The day I fell in love with Experiential Marketing is a day I will never forget. It was a Wednesday evening @ 6:00pm; I was en route to the grocery store with my 7 year old son. I was in a panic because I did not have anything planned for dinner; now for those who know me this is not a huge shocker, I hate to cook and I hate going to the grocery store but the cabinets and refrigerator were bare and the trip to the grocery store was inevitable. Unlike me, my son loves to go to our local grocery store because he knows there is always a huge free cookie awaiting him in the bakery aisle. As I began to pick up a pack of fresh chicken breast a friendly, outgoing brand ambassador representing an artisan chicken sausage company approached me and started talking with me about food, dinner and being a busy working mom. He asked my son and me if we wanted to try a few samples of the chicken sausage. There was no way I was going to say no! My son could have dinner… and dessert at the grocery store? What an evening this was turning into!! The brand ambassador was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the brand. His grasp of the story and history of the brand was very impressive. There were at least 10 different types of dinner chicken sausage available for sampling and the brand ambassador went into great detail discussing each and every natural ingredient and my son was eager and hungry to try them all. I was mesmerized by the passion thebrand ambassador had for the company he was representing. He was so good at his role he had me believe that he was the chef that made the chicken sausages in preparation for the sampling event. As the sampling event was coming to an end, the brand ambassador thanked us. I was so impressed that I also thanked him for providing an amazing and very engaging experience and it was an experience I will never forget. As we were leaving the sampling area my son even asked me if we could purchase his favorite type of sausage. The brand ambassadoroverheard our conversation and gave us a coupon. Not only did I purchase the package my son wanted, I picked up 5 more packs. This experience turned a trier into a buyer; the ultimate goal when investing into experiential marketing was achieved! When I brought the groceries home my husband was just happy that I didn’t get lost trying to find the grocery store; the fact that I brought home something new and exciting to eat was just a bonus. That evening I felt so great about my experience and more importantly my whole family fell in love with a brand because of an engaging experience that created a deep connection. When I brought the chicken sausage into work the effects of this experience continued to work it’s magic. As I was preparing my lunch… you guessed it chicken sausage! I was raving to my co-workers about how great the chicken sausage tasted and how many different flavors there were. I encouraged my co-workers to try a bite and witness the amazing taste of this product! A week later a co-worker told me “Maria, I went out and bought that chicken sausage, and you were right, they are awesome”! I was stunned again! WOW, the impact of experiential marketing is truly unbelievable and I was able to become a key player in the process from start to finish. I became an advocate for the brand and started to stimulate word of mouthand created buzz to my friends, family & co-workers. Experiential marketing was working right before my eyes! I do not fall in love easily and most people say I am also hard to please but this brand ambassador had me at hello. He started to build a relationship with me in the meat aisle, asking me questions, engaging me in conversation and building rapport with my son and me. He encouraged interaction and product trial, which was my favorite part of the event and most importantly he created a memory I will never forget. At Pro Motion we create experiences for our clients, and I am a firm believer that this is the most powerful form of marketing and that it is the best way to form a deep emotional connections with consumers.