First of all, face-to-face has never been stronger or more relevant.Like most industries, events took a hit during the recession, but the metrics have bounced back. There was no paradigm shift away from events. According to CEIR, the outlook for events overall is predicted to grow over the next years, driven by increases in attendance.And, instead of hurting face-to-face, new technologies like the internet and social media have become another mechanism to find and build the community that ultimately wants to come together in person.Why are events still so relevant?
…Because events play a unique role in marketing and in our lives in building relationships.Personal relationships, professional relationships, and buying relationships.This is our strength as an industry, and what we need to leverage.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Additional information:Source of slide quote: Role of marketing technique for accelerating relationships:Event marketing rates No. 1 (64%)Social marketing (55%)Web marketing (54%)(EventTrack: Event Marketing Industry Annual Forecast & Best Practices Study, EMI 2012) 84% of worldwide consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations (then ads, at 69%, and online opinions, at 68%). (Nielsen 2013)And…80% of word-of-mouth communication is face-to-face10% is over the phone 7% is via social media--------------------------------According to Nielsen's 2013 "Global Survey of Trust in Advertising" (which surveyed more than 29,000 Internet users in 58 countries about 19 forms of paid, earned, and owned media), 84% of consumers worldwide say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from their trusted friends and families--an increase of 6% during the past six years. Meanwhile, owned advertising--in the form of content and messaging on brand-operated Web sites--is the second-most-trusted form of advertising--trusted by 69% of survey respondents, up 9% since 2007. Coming in third were online customer views and opinions, trusted by 68% of worldwide consumers (up 7% from 2007).------------------------------------------When asked to list the top three marketing elements for accelerating and deepening relationships, event marketing led at 64 percent, followed by social marketing at 55 percent and Web marketing at 54 percent. EventTrack: Event Marketing Industry Annual Forecast & Best Practices Study, EMI 2012
But there are substantial, permanent shifts happening in communication right now that will be driving significant changes in events as well. We'll need to convert these challenges, or "disruptors," into opportunities.
We've grouped the key disruptors into three sets of trends: the marketplace, consumer behavior, and your competition.Let's start with changes in the marketplace.
[pause to let them read the slide]The Experience Economy is the difference between grocery store coffee, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks. The trend is toward not just paying more for the experience, but requiring the experience.Fortunately for face-to-face marketing, this plays to our advantage. We're all about the experience.The first marketplace trend we're watching is generational…---------------------------------------Additional info[The term Experience Economy was first described in an article published in 1998 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, titled "The Experience Economy."]
[You don't need to read the slide.] Millennials are not just today's young professionals, but they will be 42% of the workforce next year, and their experiences growing up cause them to have a different perspective.As digital natives, they are the first generation who always had mobile technology. Access to any information, anytime, anywhere is assumed. The good news is that most of what appeals to Millennials also appeal to older generations, so we don't have to choose. We can up our game in interactivity and please all of our communities.Additionally, …--------------------------------Additional information:American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma GenerationBased on research from Barkley, Boston Consulting Group, and Service Management Group 2011
The new marketing paradigm is Content Marketing, based on engagement rather than disruption. An extreme example is in the user-generated Doritos ad in the Super Bowl. Or the Lay's "Do us a Flavor" Facebook contest to choose a new version of potato chip. The Vera Bradley contest on Instagram, where consumers took pictures of themselves carrying the designer's accessories.Based on their experiences as consumers, attendees demand interaction and participation in events as well.SxSW choose some sessions from attendee voting, not unlike American Idol.Dell based a keynote address on questions submitted ahead of time via the web.Exhibitors use games to educate and draw interest.-------------------------------------Additional info:Management consulting firm McKinsey calls this new world the era of "on-demand" marketing, where consumers will judge brands by their ability to deliver heightened experiences: interactions, literally anywhere, that offer high levels of value and are radically customized and easy to access.
