Aren’t we the luckiest generations of all in the history of humanity to have been provided with the superpower of reaching everybody in the world with just one click? And yet, do you sometimes feel that the more information and channels you have in your hands, the harder it gets to pass through the crowd and convey the right message to your targets? The question you probably ask yourself is which strategy is a surefire way to the highest ROI? And while you have your hands full with a vast arsenal of promising marketing tools, the new trends say, nothing beats a good old face-to-face communication. You cannot communicate your feelings digitally, that’s a fact. So, where else if not at live events can you unleash your entire story presented in a way which instills trust and forges a strong bond with your listener, especially through event marketing.
Having this in mind, it’s not a surprise that live events are foretold to be the most critical marketing channel in achieving business outcomes in the year ahead. According to a survey carried out by Bizzabo, the majority of respondents (85%) have indicated that events are essential to their marketing strategy. Additionally, the vast majority of respondents (95%) believe that in-person events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form connections in an increasingly digital world.
If you are still reading, without a doubt you are tailoring your plan to skyrocket your business in the upcoming year which is why I highly recommend bringing into play some of the newest trends in Event Marketing.
1. Focus is shifting from Sponsored to Hosted events
No, I am not saying that sponsoring events is becoming obsolete. Your reputation escalates when you work alongside other successful brands. But, you can do more than that! If you still haven’t hosted your own event, 2019 is the year to join the club even if you are just a startup working your way up. An ever-larger number of businesses are already enjoying the benefits. When you host your own events, you have full control over the overall experience. When done right, events can generate a great deal of ‘word of mouth’ marketing buzz and can help you establish your position in the marketplace allowing you to command attention.
Turning your office space into a venue is always a good idea, it will not only save you money but, more importantly, your potential clients will get to know your people and culture much better. In addition to developing a connection with your organization and mission, people attending your events will build relationships with each other and strengthen the community. So, whether it’s a breakfast briefing, a networking evening, or even a hackathon, I highly encourage you to start planning now.
2. Technology is the Key for driving Event Marketing Results
Whether it’s traditional or digital, your marketing strategy is ought to breathe the oxygen of the new era. With technology evolving by leaps and bounds in time, you have no other option but to keep a close eye on the latest technological innovations which are part of doing business nowadays, otherwise, you are one step behind. Events are now quite tech-driven proceedings. If hosting an event is on your radar, I suggest taking a look into the technologies which are expected to see major updates this year.
Facial Recognition, to start with, brings the personal identification to a new level, upgrading your event in various ways, from speeding up the registration process to personalizing the experience, and enhancing security. Do you and your attendees find searching names or scanning bar codes tiresome? – I do too. But, our biggest concern nowadays is our security. This tech-savvy software will provide you with solutions for guaranteed safety and in many ways improved event. Next in line is Virtual Reality, a technology already present long enough on the scenery. Moving on, event organizers are finding new ways to leverage this technology and ensure a unique experience for their attendees. Why don’t you give virtual tours to your attendees at your next event? Or just encourage your sponsors or exhibitors to do so, it will definitely make noise and help with your event marketing strategy. Wearable devices and Mobile Apps for Events have officially become mainstream. Always catch a glimpse at what others use and try to be a step ahead whenever possible.
3. Unusual Venues are a thing
Unfortunately (or not), traditional locations contribute on a large scale to the repetitive ‘sameness’ of your events and you shouldn’t be surprised if your attendance declines over time if you continually offer the same old-school experience.
If you are an event organizer looking for a way to differentiate your event among the abundance of happenings nowadays, securing an unusual place that’s ‘out of the ordinary’ will uplift your goal.
There are countless ideas which you can choose from and what’s even better you don’t need to fly over on the other side of the world as I bet you already have dozens of them just in a radius of one kilometer. Malls, Public Places, such as Parks, Parking Lots, Libraries or Piers of a Harbor, Art Galleries, Hot Nightclubs in the Daytime, Rooftops are just a handful of ideas alongside numerous others. My favorites are the historical venues. What’s better than wandering back in the time while grasping the latest news in your field? The attendees get the best of both worlds.
If you are after the money-can’t-buy experience, just give it a go.
4. Hiring on-demand event staff
Long gone are the days when companies had to allocate a substantial amount of their budget for hiring people to put together their events. With the Gig Economy continually on the rise, 2019 is getting even easier for everyone in the need of a team for one-time projects. On-demand event stuff, starting from event managers, marketers, and ticket-sellers to videographers, photographers, and video-editors is now available to you with hands-on experience in exactly what you are looking for. Changes in employment law are expected to further support people choosing to work in the gig economy.
If you are extra busy focusing on the bigger picture, outsourcing your events to professionals who will make magic happen is definitely the right choice. My advice to you is to ask for references prior to hiring.
5. Remote participation in events will increase
Technological advances are being transforming visitor experiences prominently, continually increasing the possibility of remote events attendance. A virtual ticket brings in a worldwide audience to your event. If you are worried that your virtual ticket might impinge on a drop of your actual attendance, just price it correctly and you will see no downturn.
Live Streaming is huge. According to Marketing Profs, Facebook users comment 10 times more on live videos than on regular videos with other Social Media Networks like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. With over 80% of poll respondents favoring a good quality live stream to a company’s blog or Social Media post, we can safely say that live streaming your events will take the center stage in 2019 Event Marketing.
Another benefit you can gain by offering remote participation at your event is the ability to track your virtual attendees and measure the event’s performance. For 2019, it’s expected that attendee tracking will rise providing statistics that can easily be translated into ROI.
6. Social Media Strategy Will Play a Larger Role
Things haven’t changed a lot since last year as advertising budget can reach markedly more users on social media channels than with other forms of digital advertising. When utilized properly, audience targeting parameters can help even the most modest of budgets reach a ton of people.
52% of event planners specified that Facebook is the most effective social media channel for event promotion. However, it is still important for you to watch where your audience is hanging out online and opt for a combination of Social Media Networks which will help you reach your target.
Creating a good content strategy in your event marketing which will bring you engaged followers is a must.
7. Video Marketing for Events is getting bigger
94% of event creators that used video in 2018 said it was an effective event promotion strategy, according to the 2019 Eventbrite Pulse Report. Yet, 57% of events didn’t use video and I bet they are losing big time.
In which group will you place yourself in 2019?
Video is unquestionably the most powerful way to evoke people’s emotions and what’s more, you can do it in one thousand and one ways.
The optimal time to start distributing teasers, speakers intro, and past event recap videos is 6 weeks prior to your event. Make sure you take advantage of the various available channels and in conjunction with Social Media and page features send them directly to your targeted attendee list with personalized emails. Filming your speaker sessions and getting some testimonial shots will definitely give a hand to your business long term as yet, the best thing about event video material is that it can be reused and re-purposed as much as you wish.
Not to forget, as Instagram Video Stories and Remote Event Attendance are breaking records, filming your event can help you achieve your goals much faster than you imagined.
Still think it’s too expensive to afford it? We at Ignite Global Media would be very happy to help your Video Marketing rock at a fraction of what big video production companies charge. Just drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with a strategy which will make your investment worthy.