Strategies of Successful Event Marketers

Live events, trade shows, and conferences are an increasingly important aspect of a company’s success. According to surveys conducted by Bizzabo:

  • 41 percent of marketers feel that events are the most effective marketing channel over email marketing, content marketing, and digital advertising (a 32 percent increase since 2017).

  • 84 percent of the company leaders surveyed (the titles were vice president and all of the C-suite) feel that live events are a critical component of their company’s success.

  • 81 percent of marketers believe that the importance of live events is increasingly important to their organization’s success and will continue to be so in the future.

  • 62 percent of senior marketers intend to invest more in live events both in budget and number of events.

  • 63 percent of the businesses that say they are overperforming when it comes to their company goals also intend to increase their live event budgets next year.

If your event is an annual occurrence, the marketing for that event is not something that has a beginning and an end. It runs 365 days a year. It occurs during the buildup to the event, continues during the event itself, and endures long after the doors are closed where it slowly morphs into buildup to the next event.

Let’s take a look at some of the strategies that successful event planners and marketers use to keep their events top-of-mind throughout the year.

Multi-Use Event Apps

their event – and they use the event’s app to ensure attendees are aware of the tiniest detail that occurs during the event.

Yet, it’s such a shame to put all that effort into an event app only to have it in use for a few days.

Many event planners are utilizing the app beyond the event turning it into a valuable, year-round resource for attendees. These apps provide information, education, and a way for attendees to communicate and network. Before the event, you can use the app to keep attendees informed of the latest developments, such as when a new speaker is announced. Plus, this gives users a chance to play around and become familiar with the app before the event begins.

During the event, you want the app to be as useful as possible for attendees. Utilize your audience data to recommend sessions and networking opportunities to individual attendees.

Once the event is over, users are able to quickly and painlessly send feedback to event organizers and continue to network with contacts they met at the event. This is a great way to keep your event at the top of people’s minds, even when the next show is months away.

Additionally, you can include a gamification element that starts before the event and continues during and maybe even after. For example, you could add an Augmented Reality function. Augmented Reality (AR) will layer a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world by using a smartphone’s camera. With Augmented Reality, you can highlight areas when notable events are about to occur, provide attendees with turn-by-turn directions, and turn your show floor into one big game. Plus, exhibitors can take advantage of the AR technology to create animated booths, signs, banners, and more.

Thoughtful Use of the Location

An event’s venue is one of the most critical decisions for an event. Planners used to have a minimal selection to choose from: essentially convention centers and hotels. Today, while those remain perfectly viable options, planners have a much broader palette of options.

Today’s attendees crave once-in-a-lifetime experiences, which can be delivered through a non-traditional venue like a museum, winery, gallery, or historical destination (such as a famous building or a castle). Your attendees will appreciate the opportunity to experience these attractions on a much more personal scale without being surrounded by crowds.

The destination for your event is equally important. The city surrounding your venue is full of history and personality. Surely there are local cuisines you can incorporate into the event’s menu. To really make it interesting, dig beneath the surface and discover what is going on in the local food scene. Maybe you could even invite a local chef to host a cooking demonstration (or local bartenders to mix some hometown favorites). Plus, you can advertise that the food is locally sourced and sustainable and that you are helping out the local economy.

Also, think about how you can incorporate the local music or arts scene. One option is to bring in musical acts with ties to the local area to entertain attendees. Another option is to plan excursions to local entertainment or historical attractions.

Remember that if you choose an exotic location, many attendees will turn the opportunity into a workcation. Off-site excursions can be especially useful for attendees who brought spouses, as is providing suggestions for other fun excursions that people can try in their downtime or after the event.

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Using Technology to Improve Lead Qualification

In an ideal world, every name gathered at a live event will convert from a lead into a sale. However, we all know this is not the case. Some leads are stronger than others, and of those that are ready to buy, some will commit to the purchase much sooner than others.

It’s the name of the game and why your company has a sales department. Still, the staff at the live event are the first people to speak to the lead. These staffers are the best gauge of someone’s intent to buy and the amount of coaxing that may be required.

Yet, historically, the handoff of leads from live event staff to the sales team was a haphazard process where leads either weren’t qualified or the standards for qualification varied from one staff member to the next.

Today, however, lead management software can automate the process of capturing, tracking, and qualifying leads while ensuring they can be easily passed to the sales team. Most lead management software can be optimized to fit your company’s exact needs. They also provide the opportunity for staffers to include notes, so a salesperson knows precisely what to expect when following up with the lead.

When selecting lead management software, keep in mind that you don’t want to buy a solution with too many pricey aspects your company will never use. Yet, you also don’t want to get a system that will eventually frustrate you because of its limitations. Look for a solution that:

  • Is flexible enough to adjust to your company’s needs.

  • Can integrate with other essential systems (such as finance, sales, etc.) to avoid duplicate, manual data entry. This dramatically lowers the chance of mistakes.

  • Is scalable so that you can upgrade as your needs change, but you don’t buy too much now.

  • Offers mobility. Busy times on a show floor do not provide many opportunities to run to a laptop and enter notes. You need a cloud-based solution that seamlessly integrates with tablets and phones

Creating and marketing a successful event is a job that never stops. For more tips, give Event Architecture a call at 972-323-9433.

sofia krsmanovic