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Marketers are reimagining their event strategies

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Marketers are reimagining their event strategies


The CMO Council calls it “the NextGen event landscape” and says it will look “vastly different from pre-pandemic events.” In a new report, “NextGen Event Optimized for Outcomes,” a survey of 150 global marketing leaders finds that 65% believe event marketing “will mature to align all events — virtual, in-person, and hybrid — to marketing outcomes.

Virtual is here to stay. Virtual events will continue to provide expanded reach, especially at top of funnel, despite virtual event fatigue and concern that marketers are only moderately effective, or not effective at executing them (64%).

Three out of five marketers, however, are eager to re-start in-person events, believing they are better for nurturing customers and driving conversions.

Hybrid faces challenges. The potential value of hybrid events is recognized but marketers also acknowledge obstacles to pulling them off successfully. Indeed, the group surveyed felt they were less effective at executing hybrid events than in-person, virtual or webinars. Adding a virtual element to an in-person event was viewed as steeply increasing costs and there was concern that vigorous promotion of virtual aspects could depress live attendance.

Read next: The most recent update of our Event Participation Index

Why we care. For a few weeks last summer and fall it felt like in-person was back. Businesses started to host live events, even if on a small scale, and many found it a relief to meet people face to face after over a year of video calls. Then came winter and Omicron and it all seemed over again.

There’s no doubt, however, as this report reflects, that the effect of digitzing events has been to pull event marketing out of its silo and make it part of a holistic digital marketing strategy. Everyone is now trying to read the future of events with marketers reluctant to abandon the huge reach of virtual but missing the true connections of in-person.

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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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The Ultimate Guide to Talent Management [Strategy + Best Practices]

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The Ultimate Guide to Talent Management [Strategy + Best Practices]

Ever wonder what sets successful businesses apart from those organizations that struggle year after year?

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