Event Strategy & Marketing
The cyclical nature of events evokes a temptation to start thinking about tactics, timelines and costs in relation to what’s been done in the past. COVID-19 has changed everything, though – the media landscape, the reliability of databases and the needs, wants and concerns of our audiences. mdg is adept at finding solutions that generate response and build online and in-person participation. Our dedicated digital event team works with clients to thoughtfully and creatively develop online event solutions (standalone and hybrid), from strategic planning to selecting the right technology platform to performance modeling and more. Our core competency lies in the ability to identify new strategies and tactics, and execute in a way that achieves positive, measurable outcomes.
how did we do that?
From launching new events to rebranding and repositioning mature ones in a virtual environment, mdg has worked with clients to increase attendance by:
Our 80-person team of marketing strategists, live and virtual event experts, and specialists in areas such as branding, audience acquisition, design, messaging, digital and interactive media allows us to offer integrated solutions that deliver results.
8 Lessons Learned Taking Events Online
For the past several months, event organizers—skilled in producing trade shows and conferences in physical environments—have been navigating the uncharted terrain of digital events, many for the first time. In doing so, they’ve realized the importance of agility, speed, and learning from mistakes—their own and others’—in taking in-person events into the digital realm. According to mdg account leads Shantelle Johnson, Jacquelyn Wells, and Shauna Peters, these are some of the most important lessons we’ve learned in developing, marketing and launching our clients’ virtual events this year.
WCX DIGITAL SUMMIT
Produced by SAE International, WCX World Congress Experience is the largest technical mobility event in North America. Held each April in Detroit, the 2020 event went online due to COVID-19. To build awareness, engage key stakeholders and drive registration for this virtual experience, mdg developed and executed a highly targeted campaign. Tactics included steady email and digital marketing over the course of four weeks leading up to the event. In addition to receiving 109 percent of the projected paid attendance goal, mdg was also able to generate over 450 percent of the projected impressions and 164 percent of projected clicks from the digital campaign.
Produced by SAE International, the global leader in connecting and educating mobility professionals, WCX World Congress Experience is the largest technical mobility event in North America. WCX is traditionally held each April in Detroit, Michigan, attracting nearly 9,000 mobility professionals from across the world. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 event was forced to cancel. In an effort to bring planned speakers, content and knowledge to the community from the safety of their home, SAE relaunched the event virtually as the WCX Digital Summit. Driven by a desire to support the overall mission of SAE while connecting mobility engineers during an uncertain time through continued education, the virtual approach allowed a global audience to access the event at a significantly reduced rate.
mdg developed a highly targeted plan to build awareness among both warm and cold audiences, engage key stakeholders and ultimately drive registration for this new virtual event. The strategy included an aggressive email and digital campaign to be executed over the course of four weeks leading up to the event—a very short runway for a new event.
Not only did we achieve 109% of the projected paid attendance goal, but mdg was also able to generate over 450% of the projected impressions, and 164% of projected clicks from the digital campaign, drawing significant awareness to a launch event. Overall email engagement was 5% higher than average in-person event email engagement.
Working with mdg was a true partnership. They took the time to understand our very specific situation and applied unique strategies and tactics aimed at growing our distributor attendance in a consolidating market while seamlessly integrating into our teams’ operations. As partners, mdg has really challenged our group to think differently, and collectively, in 2019 we exceeded our goals to have among the most successful events in the show’s history.