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.”
Event planners are charged with creating show-stopping events that meet the goals set out by the corporations they work for. They handle everything from venue selection and content planning to negotiating contracts and managing day-of logistics to ensure the ultimate vision is achieved.
But what about marketing the event? Often that’s left until most of the planning is in place, but is that the best course? Expert planners say no. They believe event marketing should be integrated into the planning process from the earliest stages.
While event professionals have long touted the power of the events they plan, many have not previously had great support from leadership in this area. The good news is that the data shows that to be changing.
Recent event industry studies all indicate the industry is healthy and growing, and a big part of that is due to marketing. Findings from Bizzabo’s “Event Marketing 2019: Benchmarking and Trends” report show that today, face-to-face events are more effective for achieving business goals than ever before — and executives are taking notice.
Influencer marketing allows organizations to leverage influential people to help them get their message to a wider (but still targeted) audience. With more people adopting social media every day, influencer marketing is quickly becoming a staple in the marketing mix — and has now made its way to the events world.
Unlike festivals and fairs, corporate events are typically not of interest to the general public, but that doesn’t mean influencer marketing can’t play a role in boosting attendance.