[You don't need to read the slide.]And perhaps the most important form of experience in the experience economy is Customer Service. Zappos delivers happiness; Southwest provides humor. This also means ease-of-use: using the data we collect about behavior, purchases, and demographics to make the interaction easier, from autofill in registration forms, to remembering the last order, to extra service to first-time exhibitors.--------------------------------------Additional information:According to Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company's profitability by 75%. This can apply to both your attendees and your exhibitors.Other facts:1. 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience2. 51% of customers said they would only try to reach support once before giving up on a purchase3. 40% of customers say improved interaction with service employees is their key driver to spending more with a companyCustomer Satisfaction - July 12, 2013 By Ross Beard.
Our second set of disruptive trends is based on consumer behavior.Our expectations are driven by the experiences we've had. And today, those expectations are ratcheting up quickly, driven by amazing consumer experiences. In particular, big data and mobile technology have dramatically changed our expectations for connectedness, speed, and personalization.People bring those same expectations to their interactions with your event.Here are three specific trends in consumer behavior we are watching:
[pause as they read slide]We check out the reviews of HD TVs while standing in Best Buy. We look up sports statistics while watching the Olympics. It's also being at conferences and texting a discussion about the keynote with a friend across the room. Looking up a reference the speaker just made. It's expecting the speaker slides to be immediately accessible after the conference. It's expecting an app to support every aspect of our event experience. -----------------------------------------------------Additional information:Source for slide fact: IDC79% of Americans interact with brands on at least four screens each day (EventTech) 50% of all digital interactions with brands take place on a smartphone (iMedia)…related stat: "In 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide." (Gartner)60% of all shoppers have engaged in showrooming
In the world of Big Data, people expect your knowledge about them to personalize what they experience. Tell me specifically how this activity benefits me. Suggest an itinerary based on my interests, depending on my role in my organization, my need for education, whether I have been to your event before.And they don't want to just be passive spectators; they expect to be engaged in activities that teach or inspire them.But don't forget about the "We"…
And the third key disruptor is non-standard competition. You aren'tjust competing with other events. Or even other media.Gary Trudeau, of Doonesbury, jokingly complained how hard it is to be a professional satirist nowadays, competing with amateurs writing Internet memes. So he wrote a sitcom and delivered it via Amazon.
It used to be that people had to come to the annual event for continued industry learning, including credit toward certification. Now, increasingly that education can be achieved locally and with on-demand learning online, often provided by the show organizer as a great way to build and serve their community. It doesn't mean the community doesn't prefer to come to the event for their education; but you can't take this for granted anymore.
Internet "search" has made product information easily available, and salespeople have more ability than ever to reach prospects. The days when products were launched at events are long gone. Instead, exhibitors need events to find new buyers and to deepen the relationship with buyers.
And we build our business networks online. We don't need events to simply meet people, but we do need events to take that relationship to the next level.
With all this in mind, your challenge is to create the must-attend event.While the expectations for "must-attend" have evolved.This challenge corresponds with the trend throughout marketing: the shift from interruption to…
… engagement. [slowly] The involvement, the inspiration, the emotion that requires being there.We have to BE the experience in "the experience economy."
Event marketing can mean using an event or tradeshow to promote a product or service--or "selling" the event program and content attract attendees and sponsors/exhibitors. Experiential marketing is about creating opportunities for interaction or designing an experience for more engagement and sharing. Interaction creates an emotional connection among participants and with the event brand. [Interactive Q&A]: What are some of your biggest challenges? Growing attendance? Sponsor/exhibit sales? Developing engaging programs? Experiential marketing is more than simply "event marketing," which it can often be confused with. Experiential marketing is a way to engage your audience in shared values, ideas, products, or services allowing them to share the "experience" using as many senses as possible. Create emotional connections that will lead to increased sales and brand loyalty–this is the heart of experiential marketing.
On one end of the spectrum: Tough Mudder Tough Mudder events are hardcore obstacle courses designed to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, more than one million inspiring participants worldwide to date, and more than $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.
