Why a Kid’s Birthday Party is Like an Experiential Activation

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By: Blake Herder – Vice President of Client Services and Development at ATN Promo

While planning a birthday celebration for our 4-year-old teenage girl, I realized something. No, not that My Little Ponies seem to be doing really well as a toy brand still (I realized that too though) but that a kid’s birthday party is exactly like the execution of an experiential activation.

Let me show you some ex-samples, shall I?

Site Fees

Event: Sometimes these are no cost, like with a guerilla activation or super jazzy flash mob. You might know the right person or there’s a partnership in place where you’re in the clear on having to part with your loot. Other times, site fees can be tens or even hundreds of thousands at a mall, festival or large scale event.

Kid’s Party: If you host the party at your home, you’re likely to cut yourself a deal on the site fee. Maybe you have a friend or family member (aka partnership) who might host for you. Conversely, you might pay out the teeth to rent a venue or park. Show boat much?

Premiums

Event: T-shirts, hats and gift cards oh my! You name it and a brand’s logo can be slapped on it. It’s hard to have an activation without offering some type of give-a-way. How these are distributed can vary of course. “WHO WANTS A FREE T-SHIRT” on the microphone is frowned upon in 48 states. Anyone know the two where it’s okay?

Kid’s Party: It’s come to my attention that every kid gets a goodie bag at these kiddy parties. I guess you can never have too many crayons and coloring books as a kid. It seems to me like they should have to register on an iPad to get one though.

Event Staff

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 Event: It’s difficult to activate an event without staff. Sometimes you need a few friendly brand ambassadors and other times the event requires an expert level cotton-candy-producer/facepainter/emcee/manager-of-pinata-demolition and this, my friends, can be difficult. It’s best when staffing ANY role to use a nationwide agency with 14+ years experience and a database of over 260K high quality, W2 employee staff to handle these needs…ATN *Cough *Promo * Cough *.

Kid’s Party: The staff repping at a kid’s party are of course the parents and any other poor soul that’s roped into helping with the day of logistics. Fortunately for the cotton-candy-producer/facepainter/emcee/manager-of-pinata-demolition he can seamlessly transition from the experiential event site to a kid’s birthday party. The same goes for brand ambassadors. For without high quality brand ambassadors representing the birthday girl, how would this just-turned-4-year-old destroy the entire party room all by herself? Job security for all!

Consumers

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 Event: Events usually have people at them. Many smiling faces engaging in the excitement and energy of a well-produced event. That’s the hope, right?

Party: Parties usually have people at them. Lots of smiling, probably some tears but not unlike an experiential event consumer: those can be magically evaporated by passing over MORE samples of cake or allowing another go at pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.

Activation Elements

 Event: Trailers, tents, stanchions, and all that other great stuff. Who doesn’t love a good flogo machine? http://www.flogocloud.com/

Party: Bounce houses, sack races and magic tricks. Who doesn’t love a take-away balloon-crafted unicorn.

Samples

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Event: Some stores are built around people coming for the samples (rhymes with Bostco). Events aren’t dissimilar in that regard. A well-crafted sample can keep people coming in flocks from doors open to closing time.

Party: Cake and ice cream are large versions of samples. Some samples are larger than others right?

Costume Characters

Event: Who doesn’t love the Michelin Man, Tony the Tiger and the new kid on the block the Geico Gecko.

Party: Elsa and Anna actors. Need I say more?

I’m sure you’re picking up what’s being put down by now.  A kid’s birthday party is very much like an experiential activation. Hopefully, there’s very little crying at each when they’re over with.

Happy Partying and Promoting!

Are you in need of a team of brand ambassadors or a cotton-candy-producer/facepainter/emcee/manager-of-pinata-demolition? If so, we welcome you to contact ATN Promo today to receive a quote for all your staffing needs.

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