Video is Key Tactic in Event Marketing Strategies

April 26, 2017

By Elizabeth Johnson

From Netflix to YouTube to Facebook Live, video is everywhere. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, IP video traffic will comprise 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2015.

Bottom line, if you’re not using video to promote your event, you should.

“Video connects on an emotional level, which is persuasive,” said Greig Powers, COO at CNTV.

He continued, “It lets the audience see and hear the event experience for themselves, providing a greater authenticity compared to other marketing methods. Words can tell potential attendees of the new products and face-to-face connections. Only compelling video can show handshakes, business card exchanges, smiles and surprises when attendees discover something new.”

Need more benefits of video? Video is easier to consume, more memorable and shareable on social channels, too.

Content Marketing Institute uses video throughout the year for a variety of purpose, including promoting its events such as Content Marketing World.

“With all of our content, we try to connect with our customers where and when they like to digest content and the form that is best for them,” said Cathy McPhillips, vice president of marketing at CMI.

She added, “The personality of our event is well-represented with video. It’s been one of our best ways to generate CMWorld registrations. With any marketing program, I aim to get a 4:1 return on our investment. Our use of video far exceeds that ROI, making it one of our most effective tools for marketing our events.”

The amount of videos organizers should produce depends on their strategy, according to Powers, who identifies five approaches to video marketing:

·      The Content Marketing Approach: Through regular video delivery, this approach positions the organization as the authority in its market. The videos deliver highly valuable content on news and trends to potential attendees and position the event as the place find solutions and stay ahead of trends.

Some organizers produce content marketing videos year-round, completing as many as 48 videos in one year, while others may produce six videos leading up to the event.

“We’ve created 5-7-minute video clips from sessions at the previous year’s event where we’ll pull out a fun or poignant snippet from that speaker’s 45-minute presentation, publish it on YouTube and also create a blog post around this topic, speaker and clip,” McPhillips explained.

She added, “That’s us using content marketing to promote Content Marketing World!”

·      The Audience Segmentation Approach: Events appeal to different audience segments for different reasons, so each video should do the same. Segment an audience by product category, attendee type or a particular value proposition.

·      The Attendee Acquisition Approach: If the audience is relatively homogeneous, attendee acquisition can sum up the event in 2-3 minutes and be a good entry to video marketing.

Marketing agency Fixation uses video to promote its clients’ events, such as PMMI’s PackExpo.

“We use video to give a show overview and build excitement,” said Megan Campbell, vice president of client services and strategy at Fixation.

She continued, “Our videos are generally 60-90 seconds and distributed through email, the website and social media.”

Fixation also expands distribution by creating contests that encourage its audience to watch and share the videos to win prizes.

“When working on this type of video, beware of cramming too much into one video – it waters down the individual messages,” Powers warned.

·      The Testimonial Approach: For the budget-conscious, using event testimonials is the way to go. Organizers can create a longer testimonial reel, or create a series of 10-15 separate, 15-second clips for social media use.

“Vet testimonials to match the type of attendee and exhibitors you are targeting,” Campbell advised.

·      Know-Before-You-Go: Rather than send a lengthy email, create a series of videos to help buyers and sellers have a productive time. Explain how to make a schedule, navigate the show floor and provide exposure to sponsors.

Budget is a big factor when it comes to video. Sponsors are always looking for customized ways to reach their audience, and pre-event videos are an opportunity to do that while allowing for revenue generation and event marketing at the same time.

“Without sponsors, your budget commitment should reflect your brand and audience,” Powers explained.

He added, “If the event is free, a high-production video marketing strategy may not be warranted. If your event targets high-level executives, your video content should reflect that.”

However, the biggest missed opportunity is only using a video once, according to Powers.

“Once a video is out there, continue to repost it on social channels or include in multiple email campaigns,” Powers said.

He continued, “You can get the most bang for your buck since only a fraction of your audience will see a video the first time.”

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.