The event industry is having its advertising moment
I would compare the moment we are at to the transformation of the advertising industry from traditional channels to digital.
It takes me back to more than 15 years ago when I was managing events for Microsoft Advertising. Traditional ad agencies were struggling to understand the benefits of digital advertising. Some saw the possibilities, some resisted and saw digital as a threat. Those who resisted got left behind. Those who saw the possibilities reaped the rewards - they understood it wasn't about REPLACING anything but opening up NEW channels and ways to reach audiences.
This is the moment we're at in the events industry.
Virtual events are not meant to replace in-person events. Here are a few examples from the past 16 months in creating virtual events in our platform. The numbers tell the story of the potential before us:
Client A traditionally has 1000 customers attend their annual conference. With virtual they more than quadrupled attendance. Over 98% of their customer base attended the virtual event. Is that not the absolute dream scenario!?
Client B traditionally saw 3 attendees from member organizations attend their global conference. This year that engagement increased to 7 people from member organizations & more than 4x the attendees.
Client C increased their audience size by 150%.
Client D has increased pipeline and revenue growth by more than 30% by simply doing Experience Boxes. Who knew? Customers who didn't traditionally attend their events have engaged virtually.
I could go on! The future is about engaging with those new audiences, the new 150%, the 4x the attendees. The 1000 people will be back to your live event when it's time & let me tell you, it will be glorious! The additional several thousand people were never going to get the T&E approved to attend. This year has shown us we can still engage with those additional audiences & give them a pretty special experience too.
Let's talk about cost. If 4000 more people came to your in person event, you would absolutely increase your budget to welcome them. A virtual or hybrid event will be less budget than if all those additional people attended your in-person event.
This transformation should be part of every marketer & event industry professional's strategy and roadmap for the future. Start planning now and you'll be ready when we come out of the pandemic. (Honest, we will come out of this pandemic).
It's about engaging on whole new levels - more than just a webinar - your audiences have demonstrated they want more! It's about sharing your content in whole new ways. It's about creating communities.
We are in the midst of a digital transformation of the events industry. I hope like me, you see the possibilities are endless!
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