When Should You Start Planning Your 2024 Demos? 

When Should You Start Planning Your 2024 Demos? 

While our friends and family are planning their New Year’s Resolutions, those of us in the health and fitness industry are working hard to make sure those goal-setters are set up for success! We’re filling orders to stock the shelves, setting up promotions for retailers, and when January 1 comes, we’ll be out there passing […]

How to Avoid Out of Stocks at Your Retail Demos

How to Avoid Out of Stocks at Your Retail Demos

There’s nothing more defeating than having a demo scheduled, showing up, and then there’s not enough product. It’s a bummer for everyone involved. The retailer wishes they had product for you to sell. The brand, obviously, wants to sell product to increase velocity in that retailer. And the brand ambassador goes home without having made […]

4 Policies that Help Us Keep Great Brand Ambassadors

We believe passionate, well-educated, driven brand ambassadors are the key to success for any experiential marketing program – from product sampling at key retailers to large-scale activations at music festivals. Without the energy great brand ambassadors bring to events, you will be fighting an uphill battle in creating memorable engagements with your target consumer. At […]

Remember – It’s Not About You: Putting Customers First in Experiential Marketing 

Remember – It’s Not About You: Putting Customers First in Experiential Marketing 

We may be biased, but we believe in today’s marketing landscape, there is nothing as exciting as putting together an innovative, engaging experiential marketing campaign. When done well, creating unforgettable brand experiences is a win/win for the brand and the consumer. But here’s the thing: to truly connect with consumers, you need to put them […]

7 Tips for Brands Launching Retail Demo Programs

7 Tips for Brands Launching Retail Demo Programs

We work with brands of all sizes – from startups to category leaders. We love watching brands grow and evolve. Most emerging brands get into a smaller retailer, hoping to create a data story there that will compel larger retailers to bring in their products. In these cases, building a high ROI demo program is […]

Are Higher Traffic Events Always the Right Fit?

Are Higher Traffic Events Always the Right Fit?

When we meet with an experiential marketing client about a new campaign, we always start by asking them what their goals are for the program. They almost always focus on a high number of engagements – handing out pallets of samples, capturing thousands of email addresses, or having an entire music festival walk through their […]

Incorporating Your Brand Story into Your Experiential Marketing

Incorporating Your Brand Story into Your Experiential Marketing

We all know it’s important to have a brand story, right? All founders have a reason why they started their businesses, but unless you share this with people, they’ll never know it! That’s a huge miss because consumers today want to connect with your “why.” The brand story is what makes people connect with your […]

Major Trends in Experiential Marketing

Major Trends in Experiential Marketing

If you want to connect with your target consumers on a deeper and more personal level, experiential marketing is a powerful tool. This has been true for decades. But with developments in technology, changes in consumer preferences, and the deep desire for connection, the way brands are successfully building these relationships is changing. In today’s […]

How to Make Your Experiential Marketing Earth-Friendly

How to Make Your Experiential Marketing Earth-Friendly

In today’s world, where environmental concerns are at the forefront, businesses and marketers have a responsibility to make sustainable choices. Experiential marketing is no exception. By incorporating sustainability into experiential marketing campaigns, brands can demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility while engaging and connecting with their target audience. In this blog post, we will explore […]

Experiential Marketing: When More is More

Experiential Marketing: When More is More

The saying less is more is true…sometimes. But sometimes, you have to toss aside that old adage and go big! At large-scale events, where dozens, or even hundreds, of brands are competing for attention, if you don’t stand out, you’ll be lost in the shuffle, and you can expect your ROI on the event to […]

The Secret to Success with Dry Demos 

The Secret to Success with Dry Demos 

One of the most interesting things we learned during the pandemic was some of our brands didn’t find a decrease in sales at retail demos when they pivoted from product sampling to dry (non-sampling) demos. To us, this seemed counterintuitive.   We had always believed that tasting or experiencing the product was imperative to closing the […]

How to Find the Right Brand Partner for Retail Demos

How to Find the Right Brand Partner for Retail Demos

If you’ve read many of our blogs, you’ve probably seen that one of our recommendations for cutting down the cost for experiential marketing activations is to find a like-minded brand to go in on it with you. We’ve seen beautiful partnerships grow over the years, but we’ve also seen some…well… “irreconcilable differences.” If you’re not […]

