Event Marketing: Industry Experts On The Future Of Events
Events are no longer just about making sure a conference or ceremony runs smoothly but about getting people to connect with brands on a more personal level. The responsibility of making sure this connection can happen is passed on to stylists, organisers, and designers.
This means that it’s no longer just about marketing the event: the event is marketing.
There are many ways to achieve this via greater focus on social media, live streaming events, and making use of playful event technology that gets people out of their seats to get involved.
To see how the event industry is evolving its use of marketing, we asked five experts in event management and public relations for their insights about the future of event marketing.
“I think it’s easy to confuse technological advance and even market innovation with a wider market trend towards a possible future. My own thoughts are that this is mapped out for us, and is down to our role as part of the experience economy.
All economic and social data points towards a generation of centennials who crave great, authentic experienceClick To Tweet It will move marketing budgets our way if we can show the value; and in my opinion we now can.
Never has this industry been better able to talk the language of businesses and brands. This trend underpins every piece of technology and digital wigitary, it will be the deciding factor in the future of all tech, and many businesses.
We need to keep an eye on the prize, it’s the experience economy now, and we live in it.”
“What event planners need to consider now and in the future is the symbiotic relationship of live events, technology and content.
Historically events were limited by physical attendance, the reach and impact of an event was constrained to how many people were there. Now that barrier is well and truly removed.
“The events industry continues to grow and develop and it is important in this day and age that event planners fully understand their market and process.
It is not enough these days to simply be a good event planner.
There needs to be research and understanding of not only the event but the group or groups that are involved or even just the individuals. Size and numbers should no longer be the main driving point for organisation and deliverance – there needs to be a cohesive drive and aim for each event.
Events need to be viewed as a journey, what is the starting brief, what is the aim, where may the journey travel and what will be the end point?…..but most importantly of all these days, is how do all the people and characters fit in – what is their story and what journey are they looking for.
Events need to be social, interactive, open and inspiring. Events need to build friendships and alliances, they no longer work in isolation and need to promote thoughts, ideas and knowledge.Click To Tweet
The world is too complex and moving at an alarming rate, events and event planners need to provide a forum where individuals/groups can freely talk, discuss, debate and exchange.”
“In this day and age, I believe the most important change to the events industry, from an entrepreneurial perspective, is how you attract new leads. While networking and maintaining clients is an effective method, we believe SEO and organic google searches will put you ahead of your competition in the events industry.
You need to maintain client relationships while bringing in a continuous stream of new business, if you want to grow. It’s essential to update your website regularly and blog on your current projects, in addition to publishing how-to articles where you can teach your clients more about the industry.
Customers want to know they are working with an established expert that they can trust their business with.Click To Tweet On the events side of things, now more than ever, brands are looking to connect with their customers on a personal level.
Events provide the perfect opportunity to deliver meaningful experiences; however the most unforgettable brand experiences will engage the head, hands and heart of guests.”
“One thing that pops into my mind is the availability of big data from everything from registration to the event app to beacons and wearable technology.
Meeting professionals now have a wealth of information to mine to truly personalise and customise their marketing, online and IRL experience and engagement, and follow up messaging and content.Click To Tweet
No more need to try to parse those often not-very-useful post-con evaluation forms when you can use actual behaviour and decision points to determine how people engage with your events, speakers, activities, and each other.
Of course, this also makes privacy and the need to keep all that data secure even more paramount, but it is a game-changer for those who can wrangle all that data into a form they can use to make every aspect of their events special and specific to their participants on an individual level.”
Final Words: Event Marketing And The Future Of Events
To strengthen the connection people have to events they are in the process of being reframed as experiences. More attention is paid to what people can take away from events, how they can engage with them, and how to prevent something from just being a mandatory work function.
If events are to be seen as a form of marketing on their own, then feedback needs to take into account not just whether guests are having a good time but gauging how much the event is building brand awareness.
This can by using apps and software that allows people to take part in live polls, to get involved with future experiences, and to share their adventures with friends.
Thanks to all the experts for their insights into event marketing. It’s clear that the future of event organisation will require a deeper understanding of branding, marketing, and social media.