Event marketing

Event Marketing in the Age of Zoom

Event marketing has transformed dramatically during the pandemic, with today’s attendees expecting personalized experiences virtually and in-person.

Posted: May 12, 2022

(Image credit: Wes Lewis/Unsplash)

The new era of events is here and ready to disrupt, and event marketers must adapt accordingly.

Today’s events are integrated, personalized, and data-driven. The best events provide attendees with an end-to-end immersive experience.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, event managers were sometimes too focused on what was happening at the event that they lost sight of the attendee or customer. Disconnected from customer journeys, marketers didn’t fully understand the value of using their event data to better inform their marketing strategies.

However, the rapid shift to digital experiences has blurred the lines between in-person and on-demand events, paving the way for new opportunities.

The future of events is subjective and highly dependent on marketers’ ability to leverage learnings from the past two years. The customer is paying attention and their expectations will continue to evolve in the “new” normal.

Marketers need to rethink their approach to creating and promoting events and ensuring that user experiences are at the center of the event universe. Marketers will need to prioritize personalization, onboarding the consumer from the start to future-proof their CX pipeline.

Participants are now co-creators

The novelty of traditional event marketing is fading, as the power shifts from event planners to attendees who want to co-create their own event experiences.

Before marketers can consider extending their attendee experience through integrations, such as Q&A chat polls, virtual photo booths, rewards platform, and gamification, they need to lay out the basics, including the sound, video quality and an easy to navigate website.

At the start of the pandemic, marketers viewed virtual events as an extension of digital engagements. They quickly discovered that virtual events offered a unique and distinct way to reach their key audiences, allowing consumers to choose their level of participation.

Marketers have discovered other ways to deliver content beyond physical sessions, which has resulted in new offerings such as fireside chats to deliver timely and concise content to the right audience.

The role of data in event marketing

Data is the source of this need. Today, 50% of Americans spend more than half their day in front of a screen for school, work and play.. Consumers are increasingly looking for experiences that offer a new level of convenience, versatility and flexibility.

The market is full of management platforms whose current AI and machine learning algorithms are only scratching the surface. Anyone can analyze event data and provide content recommendations. The difference is in integrating the technology into the full martech stack to create a robust platform.

Marketers can identify an attendee’s personality to understand current needs and combine this information with behavioral data provided by events to improve recommendations beyond session attendance. This curates a specific virtual or physical experience from an attendee’s first point of contact.

User experience in a hybrid reality

User experience has become an essential part of an event and can be the key difference between an engaged or passive audience. Personalized content goes a long way, but has been a foreign concept for marketers for years.

The most successful companies have begun to evolve their strategies by extracting timely pieces of content and using them for promotion and engagement. We will increasingly see virtual experiences used more strategically to reuse evergreen content and bridge the gap between experiences in meaningful ways before, during, and after events.

These tools have always been available, but marketers now view them differently. It is imperative to apply this thinking to physical events as we begin to see them come back into the fold.

Marketers must reconstruct their customer journey as a series of multiple event experiences, both physical and digital, to create a new channel in itself filled with sub-channels filled with past event experiences. These sub-channels not only surround the relationship attendees have between the events and the digital marketing channel, but will seamlessly integrate the customer into the sales and marketing funnel.

In short, today’s events are integrated, personalized, and data-driven.

Marketers will need to evaluate platforms that enable them to deliver content at the right time through physical, virtual and hybrid environments specific to each participant and, once found, integrate this technology into their processes to future-proof the experiences of their customers. users.

The sooner this happens, the better prepared marketers will be.

Doug Baird is the founder and president of RainFocus, a next-generation event management and marketing platform. With over 20 years of experience solving customer issues with technology, Doug has held almost every technical position – from programmer to founder and CEO at various small and large companies. To this day, Doug’s original technology vision remains the foundation of most corporate event programs today.

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