event marketing

Understanding Social Attendees

While the event industry might be constantly growing and evolving, one thing is certain: social media is here to stay. Event profs are working in an age where social attendees are the major target. Understanding the psychology behind this phenomenon enables people to plan better events. Social media has an effect on the way events are planned, marketed, and hosted. It has such a huge impact on the event as a whole that it simply cannot be overlooked. Traditional marketing may not be dead but it certainly has taken the backseat.

Learning to Embrace Social

The complexities in our social lives are what make our existence so exciting. Social media provides access into the thoughts, experiences, and insights of other people in a way that is entirely new. Before the Digital Age we had to rely on information provided - edited information. Now we have access to information in its raw unedited form. It makes a huge difference.

Event profs now have access important tidbits regarding social attendees regarding the two "big C's" in human nature: competition and cooperation. Social media enables people to connect and observe from afar. It's a remarkable tool.

Who They Know and Who They Want to Know

When attending an event, one of the first things people do is check their network to see if they know any other attendees. Cleverly designed event apps enable people to connect with their peers in a safe online environment. Hosting live pre-event discussions is one of the best ways to get people talking.

On the other hand, people also want to know who they can meet or get to know better at an upcoming event. For attendees with this particular networking goal, social media provides the perfect medium for breaking the ice. Live Q&A sessions are a great tool and should be used as much as possible.

 

 

Event Management Tips: Keeping your Exhibitors Happy

If there's one aspect of event management you need to perfect, it's keeping your exhibitors happy. A satisfied exhibitor is guaranteed to book a stall at your next event. Furthermore, that exhibitor is definitely going to consider increasing his in investment. Essentially, what you need to realise is this: it's a lot easier to get returning exhibitors than it is to recruit new ones.

ROI Equals Traffic

What exhibitors are looking for, more than anything else, is a return on their investment. Basically, they want to know that they are going to get a decent amount of traffic to their stalls. After all, they signed up to your event to get as much exposure as possible. To them, a slow day is a huge waste of their investment.

Provide Both Online and Offline Information

Your exhibitors are going to be on the lookout for ways to increase their investment. Remember that their marketing decisions are almost always made by a team of people, so you need to have tons of information available. Sponsorship packets are always a win. Similarly, your online information needs to be completely up-to-date and on-point.

Content is King

One of the keys to successful event management is a proper content marketing strategy. Get your content creation efforts up to speed, and mention your exhibitors on your website, blog, and social media. Get the word flowing, get people talking. Make sure that your exhibitors feel valued and supported.

Get out of that Stuffy Box (Hall)

There's a lot to be said for networking that happens outside of the traditional conference hall. Yes, driving traffic to vendor booths is important but that isn't necessarily where the "real" networking happens. Consider setting up a less formal event where exhibitors and customers can meet and chat at their leisure - people are generally more comfortable in a setting that is less loud and jostling than your traditional bustling conference.

Assemble Follow-Up Lists

Anyone in the event management business will tell you that tons of sales often happen directly after event, rather than at the event itself. In essence, vendors are facing two types of consumers: impulsive consumers and those that need some time to mull it over. Your exhibitors are definitely going to want to follow up with attendees. Offer them an easy way to connect with their audience by providing follow-up lists in a popular format.

Your goal is to become the preferred event organiser for exhibitors in your industry. Remember that your planning and management endeavours are the heart and soul of the event - you determine how the day will run for your vendors. Make sure that it's a roaring success.

Snapchat Finds its Footing in the Event World

Snapchat_Logo_Goodman Lantern Blog Social media continues to take the world by storm. Despite the fact that it may feel as though the current “big bosses” in social media are the only ones that matter, the fact is that social media really is in its infancy. It will continue to grow and evolve at a remarkable rate - after all, that’s the nature of the concept in its entirety.

Whenever a new social media platform is established, it is adopted by younger, more techno-savvy users. As the user base expands to include previous generations, these new brands begin to dip their toes into the realms of highly competitive B2C marketing. At this point, influencers, celebs, and advertisers throw themselves into the mix; and then its just a matter of time before event organisers find a way to get in on the ground floor of the action.

