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The Evolution of Event Marketing

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The Croc's Catriona Boyle explores how business must look to the here and now to ensure their events fit into the current hybrid environment

The Evolution of Event Marketing

We are a long way from March 2020 when the pandemic first hit, with the events industry evolving more in the last two years than it had in the last twenty.

As global lockdowns continue to ease and fluctuate, businesses must resist the idea of deferring back to the old ways of before. Instead, they must look to the here and now, ensuring their events fit the current hybrid environment. 

Don’t compromise on performance

Virtual and hybrid offerings are key to your overall marketing strategy. But why? Just think about how they can expand an event’s reach and the extensive consumer data they gather. 

Event organisers often wonder: ‘won’t offering online access to my event tempt people to join from home instead of attending in person?’ The truth is, studies show that creating a hybrid offering is unlikely to disrupt attendance rates. Not only that, but it opens many more opportunities for event growth. 

Expand your reach by targeting new segments and regions regardless of location. 

Grow your content volume by promoting and offering evergreen event content that can be bookmarked, saved, downloaded, or watched anytime, anywhere.

Increase audience participation through interactive touchpoints including live polls, forums, chats, and videos. 

Connecting with content

Technology isn’t the only thing that’s evolved in the last 20 months – the way that events teams view and produce content has also dramatically changed. 

In the B2B space, we see a much more balanced view between live events and the value of face-to-face networking with a “Netflix & Spotify approach” to event content. Live presentations were typically a great device for selling tickets. But in the hybrid world, they present an opportunity to create accessible on-demand content capable of driving conversations with your market that continue long after the curtain comes down on the live show. This gives event marketing a meaningful way of connecting with always-on digital marketing, SEO performance, thought leadership, lead nurturing, customer advocacy and more. 

Year-over-year data of viewing times on VOD platforms are up 155% (with almost 20 minutes spent per session). By producing great event content with high production values, it’s possible to create a real point of distinction between competitors pushing a recorded webinar with a badly formatted PPT, or missing the opportunity entirely for on-demand video content in your next in-person event.

To understand that your event content is not just a one-time broadcast but a multi-use conversation with your market is surely a win-win.  

So where do we go from here?

5 Tips for Planning Your Next Event

1. Understand your audience

Ensure you conduct internal and external research with attendees, partners, and other internal stakeholders to be certain you have full knowledge of the audience before you begin to scale your event.

2. Content is still king

Content is still the driving factor for any event, but how we programme this content is key. Ensure your content works for virtual and in-person audiences and plan how you can repurpose it to build engagement before, during, and after your event. 

3. Define your event, then define the technology to support it

Understanding which success metrics you’ll measure your event against will define the type of technology partner you require. It’s not just about the technology – it’s about the people and the process first.

4. Stay creative

Remind yourself that creative Fierce Thinking is one of the cornerstones of a successful event. Spontaneity and creative energy are at the core of great events and the last thing you want is for those qualities to be stifled because you are reverting to the old normal.

5. Execution is everything

Ensure you partner with the best suppliers to deliver the best possible experience and achieve the goals to scale your event and its impact. 

The events industry has evolved and has embraced digital marketing. There’s no going back now. The future is in immersive, connected experiences that delight your customers and prove a return to the business.

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The Croc, Tue, 13 Sep 2022 15:39:26 GMT