In 2020, marketing leaders needed to scramble to adapt their occasion plans to the realities of COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing restrictions. Trying forward, the disruption appears set to proceed into the brand new 12 months, and that offers rise to the query “What subsequent”? Advertising and marketing leaders are asking themselves new questions: Can I embrace in-person occasions in my occasions plan? How do I adapt my digital occasion technique to cope with the digital occasion fatigue we’re already beginning to see?
Like Warner Bros. did in 1927, advertising and marketing leaders ought to embrace the brand new actuality and search for methods to adapt their present strategy to in-person occasions, whereas exploring methods to innovate their digital occasion expertise. Additionally they want to concentrate to the underpinning infrastructure and combine groups, processes, and expertise.
Adapt In-Individual Occasions To Embody “Hybrid Viewers” As An Choice
Hybrid viewers occasions provide attendees the choice to attend in individual or nearly. This implies you’ll be able to run a smaller, scaled-back bodily occasion guaranteeing full compliance with social distancing necessities, whereas nonetheless supporting some digital attendance. For hybrid viewers occasions to succeed, the content material should work equally properly throughout each channels and a focus should be paid to areas like pricing technique, course of alignment, and infrastructure necessities.
Care needs to be taken to not deal with the digital expertise as an afterthought. The expertise for in-person and digital attendees wants fastidiously mapping out in order that digital attendees are usually not handled as second-class residents.
Innovate With “Hybrid Expertise” Occasions
Hybrid expertise occasions embody each in-person occasions, which combine digital elements to reinforce the attendee expertise, and digital occasions, which incorporate bodily parts to humanize them.
In the event you’re seeing digital occasion registrations and attendance decline from their earlier highs as people wrestle to tell apart between occasions, take into account how experiential parts may assist differentiate your occasion and drive viewers interplay. For smaller, extra unique digital occasions this will contain sending samples of meals or drink to occasion registrants after which having an knowledgeable be part of the occasion to guide a reside tasting. For bigger occasions, it might be group actions like yoga courses or viewing events. Bear in mind to think about goal persona preferences and, the place potential, search to enrich the core occasion content material.
As you begin to reintegrate in-person occasions into your technique subsequent 12 months, take into account how one can create a hybrid expertise, using your digital occasion experience to create extra digital interplay alternatives. For instance, take into account the way you may use attendee profile knowledge to make real-time session suggestions. However keep in mind, the aim of those interactions is to reinforce the attendee expertise and ship invaluable perception, not impede or distract from the occasion expertise.
Focus On Integration To Ship Outcomes
The pivot to digital occasions has acted as a forcing agent, bringing completely different advertising and marketing groups nearer collectively because the occasion crew has labored extra intently with the demand crew, net/digital crew, and advertising and marketing operations crew. Advertising and marketing leaders ought to proceed to push for larger cross-team collaboration whereas additionally reviewing the talents, capabilities, and organizational RACI they’ll must efficiently ship a broader vary of occasions subsequent 12 months.
Occasions needs to be integral parts in broader advertising and marketing campaigns and packages, slightly than an adjunct. Be sure that occasion KPIs hyperlink again on to marketing campaign and program objectives. Additionally take into account how occasions can be utilized to gather purchaser indicators and drive next-action suggestions. A scarcity of integration throughout the tech stack can inhibit this, so prioritize the combination of occasion expertise with the broader advertising and marketing ecosystem. This may occasionally additionally give rise to the necessity for brand new occasion roles comparable to occasion technologists.
This has unquestionably been an extremely disruptive 12 months for B2B occasions. Nonetheless, for organizations ready to embrace this and adapt in the way in which that Warner Bros. did almost a century in the past, there are thrilling alternatives to enhance the attendee expertise by way of hybrid occasions and reimagined groups, processes, and infrastructure.
For extra steerage on learn how to adapt your occasion technique, hearken to our podcast on digital occasions at https://go.forrester.com/what-it-means/ep184-b2b-virtual-events/.