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If you want to produce great events, your marketing efforts have to be absolutely on point. Here are 5 trends related to event marketing that could be game changers over the next 12 months.
There is no denying that major changes have been happening in event marketing in the past few years. Many of the changes have been driven by technological advances within the industry. Other changes have been driven by shifts in what people want to experience when attending events. One thing is for sure; it doesn’t appear as if things will slow down at all in the next 12 months. In fact, there are many key trends that should be getting the attention of people in this industry. Anybody ignoring these 5 trends is doing so at their peril!
1. Giveaways Will Move Away From Things And Focus More on Experience
As a whole, consumer trends are turning away from the enjoyment of things and focusing more and more on the enjoyment of experiences. Marketing efforts, as always, follow these trends closely. Evidence of this can be seen in advertising campaigns. If you watch television commercials, for example, you will see more focus on people enjoying the experience of using a product or service than on the product or service itself, or you will see the depiction of people enjoying the experiences they have thanks to the time saving or convenience of the product.
Event marketers who want to connect with potential customers will also pay attention to this trend. Rather than showing up to events with trinkets such as t-shirts and keychains, they will focus on giving people an experience in return for their attention. One way to do this could be offering people who leave their contact information bleacher seat tickets to watch a local minor league team play or free admission to the a nearby zoo or amusement park.
2. The Word Experience is no Longer a Buzzword
Speaking of experience, if you’ve ever rolled your eyes at somebody who used the word experience where you have always used the word event, you are not alone. When new terms become popular in marketing, it’s natural to be a bit skeptical. After all, how many words and phrases are popular for a few months and then disappear? Well, it turns out that replacing the word event with experience many not be a bad idea after all. It certainly isn’t worthy of ridicule. Events today are more than what happens when they occur. Thanks to social media and other technologies, communities form around events that create engagement before, during, and after the event.
For examples of this, consider events that cater to sci-fi, anime, and comic book audiences. Not only do people form online communities as a result of these events, they often meet in person and hold supplementary events throughout the year.
3. CMOs Need to Prove the ROI of Events
How do you measure whether or not an event was successful? Do you measure the number of email addresses collected during the event? Do you check increased website traffic or sales immediately following the event? The challenge with measuring event ROI is that there are so many factors to consider, and no way to be 100 percent certain that a particular increase or decrease in a number can be wholly or partially attributed to an event, or if it is due to something else entirely. This is why collecting ROI data for events is going to become a multi-faceted job. Marketing teams will post surveys, collect mobile app data, and use other methods to determine whether or not they have generated the results they wanted.
4. Engagement Will Add Power to Events
Event marketing is no longer about creating sales pitch opportunities. It’s about getting customers to form a connection with a brand and building relationships. Customers who see a good deal, might make a purchase. Customers who feel emotionally connected to a brand will make a purchase, but they will also recommend those products and services to others. They will also continue to be loyal to that brand into the future. This is something that has played out for years in content marketing, and now it is coming to fruition in the event marketing niche.
In 2016, businesses that hold events or participate in events will be more and more likely to seek ways to get customers engaged by focusing on finding ways to get attendees involved through the use of interactive presentations. There will also be an increase in the presentations that focus on generating an emotional response from the audience.
5. Eventtech Offers New Event Marketing Opportunities
Take a minute to consider all of the apps you have installed on your smartphone. Chances are, you use at least some of them for productivity, organization, and collaboration. Have you ever considered how you could use any of these existing apps to help you market events? Mobile event apps are apps that are created to make the event experience even better for people who are attending. However, the opportunity to use technology to create great event experiences isn’t limited to apps. Interactive technology and virtual reality are just two bits of technology that will have a big impact on events now and into the future.
2016 might just be a memorable year for technological innovation when it comes to event marketing and planning. It will be interesting to see, for example, how apps like Periscope and Snapchat will be used in event marketing this year. It would seem as if these apps in particular could be extremely important when it comes to providing a behind the scenes look at the event, or for creating more engagement in the event. It will be more interesting to see what further advances come in 2017 that are influenced by event trends that are happening now.
What do you think? Are there trends on this list that are already impacting your event marketing planning? It’s always a challenge to predict which trends will truly have an impact on event marketing and which will disappear almost as soon as they crop up. The good news is that these 5 trends really do seem as if they are going to add value to the event planning and marketing process. Latch onto the right trends, and you can realize some great results from your marketing efforts.