Recent economic indicators seem to suggest that the worst of the global economic downturn is over and conditions are getting back to some kind of normality.
Event organizers will no doubt be relieved at this, as it is likely to mean business owners will be more willing to let their personnel travel to happenings such as conferences again after a period of much tighter purse strings.
However, it also suggests they will face other challenges, including how to make their events stand out above others being offered by rivals.
To illustrate this point, we can take a look at the most recent IPA Bellwether Report from the UK. It shows that event marketing budgets rose by 1.8 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2013 following three previous and consecutive periods of decline.
Paul Simonet from creative agency Imagination mentioned that this “represents recognition amongst clients that real personal experiences and interactions are crucial to the ongoing health of brands”.
Mr Simonet went on to say that the experiences being offered to members of the public and clients might have to get even better over the coming months if businesses are to enjoy a share of this new money.
“The next challenge is for experiences to build to deliver more content into consumers’ ongoing brand engagements,” he continued, citing Land Rover as a case study of a firm that is doing especially well at this.
But what about smaller organizations that are not already global success stories? How can they make their events appear unmissable and market them so that ticket registrations are almost guaranteed?
Here are 4 ways how we believe building value for your brand is imperative before you even start marketing your events:
1) Content Newsletters vs Event Newsletters
If you only ever use your event management software to send emails advertising upcoming conferences or shows, you could risk a rather one-sided and ‘closed’ approach. Your recipients will either respond with a booking or delete the email straight away.
However, if you regularly send out content that adds value to your approach, it creates much more engagement with your brand. For example, you could look around the news going on in your particular sector that week and send out a newsletter featuring condensed versions of the main stories. When recipients click through, they can read the story but will also see your logo and even a ‘call to action’ suggesting they take a look at your forthcoming events at the bottom.
When the same people then get messages advertising events, they already feel a sense of connection with the company and so may be more likely to respond positively.
2) Photo Albums makes great brand recalls
One of the experiences I get from an established event and awards agency in Asia is Marketing Magazine, who does great work using newsletters and Facebook as their engagement platform. Every physical event held is tied to a photo album taken by a professional photographer, which makes great brand recall come their next event. The extra ‘likes’ generated from the albums does wonders for their branding beyond the attendees as well, especially if it features the attendee as an award winner.
3) Building on Online Behaviour
Email marketing platforms allow you to target sending out newsletters based on behaviour such as open or click-throughs so as to create relevancy between content and interest. If you have the extra marketing budget, you can add a layer of monitoring online behaviour through marketing automation platforms such as Hubspot or Eloqua.
4) Videos to aid event recall
Videos are a great way to maintain momentum to the next event, or aid recall of what attendees have seen or potential attendees have missed in the last event. Periodic release on event websites and social media groups would help to maintain the interest and brand recall of the event, especially if a similar event is on the horizon.
The above are just what we have seen and experienced for ourselves. If you do have brand engagement ideas of your own, we’d love to hear from you.