In February, Identity appointed Toby Havord as our new Experiential Account Director, heading up the experiential department in our Business Development team.

Toby has over 20 years of experience within experiential marketing, producing large scale roadshows, events and product launches for the likes of Adidas, BMW, Diageo, Heinz, Kellogg’s, Samsung and many more. Toby’s experience in the industry has allowed him to work with account teams to deliver a complete in-house service, working from brief to completion on live events, experiential campaigns, product launches, pop-up shops and exhibitions. Working closely with stand designers, builders, production teams and suppliers, Toby has managed to execute amazing campaigns on behalf of clients and their brands.

Toby is delighted to be joining Identity and sees leading the experiential division here as an exciting challenge. Having been client and agency side for over 20 years, he feels that the role is a breath of fresh air to be able to assist clients on their amazing projects, whilst understanding all the pressures and demands that they are under.

“The team at Identity are so knowledgeable that we can instantly inform a client if their initial concepts will work or are within budget and can then adapt that into a slicker, cost effective proposal.” says Toby. “Having dealt with many a supplier over the years I was very impressed in the way Identity react, service and respond to our clients.”

It’s an exciting and interesting time within the events and experiential Industry, Toby notes. The change over the last ten years has been remarkable in terms of consumer experience and their exposure to bigger and bolder brand activations. With a more demanding and savvy consumer, the industry is being challenged to produce a more personal and memorable experience.

But the main thing to focus on, when it comes to effective experiential campaigns is to produce one where the consumer has connected well with the brand message, understood it and then purchased the product or signed up to the company’s services long-term. This doesn’t always mean going bigger is better.

It can cost very little to make a lasting experience on a customer. A great example of this was Sky Atlantic’s campaign for the new series release of Game Of Thrones, where three classical musicians played the theme tune in the centre of London Victoria Station. The cost of this was low but the impact it had on passers-by and the media (online and print) was phenomenal, Toby explains. A key tip is not to let the budget blind the creative thought, otherwise the message will be lost. Good agencies will always concentrate on what is right for the brand and how best to leave a lasting impression, regardless of the original budget.

Regarding where experiential is heading, as an industry expert, Toby sees it focusing on more targeted and personal campaigns rather than huge UK activations where ROI is almost impossible to calculate. Brands will support their campaigns with wow factor stories on social media, leaving the reader wanting more and wishing they were involved. Toby also believes that brand partnerships will also become more popular in the next few years.

“For example, one of our clients recently partnered with a major car company for a two-week activation at Westfield, London. Both brands were intrinsically linked while not conflicting with each other.”

Identity is thrilled to have Toby on board, spearheading our experiential department. If you would like to see how Identity can assist with your next experiential activation or live event, please call us on 01323 469111 or email us at letstalk@identitygroup.co.uk today.