Rethink Promotional Events: Stop Selling Products and Start Selling Experiences

Typically, when hosting a promotional event, businesses will focus entirely on endorsing and pitching their product or service to as many people as possible to harvest as much customer data as possible and hit sale targets. 

As a result, the event stand, collateral, promotions and representatives are used as a tool to assist sale targets and are therefore tediously over-promoting the product or service, with emphasis on listing the product or service’s features or/and specifications.

Promotional events that focus entirely on sales do not consider the customer. By bombarding customers with product or service information, customers are left feeling overwhelmed and turned off.

It’s Time to Rethink Promotional Events

While there remains value in selling individual features of a product or service, people make purchases based on emotion. 95% of all purchase decisions are made subconsciously entirely on emotion. 

According to the Small Business Administration, “creating strong emotions – either positive or negative – can help build a bond between your customers and your business.” Positive emotions are vital to a successful promotional event. 

Businesses who focus on creating a positive customer experience at promotional events rather than pushing sales can emotionally connect with their customers and build brand advocacy. 

Here are three ways to connect with customers on an emotional level, create positive emotions and leave a lasting impression at promotional events:

Practice Empathy

The easiest way to connect with customers is through body language. When hosting a promotional event, pay attention to your customers, ask questions and offer personalised solutions to their individual problems. 

Practising empathy is particularly important in the early stages of the buying process. If customers feel you’re not solving their problems, they’re not likely to consider your business in the future.

Be Authentic

In a digital world where human connections matter more than ever, being authentic is highly valued by customers. The best way to be perceived as being authentic is to BE authentic. Your business’s values, goals and beliefs must be at the heart of any hosted promotional event.

Authenticity gives substance to your business, services and products, and enables people to relate your business. Further, authenticity encourages engagement and can turn audiences into advocates.

Tell Stories

Research shows our brains are not hard-wired to understand logic or retain facts. Our brains are wired to understand and remember stories. If you’re looking to motivate, persuade or be remembered, tell a story. Stories are a powerful driver of emotions.

You can incorporate storytelling into all aspects of your promotional event, from your marketing, through to your venue or promotional stand. 

In Conclusion

Long gone are the days of customers buying a product or service based exclusively on features or/and specifications. It’s all about the customer perception of your business and how you make customers feel at promotional events that evokes them to make a purchase.

When businesses successfully emotionally connect with customers as promotional events and stimulate positive emotions, they are more likely to become loyal customers and recommend your business.


Dawn Ellis is Digital Marketing Manager at The Events Structure who provide a range of temporary event structures and mobile display solutions to a diverse range of clients worldwide, including Mastercard, Amazon, Virgin, WKD, British Army and TomTom.