In today’s buyer empowered world companies need to look at all the available opportunities not to sell but to start a relationship with customers, to generate goodwill, to earn trust and to create memorable experiences within their brand environment.
Your customer wants more than a pitch when evaluating whether to buy from you or engage with you. A great event provides a unique opportunity for your customers to interact with you in an informal way and gives them a chance to get a firsthand sense of your focus, your personality and what matters to you. Apple is one of my favourite stores to visit. Why? It’s like one big event from the moment you walk in to the moment you walk out! Every part of the experience is about your interaction with the brand and with their amazing staff.
For many companies event marketing constitutes 1/5 of the marketing budget, a pretty sizeable percentage. On researching many companies cite sales, lead generation, brand awareness, making a connection, educating attendees and bringing people together are the top event goals. However, the pressure is on! The events industry is evolving and if you want to organise the hottest event for your customer, read on for my top technology trends set to make it big in 2014/ 2015!
What are the biggest trends for 2014?
1. Tick tock, tick tock - One thing people are not big on anymore is having around waiting on people to shuffle bits of paper around a check in desk. Any piece of technology that speeds up sign up and registration will be a winner. I love Event Brite for booking tickets and the app for keeping my tickets for event registration. No printing tickets and no time wasting! Check out ‘Boomset‘ for this one with lots more coming on stream.
2. Thinking informally – Gone are the days when you need a formal seating arrangement. In fact technology is so far advanced now you can socially seat people according to their social connection. If you are holding talks, having classes or speakers also looking a fun, informal ways to seat people so it is easier for them to interact with the speaker always works best over rows of seats. It makes people nervous about commenting and interacting. Make it as easy as possible for people to talk and connect! I love ‘Social Tables‘ for this one or ‘Tag seats‘.
3. Slide sharing Technology – There are ways to ‘push’ event slides directly to your audiences smart phones so they can concentrate entirely on your speaker rather than furiously writing notes or look at slides for fear they will miss something! They are…..miss the speaker! Check out this one ‘Slideklowd‘.
4. Encouraging chat – We have all been at events (recently I was at the Image Magazine Networking Breakfast where they did this) where they have a live stream of the in room chat on a screen. Introduce an event hashtag and encourage people to tweet using your has tag, allowing a wider audience of people not at your event to engage with your event and find out about your event afterwards. I am also looking at ways at the moment in which companies can capture all images taken, all social chat and lots more to feature on their website following the event. Magic. ‘Sli.do‘ can help you to ask live questions and interact at your event.
5. App happy! – The more you can do on your phone the better! Event planning apps that allow the organiser to have all the vital event details or organise elements of what happens at the event in one easy to access place rather than on bits of paper will be huge in 2014. Check out ‘Memory Meld‘ for capturing all event images in one place or ‘Picwithus‘
6. Think of the big picture – If you are going to the trouble of organising an event, make the most of it. Think of all the ways you can use your event afterwards is so important. Taking good pictures, creating great video moments, getting your audience involved in the content are all great ways to truly connect on many platforms long after the event itself.
7. Measuring your success - Events can be a costly business so looking at ways to measure the results, the interaction and the feedback will be key. Some good real time analytic options to check out include ‘Doccaster‘ or ‘Crowd Vision‘.
If Stylefish can help you make your event memorable get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org!