When it comes to the world of professional events, from well-established legacy conferences to cutting-edge corporate retreats, the industry is ripe for change as well as a technological revolution. Though the industry is well on its way to embracing a more tech savvy, dynamic future, there are quite a few stragglers left in the dust. So what are the forward-thinking event planners out there actually doing? Are you keeping your event practices up to snuff?
Personalizing Digital Marketing
Implementing personalization in your email marketing campaigns can have a great impact on your event ticket sales and registration goals. Segmenting your content, and targeting by audience and type of attendee will help increase conversion rates. By incorporating your attendees’ names in your subject line and signing off with your own, you ultimately humanize your message and have a more direct appeal to your target audience. Your online ads can be personalized to target visitors of your event website through retargeting campaigns, greeting your attendees with “Welcome back <Name>” when they visit your website for the second time, further increasing their likelihood of registering for your event. Personalizing marketing messages helps craft the experience for attendees before they even get to your event.
Event organizers are no stranger to data. Planning budgets, registration revenue, attendee reports and engagement analytics are just a few metrics that are no doubt constantly bouncing across your spreadsheets. Successful organizers don’t just collect the data, they draw out the key figures and understand how to use this knowledge to move forward and make smarter planning decisions. They make it possible by using an event management software that integrates the right tools to understand this data.
Looking Beyond Demographics
It may not seem logical to look past our popular generational designations of the “Millennial”, “Gen X”, and “Baby Boomer”, but studies have shown that segmenting audiences by age isn’t enough. People across all demographics are preferring humanized authenticity when dealing with brands, and want to be spoken to like an actual person and not number. Instead, organizers should look at their attendee’s motivation and goals for attending an event, and how it would be useful in their lives and careers. Grouping attendees by their rationale and attitude, rather than demographics, can help you keep your content relevant and better target your audience.
While it is an absolute must to respond quickly to your attendees, savvy organizers know this also means their online content must be responsive, consistent and look good on any device. You should always consider that a potential attendee may use their laptop to buy their ticket, open their emails on their tablet, and follow the event agenda on their smartphone. Chances are that your attendees will view your event site and interact with your marketing campaigns cross device. The forward-thinking organizers should be committed to providing a great experience, even on a small screen.
Enabling Brand Ambassadors
Though word of mouth is organic and can’t easily be faked by wily marketers, it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools, and should be encouraged through a social referral program. Similar to big-name startups like Airbnb and Uber, innovative organizers amp up their event’s social power by incentivizing attendees to share their event with their networks. By implementing referral programs, attendees have the opportunity to offer discounts or other incentives to their colleagues while also potentially getting money back from their already purchased ticket. This lets those organizers reach new audiences and turn attendees into event ambassadors.
Getting Rid of Spreadsheets
Nothing gives you a solid migraine like a complex, multi-tab spreadsheet. Though everyone can relate to this, spreadsheets have still been a necessity when it comes to the day-to-day of most planners. Now, with the release of innovative and accessible tools, planners are finding that they can automate more and more tasks that they used to have to do manually. Event management software that uses Smart Lists can automatically update the list of attendees, as well as help you easily segment contacts and filter by type of attendee. This allows you to skip manually updating spreadsheets, while also giving you the power to understand your attendees on a granular level to make their experience even more personalized.
Optimizing by Outsourcing
Event organizers may feel like they are short on time in many instances, especially during crunch time. While freelancers have always been an option, it’s now easier than ever to get that extra pair of hands on-demand. Companies such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Taskrabbit give you access to a marketplace of talent that you can hire for as little as $5. Things that were originally out of reach due to lack of budget or time like a promotional event video or frequent content for the event blog can now easily be achieved, while also freeing you up to focus on the main tasks at hand.
The innovative event organizers create personal experiences by personalizing their message, humanizing their voice and making sure they communicate to the right audience. They use management software to measure their efforts and optimize by using data to gain insights. Those organizers speak the language of their attendees and interact where they are. They use the power of advocate marketing and make sure they are focused on the most important tasks, and automate or outsource the rest. The most successful organizers use technology that allows them to focus on creating unforgettable experiences, instead of event management. Isn’t it time you became an innovative organizer?
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