Success starts here! Content is king! Keep calm and … are your eyes glazing over yet? Jargon is pervasive in marketing and runs the risk of being too vague for “outsiders” to latch onto or creating a thick stew of business buzzwords that leaves a bad taste. Today’s newest crop of attendees are even perceiving seemingly neutral terms in a negative light. PCMA Convene featured mdg’s advice on how to create compelling messages with tangible meaning for our audiences, especially Next-Gen Event Goers.
Generic messaging that could apply to any show doesn’t usually resonate with audiences, especially Millennials and Gen Z who are used to customized content and skeptical of overly broad promises. But stuffing copy with specifics isn’t always an option, nor is it best practice. mdg shared why it’s important for event marketers to understand when to use abstract and concrete language to tell your story with PCMA Convene.
There are massive technological advancements on the horizon with the potential to impact tradeshows and conferences, in ways big and small. And while the horizon may be years away for some of these tools and technologies, others (GA4) are right around the corner. While in no way exhaustive, mdg shared a guide with PCMA Convene intended to introduce tech neophytes to some of the vernacular (filtered through the lens of an event professional) needed to begin making sense of it all.
As live events continue to move out of recovery mode, it’s time to focus on growth. But audience expectations have shifted as demographics skew younger, purpose-driven brands are prioritized and greater importance is placed on connections and a streamlined experience. So, how can your event keep pace? Here are some key trends and insights to create, sell and market your events to meet changing expectations.
Reduce friction. Event audiences have lost their tolerance for less-than-seamless experiences. A good place to start to combat friction is your website. Sam Lippman, president of Lippman Connects, recommends adding a chat bot: “Your staff, when they’re freed up from answering the same questions over and over again, can have more high-value interactions with your customers.” Next, try segmenting your marketing efforts. It’s vital that the content you deliver aligns with where a prospect is in the customer journey and speaks to their specific industry segment, job title, experience level or past attendance.
Networking. There’s an increased prioritization among attendees for three things: discovery, connections and inspiration. What does this look like in practice? Incorporating networking opportunities at multiple touchpoints throughout the event rather than confining them to networking lounges or receptions. Think about how you can build networking into your education sessions by encouraging more dialogue among attendees. For more technical events, facilitate the connections attendees are looking for by ensuring exhibitors have the right people on-site to answer detailed and specific questions unrelated to sales.
Verification. Free or low-cost registration, flexible cancellation policies and changing consumer attitudes are some of the factors that have led to fluctuating event verification rates. One of the best ways event organizers can address this unpredictability and better sell registrants on the idea of showing up is through aggressive verification tactics, including:
Paid media campaigns
Word-of-mouth campaigns through Gleanin
These campaigns should utilize messaging that encourages registrants to take the next step, such as curating a custom experience by setting meetings and/or choosing education sessions to attend ahead of the event.
Event values. More than ever, personal values are influencing the decision-making process for prospective event attendees. Millennials — the largest generation in the U.S. workforce — want companies to align with their values (83%) and for CEOs to speak out on issues they care about (76%). If you’re unsure how to demonstrate your event values and commitment to what’s important to your audience, consider:
Giving back to the community where your event is held
Taking a stance on social or ethical issues
Supporting a cause through service or donation
Featuring speakers and event locations that embody the values of your event
Working with caterers to identify locally sourced foods and beverages, more plant-based options and ways to reduce waste
These are just a few tactics we should all keep in mind (and in practice) to meet the demands of an evolving event marketing landscape — now and into the future.
Anjia Nicolaidis, mdg director of international strategy, will present a session at the MATSO (Major American Trade Show Organizers) Meet-Up in conjunction with The NAMM Show.
Generating a Greater Return on Your International Marketing Investment
Friday, April 14 Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim, CA
mdg‘s lead strategist from its growing international marketing practice will share proven advice for reengaging global prospects in the post-pandemic environment. Participants will discover ways to more effectively plan and allocate resources at the start of the show cycle, maximize the value of US Trade Agency programs, extend reach with partners and influencers and measure and communicate the success of these efforts to event stakeholders, namely exhibitors. Anjia will share real-life large show case studies that demonstrate how to operationalize best practices to bring the session to life.
Anjia Nicolaidis A marketing strategist with 25 years of experience, Anjia leads the international marketing practice for mdg. She and her team of multi-lingual event professionals perform market research to rank and prioritize countries based on factors such as likeliness to attend, growth potential and overall value to exhibitors. Once priorities are established, the team negotiates strategic partnerships with in-market industry influencers, recruits buyer delegations, internationalizes marketing collateral, participates in foreign trade events, executes digital campaigns, manages media relations and provides additional services to increase international participation at B2B events. Over the course of her career, Anjia has worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of State, living and working in Brazil, Kuwait, Egypt, Belgium and Sri Lanka. She currently lends her expertise to category-leading shows such as NAB Show, International Baking Industry Exposition, Sweets & Snacks Expo, National Restaurant Association Show, MINExpo and more.
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