How to Get the Best Brand Ambassadors at Big Events 

How to Get the Best Brand Ambassadors at Big Events 

Large experiential marketing events take months of work. Budgeting, negotiating, applying for permits, tracking shipments – it’s enough to drive anyone bonkers. And even if you nail all those logistics leading up to your event, there’s one piece of the puzzle that will make or break your event day: your staff.   Today we’re sharing […]

6 Ways to Ensure High-Quality Events  

6 Ways to Ensure High-Quality Events  

We pride ourselves in executing high-ROI experiential marketing events and retail demos. As much as we’d love to say ongoing, high-performing execution comes naturally to us, that wouldn’t be truthful. It actually takes a lot of work to deliver consistent results. A LOT of work. We spend hours each week poring through data, both quantitative […]

Is Guerrilla Marketing Right for Your Business?

Is Guerrilla Marketing Right for Your Business?

If you want to get a lot of samples out fast in a cost-effective way – you’re probably considering guerrilla marketing. The planning is relatively simple compared to other styles of experiential marketing. 1. Assemble a street team. 2. Load them up with thousands of samples. 3. Send them into the oncoming traffic at a […]

10 Cost Saving Tips for Your Experiential Marketing Activations 

Face-to-face marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase your brand awareness and sales. Throughout the years, we have discovered several ways to keep the costs down to make our clients’ marketing dollars go further.   Do you want to control costs on your experiential marketing programs? Try these tips!   1. Instead of a […]

Why Do Costco Roadshows? … and how to knock them out of the park 

Why Do Costco Roadshows?  …and how to knock them out of the park 

If your products are in Costco, you know velocity matters. If you want to stay on the shelves, your product needs to move…fast. You’ve got to consistently outpace your competition or risk losing your coveted spot. So, how do you move your products? We recommend Costco roadshows.  Costco roadshows combine the benefits of experiential marketing […]

How Your Brand Ambassadors Can Make the Most of a Slow Demo 

How Your Brand Ambassadors Can Make the Most of a Slow Demo 

We aim to crush sales every single demo. We bet you do too. But sometimes the weather is crummy, your local baseball team is in the playoffs, or there’s a zombie apocalypse right outside the retailer’s front door. Ok – for that last one, we just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. But, […]

Events or Retail Demos – Which is Right for Your CPG brand? 

Events or Retail Demos - Which is Right for Your CPG brand? 

I’ve become a lifetime purchaser of several products I first tried at a product sampling. Beet Elite (now Superbeets) has been part of my running supplement regimen for years, after being educated about its effect on endurance at an event at my running group. Lupini Beans introduced themselves to my salads when I tried them […]

Pura Vida: HFA style

Ziplines, rainforests, thermal spas, and a hike to a waterfall – a different team retreat for a different kind of experiential marketing agency. This year’s HFA Costa Rican adventure was the first time the entire HFA team was in the same place at the same time. It was beautiful. It was exciting. It was…magical. Our […]

These Communication Tips Will Increase the ROI of Your Experiential Marketing Activation

These Communication Tips Will Increase the ROI of Your Experiential Marketing Activation

We call ourselves an experiential marketing agency. Really, we are communicators – master communicators. When you work with 1,000 brand ambassadors, hundreds of stores, dozens of clients, and an internal team, you have a lot of opportunities to sharpen your communication skills. Based on feedback from brand ambassadors and clients, we’ve realized that our communication […]

How to Leverage Your Demo Program at Your Next Category Review Meeting

How to Leverage Your Demo Program at Your Next Category Review Meeting

We are going to be (perhaps too) transparent. We’ve done thousands of demos all over the country. We’ve worked with health and fitness brands of all kinds – everything from crackers to protein powders to chicken-less chicken. Across every program, we have seen sales increase due to demos. But we have never seen a program […]

7 Tips to Make the Most of Expo West

7 Tips to Make the Most of Expo West

Is it just us, or does Natural Products Expo West feel more like a family reunion than a trade show? New products, old friends, early mornings, and late nights. Our team looks forward to this industry celebration every year. In our decade of attending this event, we’ve seen brands crush it at Expo and we’ve […]

How to Find the Perfect Brand Ambassador

How to Find the Perfect Brand Ambassador

One of the many questions I’m asked during new business meetings is “how does HFA find their brand ambassadors?” This is such a great question because how exactly do we find the “perfect” candidate for your unique brand when we work with a variety of brands? Let me tell you, it’s not a one size […]

What Goes Into the Perfect Training Deck?

