a chance to prove themselves – and they’ve now become some of my best “go to” people. However, if you don’t put forth the effort to at least list SOMETHING in the experience section of your profile, why should I call you? If your profile isn’t complete, why would I believe that your event reporting will be complete?

Put forth the effort! Even if you think that your experience isn’t worth listing…LIST IT. We have several sections for different types of work experience from child care to serving.

And if you’re someone who has a ton of varied experience, be sure to list a good well-rounded sampling of your work.

Bottom Line: The more experience listed in your profile, regardless of what it is, the better chance you have of receiving a call for an interview and getting booked.

3) You live near Atlanta but keep applying for positions in Albuquerque.

We know who you are. You live in Georgia. And you apply for everything. Even for events in states that you’ve never visited.

Kudos to you for wanting to explore! I love someone with a traveler’s spirit. However, not when it comes to getting booked for a three-hour promotion.

Please be sure to thoroughly check each listing including the locations. If you are someone who continually applies to events in random cities, we will eventually notice that and it will make us think twice about booking you because we are never really sure where you are, Waldo.

4) Your contact information is incorrect.

Do I really need to expand on this? Update it. Right. Now.

5) “Fashionably late” has no place in promotions.

If you already have a history with us and that history shows multiple late appearances, it will affect your future bookings. And that’s something that everyone should keep in mind when committing to a booking. You are promising us that you will not only show up and do your best, but you will be there on time. Don’t be afraid to ask your agency if your prior experience with them is satisfactory. We are very honest with our talent. If I see a prior issue in a profile, chances are I will ask you about it during our interview.

6) No call, No show, No way!

Before you decide to “no show” to your next confirmed booking, you may want to stop and think about the ramifications. If you take anything away from this blog, let it be this point:

I WILL NEVER BOOK YOU AGAIN IF YOU NO CALL/NO SHOW TO AN EVENT.

I do not take no calls/no shows lightly (or personally). However, it serves as a grave injustice to our client. And that is something that I do not tolerate.

Mind you, I’m not generalizing cancellations here. Things happen. Family emergencies, traffic accidents, illness…we all have things that come up at the last minute that are out of our control. But should the need arise for you to cancel, please have the professionalism to call your account manager at your agency and notify them of the situation.

A no call/no show will likely lead to dismissal from our agency – and none of us want that. We place a tremendous value on you, our talent. Without you, there would be no us. Please show us that same courtesy.

Do it Today!

Following these six simple guidelines could help you get your foot in the door, set you up for an interview, and finally get booked! So take the time NOW, get out there and land that event you’ve been applying for!

Don’t hesitate – head over to www.adelantelive.com and log in to your A-Live Agenda profile now. Update your photos, your prior event history, and your current metro so you will show up in our searches and be emailed the right opportunities.

If you’re new to us, please visit  https://www.adelantelive.com/register/join-the-team/ to set up your new profile using the tips listed above!

Adelante Live - Account Manager - Lisa Marino - ThumbnailLisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. To learn more about Lisa, please read her full bio here. When she’s not scheduling promotional talent for ALI, she can be found singing along with Air Supply at their concert. (Seriously.)

7 Tips for Promo Talent: How to Write a Better Event Recap Report

7 Tips for Writing a Better Event Recap Report- Adelante Live blog7 Must-Do’s On Your Next Event or Promo Recap

Last week, my colleague Lisa Marino wrote a post about the vital information brands and agencies should obtain from an event recap report. I wanted to take the opportunity with this post to address the event talent who are asked to fill out such event recap reports. The reports are vital to assessing the success of an event and they must be filled out completely and accurately. This is your opportunity to let your agency and the brand now how the event was received by consumers. Also the report can be used to relay any on site challenges or suggestions on how to improve interactions. Here are some tips to keep in mind when completing a recap report for an event, demo, or promotion.

Take Your Time

We always recommend that our talent bring a printed copy of the report to the event or promotion so they can take notes and write down consumer quotes. Taking notes steadily throughout the day will help you answer the questions on the report so you don’t have to rely on your memory. Double check your counts when taking beginning and ending inventory of product samples or promotional materials. These numbers are important for logistics and budget reasons.