This is where Snapchat is at the moment. At the precipice of popularity.

What is Snapchat? Is it Just for Kids?

Until recently, teens have been the epicentre of the user-adoption rate for Snapchat. The messenger aspect of the app seems to be its biggest selling point. It’s all about image-sharing kicked up to a new level. The instant messaging aspect of the app is also what attracts teens, like AIM did a generation ago.

Snapchat messages disappear after 24 hours. This ghost-message effect is what put marketers off the app initially, and it is probably responsible for the app’s slow growth over the last few years. Quite obviously, marketers want their messages to stick around for a good while - after all, that’s the entire point of engaging with your audience, right? Well, perhaps marketers could find a way to spin this ghostly feature in their favour.

Don’t Fall Behind

Employing the FOMO (fear of missing out) tactic is something that event organisers have been doing for decades. In essence, Snapchat uses FOMO to create somewhat of an addiction. Users crave the knowledge of trending news and posts that won’t be around forever. There’s a delightful edginess to it that other social media apps are lacking.

Most social media platforms are a constant stream of identical calls-to-action. Users are beginning to find these constant ads fairly tiresome - there’s nothing new to keep their curiosity piqued. There is a growing cynicism that prevents users from developing an interest in event posts that they have seen a hundred times and will continue to see a hundred more.

Event professionals need to market the most exciting aspect of their industry: the fact that it’s all temporary. If you only have one chance to view content before it disappears or attend an event before it’s all over, chances are you’re going to invest more of your time and interest. This is the magic that apps like Snapchat are able to capture.

Big Data in Event Marketing: 2016's Biggest Trend

Big Data has been described as being “the accumulation, storage and manipulation” of very large data sets, and has been a steadily growing trend in the event marketing industry in 2016. Jan Sysmans, DoubleDutch’s Head of International Marketing, believes that the use of big data will replace the industry’s reliance on anecdotal evidence alone. Marketer’s decision-making changed completely when web marketing, email, and digital advertisements became commonplace. Another change is due with the digitization of the event marketing industry, granting marketers access to a wealth of deep data resources.

Sysmans also believes that laptop usage will decline in favour of mobile devices, paper handouts will be increasingly phased out by digital content, and an increase in useful data being collected through techniques such as polling, sentiment analysis, and “real time lead and contact scanning”. Additionally, attendees have shown an interest in actively participating in events, allowing them to mould the event to their liking. Liz King, the Chief Event Specialist of Liz King Events also predicts a big focus on data collection as planners gain experience and skill with accessing and successfully channelling big data. “I’m excited to see how planners will embrace big data and all the changes we’ll see at our events because of it.”

Zeta Interactive CEO, David Steinberg believes that big data’s event evolution throughout 2016 and the years to come will include five main areas of improvement. The first of these is the unification of databases into one highly efficient, user friendly combination of transactional and predictive data. He believes that the next logical step will be the need for real-time data streaming from an array of devices, along with a method of harnessing and actioning them in real time to streamline the process and deliver an exceptional experience for attendees. Steinberg also predicts the rapid adoption of increasingly available and accessible machine learning tools, many of which are already gaining momentum. He also believes in the increased popularity and advantages associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the re emergence of meta- and master-data with the aim of improving usability and security.

Experts and industry insiders tend to agree that 2016 is a big year for the adoption of big data technologies and techniques, which will revolutionise the event marketing industry and lead to even more impressive, popular events.

Keeping Up with the Evolution of Marketing

Marketing is constantly evolving, always growing to include new ideas, new combinations of tactics, and new insight into current practises. At the moment, marketing is heavily focused on social media channels to an unhealthy degree. Forbes.com’s Daniel Newman recently wrote that, “Social media is one platform of many, a tactic that does a great job of supporting broad campaigns but flounders by itself.” It’s important for marketers to realise that there is more to a holistic strategy than simply excellent social media figures. Social media should exist as a supplementary, supportive entity, rounding the end-user experience to be more palatable and accessible. Unfortunately many highly effective, more ‘traditional’ tactics often fall by the wayside. One such example is the careful creation of owned emailing lists - which can be curated to be of specific interest to each of your user groups. There are many advanced tools online that allow your clients to do the work for you, allowing them to toggle their areas of interest for themselves, giving them full control over the types of information they receive. In an article for Fourthsource.com, Warren Duff emphasised the importance of email tailoring; “If you’re going to deliver your marketing messages via email, do it right: this means displaying subscribe fields prominently and providing easy access to an email preferences centre.”

