In an increasingly digital world, live events and face-to-face experiences are becoming more popular than ever before.
Over 60% of marketers believe that live events are their most important marketing channel, and the number of companies organizing 20 or more events per year was increasing by 17% prior to the pandemic. In-person (and hybrid) events are back, baby! And they aren’t planning on slowing down.
Image Source: AMP Event Group
Event marketing is entering a new boom. Stay up to date on trends to watch out for while planning your next event.
- Data will increasingly drive event marketing and experiences, but real human contact and personalization are still important.
- Technology will play a vital role in events from interactive video to virtual reality.
- The physical event location continues to be important in today’s social media and image-obsessed world.
Artificial intelligence has transformed marketing technology in recent years and this trend will continue as data collection grows and platforms become increasingly sophisticated.
AI can be utilized to make event marketing more effective and efficient, taking repetitive tasks out of the hands of human marketers so they have more time to come up with creative solutions.
AI-powered platforms can help at all stages of event planning and marketing, from managing ticketing and sales to personalizing experiences and promotions and automating post-event follow up. AI can even help create a better networking experience for attendees at the event!
Video has been predicted to overtake text-based online content for some time now. While that reality may still be some way in the future, there’s no denying the impact and importance of video.
Videos are now evolving to create a more interactive and personalized experience. Some research says that 90% of consumers will watch videos to help them make a purchasing decision. The more interactive you can make your videos, the more likely your customers are to choose your company’s event over another.
Image Source: HubSpot
Interactive video is highly engaging and can be an effective way to enhance your event. Whether it’s to build excitement and buzz before the event or to increase interaction at the event, using interactive video changes the experience from passive watching to one that’s more enjoyable and memorable.
We’re collecting more customer and marketing data than ever before from a number of different sources. This data means that instead of treating customers or event attendees as part of a target group, they can be treated as individuals with experiences personalized just for them.
Personalized experiences can be as simple as customizing the food and snack menu available to guest preferences, but it can result in a much more memorable and enjoyable event. Because it’s so effective at increasing event marketing ROI, 9 in 10 event planners use some form of personalization.
Event attendees don’t want to feel like just another face in the crowd. Instead, they want to feel valued and appreciated as they’ve given up their time to attend.
While data can be hugely helpful in creating personalized experiences, it’s important to remember that there’s no substitute for old-fashioned face-to-face engagement. Taking time to connect with individuals in some way will increase satisfaction levels and boost brand trust.
Real-time Event Data
Data not only allows for more personal experiences, but it also enables event planners and organizers to see how their event is performing in real-time, allowing them to take steps to make immediate improvements.
Marketing technology that provides access to real-time event data can enable marketers to see which talks and topics are the most popular, the level of attendance and satisfaction, and even to calculate ROI in real time.
Real-time data can also help you to plan and prepare prior to the event by having accurate and up-to-date information about registrations, ticket sales, and detailed customer information and demographics.
Incorporate real time data in your next event by offering a place (virtual or physical) to rate speakers and take polls about the overall UX of your event.
Using the power of data can help to increase your event ROI and ensure that you’re getting the most out of every event, rather than having to wait until the next one to apply what you’ve learned.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are increasingly being employed by brands to provide more immersive and engaging experiences.
AR and VR can be used for anything from providing an entertaining experience to boost brand awareness and perception, to hosting a fully digital event where people can only attend virtually.
In 2018 the creator of Second Life hosted the world’s first virtual reality festival – opening the door for many similar events to follow. Hosting a purely digital event in this way can be a lot more cost effective than a traditional real-life event, but with careful use of VR technology, the relationships and experiences available to the attendees can be just as compelling.
Take Glastonbury’s VR Music Festival as an example. When their in-person event was canceled in 2020, for obvious reasons, rather than miss out on the fun, the Glastonbury festival team created a virtual reality event in its place.
On a smaller scale, AR and VR can be used to demonstrate products and experiences (a luxury vacation apartment in Mexico for example) when it’s logistically difficult or cost-prohibitive to do so at scale.
Marketers are trying their hardest to engage event attendees more deeply in a variety of ways. One of these is by using event locations that are more unique and memorable than your standard hotel or conference suite.
Picturesque event locations provide their own marketing for future events in today’s Instagram society. Unusual event venues also add positively to the overall experience of the attendees.
Venues with history and a backstory are also proving increasingly popular for events. Historical venues can be inspiring, impressive, and can form a talking point during networking and social events.
If you’re hosting a large event or struggle finding a unique venue near you, the ambience is what you really need to focus on. You could have an event in a convention center and decorate it to create a different reality for attendees. It’s all about what’s within your budget.
Embrace Hybrid Event
Post-pandemic, virtual events took the lead in marketing because they had to. Now that we are slowly returning to in-person events, even with new precautions in place, you can’t expect everyone to jump at the opportunity to be surrounded by hundreds of people.
Get the best of both worlds and embrace Hybrid events. Offer live streams of your speakers, exclusive post-event podcasts, and even zoom interviews to make attendees at home feel as included as possible.
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