Take time to think about what you are writing and remember your audience. Your agency and the brand client will be reading your comments and remarks. Remember your “voice” and make sure you are writing in a professional manner. The wording you use should be more formal than the way you typically speak. Remember the report is an important element and should be considered a part of your event. Clients are more likely to request specific talent who present themselves in a professional way. The way you write your recap reports is taken into important consideration.

Write Legibly

As mentioned above, we suggest that you make a copy of report for notes. This is especially important if your report must be hand written due to the request of a store stamp or on site manager signature. You will want one copy for notes and to edit comments and then the clean copy should be neatly written and contain the  necessary signatures. If you make a mistake, use whiteout or just put one line through the error- don’t scribble or cross out. Hand written reports need to be very neat so they can be read by the client. Take special care when scanning hand written reports and check the image view before sending to your agency to ensure they are readable!

Use Microsoft Word to Type Answers and Copy/Paste

If you have to submit an online recap report, we recommend that you write answers first in a word processing program so you can easily edit your responses and check your spelling and grammar. Another advantage of using Word or a similar program, is that you can start and save your document and walk away from it if you have to. Some online reports time-out after a while or if you accidentally leave the page, you will lose everything you wrote! Avoid this by using Word to type out your answers and then copy and paste into the online form.

Write in Complete Sentences and Give Insightful Feedback

Do not give one word answers or phrases to questions that require a little more depth. For example, a report we have with a food brand asks, “What other types of products would the consumer like to see us make?”. Some talent just submit: “Candy, drinks, crackers.”

A more professional well thought-out response would be:

“Several female consumers who enjoyed the product were interested in crackers or another type of crispy snack. A few younger consumers thought it would be great to have these flavors in a candy bar. A middle-aged gentleman suggested a protein shake type drink in the chocolate mint flavor. He thought if it tasted more like a dessert, more people would be interested in the product.”

This answer gives more detail into what type of consumer suggested what products and gave very specific feedback. This type of information is important for brands to hear as it gives them direct insight into what their consumer is looking for.

Another example: 

Question: What was the store traffic during your demo?

Typical answer: Slow

Better answer: Customer traffic during the first two hours of my demo was slower than usual. After speaking with the manager, I attribute this to the early start time of the demo. The store manager told me that on Sundays there are more consumers after noon with a peak time being noon-3pm. He suggested we shift the start time of our demo time to 11am or later so we can meet more consumers during the peak shopping times.

The latter gives your agency critical feedback that they may not have known. Now, they can make adjustments to the event time to maximize consumer interactions.

Check Your Spelling and Grammar

If you are using Microsoft Word to type your response, take advantage of the spell and grammar check. However don’t blindly accept their changes and make sure you read their suggestions before you just accept them. Some rules do not apply or they offer a suggestion that doesn’t fit. It’s a computer program and it is a tool to help you proofread but you still need to be the proofreader and double check your work.

Be Aware of Spelling and Grammar Pitfalls

Misspelled words are very common on recap reports. In addition to using the wrong word (too vs. to, they’re vs. their), there are several words that are commonly misspelled. Please review this chart as a refresher on how to spell commonly misspelled words.

Beyond spelling or word choice, there are several common grammatical errors that plague most people’s writing. Please take a minute to review the following list of common errors and keep these in mind before you write your next recap report.

Meet Your Deadlines!

The agency has given you a specific deadline for a reason. They need time to compile the information and send to the client in the manner it is requested. Your agency may have hundreds of the same type of event running simultaneously and they need time to process all the reports and/or photos. When you accept a promotion booking, you are accepting it in its entirety and it is not complete until all reports are submitted. Make sure you make reports a priority!

Use these tips to write better event recap reports. Your agency will love you for it!

Janice Rodriguez is the President and Agency Director of Adelante Live. Please follow her on Twitter @jvrodrig1029 or on Google+. You can view her full bio here. When she’s not working (when is that?) she enjoys traveling, especially if it’s out of the country and she has no access to a computer (or phone).

4 Elements to Building a Great Event Report

Learn the 4 Elements that Every Report Should Contain

Recap Reporting- Adelante Live BlogIn order to fairly assess the success of an event, you need to obtain feedback from both your talent in the field and the consumers with whom they interacted. This feedback should be in the form of a written recap report that details the basic information, the numbers involved, and consumer commentary. The report should also include photos from the event.

