Event Trends that Will Shape the Industry, Predictions for Corporate Event Marketers, & How Brands Practice Story-Living (The White Board)

With each new year, we have seen new experiential marketing technologies and event trends emerge. Often these innovations come as a relief to event marketers. They create efficiencies, improve data collection, and enhance consumer engagement. Yet, some change the face of the industry itself, and give new life to how we execute face-to-face marketing. On this week’s Elevate White Board, our feature article lists the event trends of 2018 that will shape the industry. We also talk experience design, tips for digital product sampling, and more. 

Event Trends to Watch for 2018

When we look at event trends, often modern technologies and engagement tactics are at the forefront. While these elements are exciting and can revolutionize event marketing, sometimes “new” event trends can be getting back what worked well in the past.

Event trends can also emerge in response to the economic climate.One example is as we have seen retail stores close, brands are converting a single flagship location into an experiential destination.

Here Endless Events lists 11 of the most compelling event marketing trends of 2018. From sustainable events to artificial intelligence, these help brands take face-to-face consumer engagement to a new level.

What to Consider When Designing an Experience

Experience design is no easy feat. You must ensure that your event is compelling, capturing both the attention and imaginations of your attendees. You must hire the right staff to represent your brand, as people are often your biggest asset in building consumer relationships. You must prove that your event endures, and that your message is amplified beyond the event footprint. Last, you must show event ROI, and that your efforts carried measurable results.

The importance of each of these elements cannot be understated, so when an expert offers a detailed list of design elements, it is always welcome. Here Sparks includes 5 important items to consider as you design your next brand experience

How to Navigate the Unexpected in Experiential

Experiential marketing is a fantastic way to get in front of people.Rarely can brands speak directly with consumers and give their organization a human element. But, in experiential, one thing is always certain: things will change. A live experience by definition is mired in the unknown, including elements such as weather, traffic, human error, and more.

You only get one opportunity to engage with your audience at a marketing event. Needless to say, after the time and resources you have invested, you must make it work. Here are 5 examples of the unexpected in experiential, and what you can do to help mitigate the fall out.

Tools That Can Rescue Your Marketing or Networking Event

Planning and executing any event is never easy. From experiential events that engage the public, to industry events such as conventions and trade shows, people gatherings have inherent challenges. Perhaps your company is starting to practice experiential, and you need guidance. Or maybe your team has been tasked with planning a company event, but you still need to accomplish your already-significant daily responsibilities.

When we discuss event trends, often we are referring to the latest in technology solutionsThese innovations are vast and can be either broad or highly-specialized in helping you achieve event goals and show ROI. And many won’t break the budget.

Tips on How Event Marketers Will Succeed in 2018

As event marketing has evolved, the bar been raised when it comes to crafting experiences and engaging audiences. Experiential has grown from simple sampling and brand awareness events to measurable brand experiences that impact audience behavior well after event conclusion.

As Freeman points out in this article, “Marketing in 2018 will require competing on an even higher level, where winning means not only understanding the landscape, but also masterfully leveraging the newest technologies and concepts to deliver powerful experiences that resonate deeply.” Here the agency’s resident experts give their predictions on what is necessary to succeed in 2018

Why Brands Need to Evolve and Embrace Story Living

Millennials now make up the largest living generation sorry Boomers). They are also growing up, and are coming into their own as it relates to spending power. As a result, we hear this generation’s name on the tip of almost every marketer’s tongue. In trying to discover what motivates this group, we are finding that they are different than generations that came before. The same marketing tactics don’t work. But the great news for experiential is that Millennials tend to value experiences over material items. They want to engage with and buy from authentic, cause-driven brands. And this means that executing marketing events is one of the best ways to reach them. And as the article points out, experiential lets brands move past story-telling and embrace story-living.

Why Augmented Reality Can Improve Event Marketing Activations 

When it comes to event trends, virtual reality was a strong favorite in 2017. Virtual reality gives brands an edge related to delivering a fully-custom brand experience. For example, travel brands can give consumers a glimpse of the adventures they have to offer. Philanthropic organizations can transport donors to the locations that need their help. Yet, there is another option out there: augmented reality.

The article states that “the technology, widely popularized in 2016 by the Pokémon Go craze, is carving out a place for itself in events thanks to savvy marketers who continue to find cutting-edge ways to bring the technology—and their brands—to life.” Here are 6 ways to use AR to create a better brand experience. 

How to Conduct a Digital Product Sampling Campaign

Product sampling is one of the most effective ways to engage consumers in person. This try-before-you-buy model allows consumers to experience a product with no strings attached. And according to AdAge, “a study by Opinion Research Group showed that 81 percent of consumers say that if they received a sample and liked the product, they would buy it.”

With results like that, it is no wonder that sampling has held its popularity, even as technology and innovation has reshaped marketing. But, traditional sampling does have limitations. The first being that you need to offer a product that people can see, taste, touch, hear or feel. Which can be an issue, as today many companies exist in the digital space with little to no physical footprint. Enter digital product sampling.

Author: Elissa Liong

Elissa Liong is the Data and Analytics Manager at Elevate Staffing. She's a certain kind of particular, and loves thinking about all things data and insights. When she's not uncovering consumer insights and building out engagement tools that people love, she is probably at the gym or reading online spoilers about TV shows (even for episodes she hasn’t watched yet).

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