Content marketing is another often overlooked aspect that should be part of a comprehensive strategy.  Brianne Carlon, Rush of the Business2Community, wrote that every content marketing strategy needs to include interactive, bite-sized, personalized content - a trifecta that makes up the foundations of modern content marketing. Getting this combination right is tricky, “but if you can master the creation of quality content that stands out from the rest, operates seamlessly on mobile and offers a personalized experience, you will not just survive 2016; you’ll thrive.”

Keeping in line with the trend of deeper engagement and tailored experience, is the reemergence of relationship marketing into a prominent position in the makeup of any rounded marketing strategy. Clients want to feel valued, a stipulation that has the power to dictate long term customer loyalty, or utterly destroy a company’s reputation if ignored. There needs to be a large degree of accountability, reliability, and supportiveness in the business-client relationship. The key to making it all work is neatly summed up by PCMag.com’s Brent Johnson, “At the core of relationship marketing is a focus on working together—you and your customer—to jointly accomplish your goals.”

Wearable Technology Trends to Look Out For

According to Statista, 2014 was hailed by many tech publications and experts as the “Year of the Wearable". The burning question, at this point, is whether or not the trend will continue to grow or whether it will begin to slowly fizzle out in the same way that many similar gimmicks have in the last few decades. Here's the astounding prediction: The global wearables market is expected to reach a value of 19 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.

Healthcare is the Step Up from Sports and Fitness

Currently, the most popular wearable technology is focused on fitness. Over the next few years, however, the focus will shift towards healthcare. According to information detailed in a report by Aditya Kaul,  "Advanced sensor technology, miniaturization of hardware, and smart artificial intelligence algorithms will help bring wearables into the forefront of the fight against chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Expect to have your smart watch warn you about a stroke or heart attack, days in advance, which is when wearables will start to be taken much more seriously."

This is great news for businesses in the health sector, who wish to get the edge on their competitors.

SleepTech is About to Take Off

While not necessarily a "wearable" item, the Nuyu Sleep System only works when a user is lying directly on top of it. So, in a similar manner to all other wearables, direct contact must be maintained in order for the device to work.

The premise behind the device is the fact that our bodies struggle to fall asleep due to the constant exposure to wireless technology. The Nuyu Sleep System retails at roughly $500, and claims to help people“fall asleep and stay asleep” by enabling users to “get back in touch with their body’s natural rhythm so they can sleep comfortably.”

Imagine the possibility of launching an interactive spa simulation where event goers are enticed by technology-driven relaxation.

Visual-Based Wearables

For a while, it seemed as though smartglasses and similar devices were seriously lagging behind smartwatches. The advent of technology like Oculus Rift proves otherwise. We are rapidly approaching a time when consumers can completely immerse themselves in virtual reality and augmented reality experiences - something that event marketers are already beginning to use in their planning processes.

 

The Uprising of Virtual Reality and 360 Video

Event trends are rapidly beginning to lean towards virtual reality, as the required technology becomes consumer-ready and the consumers themselves hanker after more memorable experiences. With the recent release of the Samsung Gear VR headset, VR experiences are realistically accessible to the masses. There's no doubt about it; viewers want to be a part of the narrative instead of merely observing it. Interactive Vendor Demos and Virtual Venues

Static demonstrations may be a thing of the past. According to Events.com, a marketing agency could deliver a fully-interactive, three-dimensional pitch to potential clients. The options for vendor demos are almost endless. We're looking at a world where event-goers will gaze in awe rather than stifle a yawn while sacrificing their precious time in exchange for nothing more than a goodie bag.

Virtual venues are another potential plus for event organisers. Consider the enormous potential of a completely interactive virtual space with no design limitations whatsoever. Furthermore, consider the financial implications of paying for server space instead of shelling out a hefty sum for physical event space and all the extras that go along with it.

