When people talk about marketing trends and developments these days, they’ll usually talk about a hot new marketing technology or new digital channel. But while our eyes are turned toward the digital world, it’s important to remember there are still plenty of marketing, advertising, and branding opportunities available in the “real world.” Event marketing in particular continues to bring businesses unique opportunities to directly engage and interact with potential customers–if their marketing leaders are smart enough to see them.
While not the hottest topic in marketing, event marketing is alive and well. At a time when consumers become increasingly ad-blind to messages online and competition for the most valuable digital real estate is at an unprecedented high, it provides an alternative, tangible avenue to interact with and leave an impression on potential customers. Event marketing budgets have been quietly growing for over 4 years, including a 2.1% increase through Q2 of 2017.
But it’s not enough to just be aware of event marketing’s potential and commit budget resources to it. As event marketing recruiters, we’ve found that you need practiced talent, intelligent leadership and an ROI-centric strategy to make the most of this unique and diverse marketing channel. A well-planned and executed event marketing campaign can deliver tremendous results, while a weak one will fizzle away your budget. Event marketing staffing can be a great way to scale up for large events during your busiest times of the year.
Need some inspiration to make your organization’s next marketing initiative at an event, trade show, conference, festival, or public gathering memorable and successful? Try implementing some of these emerging trends:
Live Video Streaming
One typical limitation of event marketing is that it only reaches people who are within a specific geographic location. Live streaming expands potential viewership to include anyone with internet access.
Live video enables real-time engagement with your community both at the event and beyond. And once the event is over, you can use the recorded video as content for future marketing initiatives!
It’s never been more practical to get started live streaming your event activities with help from event marketing staffing. A modest camera and access to a platform like Twitch, Periscope, Facebook Live, or YouTube Live Events is a fine starting point.
The Evolution of SWAG
You’ve probably attended a public festival or industry trade show and had all manner of branded knick-knacks pushed into your hands: pens, stickers, cheap bracelets, pins, paperweights, etc. And you probably threw most of it away at the earliest opportunity. Look around your desk, or your home. How much “Swag” from recent events have you held onto? Odds are; not much.
There’s still a place for event handouts with your logo and other marketing messaging. But at a time when we’re already neck-deep in cheap plastic trinkets, you need to do something special to stand out and avoid the trash can. You want your Swag to reflect the quality of your business and product; if you give away generic, meaningless stuff then expect those traits to become associated with your business.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to turn your Swag game up a notch. Consider some of these unusual, eye-catching, or high-utility options that are easily available (if not necessarily cheap) and are likely to stick around as a reminder of your brand to anyone who gets them.
- High-quality t-shirts (not the cheap, stiff ones but soft, fitted shirts with an attractive design printed on them)
- USB “Travel Chargers”
- Durable, reusable water bottles
- Fancy chocolate bars and candy (not a bucket of Tootsie Rolls)
- Alcohol breathalyzer tests
- Headphones (not the hard, rigid ones that hurt your ears!)
- Download codes for digital content
Watch for More Event Swag Ideas and Tips:
Video from Event Manager Blog
Games and similar experiences create the opportunity for a tangible, interactive brand experience. They activate emotions that many other marketing experiences can’t offer, like the thrill of victory, the alertness of competition, or the satisfaction of cooperation.
What Marketers Need to Know about Gamification
Gamification is not a new addition to event marketing. We’ve watched as event marketing recruiters as businesses have brought raffles and drawings, trivia, games of chance and more to events of all kinds for decades.
But the nature of event gaming is changing, thanks to our constant access to smartphones and the Internet of Things. That opens events up to a whole suite of creative, competitive engagement. A variety of companies now offer out-of-the box digital, interactive gaming solutions ranging from scavenger hunts to “icebreaker” actives to crowd voting to virtual reality experiences.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect to just add a game to your event marketing plan and expect to see results. The activity must have a meaningful reward for your audience–and be relevant to your brand–in order to warm up quality prospects and increase brand favorability in your target customers.
See an Interactive Trade Show App in Action