Lindor Day 2015

“Bring the brand equity of Lindor to life.” That was the inspiration Lindt Chocolate USA provided us in the creative stages of developing a one-day chocolate extravaganza. They asked us, can you find a way to make women “melt away into a moment of pure bliss,” so they can enjoy a “chocolate experience like no other?” Our response to this challenge was “absolutely!” And the solution was technology. If we can’t physically transport women to their “bliss moments” – a chalet in the Alps, a vineyard in Tuscany or a beach in the Maldives – then we will use other means to make them feel like they are there.

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The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset was still in the development phase, but we were already testing it for use with experiential and felt this was the perfect opportunity to launch it in field. We worked with Lindt to bring their “bliss moment” virtual worlds to life with custom content and built displays that would offer the ideal viewing conditions for the headset experience.

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The next step was securing impactful, high-traffic locations like Times Square, the Mall of America, and others in Las Vegas and San Francisco that set up our Brand Ambassadors for engagement success. Lindt’s PR agency then added media support like a spot on CBS’ The Talk among others, social media exposure and in-store events, and we were ready for Lindor Day. In Times Square and Las Vegas we took over two giant billboards, showcasing eye-catching brand visuals and live uploads of consumer photos in front of media walls at the events.

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Results for this one-day event were exceptional – over 1.1 million samples and 65 million brand impressions. Beyond that the introduction of VR was a huge success, with line-ups at all stations, non-stop throughout the day. With the recent release of the consumer Oculus and Vive headsets, it’s clear that VR is here to stay and will be a key component in the experiential world going forward.

 

By: Vanessa Gray, Account Manager at Sparks Event Marketing

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Hello and Welcome – A Message from the President

Hi, I’m Brian Hillis and I have the distinct pleasure of being a part of the exceptional experiential team at Sparks Event Marketing. I am also pleased and excited to bring you the first of many blog posts from Sparks. We are passionate about what we bring to the table here at Sparks and we look forward to providing our clients and field teams with valuable content.

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Throughout this blog, we will share insights into the rapidly changing experiential world. Insights that we hope will kick start ideas to help you grow your business or eliminate a pain point from a sales or marketing perspective. Additionally, we hope to share useful information with our North American team of Brand Ambassadors, including tips and insights. This will give our team the edge to deliver exceptional experiences when engaging with our client’s customers.

Our team here at Sparks has lots to share. Topics will include experiential and the consumer journey, the increasing role of tech in consumer engagement, new technology including virtual and augmented reality, and ideas to help you grow and compete in a rapidly changing consumer environment.

Finally, I’d like to share a quote that, in our view, defines the value of experiential marketing.

Benjamin Franklin Quote

It speaks to the increasing information needs of today’s savvy consumer; a consumer who is extremely well educated and demands a high level of engagement and information before making buying decisions. So, welcome to our blog and thanks for taking the time to read my introduction. More to come…

Thank you,

Brian Hillis

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Experiential Marketing: Target Markets

By: Lindsay Eden

Target market

Photo taken from here.

Sparks Event Marketing doesn’t just make events happen. We make events happenings. We combine event planning with marketing and create events that help your company succeed. We understand the importance of experiences and this blog post will offer some tips and tricks to experiential marketing.

Since 1995, Sparks Event Marketing has been helping clients plan successful events, whether that be promotional events, demo events, or even staff retreats. We know events and we want to share some of our expertise with you. This is the first blog post of a series addressing the necessities to consider while planning an event in order to ensure success.

First and foremost, you need to ask yourself this important question:

Who is your target market?

Like any form of marketing, this question is essential. You need to know who you are targeting before you start planning so that you can plan accordingly. You are then able to tailor the event to be something you know your target market will enjoy. People often make the mistake of trying to please everyone at once, making an event incredibly broad. This technique usually backfires however, because you waste time, money, and resources on people who are not interested. Do not make the assumption that your event will not be successful because it is too small and you won’t reach enough people. If you are reaching your target market, be it as small as 10 people, and they are pleased with the event and your company, you will be successful. According to an article on HelpScout.net, “70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated”. Thus, it is important to make sure that each individual person, no matter how many, feels valued and important.

In order to find out who your target market is, research is required. You must look at data for some sort of indication of what works and what doesn’t work. Have you planned an event similar to this in the past? Was it successful? Learn from your mistakes and take into consideration what made it successful. Researching the R.O.I. from past events is one stat to consider, as it will tell you if your effort was validated and by how much.

Take a look at your competition to see what is working for them. Who is their target market and what are they doing to appeal to them? By looking to your competition for inspiration, you can learn from their mistakes and build off of their successes, striving to make your event just as successful. This doesn’t mean that you can copy your competition, as every company, every event, and every target market is different. However, you can compare yourself to them as a way of measuring your achievements.

Remember that your target markets can change and may not be the same as they have always been. You must analyze the target market each time you plan an event, starting at the beginning. Conduct some research to see if things have changed and make sure that you are still on the right path.

If you’d like to know more about experiential marketing, keep checking back for the rest of the series highlighting the important questions you must ask yourself in order to successfully market an event. For more information on target markets, take a look at this helpful article.

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Do you have the Spark?

