No good marketer shies away from live events. On the contrary, a professionally executed event is often a staple of the successful marketing strategy that turns heads, signs on new clients, helps forge business partnerships, and solidifies brand recognition and loyalty.
A well-crafted live event takes meticulous planning and strong attention to detail. It is no wonder then that the concept's growing popularity in both the B2B and B2C contexts has spawned an active industry of exhibition services and other event management businesses. However, you do not need to spend large sums and outsource your big event. Instead, follow our tips on how to make it a memorable and engaging experience for all participants.
FOCUS ON STRONG, FUTURE-LOOKING CONTENT
Do not forget for a moment that your live event is part of your content marketing strategy and you will need to deliver top-quality content to your audience. Whether you are primarily looking to deepen existing relationships or create new ones, betting on strong content is always the way to go.
Placing the focus on exciting future trends is an excellent starting point on your way to great event content. Instead of solely going over what your brand has achieved or what it is doing right now, turn your gaze on what is to come and paint it in intriguing and attractive tones to insure a successful event.
ENGAGEMENT PRE-, DURING, AND POST-EVENT
Gone are the days when simply hosting a great live event did the trick. To truly expand your brand in the minds and hearts of your audience, be it other businesses or customers, you need to bring your engagement A-game to the table. Drum up sufficiently high levels of social media buzz before the event. Have some well-crafted social media plugs for the standard channels you use, and always tag your content with a custom hashtag, which you should encourage attendees and fans to use as well.
You probably secured great speakers, so incorporate their own name recognition into your event's reputation: prepare blurbs from their speeches and accompany those shout outs with appropriate pictures to increase your announcements' share or retweet potential.
GET YOUR TECH LEVELS RIGHT
A successful event is in total sync with its audience's needs and wants, and technology is a major component in this harmonious relationship. While it is custom to have an electronic agenda, either in mobile-friendly web or app format, how much you pack in there depends on who your audience is. Even though the vast majority of us pack a smartphone (or two) at any given time, not everyone is as happy or able to use it extensively in the context of your event. Plenty of audiences will be happy to have a basic event programme online and then spend the actual event offline, attending to the speakers and taking notes with pen and paper. Others, however, will expect the full digital buffet: interactive, customisable session plan, opportunities to directly engage the speakers via a Twitter wall or another direct communication channel, a custom exhibition stand, a private or public forum for real-time discussions with fellow attendees, and so on. Gauge your audience carefully and build the right kind and amount of tech into your live event!
COLLECT AND CONSIDER FEEDBACK SERISOULY
Lastly, get as much audience feedback as possible post-event and make sure it finds its way into your future event planning. Apply an equally high standard to speaker performance and your organisation alike to insure future event success.
Reno is a founder and director of Enigma Visual Solutions, a leading exhibition service and event company, specializing in retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, office refurbishment, event branding, custom exhibition stands and much more. He specializes in experiential marketing and event productions. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.