How to Secure Stakeholder Buy In for an Experiential Event

Experiential events are an effective way to engage an audience and build both brand recognition and brand loyalty. Attendees at these events love to share their experiences on social media, and these events often have viral potential. For all these reasons and more, an experiential event could be a fantastic move for your company. But first, you have to get your stakeholders on board and get their approval for the project. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to secure that essential stakeholder buy in.

1. Make an Appointment

Your first step in getting stakeholder buy in is to make an appointment, and that’s essential for several reasons:

  1. It shows you’re taking the project seriously – If you just pitch your idea in the lunchroom or hallway, it doesn’t impart the gravity the situation deserves. And if you’re not taking it seriously, why should anyone else?
  2. You need to make sure all key stakeholders and decision-makers are present – Don’t assume that anyone who isn’t there can get filled in later. If that does happen, people who missed the meeting won’t get all the information you need them to have. This is particularly important if there are important stakeholders outside the company, in addition to internal stakeholders.
  3. You need to be able to counter any resistance with the hard facts that will sell your idea – You can’t do that if the person who objects isn’t there. When you make the appointment, make a point of asking that all stakeholders be present.

2. Know Your Targets

Start your plan of attack by researching every stakeholder who’s going to be present at the meeting. You need to know who they are. This means things like their job title and description, and how those relate to your project. Where are they—relative to you—in the chain of command?

Check out online profiles on LinkedIn and social media to try and get a read on their personality. Talk to their assistants and see if they can provide any clues.

You can branch off from this stakeholder analysis to work out which stakeholders are most likely to approve of your idea, and who may oppose it. Of those who might be in opposition, can you deduce why? Once you think you have a good handle on who the naysayers might be, you can prepare evidence that supports your position. Ideally, you’ll be able to them that you’ve already thought of—and solved—the problems they raise.

3. Gather Your Proof

As you get to know your targets, you’ll also start working on your pitch. This means combing through data, case studies, and other materials for evidence that supports your position. This is vitally important because without it, you’re just a person with an opinion. You can’t expect to earn stakeholder buy in based on an opinion: You need facts that show exactly why an experiential event is a good idea.

  • Statistics: Look for stats that show that experiential marketing is a sound concept. You don’t need to get heavily into specifics here. You just need to be able to show stakeholders that experiential events are effective.
  • Case studies: Look for case studies on companies that are similar in size and scope to your own, in a similar industry niche, and/or with similar audience demographics. This will help show that an audience already exists for your own company to tap into.
  • Proof of ROI: When you’re talking to project stakeholders, your focus should be firmly on ROI. There are other factors that are important in experiential marketing, but stakeholders specifically want to know how the event will pay off. That means revenue and ROI.

4. Connect Your Pitch to Core Company Goals

Once you’ve made the case for experiential events, you must make the case that an experiential event is a good move for your company. To do this, you’ll pinpoint core company goals, strategies, and values, and show how an experiential event is a good fit. This aspect of your pitch depends on the nature of your company. In general, you’ll want to focus on tangible ways an experiential event can benefit the company, while aligning with its core values. You should also show how your project’s goals align with those of the company.

event KPIs

5. Show Why Experiential Marketing is Different

What can an experiential event do for your company that no other form of marketing can do? What benefits does an experiential event have that your company isn’t already realizing from other forms of marketing? Along with showing why experiential events are beneficial, you also have to sell their unique benefits—those rewards that won’t come via any other marketing strategy.

If your company’s target demographic is Millennials, for instance, you have the perfect proof: This particular generation is widely regarded as one that values experiences over possessions and has a clear preference for brands they perceive as honest and authentic. These are all traits that an experiential event is uniquely placed to display.

6. Anticipate Stakeholder Resistance

Not every stakeholder is going to immediately buy in to your pitch. You’re almost certain to get at least one person who’s not convinced. They might have some genuine questions, or they might be someone who’s opposed to change for its own sake. Either way, you have to prepare for some resistance. This is where researching your stakeholders can pay off.

One strategy that can work is to bring up likely problems before anyone else does. For instance, if you think someone’s likely to suggest that experiential marketing is too expensive, bring up the issue yourself. Point out that it can be costly, and then show examples of companies that have held successful experiential events on smaller budgets.

7. Provide Multiple Options

Never go into a stakeholder meeting with only a single budget option prepared. If you do this, you always run the risk of getting an outright “no” that closes down your project for good. Instead, prepare three budgets at three different price points: One high, one medium, one low.

Don’t be tempted to artificially inflate your highest option to make the others look better. Chances are, they’ll see right through your attempt. Instead, present three realistic packages that genuinely reflect three different experiential event possibilities. Make sure the least expensive option reflects a project you’re actually willing to follow through on. Don’t lowball it so much that it becomes too difficult to make a good event out of it. That way, any of the three options gives you the potential for a good result.

8. Provide Hard Copies

Don’t forget to provide everyone with hard copies of all your data. Go the extra mile, and create folders for every attendee, with copies of your most important case studies, statistics, and other key points. This will help everyone follow your presentation during the meeting and give them something to refer to afterwards.

9. Follow Up

Make sure to follow up with stakeholders after the meeting. Send each attendee a personal email, thanking them for their time and letting them know you’re available to answer any questions they have.

Secure That All-Important Stakeholder Buy In with Solid Preparation

Experiential marketing is a major trend in the world of events, but that doesn’t mean your stakeholders will automatically think it’s a great idea. You have to show them why it works and why it will work for your company. As with most things, preparation is key to the success of the project and key to helping you earn stakeholder buy in.

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.


Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.


He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.