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.