Here at Adelante Live, Inc., we typically require our talent to submit written reports and photos after an event. We then send these reports to our clients within the same week as the event.

To help you create the best recap tailored to your specific brand, product, or service, here are a few questions that we have found to be most effective at relaying the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of an event.

Report Section 1: Building the Basics

Always start your recap report with the basics listed at the top. Trust me – it may seem like a simple thought but you’d be surprised at how many forms we’ve seen that have left out these important details! Each report should contain the following:

  • Brand Ambassador’s name
  • Event Date and Day of the Week
  • Event  Activation Times (Start/End)
  • City and State
  • Specific location (Store name, festival name, etc.)
  • Weather (Why? Because this answer may help you understand why foot traffic was low/high.)

Report Section 2: Knowing Your Numbers

This is the analytical portion of your report – the specific numbers from the event. Some questions to consider include:

  • How many coupons/flyers/samples did your talent start with at each event?
  • How many coupons/flyers/samples did your team hand out?
  • How many products were available for purchase?
  • How many products were purchased? (If sales are the goal.)
  • How many consumers’ contact information did you obtain? (If lead generation is the goal.)
  • How many people Tweeted or posted on Facebook? (If social media awareness is the goal.)
  • How many people stopped by your activation area?
  • How many people were at the event? (Include a question regarding the traffic details: Was it a high-volume traffic day? Low-volume? Were there any other promotions occurring in your store or near your activation area that could have drawn more people in, or even pulled people away?)
  • Demographics: What were the average age, gender, and ethnicity of the consumers?
  • Did you sell out of any products/run out of promotional materials? If so, at what time during the activation did this occur?

Report Section 3: The Written Word

Each talent on your team should provide you with a written report of the event. Ask your talent to submit a minimum of 3-4 sentence answers per question.

  • What questions did consumers ask about your product/service?
  • How did the Brand Ambassadors answer those questions?
  • What additional products/services would consumers like to see?
  • What other products (similar to yours) do consumers use?
  • Manager comments. If there is a manager on duty, perhaps they will have some feedback. Have your Brand Ambassador ask the manager if they have any comments, then write them down on the recap.
  • Was there any critical feedback?

Please note: Critical feedback is important. You want to know the negatives as much as the positives. It’s the criticism of your product that may help you revise your product or marketing strategy to suit consumers’ needs, thus possibly improving sales. You want your Brand Ambassadors to expand on this type of feedback. If a consumer, “Doesn’t like the taste”, why don’t they like it? Give specifics. If a consumer states they wouldn’t use your service, why wouldn’t they use it? Perhaps it’s just a personal preference and has nothing to do with the actual product itself. Use this event opportunity to do in person market research!

Report Section 4: Picture Perfect

Ask your talent to take a variety of photos before and  during the event. The photos should include pictures of your talent interacting with consumers, consumers having fun at your event, and demo tables/activation areas after initial set up – both with and without the talent standing in the area.

Photos taken during the event can also be used for social media purposes. Have your talent Tweet photos from the event, or ask your agency to have them sent them to you so that you can post them on your Facebook site during the activation.

Ideally, your staffing agency should have an online portal (such as our A-Live Agenda) where photos and a recap can be submitted online and made easily accessible to the client. Through this reporting system, a custom-designed recap can be developed and tailored to your specific event needs. Then, your Brand Ambassador or Event Manager can immediately go online and enter their event information while it’s still fresh in their minds. The agency will then review the reports for accuracy and allow client’s to view them at their leisure. It’s a great tool in a fast-paced marketing world!

Adelante Live - Account Manager - Lisa Marino - Thumbnail Lisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. Please view her full bio here. When she’s not hustling for ALI, she can be found doing a mean cover of “Dreams” at a local karaoke night.

Measuring ROI in Experiential Marketing Campaigns – Part 2

Other Considerations Beyond Dollars and Cents When Calculating ROI

ROI Part 2- Adelante Live

In my last blog post, I started to discuss how ROI for experiential marketing doesn’t always come down to a simple spend vs. earn equation.  ROI can be determined by other means than just “sales” of an item.

