This is a Guest Blog Post from Theresa Lim, who is CEO and founder of Play2Lead, a gamified and social audience interaction and rewards platform. This post was originally published by SPICE 6/11/14 (http://bit.ly/1AnSi7m).
Ticket revenue, number of attendees, sponsorship revenue, or even just brand awareness as metrics are not enough as brands look at the return on investment on their overall marketing spend. Brands who building digital into their strategy, especially ones who are using data to make the right decisions, are looking hard at how they can leverage the prevalence of smartphones to connect with their customers.
So here are my 5Ps of Event Marketing:
PARTICIPATION – Events that increase participation from the voices of a few to the voices of many will win. One way is to increase audience participation through gamification and leveraging social media. Reward audience members for their participation by giving them points which can convert to truly meaningful prizes. Begin engaging your audience with your content and facilitate their interaction with other members of their community who are coming to your event before, during (of course) and after your event. Wherever possible, when creating content ask yourself if this is going to further the conversation, extend the reach of the conversation, or if the content is easily digestible? Keep in mind that rich media and video rock.
PROXIMITY – Start exploring how you can make engagement contextually relevant. Apps that leverage Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are starting to move beyond retail use cases and your branded content (e.g. post-session presentation, digital showbags, whitepapers, specific polls or quizzes) can be pushed to smartphones or BLE-enabled device depending on where and what time you are in the venue. We need to also start thinking about how we can not just think of an event as a physical moment, but how this can be virtual for those who cannot be there due to time or geographical constraints. Many events in the US are already livestreamed and suddenly there is an extended audience and revenue stream. We need to be doing more virtual events (either live or delayed). Proximity is also about helping your customers connect with each other in a contextually meaningful way so they can learn from each other, and your customer champions will naturally promote your products/services for you.
PREDICT – Marketers that leverage data to make decisions reflect the broad industry shift from marketing as an attention drive profession, to one based on intention. Ask the right questions to help your brands and sponsors discover intention, pain points, challenges etc. Brands that leverage the information that our audience give in order to personalise each customer touch point will continue to keep that relationship sticky. Brands that have an integrated or multi-channel approach to understanding and engaging their customers can better predict what their customers want. Your audience is engaging with brands not just at your events, but on the main brand website, various social media platforms, digital and print campaigns.
PERSONALISE – Continue to let your audience choose how they want to learn and engage with your event, but keep their choices to no more than a 2-3 options. Crowdsource ideas and options so your audience feel part of the creation of your event (don’t just rely on your traditional advisory panel). Consider ‘personalising’ the content by asking your speakers to in a ‘live’ environment to choose what topics they want to do a deep dive on – strong speakers will love the opportunity to showcase their level of preparation, thought leadership and ability to think on their feet.
PLAY – Take traditional games in events to the next digital level. Think digital passports, amazing race challenges, competitions/trivia games etc.- the glue can be a single leaderboard that aggregates the different play/engagement opportunities.
Event marketers and professionals, apps and social media is just the beginning of how brands want to engage with their audience. Authentically engage with your audience to really get insights into what matters to them. It’s no longer about just having bums on seats. Audiences are ready to be heard en masse.
Craig Rispin (Futurist) will be chatting with Theresa Lim via a webinar on “Gamification and Beacons” on 21/11 4-5pm (AEDT). Register here: http://bit.ly/10ADkuC