In the modern world, constant connectivity is more common than not. Everything is now accessible from devices you can carry in your pocket, be it social media, email, the internet or apps. This provides new opportunities for event organisers to connect with attendees, making a digital marketing strategy an increasingly important aspect of the profession.
Some businesses, however, are still not fully embracing this medium and now miss out on a major touch point, devaluing their experience of the whole event. Here are five ways digital marketing is crucial for any corporate event.
1. Experience –
Digital marketing provides an instantaneous connection with attendees. Digital tools have practical applications for event organisers to push, whether travel and weather information, exclusive insights and behind the scenes information or even competitions and prizes to be won like photographs with the 2003 World Cup rugby team or a VIP box at Cheltenham Festival. There are many creative ways to digitally get involved even if simply through an integrated social media, website and direct digital marketing plan.
2. Fun factor –
Digital marketing can also be used to provide an element of fun to increase excitement for your event. Video invites or animations can be used to convey key messages about the day in a more engaging way than simple text. Interactive games or interesting facts in your emails and social streams can get statistics across in a less dry way. Setting up hashtags for the event like #sixnations or #ChildrenInNeed can also be a good way to get attendees talking, and putting tweets up on a social screen can make this feel like a more integrated part of your event.
3. Messaging –
The reasons behind your event and effective conveyance of these are crucial to its success, and digital marketing enables this process to be undertaken much more effectively. Research shows that people are vastly more likely to remember a piece of information after seeing, hearing or reading it three times, making repeated exposure to information a high priority for events. During event build-up, send the reasons for attending and key messages of the event in emails, put them on Facebook, tweet them and publish them on LinkedIn. Then at the event mention them again and link them with digital displays, followed by reinforcing them post-event through the same channels.
4. Attendance –
Everyone wants high attendance at their event: after all the hard work that goes into it, no one wants to have last minute drop-outs. Sending out event reminders two weeks, one week, 3 days and 1 day before the event will ensure customers are reminded of why they want to attend the event, and keep them engaged so they don’t drop out. In addition to this, an integrated online teaser campaign – drip-feeding interesting snippets about the event to attendees like confirmation of celebrities like Phil Tufnell – would maintain their attention. Your pre-event digital marketing strategy is clearly important to customer engagement, and therefore has a clearly definable impact on your attendance.
5. Elongate your event –
Without digital involvement you miss major opportunities to elongate attendee’s experience of your event. Digital experiences can begin long before the physical event does, providing customers with a connection to the event during the build-up. Digital invitations, continued communication about the event and teaser videos are three easy methods to build engagement and keep the event on people’s minds. After the event, this can be continued, preventing the event from being forgotten, reinforcing the messages and increasing the event’s ROI.
The importance of digital marketing cannot be overstated. In our increasingly connected world, people expect to be constantly engaged by brands and the use of various digital avenues provides the best way to do this. Given the proven benefits, can you really afford not to have a digital marketing strategy in place for your event?
By Megan Collins, Head of Marketing at Paragon.
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