We often think of brand ambassadors as social media influencers that post pictures of your products on their Instagram. However, when referring to live events, this title is given to people interacting with your attendees and representing your brand in person. In this blog post, we will go through what event brand ambassadors are and what their role is, and how they benefit your business, as well as an interview with Adam Calvary, Director of Events & Client Relations at Family Industries.
SO, WHAT IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
At a live event, a brand ambassador (aka brand advocate) is the face of your brand. Their main job is to interact with the attendees and essentially do all of the customer-facing exchanges. A brand ambassador will represent your company or brand as a means to engage people in a more personal way and leave a lasting impression on them. A ambassador or advocate from the point of view of the customer is the face of your brand, therefore, ensuring that they are always courteous and outgoing is key. If an event attendee has a good experience interacting with your brand ambassadors they are more likely to then associate pleasant feelings with your brand or product. Check out 5 Characteristics of a Successful Brand Ambassador
ADAM, WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT FAMILY INDUSTRIES?
A: I’m the Director of Events and Client Relations, my role mostly has to do with client relations and managing the events from start to finish. I’m in charge of talking to the clients at the beginning to establish what they would like for their events, what their budget is, and take that to come up with a strategy on how to carry out their needs while working within their budget.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU ENCOUNTER DURING THOSE INITIAL CONVERSATIONS WITH NEW CLIENTS?
A: Many times the client’s ideas may not fit with their budget, so the challenge here for me is talking with them and working with them on solutions to stay within budget while still creating something cool that we think their event attendees will like.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LOGISTICS THAT YOU AS THE SCREEN PRINTER AND BRAND AMBASSADOR HAVE TO DEAL WITH WHEN SETTING UP A LIVE EVENT?
A: The initial task for me is to figure out what their budget is, come up with an activation that works best for them and fits with their budget, and then figuring out how many guests they would like to serve, what type of equipment we need, and how many brand ambassadors we will need to have. Most of the logistics depend on the number of guests and products they would like for us to hand out.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
A: My role has developed a lot as we have grown with the company, as I mentioned, I manage most of the initial client interactions, I negotiate with them, and then I recruit my team for the event as well as take care of logistics from figuring out the equipment we will need to take, to the flight scheduling for the crew as well as hotel accommodations for them. Most recently, we have hired additional staff to assist with logistics and the staff accommodations which has allowed me to have better control over the management of the overall event and the challenges that may arise from that.
THAT’S GREAT! AND HOW BIG IS YOUR STAFF?
A: We have staff all over the country, we have about 25 staff spread around the East Coast, Midwest, and the West Coast. What I usually do is recruit brand ambassadors from various events that I’ve attended, many times these are people that are freelancers and do brand ambassadorship on the side. I like to walk around events and interact with other brand ambassadors at other booths and if I’m impressed with them, I will offer them my business card and if they are interested, I keep their contact information for when we will be needing them.
WHEN YOU’RE SCOUTING, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
A: What I’m looking for is how engaging that person is, I look for people that make me feel curious about the brand they are representing and if I feel more connected to that brand after the interaction. Most of our brand ambassadors have previous experience, and some have even worked directly for brand ambassador staffing agencies.
DO YOU GO THROUGH A TRAINING PROCESS WITH THESE BRAND AMBASSADORS? WHAT IS THAT LIKE?
A: Definitely, we have a detailed ambassador handbook that is provided to all of our brand advocates before they start working with us. Some of it is very basic such as good hygiene, to punctuality and some of it gets more involved such as what they should wear, which may depend on the event. For example, if we are working an Adidas event, they need to wear Adidas gear which I consider their uniform for the day. We are also very big on ensuring the brand ambassadors understand that even while they are not at the job site, they are still representing the brand and we ask for responsibility when it comes to their behaviors outside of the event for the nights after a weekend gig. I’m a bit of a stickler for things like that, so what I like to do is ensure that on the job site we go over some of those key points.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN BEST REPRESENT A BRAND?
A: The days can be very long at some of the events we do, so one of the things that I always remind our brand ambassadors is to ensure they keep a positive and energetic attitude throughout the whole day. You know, some situations can be stressful and you may encounter undesirable conditions such as the food, the weather, or a difficult client. Therefore, what I always try to instill into our staff is patience and tolerance for situations like that because you never know who you may be interacting with at these events, so it’s important to keep a positive attitude and push any negative emotions aside.
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP WITH A CLIENT?
A: Communication is always a key component; making sure you are updating the client no matter how small the update is, we always make sure we communicate with them to instill confidence. Another key element is professionalism, from outstanding customer service to the cleanliness of our booth, every detail matters and we take great pride in making sure we perform at our best each time. For our ambassadors, making sure they keep a positive attitude and be engaging with the attendees, and provide top of the line customer service.
BESIDES A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND TOLERANCE, WHAT ELSE MAKES A GOOD BRAND AMBASSADOR?
A: I think being outgoing and not just putting on a face but rather actually caring about the brand they are resenting, speaking and personal skills, as well as acknowledging throughout their day that the client is really putting a lot of faith in us. We’re not just printing t-shirts or embroidering hats, we need to remember that we are the brand at this event and brand ambassadors need to be “on” and ready to engage with people.
WHY DO YOU THINK BRAND AMBASSADORS ARE IMPORTANT?
A: I think the most important thing about our brand ambassadors is that we aim to make a connection with each guest. With the little time we have, we try to connect with them and in turn connect them with the brand. The experience they have with us is what they will remember about the brand. Therefore if it’s a positive, fun, intriguing experience, that is exactly what that brand becomes for them moving forward.
With some brands, their identity is already more defined, and in those cases, it’s important to stay aligned with that brand’s integrity and what they represent as a whole. The after-thoughts of a guest’s experience with us is what they take home about that brand. This is what experiential marketing is all about.
Always have a brand ambassador representing you at live events, it’s not enough to have cool features and give out free merch – you want to have someone there interacting with the public and putting on a friendly face to leave a positive lasting impression which builds brand awareness.
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