Gather HQ has the honour of being based in Brighton UK, host city to LGBTQ+ celebrations since 1973 and is now a landmark event in the pride calendar, drawing over 300,000 estimated visitors.
This high energy event is about inclusivity, diversity and the celebration of hard-won civil rights. But how can companies become a part of this experience without interrupting the fun or being tone-deaf to the message of the event?
Here for a fun time and a meaningful time
As well as celebrating how far civil rights have come in the UK for the LGBTQ+ community, a large part of the celebration is about raising awareness for ongoing movements.
In many parts of the world, homosexuality has been deemed illegal, with punishments as severe as death. These issues combined with stigma the LGBTQ+ community face in even the most liberally perceived societies, are important and give a solemn meaning to this joyful event. This year’s pride was even more focused on campaigning against transphobia, biphobia, racism and homophobia.
Companies that are ignorant to the real underlying issues and motives for Pride will not be looked upon kindly by the hyper-aware audience in attendance.
So how does a brand get involved?
That being said, events like Brighton Pride rely on corporate sponsorship to support the huge financial burden of putting on such an event. Brands that take the right approach are greatly appreciated.
The main event is a parade through the city with several ticketed street parties and concerts. Corporate sponsorship is a common way for brands to align themselves with this audience. In 2019 brands like American Express, Domestic and General and Pure Gym were among the list of sponsors.
This gives large brands the opportunity to expand brand reach. Although this may not immediately drive ROI, it is a long-term strategy to increase brand recognition.
By using innovative and creative strategy strategies brands can ensure they stay in the minds of people in attendance. By creating an impact with the right people with the right message brands can gain a level of recognition that is just not possible with standard year-round marketing techniques.
Testing out your new product on the public is the best way to see how they engage with it. Getting honest opinions in creative settings can really help consumers associate your brand positively with something different. Intelligent sampling is built on the foundation of two key principles; maximising reach and conversion.
Sampling campaigns require brands to build associations with their product in situations that make sense. In order to come across authentic sampling in the perfect context allows consumers to better accept a brands involvement.
With Brighton Pride, the flavour of the day is obviously inclusivity. Brands that have a history of promoting this or products/ services revolve around this idea have the opportunity to meld perfectly with the event. Finding a setting that makes sense with your brand is the most crucial component to having a successful sampling campaign. Lots of brands did giveaways to the crowd as they took part in the parade, a great way to seed your product with early adopter audiences.
Events like Pride give brands access to some of the most influential strategies a company can have access to. Giving the opportunity to delight and wonder potential customers with their creativity. Floats were a great way brands were able to represent themselves through artistic means, people tend to respond to visual content/ stimulus much better than other forms so taking advantage of this and having fun was incredibly refreshing.
Being face-to-face with the general public and such a diverse and accepting group is extremely rare. Brands were fully aware of this and took advantage, interacting with the crowds, taking pictures, giving out freebies and crafting those first-hand experiences that leave an impression.
Direct responses & sales
Moreover, within the ticketed park and main concert area, brands set up stalls and with a physical location the opportunity for data capture opens up. All the better if the event stands presence is supported by a float in the parade earlier in the day.
Some brands also organise pre-event emails in conjunction with Brighton and Hove Pride organisers. Giving attendees an already established connection with some of the brands in attendance.
These can often have promotional offers or discounts that sway visitors towards their stand giving a better opportunity for data capture and engagement with audiences. By directing content towards attendees before the event brands have a huge advantage above others in the fact that first contact has already been made. Whether audiences are aware of it or not that brand name is now in their mind and they will be more inclined to visit. Translating directly to higher sales and recognition.
If you’re creating a standout event strategy, see how data capture could complement your efforts and talk to us about a customer capture solution.
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