The Demand for Marketing Events in a Post-Pandemic Marketing Landscape

    The Demand for Marketing Events in a Post-Pandemic Marketing Landscape

    The pandemic boosted digital adoption, resulting in a tipping point that has altering everyone’s personal and professional lives. This environment demands that events evolve today to satisfy the needs of attendees tomorrow.

    According to the 2020 McKinsey Global Survey of executives, businesses have advanced the development of their digital or digitally enabled products by almost seven years. The event industry must consider a future that includes an ongoing digital presence as the workforce adapts to new ways of conducting business.

    Everything from healthcare to transportation to social relationships has seen disruption, innovation, and transformation in the past year. If marketing events are on the horizon, what will propel events forward at this vital juncture, and how will it affect marketers?

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    Demand for Marketing Events

    One thing is certain as the world continues to emerge from COVID-related restrictions: marketers are ready to go back to business as usual, which includes attending industry events.

    When the pandemic struck, many businesses and agencies put their marketing budgets on hold or completely eliminated them. Services and partnerships were scaled back, launch plans were shelved, and business travel was cancelled. Every dollar was scrutinized, and teams were challenged to accomplish more with less. Only the promise that 2021 would be a year of recuperation helped marketers get through 2020.

    Virtual Events

    Meetings and events in 2020 had to quickly transition to virtual solutions. Unfortunately, many characteristics of live events did not convert well to digital versions, and as a result, engagement fell.

    Virtual events offer the opportunity to embrace audiences across platforms in order to provide the greatest experience. Consider a marketing campaign that spans desktop, mobile, and even virtual reality. Two things are required to create such a digital environment: integration and focus.

    The greatest digital events will continue to integrate third-party plugins, such as transcription services, mobile app experiences, calendaring, and more, to engage the audience. In terms of maintaining a sense of focus, event planners must establish what is most essential to their attendees. The more in touch event organizers can be with audience demands, the more meaningful experience they can create.

    Hybrid Marketing Events

    The majority of event organizers feel that hybrid offerings are the way of the future. Their success will be determined by their ability to connect the online and in-person audiences.

    Creating a virtual experience on top of an in-person experience poses its own set of issues. What methods do event organizers and sponsors use to staff both events at the same time? What features and material should be shared across all experiences, and what should be unique to each?

    Event organizers will have to come up with new ways to keep the online audience engaged, such as broadcasting live content and offering interactive features like Q&As and real-time polls.

    Brands can utilize technology to their advantage to raise awareness in any situation. Sponsors can, for instance, show a relevant intro video during the conference, utilize the lower third of the video frame, and conduct polls in real time during a presentation.

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    Sponsors could use a mobile event app experience to help with networking by moderating a mobile chat. They can also sponsor a lounge with webcam stations that connect in-person and virtual attendees.

    To boost engagement, sponsors can help connect in-person and online attendees by hosting a virtual scavenger hunt tied to exhibit booths that involves groups of online and in-person attendees, or by incorporating a “check in” feature into the event mobile app so attendees can earn virtual points by completing activities that lead to a prize giveaway.

    The sky is the limit when it comes to marketing events in the future. Success is dependent on limits on time budget and the exercise of imagination.

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