With every year’s end, we have the opportunity to assess what went right and where we need to improve. There’s no better time than the present to recall lessons learned over the past several months, while making plans to be better in the new calendar year. It’s not a time to start over, unless numbers say otherwise, but a time to refresh. When you consider the impact event marketing can have on relationships and revenue, you should plan to reflect. And, from those findings, 2017 event marketing goals should be set.
In 2016, we saw Nintendo hit the road again to put their most beloved 3DS releases into the hands of gamers. We watched Hershey capitalize on the excitement surrounding the Olympics, getting its candy into the bellies and hearts of NYC natives and tourists. These are just two great examples of event and experiential marketing succeeding out of countless activations. And as we read the news, we know to expect more great programs in 2017.
4 Event Marketing Goals for a Great 2017
If your company plans to do more event marketing this New Year, here are four possible event goals to help you achieve great results in 2017.
Be more engaging.
Did previous events fall short in terms of results? Or are you coming off a solid 2016 with aims for even greater success in the New Year? Either way, consider how well you connected with attendees this past year. You may find you want to up your game in one or two critical event aspects.
First, evaluate the quality of your event staff. If you relied on an event staffing app, a Craigslist ad or your own employees to interact with guests, your talent may have lacked the style or skills to build a bridge with your customers. The best way to ensure event staffing success is to partner with a professional event staffing company. They will have a team who understands your needs and will screen candidates and train qualified individuals on your messages and offers. This is important because, at the end of the day, these people are your brand in the eyes of your attendees.
Second, think about the ways you interacted with attendees. Did you create an atmosphere that would deliver the “experience” today’s consumers expect? According to the EventTrack 2015 study, 78% of attendees were “more inclined to purchase” because they had the opportunity to try the product first. Consumers need to get hands on with your products. In 2017, don’t just show and tell. Incorporate experiential marketing campaigns that allow attendees to get up close and personal with your products and services.
Offset event expenses.
You’ve gotten comfortable with the basics of event and experiential marketing. And you’re now ready to add in other aspects to make your efforts more internally valuable, too. The smartest way to do this is by monetizing your events.
There are several great ways to tie revenue generation to events, including the direct sale of products. In fact, the EventTrack 2015 study reports 65% of attendees are making purchases on-site. Including the opportunity to purchase allows companies to take advantage of new, temporary locations to drive sales, as well as supplement lower sales due to seasonality. Even if you don’t want to bother with inventory, incentivize guests to place an order, whether with a discount or free gift.
Another opportunity to monetize is to invite brands with complementary products to sponsor your event. This allows them to send product samples or be physically present to give demonstrations or build brand awareness. Regardless of the avenue, partnerships can offset your expenses. You’re also creating additional value for your consumers by maximizing the opportunities presented at your event.[Tweet “Don’t just show & tell in 2017. Use experiential marketing to put products in consumers’ hands.”]
Increase your ROE.
We just discussed ways to increase your return on investment (ROI). What’s just as critical is your event’s return on engagement (ROE), or the impact your activation makes on brand equity. After all, ROE will affect your sales both now and later.
If you’re unsure how to measure your ROE, it’s a combination of attendee surveys, social media activity and more. These two in particular provide insight as to how receptive people are to your event content and brand post-event. These results will move you closer to increasing your ROE.
For example, you attempted to garner social media shares using a custom hashtag. But your efforts fell short. This may be a result of the following:
- The incentive or motivation for attendees to post on your behalf wasn’t strong enough.
- Your content missed the mark. Maybe you didn’t capture enough photos or video. Or your messaging was negatively viewed or ignored.
- Your social media strategy spreads too thin across sites. Or could it be outdated? For example, is it time to adopt live videos?
Data mining or a post-event survey of event attendees (or even your customer base) can shed some light on areas for improvement.[Tweet “Increase your return on engagement in 2017. It will affect your sales both now and later.”]
Capture better data.
Speaking of data, its capture is already an integral part of your event marketing strategy. Gathering attendees’ basic contact info is critical for on-going engagement. Follow up with them with special offers and to gauge their satisfaction with your activation. If you can do more in terms of continuing the conversation and staying in front of consumers, do it.
This goal can be a bit tricky since time is of the essence. But it’s attainable, and can be highly beneficial. The additional data can help you better understand your prospective and current customers and make more informed marketing and sales decisions.
- Determine what holes exist in current data and plan to capture it moving forward. For example, perhaps knowing your customers’ exact locations could be invaluable for targeted events and other marketing initiatives.
- List short- and long-term goals. These may be for upcoming marketing initiatives or future product development. Brainstorm questions you can ask attendees to help with future decisions.
- Implement mobile technology. Attendees will be more receptive to surveys when they are digital. If applicable, technology can also automate the event check-in process, giving you more time to foster consumer relationships.
There’s no doubt opportunity abounds in 2017. Resolve to fulfill one or more of these event marketing goals and make it a better year!