Capital One Spark Business created an experience for Small Business Owners as part of its major sponsorship of the SXSW Conference. We wanted the Spark Business House to transform into a small business hub, bustling with business owners seeking education and inspiration and coming to experience our hands-on interactive stations centered around bringing the story of their business' 'Secret Sauce' to life through inspiring user generated content.
The Spark Small Business House took over Austin's historic Graeber House to deliver business owners thought-igniting sessions and interactive experiences for small business owners designed to amplify the secret ingredients that make entrepreneurs so special. The event was a 4-day, content-fueled celebration of their #SecretSauce for success.
The Spark Business house became a small business hub, bustling with business owners seeking education and inspiration and coming to experience hands-on interactive stations centered around bringing the story of their Secret Sauce to life. Word on the street was that the Spark Secret Sauce experience spread, and the House became a premier destination attracting 1,200+ business owners and guests through the doors. Every room in the house had something unique and engaging focused on the celebration of business owners' secret sauce for success – tying it to an idea that resonates with our business owner audience in a personally meaningful way.
Content-rich, on-site experiences included:
1. Daily "Hot Talks." Nine panels where innovative entrepreneurs presented on business topics providing thought-provoking takeaways amplified in real-time through social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope.
2. An exclusive afternoon with chef, author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. Two sessions: a conversation with lunch at the Capital One House a larger venue and an exclusive, invitation only fireside chat for customers, select business owners, and social sweepstakes winners.
3. "Spreading the Sauce" Activation: Guerilla marketing tactic where 450 custom-wrapped secret sauce bottles were hidden across Austin to be found by attendees around the city. Custom sauce names aligned to unique entrepreneurial attributes like "tenacity" and "fearlessness." Bottles included a call to action to tweet a photo of the bottle with #secretsauce for a chance to meet celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain.
4. Video Testimonial Booth Activation: A testimonial video booth to capture business owners' stories to provide them with a platform to create and share their experiences to their social pages and for us to collect their inspired stories to leverage in our own channels.
5. Mad Libs-Style Secret Sauce Photo Wall: A magnetic photo board where SBOs customized their secret sauce using a collection of 53 magnets and took photos through a digital photo-op experience sharable in real-time.
6. Sauce Logo Artist: An artist that painted business logos using BBQ sauce as his medium, and then emailed business owners both photos and time-lapse videos of the logos being created in real-time to share the experience with their followers.
7. Secret Sauce "Spice Bar:" Business owners interacted with a professional chef that created customized spice blends to represented the unique personality of their business (think boldness = a lot of Cayenne pepper) and they left with the ingredients to make their #SecretSauce at home.
Results from the four-day experience included: