The amount of data we create every day is astronomical. The digital universe will likely reach 44 zettabytes in 2020, according to the World Economic Forum. That’s 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe.
As an indication of how fast this is changing, that number will grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025, according to the International Data Corporation.
To say that’s a lot of data is a colossal understatement – but is it really surprising? After all, we can take phone calls from watches; stream music from refrigerators; open the doors of hotels, offices and garages from telephones; order dinner from Alexa; and check the cars weather. With new technologies emerging daily, the digital overload we experience will only increase.
This is why the power of human connection has never been greater.
Business leaders know that to acquire and retain customers, they must build and maintain relationships. While the rest of the world only does it through digital channels, the smartest leaders are also connecting with their potential customers offline.
These are the leaders who champion event marketing – not only as a channel for engagement and conversion, but also as an opportunity to develop thought leadership, build awareness, generate new demand and build customer loyalty. clients.
However, today’s event marketing is not like yesterday’s.
The new era of event marketing
Companies entering this new era of event marketing are discovering massive, untapped business value in repeatable, large-scale event programs. From field marketing programs and roadshows to user groups and sales dinners, companies are going beyond major flagship conferences to reach people throughout the customer journey.
Companies report significant investments in these types of events, according to SiriusDecisions, and for good reason. When event programs scale successfully, they can grow without adding additional resources, ultimately leading to higher ROI and greater business impact.
To support them, event marketers are turning to a new generation of technology platforms that will leverage automation and artificial intelligence to help them ask smarter questions and better understand their customers. They crave disruptive new technology that targets the right people, personalizes event attendee experiences, connects attendees with each other, and more, with minimal or no execution from event marketers.
While many other parts of business use disruptive technologies — such as sales using CRM systems and marketing using marketing automation platforms — event marketing has lagged behind. The thing is, this disruptive new technology doesn’t yet exist for event marketers.
Even so, smart leaders recognize that with or without this disruptive technology, they need to evolve their event marketing programs, and they need to do so in a way that keeps their programs on-brand, compliant, and connected.
Large-scale event marketing and the value of technology
Keeping your event schedules cohesive while evolving is where things can get tricky, as it often means involving other teams in the mix to create and run their own events. As scary as it sounds, it’s not only possible, it can also be easy, with the right event marketing technology.
Event marketers who are successful in scaling their programs in this way are embracing it as a new concept: democratizing events.
“Event democratization” is about making event marketing tools available to a trusted group of individuals – usually non-marketers – to use in creating and running their own events.
The key to feeling comfortable with democratizing events is data and design governance, or maintaining a level of control over your prospect and customer information, as well as brand assets. and event designs.
Having the final say on data and design assets available to other internal teams (and making them easy to access) gives event marketers confidence that these teams will effectively represent the organization.
There are two main ways to achieve this with event marketing technology: event data integrations; and controlled, reusable event themes.
Get results through technology connections
An event data strategy is too often an afterthought for event marketers, even though it’s the biggest differentiator between average and standout event programs. Harnessing the vast amount of event data available can result in more personalized and valuable event experiences and follow-up communications for attendees, resulting in accelerated business results.
However, today’s most successful event marketers don’t just review this information. To scale their event data, they also integrate and share the data with other technologies used in their organization. This allows other teams using these systems, such as sales teams using CRM systems, to use the data in their interactions with prospects and customers and to build momentum with their events.
For example, an integration between Salesforce and event marketing technology should give a sales rep the insights and processes needed to close more deals, connect events directly to revenue, and quickly know the answer to the question, “My prospect is coming- he at our next event? ”
Specifically, this type of integration should allow both event marketers and sales to scale their event data and save time in the process by launching event campaigns on the either platform; update the statuses of campaign members in real time; view event engagement by lead, contact, or account; track every guest, registrant and attendee; and collaborate on guest lists.
Eliminate brand destruction – for good
Marketers know that an organization’s brand is more than just a logo and color scheme. It encompasses values, product experiences, and everything in between that helps customers build trust. That’s why it’s important to maintain brand integrity. This impacts every prospect and customer, no matter where they are in their journey.
Although a brand is more than the visual identity of an organization, this element is important because it is literally how others identify an organization.
Ever since the practice of marketing has existed, marketers have struggled with other teams to create presentations, emails, and sales slicks (to name a few) that can use the wrong colors, off-brand messages or an old logo. Event marketing is no exception.
With hundreds, if not thousands, of events each year, event marketing teams more often forward smaller, repeatable events to their sales teams. Without proper governance of event design assets, this can result in organizations hosting off-brand events that leave prospects with inconsistent experiences and brand confusion.
This is why scaling event design is essential when looking to scale a larger event marketing strategy. With the right technology, event marketers or their designers can create a library of brand-approved event designs that anyone in an organization can use, allowing event marketers to maintain a level of control while maintaining brand integrity.
At the same time, they allow other teams to truly own their events from start to finish – and ultimately, give each other time.
Scale is the future of event marketing
Live, in-person events have the power to connect people through meaningful and immersive experiences. Although they are one of the most revenue-generating marketing activities, they can also be a data black hole and destroy the brand an organization has built.
Marketers know that getting a 100% complete picture of every event interaction is nearly impossible. However, collecting, integrating, and using event data can be easy, as long as the right tool is in place to help scale the data.
Likewise, marketers know how nerve-wracking it can be to build a world-class event strategy, only to have it derailed by off-brand event design. Finding event marketing technology that scales event design with controllable and on-brand themes can be a game-changer to meet this challenge.
Whether an organization is just starting to develop an event marketing strategy or has had a sophisticated one for years, there is always time to review its scalability and how technology can play a role in its success.
After all, it’s not just about changing event programs. It’s also about driving business results through what event attendees want from their event experiences – and that’s personalization every step of the way.