The New Year is almost here, and with it comes a flurry of expectations. Use these four strategic building blocks to jumpstart event success in 2018.
Attendees routinely create a “must-see” list to optimize their time on the show floor. Pre-show communications are the surest way to make the list. Email campaigns are a mainstay of many marketing campaigns, but if it’s the only tool in your arsenal then make 2018 the year you branch out. Digital plays like location marketing and geo targeting can increase the frequency of your outreach and connect with audiences when they’re most receptive to receiving your message. Social Media can play a big role, too. Evaluate your posts with a critical eye. Are you sending out “us, too”, scrollable messages? Or are you making your outreach click-worthy?
Whether you’re hosting a corporate event or participating in an industry expo, the question that should drive all planning is “What is the attendee journey?” From there, the goal should be to connect audience members to a branded experience at every touchpoint along the way. That’s the key to creating a brand immersion and achieving important messaging objectives.
The Front Line
It’s an old adage but in an age of instant communication, it’s more true than ever: if your guests have a positive experience, they will tell two friends. If they have a negative experience, they will tell 20 friends. Whether you are organising a corporate conference, an experiential campaign or a VIP party, your event staff should reflect your brand values. All too often, hired hands and even corporate staff don’t understand the importance of their role. Creating accurate job descriptions and conducting training before arriving on site goes a long way toward ensuring performance consistency.
The event is over, the team is debriefing and it’s time to prove the value of your efforts. Can you put a number to the value of learning at your event? Or how that learning impacted business decisions? Can you show the value of your contribution to the sales pipeline? Or demonstrate some other way that your event moved the needle on a key corporate objective? Feel good anecdotes last for days or weeks at the most. Hard data is forever. Make this your first business resolution of the new year: To develop meaningful metrics and a data capture plan for every event in your 2018 program.