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Brand Activation Events - What Are They? A Professional Calligraphers Perspective.

In the age of information (and advertising) overload, brands and their marketing teams face the challenge of determining what is just a trend and what actually works for businesses and results in an increase in sales. While brand activations are a relatively recent trend in marketing, it is so much more than that. Brand activations allow brands to reach consumers in ways that are hard to replicate and result in increased sales and more meaningful connections with consumers. Historically, it was considered a bonus if a brand was able to connect and resonate with their customers on a personal level. More recently, these personal connections are essential for success in nearly every business in almost any industry. Marketing professionals are always looking for new ways to connect their brand with their target audience in deeper more meaningful ways and there is no better way than a brand activation event.

Letters from Elliott Complimentary Engraving Setup at Nordstrom Department Store

So what is a brand activation? Brand activation refers to an event, campaign, or interaction through which the brand is able to increase awareness and build a meaningful connections with their ideal audience. Most brand activation events are interactive which allows customers (and potential customers) to engage directly with a brand and the products or services it has to offer. This differs from more general branding strategies by being an actual event or isolated experience rather than simply just "branding."

As a brand, knowing and understanding your target audience is the easy part. The hard part is getting your target audience and ideal clients to notice you. Anyone with any marketing experience will tell you that in order to get people interested and excited about your brand, you need to generate authentic engagement. In other words, you need to activate your brand and using meaningful connections is the perfect way to do so. According to HubSpot, brand activations are one-off, in-person events, experiences, and interactions that forge lasting emotional connections between a brand and their target audience.

A live brand activation event can truly level up a brand by getting attention from new audiences and the ability to define how your existing audiences sees you. With the proper planning and right approach, brand activations can be incredibly effective. It has been proven that a large percentage of consumers feel more inclined to purchase from a brand after attending a live activation event.

Letters from Elliott Bottle Painting Brand Activation Event for Freixenet Sparkling Wine

Brands and their marketing professionals get it. They can see quickly and clearly how a live brand activation event can take their brand to the next level and see an increase in their bottom line. As a professional calligrapher and engraver, I have been hired to be a part of many live brand activation events all over the midwest but mostly in the Chicagoland area. I have engraved, hand lettered, and bottle painted for brand activation events for luxury brands such as Nordstrom, DIOR, and YSL as well as Fortune 500 companies like SpaceX, HON, and Ashley Furniture. I have also worked for several major liquor brands like Pernod Ricard, D'USSE, and Freixenet to provide unique live engraving and bottle painting experiences for their customers. By providing a unique service such as live hand engraving or bottle painting, I am able to work with some of my favorite luxury brands and companies while helping them make meaningful connections with their ideal clientele. I am so thankful for these opportunities as I am able to showcase my art and it is truly an amazing experience to work with brands I have admired for so long.

The next few months will be busy for those of us that provide a service such as calligraphy, engraving, or bottle painting. The holiday season is the perfect and most popular time for brands to focus on connecting with their ideal clientele while of course making sales. I currently have nine live brand activation events on the calendar and that is only through the beginning of November. This coming Tuesday I will be travelling to Chicago for a private corporate event where I will be engraving whiskey glasses with guest's initials. I am so excited about this event for a few reasons. First, I am working with a new marketing agency called Live Art International based in Chicago. I have already booked two events with them this fall and look forward to working with them more in the future. Second, I am working with another Chicago calligrapher and engraver named Amanda from XO Art & Design. I have followed her and admired her work for so long, I can't wait to meet her in person! Lastly, I am looking forward to this particular event because of its location. We will be engraving for the private corporate event at the Willis (Sears to Chicagoans) Tower. I am such a nerd for Chicago architecture and I am really excited about working at one of the most famous buildings in the world.

Calligrapher Letters from Elliott lettering on wood ornaments

The following week I will be back in Chicago for a live brand activation event at Nordstrom for Yves Saint Laurent in Oakbrook as well as another private corporate event downtown later that same evening. For the YSL event, I will be live painting on fragrance bottles. I have been bottle painting for the past year or so but this is my first live event doing so. I am really looking forward to it and have been practicing a lot in preparation for a busy event. I also truly enjoy working at Nordstrom, it is always such a wonderful experience. As soon as I am done bottle painting at Nordstrom in Oakbrook, I have to head straight downtown to the Intercontinental Hotel to engrave metal flasks for a private corporate event. I am excited as this hotel is just beautiful and the event sounds to be like a super fun time - I am so grateful to have been asked to be a part of it.

The following weekend I have two days of pumpkin personalization at Taylor's Market in Muscatine, Iowa. This is my sixth year painting and personalizing pumpkins and each year the event has grown so much. I love fall and the farm stand puts on such a fun and cute event each weekend. In addition to my live painting and personalization services, there are all kinds of fun fall activities to experience with family and friends. Last year, they had a food truck that was absolutely delicious - I have been dreaming about their tenderloin ever since. It'll be a busy couple of weeks but I am ready and am really looking forward to it.

Calligrapher Letters from Elliott painting and personalizing a pumpkin

I have a few more events lined up for October but I will post an update when it gets a little closer. Thanks for reading!

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