Summer is finally here and vacation season is in full swing. Consumers will be hitting the beaches in droves over the next few months, making them prime locations for brands to distribute product samples, reach diverse audiences and generally engage with the public.
But before event marketers dig their toes into the sand, there are a few things to consider to ensure that their beach activations are both organized and effective. Here, three tips for brands aiming to have a little fun in the sun.
Most beach activations require a variety of permits ahead of time, and if all of them cannot be obtained, it’s helpful to have extra time to tweak the activation to meet requirements.
“Sometimes you’ve got to roll back some of the plans and come up with other solutions,” says Jason Colvin, senior manager-venues and sponsorships at Red Peg Marketing. “Sometimes you’ve got to have flexibility, and the earlier you start planning, the less you have to go back on later, which is money and time you can avoid wasting.”
There’s also sand to deal with—lots and lots of sand. This means the time it takes to assemble the physical structures of the activation will increase dramatically.
“The thing about beach activations is that they’re always harder than you think they’re going to be to build,” says Brian Gass, partner at Sandbox Marketing. “Give yourself plenty of extra time.”
Go beyond the beach.
Nothing ruins a great beach activation like bad weather, but that doesn’t have to mean a brand is out of luck when storm clouds roll in. Spring break activation experts at The Passion Group recommend partnering with the hotels surrounding the beach to reach the masses.
“The reason that we align ourselves with a venue that provides us with beach space is it’s more about the in-room opportunities where we reach consumers,” says Richard Tarzian, president of The Passion Group. “Due to the fact that we have access to 5,000 hotel rooms, that gives us a vehicle where we can distribute in-room products.”
Find a permit expeditor.
Not only do event marketers need to obtain a slew of permits in order to execute a beach activation, they often have to do so in person, according to Colvin. For some experiential agencies, the solution is to hire a permit expeditor who not only has the ability to acquire permits in person, but also understands the nuances of a town’s particular beach market.
“They’re even a friendly face in the permit office,” says Colvin.
• Special Report: Spring Break 2013