Event Tech Talks is a series of debates that happen once a month. This time around, the panel ignited an insightful discussion into digital marketing tools, tips and tactics… A topic that for me, personally, I could talk about all day and every day.
In the past we have had Callum Gill join the panel to delve into what the impact might be on the events industry when it comes to the Internet of Things, Kirk D’Cruze, debate over websites and apps, Matt Hayward look at AR and VR on a budget, and our Creative Director answer to “Beyond Q&A, how we can engage attendees further?”
Each panellist brought a different box of knowledge to the table and it made it a wide-ranging and insightful discussion. So, who were the panellists? Hosted at 1 Wimpole Street in London, I was joined by Carsten Pleiser, CEO Event Tech Partner, Tamar Beck, CEO of GleanIn, Ricardo Molina, Co-Founder of BrightBull, alongside Adam Parry, Founder of Event Tech Talks, Event Tech Live and Event Industry News, who moderated the panel.
Here’s a brief overview and top-line points of the discussion.
1) What you think is the biggest challenge facing event marketers when trying to market events digitally?
- Not knowing where, or who your target audience is.
- Trying to do too much, such as focusing on too many channels instead of using one that works.
- Being able to track where your event is being talked about – there are a lot of dark social areas – WhatsApp, messenger on Facebook, text messages and so on. Private social media settings are difficult too, so how can we track this?
- Event hashtags – people might be tweeting but not using the hashtag, so it can be hard to find out where people are talking about the event.
- Digitally – another challenge might be reaching out to those who don’t have social media, or who get irritated by emails.
2) Your favourite tool(s) you use or have seen being used to market event
- Viral Loops
3) Your number 1 tip to market events digitally
- Understand your customers and their behaviours. Who are they, what drives them and where they hang out.
- Be open to trying as many new channels as makes sense for your market; even if it’s in just a small way, always be testing and measuring existing and new channels. Assume that you will need to use a number of channels to achieve your goals and ensure you stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not.
- Stay human, stay real and stay personable. People don’t want to have adverts shoved in their faces or talked to in mass – where you can as much as you can, when you market an event it is important to talk to them as if they are the only person you are speaking with.
- Build a community around your event – what are people saying and where are they saying it – communicate with them! And on the right channels as well.
- Be mobile friendly!
4) Your number 1 don’t! What not to do / what trap not to fall in to.
- Focusing on one area or on one social media channel – try and do a mix of marketing and not just singular – don’t neglect other forms of marketing
- Copying other methods and not understanding why you are doing something. If objectives are not set, you won’t know if you have gotten any success or not.
- Don’t put money and effort into one aspect such as the pre-event, focus on all parts equally – the pre-event, the event itself, and after the event too. When you’re planning your social media campaign in the lead up, remember that it is part of the wider marketing mix and it is not just one thing.
- Don’t neglect to interact after the event has happened!
- Don’t rely on digital or go fully digital, remember outbound marketing too, as some people may prefer to see something physically – such as an invite, or a badge, rather than just an app.
5) Any tactics you use or believe in such as using influencers, retargeting etc
- Marketers should be trying to make it super easy for stakeholders in the event to advocate/recommend the event on. Don’t be tempted into trying to auto-mating advocacy.
- Genuine advocacy is highly valuable and not only will it drive an increase in relevant, engaged audience, it will also enable the marketer to identify (and value) influencers. Using speakers’ network to leverage that content.
- Tactics such as having a mix of content, video, blogs, gifs, short clips, memes, photos and more. Alongside influencers that are appropriate.
- Be creative if you are using videos, because most people watch videos silently – so be prepared for this.
- Also, it is important to reflect on the data ready for the next event – what worked, what didn’t, what was engaged with and what wasn’t?
To watch the panel in full go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BgaN3DBjZw
Emily Johnson – PR and Social Exec