Last year we witnessed the boom of the live events industry ourselves; Experiencing as many differing industries, and how they operate, as possible. In a world where “experience is everything”, keeping up with the latest trends is a must to keep leads engaged.
A recent event marketing survey found, “52% of respondents said that event marketing drove more business value than any other marketing channels.”
“30% of marketing budgets are expected to be spent on live events in 2020”
Companies need to maximise ROI through creative and original marketing campaigns, utilising all the senses to create memorable experiences for attendees.
The continued reign of face-to-face
With the constant relationship we now have with screens; whether it’s the one in our pockets, the ones we use for work or the ones we use to wind down and binge our favourite shows on, there’s a serious lack of face-to-face interactions nowadays.
Marketers are aware of this and should exploit it. “Face-to-face marketing will remain as the primary marketing model for most businesses for years to come.”
The fact of the matter is that people now crave these in-person interactions, and the companies who offer an avenue for this will be the ones who exceed expectations in 2020.
“For new prospects, in-person meetings were 85% more effective than virtual meetings.”
Emphasising feeling, emotion and experience are the key factors that play into face-to-face tactics. We like to think that our purchasing habits are rational and thought out but this is rarely the case.
A study by SMITH found that any lead (even B2B) can experience a range of eight ‘emotions’ that can influence their purchasing decisions.
According to their study the ‘needs validation’ emotion is the most prevalent, making up 20% of purchase behaviours. These specific clients have an idea of what they want but need a little push to cross the line of indecision and go against their doubt.
This is where social media can help you also. By having brand advocates / influencers praising your products any validation leads are looking for can be easily accessed online.
Face-to-face selling is the best solution to provide buyers with needs validation. A knowledgeable member of staff, interacting with a lead, can provide the confidence needed for a potential buyer to purchase.
The inevitable evolution of networking
Live events serve a number of functions for the professional and one of the big ones is networking. However, “A mutation in authority has taken place.” Says Christine Renaud. “We now want to play an active role in the way we care for ourselves, in the way we learn and in the way we interact with culture.”
This new ownership people feel towards their professional education has paved the way for networking services. Creating a culture of handing over control to the attendees.
Attendees set the agenda
For instance, ‘Braindates’ the self-labelled tinder of learning, delivers meaningful experiences through a culture of inclusivity. They help brands to identify their communities and how to cater to their needs at events.
This often consists of offering a platform, such as an app, where attendees can organise their own meetings at an event for a peer learning experience.
These more meaningful, tailored connections will become mainstream within the events industry in 2020, ensuring everyone has a space in which to meet likeminded people and learn from one another.
Universal tech solutions – providing a consistent customer journey
The siloing of technology is something we can all agree has to go. Downloading an app, registering on the website, replying to email surveys none of these standalone as elegant solutions.
What exhibitors need to help facilitate an enjoyable experience is to trim down on the processes and discover a ‘holistic’ approach. Having technology that can easily integrate well with other systems such as CRM’s, project management tools and company chat software is a must to gain a full picture of your client.
Rather than relying on event supplied hardware and the timeframe in which they offer you pre-set lead data, you have complete ownership. Meaning editing what data you collect from clients when you want to. Providing you with the best chance to carry out after-event engagement.
In 2020 an emphasis on eco-friendly booths will rise into the mainstream. Last year we already noticed a number of booths that stood out as the quirky environmentally friendly stands.
This year climate consciousness will perpetuate through into the zeitgeist and become very prevalent at events. Sourcing local materials to reduce carbon emissions and recycled materials making up furniture are all great examples.
Location technology brand ‘HERE’ designed an exquisite two-story booth for CES 2020. Designed on the theme of ‘transparency’ however, built with more than 90% reusable materials with elements of the build stored locally before construction.
Located in Las Vegas, HERE took advantage of the weather and made dividing walls transparent. Allowing natural indirect light to coat the inside and reduce the need for electrical lighting.
Operating with these morals in mind can increase the cost of your set-up, but the publicity and message your sending out to potential clients is priceless.
Client expectations are higher than ever, with faster Wi-fi speeds, more creative interactive exhibition presences and larger budgets, attendees are accustomed to a high level of satisfaction. This along with advancements in tech will lead to more brands crafting hugely specific and memorable experiences for attendees.
No element of events will be left behind in this new wave of personalisation, from the event stand, uniforms, competitions, giveaways, data capture and more.
Ensuring all of these factors meet and surpass visitor expectations will play a huge factor in years to come.
If you’d like to read up on some of the events, we attended last year, then head over to our blogs and get an idea of what brands were doing to stay ahead of the curve, or inform your marketing strategies for this year.
Take the first step towards valuable data
With our Data Capture app and Data services team on offer we provide all the tools necessary to unlock the value in your customer data