What Goes Into the Perfect Training Deck?

Did you know there are four learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic? Have you ever taken the time to explore your learning style? It may differ greatly from your best friend, sibling, co-worker, or spouse. When training new brand ambassadors for your experiential marketing activations, it’s extremely beneficial your brand training deck is aligned […]

Four Ways to Activate at SXSW

“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” – Elton John If there’s one week that cements Austin’s title as the “Live Music of the World” it’s the second week of March, when South by Southwest, or SXSW as it’s more commonly known, descends on […]

Recommended Reading for a Promotion

Recommended Reading for a Promotion

If you have your heart set on a promotion at your workplace, you’re probably doing everything in your power to show up as a star employee. You’re meeting your deadlines, going above and beyond for your team, ​and ​showing up early​​​. You’re​ filled to the brim with ideas to take the company to the next […]

3 Must – Ask Questions When Hiring a Brand Ambassador

How would you describe your ideal brand ambassador? Engaging? Knowledgeable?Passionate? Us too. We all agree that it’s critical the person representing your brand in face-to-face interactions embodies your brand’s personality. But how can you find this unicorn? It’s all about asking the right questions. Not sure what to ask? Try these! 1. What is something […]

How to Improve Brand Ambassador Retention

How to Improve Brand Ambassador Retention

Turnover in the experiential marketing industry is high – very high. Most brand ambassadors have other primary commitments, like school, a full-time job, or auditioning for acting or dancing roles. When the demands of one of those roles increases, they’ll usually drop their side hustle like a hot potato. And this turnover is costly for […]

The Role That Saves Our Events…and Our Sanity

If you’ve worked in experiential marketing for more than a couple of minutes, you know it’s a wild ride. Inclement weather, shipping challenges, and brand ambassador callouts are always a possibility. And who are the brand ambassadors going to call when they need help figuring out what to do? Ghostbusters. No – at most experiential […]

2022: Our Best Year Yet

2022 Our best year yet

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you never know what’s just around the bend. Going into 2022, we honestly had almost no idea what to expect. We had some strong client partnerships and some big dreams, but the pandemic was still looming, and we didn’t have a crystal ball to know when […]

Tips for Relaunching Your Demo Program

While many people are enjoying eggnog and hot chocolate, many of our clients are busy plugging away at spreadsheets and finalizing budgets for the new year. Like many other health-minded brands, some of our clients took a break from demos during the holidays and are gearing up to relaunch their demo programs in January. If […]

Top 5 Tips for a Successful Retail Demo Program

Top 5 Tips for a Successful Retail Demo Program

Part of almost every CPG’s go-to-market strategy includes some sort of field marketing, most often product sampling at in-store demos. It’s a great way to show the retailer you are invested in making sure your product makes it at their store, and unlike many kinds of experiential marketing, demos provide at least a part of […]

Should You Demo Health-Minded Products During the Holidays?

Should You Demo Health-Minded Products During the Holidays?

While many experiential marketing agencies are busy during the holidays, the end of year is usually a slower time for us. Many health-minded CPG brands slow down their demo programs during the holidays. We understand – more people are buying pumpkin pie than protein shakes. They figure they’ll reserve their cash for January when people […]

Should Demo Reps be W-2?

Should Demo Reps be W-2?

The question, “Should Demo Reps and Brand Ambassadors be W-2 employees or 1099 contractors?” comes up often in the experiential marketing world. The answer to this question depends on who you ask. If you ask the state of California, it’s almost always W-2. If you ask a demo rep who doesn’t want to have taxes […]

Happy Thanksgiving! A Gratitude Blog

A gratitude Blog

Caution. I’m not really a mushy girl (my team can attest), but this is a really mushy blog. I can’t help it. At this time of year, it’s hard for me to rein in my feelings about HFA and the team we have here. So, today, I’m giving myself a moment to step out of […]

Tips for Acing your Brand Ambassador Interview

Tips for Acing your Brand Ambassador Interview

Between all of our programs, our team probably interviews 30-50 brand ambassadors each week. We’ve seen it all. We had a woman who wouldn’t answer our interview questions because the FBI was listening in. We had an interviewee who answered every question with a single-word answer, and then would burst out laughing every couple of […]

