When it comes to event marketing, every detail matters if you want to transform people’s perceptions into a lasting and meaningful partnership. That’s why more and more brands are choosing to invest in experiential activations. Fifty-eight percent of industry experts have expanded their marketing strategies to help consumers understand how a brand fits into their lifestyle.
From the decor to the guest speakers, everything needs to work cohesively to captivate your audience while remaining true to your brand. But when you’re on a budget, how do you know where you should put your money and what you should invest in the most?
Depending on the overall goal of your activation, this answer will vary. But to get a better sense of how you should be allocating your event spending, we reached out to a few key influencers to get their take. Here’s what they had to say:
Enhancing the Attendee Experience
Once you define your audience, you can focus on how to make their event experience worthwhile. Implementing your event spend to ensure that your audience is engaged from the first touchpoint can increase their satisfaction – that’s why 33% of event planners would use additional budgets to invest in enhancing the attendee experience.
Liz King, CEO of techsytalk and the founder of Liz King Events, shares the belief that event planners should focus their time and budgets on enhancing the attendee experience. “Attendees are the lifeblood of an event. Your sponsors invest in your event because of the attendees, your speakers participate in your event to educate your attendees, and yet – attendees are an afterthought at so many events,” says King. “I strongly believe that in today’s competitive and attention-heavy world, we need to focus on attendee marketing, experience, engagement, and more!”
So, how can you plan an event that focuses on your audience before they register, during your event, and long after they leave? From choosing an accessible location to incorporating the latest technology into your event, every step of the planning process should focus on creating a stress-free and easy-to-navigate environment for the attendee.
An event mobile app can help with this, which is why 84% of event organizers agree that audience engagement solutions like messaging through event apps and other event technologies are the biggest trend in maximizing the event experience. Event apps allow your attendees to prepare their schedules before they arrive, connect with other attendees during the event, and access their favorite speaker’s presentations once they return to the office.
Measuring Your Event’s Success
Knowing your target audience will help you create an event catered specifically to their needs and desires. It will determine every aspect of event planning – from who you ask to speak at your event to how you promote it. It will also help you measure the success of your event and plan for the future.
“I’d say the majority of your most important resources should be spent listening to the community your event is meant to serve,” says Nick Borelli, founder of Borelli Strategies and a speaker specializing in marketing for live events and event companies. “Listening can take many forms such as surveys, focus groups, social listening, and advisory boards. Listening is also building personas, looking at event data, and paying attention to social media conversations.”
As Borelli points out, tuning into social during and after your event is a great way to gauge your audience’s reaction. Eighty-seven percent of companies believe that attendees share their event experience on social media. You can measure your qualitative marketing efforts by reading comments and taking stock of which speaker’s sessions were shared most.
Investing in technology for on-site surveys is another way to measure attendee experience and their overall perceptions about the event, including talent, organization, and ticket pricing. Capturing their attitudes and responses can also help you ensure that later events exceed their expectations. Remember the mobile event app we mentioned earlier? You can send polls and questionnaires directly to your attendees through your app to evaluate their engagement levels.
Are you looking for more ways to gain valuable insights and transform your event marketing strategy? Get our Beyond the Booth eBook for expert advice on to how to capture your audience’s attention and elevate your brand.