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Nail event activations and show your locals love with EQL

April 5, 2024
Audrey Fairbrother
Sr. Content Marketing Manager

We can do anything online today. From ordering groceries to measuring your pupillary distance for new glasses (as I literally just did with Warby Parker.)

We can. But should we?

In the world of product launches, brands are beginning to ask themselves this question. We all enjoy the convenience of online purchases, but there’s no denying that a little of the magic is lost when all it takes is a few clicks every time. It’s fine for ordering groceries or buying glasses — but fandom thrives on community, passion, and moments of surprise and delight. 

And those are difficult to capture solely through a screen.

That’s why some of the most impactful launches we’ve done at EQL have happened, at least partly, in person. (Yes, we’re much more than just an online raffle platform.) Let’s take a look at how brands can use EQL’s technology to offer not just convenience, but real-world connection as well.

Give fans an “I was there” moment (without the chaos) 

Launching a product at a special event or conference is a great way to generate buzz or make you the most popular booth on the floor. It draws fans out and offers an opportunity for memorable, in-person engagement. But handing out product on the spot gets logistically complicated: Insanely long lines. Onsite storage. Security — maybe even stampede prevention (letting your fans get Mufasa’d is not a good look for brands).

Here’s how EQL makes it easier:

1. Brands display a QR code in their store or event space that fans can quickly scan
2. The QR code links to an EQL launch page, where they can enter in a few clicks
3. Using geotargeting, EQL chooses winners from verified entries made on-site
4. Winners are notified, and products can be picked up at the event or shipped directly to them (if you’d rather not take all your inventory to the event)

McFarlane Toys, renowned for its collectible figurines, partnered with EQL for this exact purpose at ComicCon San Diego in 2023. ComicCon is notorious for its long lines at booths, and McFarlane wanted a better way for fans to shoot their shot at an 85th-anniversary edition Superman figurine. With EQL’s geotargeting feature, McFarlane ensured that only attendees within the convention center scored a win. The approach generated buzz, amplified their presence at the event, and made some lucky fans very happy — without logistical headaches or chaos.

Most recently, EQL worked with Aku at ComplexCon in Hong Kong for the launch of their 8” Dreamgazer sculpture. 

“Previously, all of our launches were purely digital. [At ComplexCon] We heard from quite a few of our community members that it was fun to see everything in person, and they thought the drop with EQL was fair, and smoothly run. Everyone thought really highly of it.”

Aku event activation at ComplexCon Hong Kong

Reward locals and drive loyalty (but keep it fair and accessible)

For brick-and-mortar retailers, attracting local customers is essential for driving sales and fostering community engagement. But how do you build that localized hype without shutting out your further-flung fans? 

This was the challenge for Makeway, one of EQL’s sneaker and streetwear retailers.

"It's important to reward locals because it allows us to give back to the community that has supported us since day one. Our local consumers are some of our most loyal and being able to reward them is an awesome EQL offering. The challenge was the inability to serve a larger community, as we were held to serving those who could be physically present. -Abby Albino, Co-Founder/Co-Owner of Makeway.”

EQL’s locals-first capabilities were built for this. A locals-first launch allows brands to set a geographic perimeter around their store, then upweights entrants with shipping addresses within this range. Brands can allocate a certain percentage of inventory to locals, and once that’s tapped, the rest goes to entrants from outside the target area.

We just saw this executed beautifully by TROPHY ROOM, a premium streetwear boutique in Orlando, FL, who teamed up with EQL to release their highly anticipated "Rookie Card - Away" sneaker. By targeting customers within a specific distance from their store, Trophy Room drove significant wins for their local community. Offering an in-store pickup option allowed winners to get their sneakers faster and drove hordes of foot traffic to TROPHY ROOM’s storefront.

Fans picking up their "Rookie Card-Away" sneakers at TROPHY ROOM in Orlando, Florida

You can also reward locals with special products, which is what Joe Freshgoods did in his December 2023 release with New Balance. Joe released 3 colorways of his NB collab sneakers: a white, a black, and a stunning blue that was reserved for only Chicago locals. The move was praised by Chicagoans, and respected by those outside the Windy City who realize the importance of community building in sneaker culture.

Elevate in-person launch moments with EQL

Whether you're unveiling a new product at a major event or enticing locals to visit your store, EQL's innovative features empower brands and retailers to connect with their audience in more meaningful ways. By leveraging location-based launch tools, EQL helps you maximize engagement, drive sales, and leave a lasting impression on your fans.

Ready to learn more? Request a demo.
Audrey Fairbrother
Sr. Content Marketing Manager

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