Sparks Event Marketing is looking for an Account Manager to join our team. Do you have the Spark?

Since 1995, Sparks has maintained a laser-focus on creating an experience for people and products together face to face, and, in recent years, face to interface because an event without a digital and social media strategy is well, uneventful… We are accomplished across multiple business sectors in a host of experiential marketing disciplines ranging from special events, sampling, in-store demonstration, and conference management.

What we are looking for: We are looking for leaders, strategic thinkers and teammates. Sparks has been a passionate agency for the past 20 years and we are proud of our growing business. We are currently looking for an Account Manager to join our team.

What you will do: Account Managers are responsible for creating an outstanding client experience through the day to day client contact and delivering flawlessly executed programs.

Responsibilities Include (but are not limited to):

  • Build client relationships by create positive working relationships through active participation in client activities and understanding of their market and industry
  • Proactively communicate with your client(s) to deliver beyond their request and offer up useful insights and ideas
  • Project leadership by providing program updates, program planning and execution, hosting client meetings, post analysis and future recommendations.
  • On-site event leadership that delivers flawless executions and client confidence.
  • Proactive account management, meeting with your client(s) regularly and anticipating client needs
  • Program financial responsibilities including creating project estimates, managing budgets, invoicing, and final reconciliations.
  • Able to solve problems and meet deadlines with a sense of urgency
  • Lead the hiring process of Brand Ambassadors on your program(s)
  • Manage a team of brand ambassadors in all aspects of training, coaching, motivation and development through a team of Field Managers/ Coordinators or directly
  • Review and/or administration of payroll, time and expense and field execution reports.

Qualifications:

  • 2-5 years of marketing and/or event experience; preference given to experiential marketing background
  • 2-3 years of people management experience
  • 2-3 years of client management experience
  • Post-secondary education
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Flexibility – you may be required to work or be available evenings and weekends
  • Time management skills of both self and others

Interested applicants can apply by forwarding resume with covering letter to jobs@sparksevents.com

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EXCITING NEW DEVELOPMENT AT SPARKS!

Client Development to be exact.

Sparks Event Marketing is extremely pleased to announce that, after retiring from Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, Mr. Doug Gingrich, has agreed to bring his considerable experience and expertise to our organization in the role of Client Development.

Doug Gingrich, Client Development, Sparks Event Marketing

Doug Gingrich, Client Development, Sparks Event Marketing

Doug has spent his entire career in Retail Sales and Marketing, most recently as Senior Vice President, Customer Business Development, Retail Sales, at Maple Leaf Consumer Foods. In the role since 2005, he was responsible for all sales activities for Retail Customers in Canada and the United States for Maple Leaf Consumer Foods.

Doug began his career at Schneider Foods as a retail sales representative and quickly progressed through the ranks to positions including Director of Sales and Marketing in the Food Service Division, and then Vice President of Sales for Retail. When Maple Leaf Foods acquired Schneider Foods, Doug assumed the position of Vice President, Retail Sales and Marketing at Maple Leaf Consumer Foods.

In his spare time, Doug is Past Chairman and member of the Associate Members Council for the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. He has also represented Maple Leaf Consumer Foods on the Sales Advisory Board for AC Nielsen Canada, and is a past member of the Board of Directors for ProAction Cops & Kids, a charitable organization funding Toronto Police programs for youth at risk.

Doug brings immense insight and perspective to our organization and to our clients’ businesses. We’re all looking forward to developing the many new opportunities and exciting possibilities the future holds.

Please join us in welcoming Doug to Sparks and feel free to offer him your congratulations directly. He can be reached at 519-572-6527
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SPARKS STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Vanessa_SpotLight

We’ve decided to start sharing the little things that ignite Sparks to life, and most importantly the “who’s who” that  keep our fires a flame!

SPARKS SPOTLIGHT

Who better to start with than Vanessa Gray – Account Manager.

Vanessa has been with Sparks nearing 6 years working with clients such as Lindt & Sprüngli (Lindt Chocolate Canada), Plan Canada , World Vision Canada and Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Currently she is busy working out of her Vancouver office wrapping up one of our biggest programs Lindt Gold Bunny 2014! We’ve definitely had her hopping lately!

FUN FACT: With Vanessa’s intense strategy and focus it might not be surprising that she is a golf fanatic, BUT she also has a secret knack (and obsession!) for a popular online card game normally revered by true “Gamer Geeks” (Hearthstone). OHH! The strategic secrets!

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Fallsview Augmented Reality Event

On Sunday June 2nd 2013, our team of 8 Brand Ambassadors went to Yonge & Dundas Square in Toronto to promote Augmented Reality using QR code technology on the Fasllview Casino billboard in the Square.

The billboard invites passersby to download a free app called FunSquare, which initiates users’ smartphone cameras. When users point their device at the billboard, they’re treated to an augmented reality sequence that promotes the casino before being taken to its website. The app can be downloaded in iTunes or by visiting http://FunSquare.ca.

Our Brand Ambassadors had a blast inviting people to view the billboard through the iPads as it came alive with fireworks and shoots playing cards in the sky.

Watch out for our next event Thursday July 4th, back at Yonge and Dundas!

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