However, if you are executing a retail based demo or promotion then yes, you can certainly devise a sales based number for your ROI but that still won’t give you the entire picture. For example, you can simply calculate the amount of money spent on an event vs. the amount of product sold as a result of the event. However the latter gets tricky- how are you determining which sales resulted from the consumers’ interaction at the event?  Are you looking at sales during just the execution day or a month, quarter,  or year after the event? How are you tracking consumers, whom as a result of their interaction with the event, bought the product the next time they shopped at the store?

These are important questions that add to the complexity of ROI measurement and make it difficult to use product sales ( in any type of promotional execution) as a standalone measurement. Read below for other elements that should be considered when calculating ROI for events and promotions.

Consumer Feedback

During an experiential marketing campaign, in addition to sampling, promoting brand awareness, and/or other consumer interactions, it’s important to take a moment to evaluate how consumers feel about your event and your brand.  Through event recaps with consumer comments and photos or video of consumers at the event, you can collect vital information which can be used to assess an event’s success, plan future marketing initiatives or support your digital content. The value of this type of “live” feedback should be a part of your overall ROI equation. Most agencies will require their brand ambassadors to turn in a recap report and photos after an event. (Make sure you discuss this with your account manager ahead of time. They will work with you on the specific questions you should be asking, and may even have an online reporting system to make viewing your recaps a breeze!)

Take a careful look at the recaps and photos. What did consumers have to say about your product? Remember: You want to hear the positive AND negative impressions. How much foot traffic was at your event? How many samples  of your product were given out? How many consumers were spoken to? How many coupons or collateral were handed out to consumers? This important numerical data that is essential to assessing your event’s success. You want a complete picture of the event and you can use these results to help calculate an overall ROI for your event or promotion.

Coupons and Codes

Using promotional collateral such as coupons or cards with promo codes at an event gives brands a way to track sales which resulted from the event interaction.

Retail level: We were able to measure the success of our client’s (a fast food chain) street teams by using collateral with in-store coupons. The offer of a discount in addition to a personal invitation from a trained brand ambassador made an immediate impact to store traffic.  During one particular event whereby the goal was to increase lunchtime traffic, we saw more than 100 consumers use their coupons in one day alone!

Web sales: By using codes to unlock product discounts or gain entry to “secret” content on your website, you are not only getting the physical card in their hand with your brand on it, but also driving traffic to your site. Combine this with a contact information form, and you’ve now turned this little code into a mega lead generator!

The Bottom Line About ROI

A few things to remember when measuring the cost of live event marketing:

  • Many leads will keep on giving. By collecting consumers’ contact information, you now have someone who you can reach out to time and time again.
  • Experiential marketing is often times not about the sale, but about building brand awareness.
  • By building your social media network, you are priming your consumers for the sale, and also creating a “stir” about your product or service that will reach the masses.
  • Gauging customer satisfaction will help tweak your product offering and guide future marketing campaigns.

We’ve seen a lot of success this past year with clients using events and promotions to get their brand name and product in the market, expand their reach, enhance their social media campaigns, and as a result- make sales!

If you are interested in adding experiential marketing to your campaign in 2013, contact
Janice Rodriguez
.

Adelante Live - Account Manager - Lisa Marino - Thumbnail Lisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. Please view her full bio here. When she’s not hustling for ALI, she can be found doing a mean cover of “Dreams” at a local karaoke night.

Our Year in Review 2012

It Was a Busy Year for Adelante Live

Year in Review 2012- Ad

In addition to providing event services for over one thousand events, demos, promotions, and tradeshow events in 2012, we also hit some key benchmarks in the growth of our agency.

Here are a few highlights of the past year:

  • Total redesign of our website which includes our new blog and enhanced social media integration.
  • Participated in the Social Media Challenge and advanced to the second round, beating out 50+ other Tampa Bay area small businesses.
  • Made major improvements to the A-Live Apex to include advanced scheduling and reporting features for talent and clients.
  • Creation of a mobile specific website for talent so they can quickly access key event details from their smartphone.
  • ALI went international! We extended our staffing services to Asia, England, and Germany.
  • In June, we were featured in Tampa Bay Business Journal. Read the full article here.
  • ALI became Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited to assure our clients and talent that we will continue as always to adhere to the high ethical and business practice standards that the BBB requires.
  • We added a new account manager to our team – Lisa Marino. Check out her full bio here.
  • ALI added some great new companies and brands to its’ client list.

