Expand at the Experiential Marketing Training Camp: Part 3 – Chicago & Detroit


Expand was a proud sponsor at all five U.S. locations of the of the Experiential Marketing Training Camp. We hope you had a chance to read our first two posts about our experience at the California locations and our experience at the New York location.

Read below to see what we learned in Chicago and Detroit:

Our Experience at the EM Training Camp: Part 3 – Chicago & Detroit 


The final two U.S. locations of the Experiential Marketing Training Camp took place at Savage Smyth in Chicago on June 27th and the Dearborn Inn in Detroit on June 28th. At both locations, the training modules focused on the relevance of Experiential Marketing in today’s market.

We came away with the following 3 key take-away’s:

1.Experiential Marketing is becoming more relevant than print and digital

While certain marketing techniques are no longer as relevant as they used to be, Experiential Marketing has doubled in popularity among consumers. The presentations and modules at the event illustrated that many forms of print and digital marketing are no longer effective. Some statistics that we learned at the training camps are:

  • 44% of direct mail is thrown away
  • 70% of cars now have satellite radio, which limits marketing through radio advertisements
  • 90% of today’s households have DVR’s, which means television commercials are also becoming irrelevant
  • With current spam and junk folders, email has only an average 3% open rate

EM-Training-Camp-Brad-info-graphic (003)

“I think these statistics are very interesting and important when examining current marketing trends”, said Brad Gende, our Expand Account Executive for Metro Chicago, who represented Expand at the Savage Smyth location of the event.  “While technology is great and very useful for marketing, in the end Experiential Marketing will always be relevant no matter what new technology pops up.”

2.Virtual Technology is a great way to engage your audience

“The biggest point I learned was how new technology is helping the Experiential Marketing Industry”, said Brad. “With Virtual Reality especially, people want to go to an event and put on the googles to have an experience.”


At the event, we learned that people are looking for an interactive experience. Using new event technology is a great way to engage your audience and virtual reality is a great way to stand out and create a unique experience. Engaging consumers in a unique experience makes it more likely that they will remember your brand and it also creates a customer connection by enabling them to interact and engage with your brand or product.

Virtual Reality creates a “Customer Connection” by allowing consumers to learn more about your company & product.

3.Another way to engage consumers is to appeal to the senses

As we mentioned in our post from the California locations of the training camp, a great way to stand out from your competition is to create an experience. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to appeal to the senses. “Experiential involves a lot more than displays and graphics”, said Bill Hetzel, Expand Account Executive for the Midwest, who represented Expand at the Detroit location. “Marketers today must engage their target audience with all the senses and involve them with their brands.”


Creating an experience makes your brand more memorable and allows you interact directly with your consumers. The below image illustrates an effective experiential marketing strategy by well-known Marketing Researcher Bernd Schmitt, for creating memorable event experiences through five important strategic experiential modules: Sense, Feel, Think, Act, and Relate.

experiential marketing - 2

Creating strong sensory experiences, in conjunction with the other four modules, creates a strong emotional response in the consumer, as a result of unforgettable reactions with the brand.

  • Sense: Create sensory experiences through sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.
  • Feel: Marketing appeals to customer’s inner feelings and emotions
  • Think: Targets consumers’ potential thinking through surprise, intrigue, and provocation.
  • Act: Create customer experiences related to the physical body, long-term behavior patterns and lifestyles.
  • Relate: Consumers can be influenced by reference groups when they are making decisions.

Expand can help you create these sensory event environments with our synergistic displays and graphics – To learn how we can help you with your upcoming experiential activations, click here to contact us!

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