An Alternative to Live Keynote Speakers

For event organisers who are keen to test the VR waters but prefer to have some traditional elements in place, Event Manager Blog suggests the possibility of holograms and Telepresence in the place of live keynote speakers. This would provide the all-important "wow-factor" without taking too much of a risk on something that event-goers might be unfamiliar with.

Spatial Audio for an Immersive Experience

In a post written by College Web Editor, spatial audio is described as, "spherical sound that can be experienced in 360 degrees." Recently introduced to YouTube's 360 videos, spatial audio will allow event organisers to direct attendees' attention in a completely new and exciting way.

As an event-goer, you would hear a sound and instinctively find yourself looking to exactly where it came from. Being able to direct a viewer's gaze in this way is an extremely powerful tool, one that until now has not yet been explored to its full potential.

 

Using Big Data to Launch Successful Events

As a rule, customer insights have always been based on data - sheets of digits, all representing a facet of the prospective and existing client base’s personality. The downfall of this approach has always been the impersonal nature of the system itself. Numbers don’t allow room for shades of grey, subtle differences in opinion, or unique insights - a limitation which requires assistance. Increasingly however, event organizers are utilizing opinion surveys, social media, mobile apps, and many other tools to learn out the personalities of attendees. This enables events to be more appropriately angled to the preferences of attendees and a far more memorable experience all round, as a result. The upside of this is that memorable experiences lead to word-of-mouth popularity, building exposure and future successes for your event. It’s not enough to use just one or the other either - they work best as two independent sections of a combined approach to understanding as much about attendees as possible and using that knowledge to give them what they need. Dataops.co has managed to reduce the differences between data and intelligence into a simple and relatable statement: “Business Intelligence helps find answers to questions you know. Big Data helps you find the questions you don’t know you want to ask.” Clearly, the ideal scenario is a combination of the two, weighted appropriately to best serve the individual event organizer’s demographic.

 

Omni-Channel Marketing: The Next Big Hit at Your Event

Goodman Lantern Omni Channel Marketing The marketing world is constantly awash with new buzzwords, but few have such potential to revolutionize the events industry than, “omni-channel marketing.” This concept is built around the expanding interaction opportunities that organizers can make use of to provide attendees with an engaging event experience, regardless of the channel they choose to experience it through. Mike Stocker of Marketo Marketing Blog said it perfectly:"Each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.” It’s essentially as simple a concept as that, providing a cohesive experience that brings your brand right out into their favourite channel, be it a physical event, website, social media channels, or mobile app. As with any ‘new’ development, there are a number of trends emerging that can be put into effect at events, to skyrocket the quality and depth of the attendee’s experience.

One of the biggest necessities is for event managers to regularly review and interact with the channels that prospective and confirmed attendees interact with. It’s of utmost importance to find out what the customer is experiencing so that it can be constantly honed and polished to become the best possible set of end-user experiences possible, building anticipation, hype, and word-of-mouth marketing amongst the various channels. Stocker recommends that, “If possible, these tests should be performed by external and internal testers,” which will help to grow a balanced view of what works and what can be improved upon.

In a recent Think with Google article, Julie Krueger summarizes that companies need to be “measuring behavior, providing localized information, and creating the right organizational structure.” In simple terms, learn about your attendees’ habits, tell them what they need to know in a way they can connect with, and begin to focus every facet of your organization on matching the traits of your target market. Consumers can see through corporate pretense to a greater degree of clarity with every passing day, forcing event organizers to market and exist authentically, in line with their stated values. This increasing transparency and conformation to the market is a fast-growing trend that sets events aside from those grown from more stone-aged thinking.

Another trend that is rapidly gaining popularity is the intelligent use of existing client databases. iVend.com’s Kamal Karmakar points out that, “Using purchasing history to their marketing advantage, brands can target consumers with relevant messages that will help capture attention and as a result drive conversions.” The key point here is not exploitation of private information, but rather simply referencing their purchase history to gauge where their specific area of interest lies, the channels they prefer to use, and the types of events they gravitate toward.

It’s about getting the personal interactions going, curating communications based on the individual, and building rapport with loyal attendees on any channel they choose.