What a year! Thank you again to all of our clients, talent, and vendors for a wonderful and successful year. May all your dreams come true in 2013!

Janice Rodriguez is the President and Agency Director of Adelante Live. Please follow her on Twitter @jvrodrig1029 or on Google+. You can view her full bio here. When she’s not working (when is that?) she enjoys traveling, especially if it’s out of the country and she has no access to a computer (or phone).

The Importance Of Being On Time (and That Means 15 Minutes Early)

What You Need to Know About Arriving to Your Events On Time

Be on Time Have you heard the expression, arriving on time means you are already late? Well I hadn’t heard that until I started in this industry close to 10 years ago. A former event manager I worked with was adamant that you were on time only when you arrived 15 minutes early. We have always called this an industry “courtesy” but more and more often we are seeing brand ambassadors and sometimes even event managers, arriving late to promotions.

So what does being on time mean to us here at Adelante Live? It means that you are at the activation site, checking in with the event manager 15 minutes before your booked time. This does NOT mean you are looking for parking or, God forbid, still driving to the event!

I’m not going to tell you to set your alarm early or change the time of the event in your calendar to trick yourself into arriving early. I’ll leave that up to you. As an independent contractor, you have to be responsible for your schedule and if you cannot arrive on time- you will no longer be booked by any agency. You will rarely get a second chance.

Here are some practical tips on how to make sure you arrive to your event early and ready to execute:

Prepare In Advance

Make sure you have the following information and items with you:

  • Final information
  • Wardrobe
  • Site map/Directions
  • On site contact information
  • Parking information
  • Cash for parking
  • Charged cell phone

Remember you can always check your events from our mobile site (m.adelantelive.com) and full A-Live Agenda online. Also if there is any other issue or concern, you can always call your Adelante Live Account Manager – even on the weekend – and your call will be answered. NOTE: Please review this information the day BEFORE event so you can get any questions answered/clarified. Waiting until the hour before the event is not a good idea.

Allow More Time for Parking and Traffic

You know when rush hour is so plan accordingly. But an accident can cause a traffic snarl. You need to pad enough time in for these unforeseeable circumstances. Working at a major sporting event or in a busy downtown area? You know you will have to park somewhere possibly far from the event location. You have to allow enough time to navigate a potentially unfamiliar area, park and actually walk to and enter the promotional area.

Know Directions

Make sure you know the best way to get to the event as well as an alternate route in case of traffic or road closure. With GPS and online programs such as Google or Yahoo Maps, there really is no excuse for not knowing HOW to get to your event. If you are unfamiliar with the area, automatically add an extra 30 minutes to your prep time so you can navigate the area.

Your Tardiness Affects Everyone

When you are late, the onsite manager has to stop what they are doing and call you and/or the agency to check your status. The manager has to delay training and other critical pre-execution tasks. And when you arrive late and the event is already in progress- it just looks really bad to attendees who can see you running around and it affects the morale of other talent who are picking up your slack because you’re not there.

Many People are Counting on You

The brand paid good money to have this event executed as planned. Months of planning, large amounts of money and the hard work of many people from many different companies and organizations have gone into the event and your performance is critical to its success. If the goal is to have a certain amount of interactions or distribute a set number of samples, your lateness will affect the achievement of those goals. People lose their jobs over not reaching and exceeding benchmarks. Even though that may sound extreme- clients have been lost for much less.

Time is Money

I’m sure you have heard the expression “Time is money”? It couldn’t be more true in the experiential marketing industry. Not only will the brand, agency and staffing agency’s money be affected by your timeliness, but you will be affected the most. Remember that your ability to be punctual to your events will make a big difference in getting hired for future events. Trust me – word travels fast in this industry and you do not want to get a reputation for being a talent who always arrives late and unprepared.

Bottom line: You need to be where you say you will be at the right time- which is at least 15 minutes early.

 

Janice Rodriguez is the President and Agency Director of Adelante Live. Please follow her on Twitter @jvrodrig1029. You can view her full bio here. When she’s not working (when is that?) she enjoys traveling, especially if it’s out of the country and she has no access to a computer (or phone).