Cvent believes the golden age of events has arrived. But it did not come easily. This exciting new era has arrived thanks to a confluence of game-changing events that rocked the marketing world forever, from the rise of digital technology to the global pandemic of 2020.
Perhaps no other marketing channel has been more affected by the pandemic than meetings and events. When in-person events suddenly came to a halt, organizations were forced to innovate in order to survive. It was the survival of the fittest, with real-time evolution. Not only have organizations adapted brilliantly, they have arguably changed the face of event marketing forever.
Without in-person events, marketers and event planners have been brought together, and the lines between traditional webinars and virtual events have blurred. Marketers began to think about what was possible with meetings and events, and how to integrate marketing methodologies into the overall event channel. Both parties saw the potential: massive audience expansion, multiple data capture points, digital engagement, lead scoring, etc. Now there is no going back. This is not a return to normal or even a “new normal”. It’s about rethinking the way marketers see, plan, produce, and even attend events. Now more than ever, marketers have the opportunity to create value and generate revenue by aligning their technology, teams and strategy to evolve the event channel and add a powerful new tool to their mix. global marketing.
BEFORE THE PANDEMIC: SILOES AND SEPARATION
Our pre-pandemic world was dominated by face-to-face events. Teams, roles, responsibilities and technology were siled. The technology existed in different places with different owners. Few teams spoke and even fewer organizations took a programmatic view of their events. According to a 2021 Forrester survey, 66% of event managers said they performed events independently of marketing campaigns. The result? Years, if not decades, of missed opportunities.
PANDEMIC: DISTURBANCE AND CONVERGENCE
The pandemic has upset the status quo. This has led to the convergence of functions, the technologies used to support them and the entire event chain. Event planners and marketers quickly adapted, discovering new opportunities along the way – and laid the groundwork for a new and better way in the post-pandemic world.
POST-PANDEMIC: INNOVATION & IMPACT
Cut to the present – and to the future. The digital revolution and the global pandemic have taught marketers that the status quo has to go. Roles and responsibilities became more fluid and organizations started to think differently at all levels. And a tidal wave of new and innovative thinking is taking place that will neither be stopped nor reversed:
- 73% of organizations say demand marketing is responsible for defining event strategy. (Forrester, February 2021)
- 72% agree that digital strategy technologies will remain the basis of any post-pandemic experience. (Forrester, February 2021)
- In-person events will become more digitally connected, whether they are “hybrid” or exclusively in person.
- Marketers and planners will work hand in hand to create and deliver dynamic and engaging event experiences.
- Virtual events will become more experiential due to audience expectations. An engaging 2019 webinar is unlikely to be enough in today’s world – webinars should function more like a virtual event experience.
Where does the daydreaming of what is possible and an achievable strategy begin? It starts with thinking bigger than just planning events one by one, independent of the organization’s overall marketing strategy. The future of event marketing is a multi-layered programmatic approach. We call it: The new event marketing opportunity.
Leveraging the new event marketing opportunity requires marketers to align strategy, technology, and teams to deliver the right event format (virtual, in-person, hybrid) for the right type of event (events, conferences, meetings, seminars, training, etc.) for the right audience, at the right stage of the customer journey.
Events can no longer be seen simply as arbitrary dates circled on the organization’s calendar; they should be seen as an essential part of the overall marketing mix that can support each stage of the customer lifecycle.
The new event marketing opportunity maximizes value and manages risk by mastering event types and formats using a cohesive, comprehensive and collaborative approach that encompasses virtual technology.
Now how to take advantage of the new event marketing opportunity and maximize your event chain? Visit cvent.com/eventopportunity for how to take control.