Event Marketing Partners: Reflections From 2016

Event Marketing Partners: Reflections From 2016

As the year winds down, I am at my desk reviewing all the events that the Event Marketing Partners (EMP) team and I managed this year.

2016 flew by as we were engaged to manage customer conferences (3 of which were inaugural events for our clients), tradeshow activations, partner meetings, incentive events, internal events, sales kick off conferences, and special events. The services we provided for clients and for other agencies included: event strategy, audience acquisition venue sourcing and contracting, main stage production, creative, registration, logistics, sponsorship management, tradeshow management, and financial management (to name a few). To learn more about the services we provide, click here

A few highlights and key learnings from this year include:

  • Content is Everywhere

    • While most of our clients utilize separate break out rooms for their content at their conferences, our creative and strategy teams took a different approach. Content is everywhere at an event, so we wanted to ensure that information is both accessible and centrally located.
      • For one client, we turned the expo floor into the ‘hub’ of the event; the central location to gather information, content, and network. We built 6 theaters on the show floor for breakout sessions, strategically placed with sponsor booths, F&B stations, seating areas, and lounges to make the expo hall the content hub.
      • For other clients, we developed the overall event strategy, experiential design, main stage design and the ‘red thread’ – the overarching messaging strategy that ties every element of the event together – to design learning paths to, essentially, ‘walk’ attendees through the content.
        • By ensuring that content was centrally located or built into the experience design, the attendee, sponsor, and host companies’ feedback has been overwhelming. In short, these events more than surpassed each client’s expectations.
  • Event Audience Acquisition Trends

    • At most IT customer conferences, attendees sign up in the last 90 days with a major registration push in the last the 30 days before the event. Having three clients host their inaugural customer conferences in 2016, we were able to compare and contrast audience acquisition plans to other events we manage.
      • For two of the clients, EMP managed the audience acquisition and our team explored current trends and researched why these registration trends occur.
        • The key take away was that content is the key driver for why attendees sign up to attend an event.
      • Our team proved that if you leverage content and properly time the release of related information to prospective attendees, you can plan your event better/more efficiently.
      • Case in point: the clients had the majority of their customers sign up earlier than current audience acquisition trends; a reverse hockey stick! By strategically releasing information regarding event content, we were able to help the tactical team plan more efficiently, saving clients both money and time.
        • Two key examples are that by reversing the registration hockey stick, we could better manage hotel blocks and adjust F&B as we had a better handle on attendance numbers before associated deadlines occurred.
  • Event Sponsorship Evolution

    • Sponsors are key to a successful event, they validate your company and its solutions, as well as help offset your conference expenses.
    • As you know, sponsors have their own objectives for your event. To be a good business partner, you need to strengthen your relationship to identify how you can partner with them to meet their needs while ensuring those objectives align with your own.
      • This past year, we customized more sponsorship packages to help meet the host company and partners’ business objectives. An important key to customization is transparency. When customizing sponsorships, it is important that all key partners have an understanding of what each other’s benefits are/presence is to ensure that the ‘playing field’ is perceived as level.
        • This customization and transparence have helped us achieve our client’s financial and business goals for the events they host.

The entire Event Marketing Partners team is consistently looking for ways to improve/enhance our clients’ events. Although this is always top-of-mind for our staff, we take the time at the end of every December to meet and discuss how we can better serve our client partners the following year.

The EMP team and I wish you Happy Holidays and a prosperous 2017.

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