We live in a world of data. We have the ability today to know more about our customers than ever before — their likes, their needs, their behaviors, their interactions with brands and much more. Thanks to advances in technology platforms, it is possible for event managers to connect the dots with the data they collect. Leveraging data insights can help prove the value of events as well as shape personalized marketing communications and in-person event experiences.
Members of Generation Z — loosely defined as people born between the years of 1995 and 2010 — are true digital natives, according to McKinsey & Company.
Event marketers are used to seeing a lot of buzz onsite at their events. Between messaging pushed out by the host organization itself, social media sharing and media coverage, an event is a hive of marketing activity. But what’s often lacking, says Rachel Stephan, chief snöballer at snöball, is the authentic voice that comes from the people who are actually experiencing the event — the attendees, speakers, partners and exhibitors.
In the past several years, C-level marketers across all industry segments have been putting more emphasis on — and budget toward — digital and experiential marketing, says Chris Cavanaugh, chief marketing officer at Freeman.
When planning show floor activations at user conferences, some industries lend themselves to immersive experiences that make a big splash while others have a challenge showing their benefits in interactive ways. Industries like finance or technology, where products are less tangible, often struggle to translate their benefits into visual experiences at events. They rely on demonstrations to showcase “how it works” but that technique leaves out “why it’s important”.
Colossal events, such as Oracle OpenWorld, Dreamforce and CES, can attract upwards to 200,000 attendees and cost millions to produce.
But….are these events worth all the time, effort and money poured into them?
The goal for most events is to drive new business. But without a forum for holding discussions with attendees about their business challenges and ways you can help them overcome these challenges, it’s often impossible to build quantifiable connections that provide the ROI your event needs.
User conferences and other corporate events pulse with energy and excitement, creating buzz at the event and FOMO for those who didn’t attend. Keeping that few days of energy going throughout the year can help event planners draw more attendees to future events and strengthen the event brand.
Attending events other than your own can spark innovative thinking, helping you transform or heighten the key elements of your own events. Registration options and processes, education, traffic flow, exhibition layout, entertainment, and food and beverage are just a few of the areas to consider shaking up.
Sitting on your trade show floor is an exhibitor who is spending quite a bit of money to be there, but he or she may be thinking, “For this type of investment, I could be doing an amazing brand activation out of the confines of this booth.”
Or, “We really would like our products to be seen by our end-users, the consumers, but they aren’t allowed into this show.”