During the 2011 Annual Meeting audit, a format was recommended where attendees could share their thoughts and solutions.In 2012, they built the "I'm a PA" video booth, which captured physician assistants' personal stories, insights, advocacy, and pride in their profession.Also, a roaming video crew recorded attendees' and exhibitors' off-the-cuff enthusiasm for IMPACT and AAPA membership.These videos were not only viewed during the event but also shared as content afterwards.
This organizer gave significant space and investment to theirNew Product ShowcaseGreat for buyers and newcomers
Make it easy to networkHere are sponsored Networking gardens and green office space
Create a HUB environment where you can access:InformationHelpConnectivityMake the matchmaking simple for the buyer and seller to meet
The ACC was certainly LARGE scale.And here is a small scale example.We've seen wild popularity for Genius Bars and Knowledge Bars.Attendees and sponsors value the one-to-one consultation.
And many of these industry experts who are invited to speak at your sessions are happy to host a tour of specific areas on the show floor, again allowing for valuable intimate engagement.
Attendees are demanding more hands-on experiences.They want to see live demos and ask specific technical questions.
We've seen how Angry Birds and Words with Friends have taken over.Games are here to stay.Let's use them in our events to enthuse, excite and energize.
Four core game elements—meeting challenges, taking action, earning prizes, and tracking our standing against the rest of the group—just make our brains feel good. Source: Will Gamification Really Work With Your Attendees?, PCMA, March 2014http://pcma.org/be-in-the-know/pcma-central/convention-and-meetings-news/news-landing/2014/03/25/will-gamification-really-work-with-your-attendees-?Source: MeetingsNet, Sue Pelletier, Jan 2013http://meetingsnet.com/blog/convening-virtual-leaders-gamification-edition
Source:IBM Connect Uses Gamification to Encourage Offline and Online Connections, BizBash, Feb 2014http://www.bizbash.com/ibm-uses-gamification-to-encourage-offline-and-online-connections/orlando/story/27819?For example, participants earned five points for a tweet and 10 if someone retweeted them, but they earned 25 for attending a book signing or 50 if they submitted a comment about an I.B.M. product in the event's design lab.The target audience is not 20-somethings who we often think of as "gamers," but instead these are 40+-year-old professionals. Activities are designed to connect attendees (and exhibitors) to share information and network without pressure of a sales pitch.
Source: Apple's iBeacon tech to be used for fun in CES scavenger hunt, CNEThttp://www.cnet.com/news/apples-ibeacon-tech-to-be-used-for-fun-in-ces-scavenger-hunt/Source: CES Scavenger Hunt to utilize Apple's new iBeacon tech, iDownload Bloghttp://www.idownloadblog.com/2014/01/03/ces-scavenger-hunt-ibeacon/
Asocially-driven contest that would enable their audience to share their passion for food and describe how it aligns with Specialty Food's key tenants of Craft, Care, or Joy. Participants were given the opportunity to win an ad in the Specialty Food national ad campaign, putting them in front of 30,000 potential customers, and a three-day trip to San Francisco for the campaign photo shoot.Participants were able to enter the contest online and also at the summer Fancy Food Show. They were encouraged to promote their entries through their personal Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts as well as via email, exponentially increasing interaction with the Specialty Food brand.From there, voters were asked to select their favorite food stories from the inspiring entries, narrowing the field down to 10 finalists who would be judged by a panel of marketing all-stars based on creativity and alignment with the "Craft. Care. Joy." messaging.More than 70,000 votes were placed for almost 375 independent entries. Voters spent on average 1.5 minutes on the site engaging and interacting with the content, not simply placing their vote. What's more, Specialty Food now has a variety of unique and compelling stories they can draw upon for telling their story.
Attendees get a copy of your quality piece of content, and you get their data.Delivery can happen via USB stick, NFC, RFID, or email (as long as you remember to send it).