How to Make Guerrilla Marketing Work for You

Guerrilla marketing, or street teams, can offer a cost-effective way to introduce hundreds, or even thousands of consumers to your product. But if you’re not planning properly, you may find yourself underwhelmed with the results of this style of experiential marketing. Today we’re going to give you insights on how guerrilla marketing can work for […]

The Devil’s in the Details

The Devil’s in the Details

When you work in the experiential marketing world, there’s never a dull moment. Sometimes a hurricane rolls in on the day of your outdoor activation. Sometimes you use hay to soak up the water left behind by the hurricane rains, only to discover your tour manager is severely allergic to hay. Sometimes you are trying […]

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Sponsorship Activation

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Sponsorship Activation

Whether it’s a major event like the Boston Marathon or your local weenie dog race, when you sponsor an event, your hope is to get an ROI on your investment. But how do you make sure your sponsorship is successful? Today we are sharing some tips on how you can make the most of the […]

How to Select Your Product Sampling Store List

How to Select Your Product Sampling Store List

When we get a new client, one of the first things we help them with is finalizing a store list. Which stores will receive product sampling demos and how often? This may sound like a simple task but it’s actually quite nuanced. Usually, our clients start off with a wish list – a list of […]

Lessons We’ve Learned in 10 Years

10-year anniversary

This year, Health and Fitness Activations is celebrating our 10-year anniversary! 10 years! We’ve gone from a one-person venture to a team of 9, and our company is the strongest it’s ever been. During the last decade we’ve learned some things – some the easy way, and some the hard way! Today we’re sharing our […]

How to Successfully Engage with Runners

How to Successfully Engage with Runners

For those of us that know our Health and Fitness Activations story, you know that I am really into running – 4:45am alarms, missing toenails, and stress fractures kind of into running. I ran my first marathon at 17 years old, and now I’ve got more than 20 years in the sport as a participant. […]

8 Ideas to Spruce Up Your Demo Display

8 Ideas to Spruce Up Your Demo Display

One thing we’ve learned by helping companies launch their retail demo programs is that brands almost always underestimate the importance of having a first-rate demo display. Product sampling is almost always the goal, but that can’t happen if customers are unwilling to approach your table. So, how do you make your demo display inviting and […]

Trade shows: 4 tips to plan

Trade shows: 4 tips to plan

Trade shows have returned. Are you ready? Working business development for Health and Fitness Activations, I have the pleasure of conversing with many companies about their go-to-market strategy. Occasionally companies will have ideas already fleshed out and only need Health and Fitness Activations to bring the ideas they have on paper to life. More often, […]

The Key to a Successful Experiential Marketing Event

The Key to a Successful Experiential Marketing Event

Diving into experiential marketing can be scary. Often, the price tags are large and at big events, you don’t have time for a learning curve – you’ve got one shot to nail it. So, how can you ensure your activation will be successful? It really all comes down to one question, “What’s in it for […]

How to Make Sure Your Application Stands Out

How to Make Sure Your Application Stands Out

We hire 200-300 brand ambassadors every year. So, we’ve become very efficient at reviewing resumes and applications. Sometimes we get over 100 applications for a single position. Most only get a first glance before we dismiss them. How can you make sure your application makes it to the short stack? Here are some tips! 1. […]

3 Keys to Successful Recruiting: Pandemic Style

Nordic Naturals brand ambassador

Recruiting reliable, passionate BAs can be difficult during any season, but the one we are in takes the cake. If you decide to recruit your own brand ambassadors during this pandemic, here are a few challenges you may not have thought through: 1. Fewer applicants If you’re used to recruiting through Facebook groups, Trusted Herd, […]

“Into the Unknown:” HFA’s 2021 Goals

One of Our First GT's Demos!

When I look at our goals for 2020, I can’t help but chuckle (ok – maybe also cry a little) at my naïve 2019 self. Of course, no one saw the freight train of 2020 coming, right? Just for good humor, let’s recap the goals we shared last year as we rang in the new […]

7 Important Things to Think About When Launching a Brand

When we updated our website, I got a few questions about the new services we’ve added, mainly the Go-To-Market Strategy Consulting. I think it might have come as a surprise to some of our followers, who are made up of about half brand ambassadors and half health food brands (and a few agencies who spy […]