The event marketing landscape is fast evolving, with more focus on creating an experience attendees will remember. Companies are also shifting how they track guests and are gathering data to fully understand the ROI of their events program. With these rapid changes, it’s more important than ever to have a production partner up on the latest trends and tools. As we look ahead to 2020, here are some of the innovations we see playing a big role in event marketing next year.
Start With Goals and Focus on Data
Your company hosts a product launch meeting every Q3, but do you know why? What does the company hope to get out of this event and how is your team helping to make sure that happens? Setting clear goals before at the outset of your event planning process will help your team collect the right data points to fully show ROI.
For example, SAP is a multinational enterprise software corporation that attends and produces many events throughout the year. The company wanted to get a better idea of how these events were impacting sales, since the goal was to use these events to drive additional sales. By partnering with an event engagement app called DoubleDutch, SAP was able to gather data from the people they engaged with. Later, they could go back to the salespeople and show them which attendees were interested in the company’s products.
SAP estimates that 60% of its revenue globally is a result of the company’s events. That’s an impressive number and one the company can show through the data it collects. A good production partner can help you find similar tools that will enable your company to collect the data it needs.
Location Location Location
Las Vegas. New York. Nashville. These cities are convention hubs because the locations offer so much to so many people. Selecting the right location for your event’s attendees is crucial to its success. According to Agency EA’s 2019 Experiential Marketing Trend Report, 82% of potential attendees say their decision to attend an event is influenced by its location.
The location should be easy to get to from major airports and offer plenty to do after hours. The event venue should have plenty of amenities, parking, and transportation options. If the event ends on a Friday, or is over the weekend, consider a location that entices people to stay or bring others along, such as a beach-front hotel or one in the heart of a bustling downtown.
Locations that require many kinds of transportation to get to the venue or hotel, is known for terrible traffic, or does not offer much in the way of arts or entertainment may frustrate your attendees and diminish their overall experience. Tap the knowledge base of your production partner for locations and venues make for a productive meeting while also offering nightlife, culture, and entertainment opportunities. Your production partner can help make the event stand out and give your audience a travel experience they’ll remember.
Use Innovative Staging
If you’re not thinking about your virtual audience, then you’re not thinking the right way about event staging. If it doesn’t look good on screen, you risk losing your virtual participants.
Samsung’s annual product launch event, Unpacked, is a great example of an event that shines both in person and online. The brand carefully designs the show to deliver a powerful story with some of the most cutting edge staging available today. The effort has paid off. The company estimates more than 40 million viewers tune in online in addition to the live audience!
Aaron Barbatti, production manager at massAV, works directly with event planners and marketing teams to create the right look for all audiences. As a production partner, massAV aims to understand the message and vision of the company, incorporating different input from the CEO on down, he said.
“So much of what ends up on stage is born our of our discovery process. There are specific things that need to be done to create the right experience,” said Barbatti. “After meeting with the client to understand their vision, our creative team gets together and decides, how do we make this experience as immersive and impactful as possible.”
Use Professional Connections and Video to Promote
Facebook ads used to be the top option for promoting events on social media, but it’s seeing a serious challenge from LinkedIn. The career-focused social media channel is becoming a more influential player in the event promotion game, thanks to tools like LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Groups.
Success is all about tapping people in your industry who may be interested in your event. Posting a LinkedIn event and engaging with others in LinkedIn Groups will help your company fully utilize its connections, as well as the connections of your employees. This presents another opportunity to collaborate with your production partner. By cross promoting the event and the production partner’s involvement on LinkedIn, you have access to that company’s vast network to reach a new audience.
At massAV, we’ve been selected to participate in the beta launch of LinkedIn Live, a live streaming feature new to the platform. We have been working with the platform to find more ways to showcase not only what we do, but what’s happening in the event marketing industry. Whether or not your company has access to this tool, video and live streaming can be a powerful way to create buzz for event speakers, give a sneak peek behind the scenes while planning, and provide a clear picture of what attendees can expect. By working with a skilled production partner that has video production capabilities, that work is taken off the plate of your event planning team.
As we look ahead to 2020, we continue to see more technological advances on the horizon, which only means more change for event marketers. It’s becoming more and more difficult for even the largest corporations to keep up, making it vital for event planners to use all the resources available and work with a skilled production partner. From the latest staging tech to keeping personalizing the experience for attendees, a good production partner will help take your company’s events to the next level in 2020.