August 27, 2018

Event Strategies

Banzai August 2018 Industry Update


Kirstin Fulton

Learn about the latest event marketingtrends in the monthly recap. This month we cover event metrics, event technology, and event sponsorship.


Event marketing is on the rise—and for good reason. Harvard Business Review reports that event marketing delivers 52% more business value than any other marketing channel. That’s nothing to scoff at! And while this staggering statistic is exciting, it doesn’t imply that more events equates automatically to better conversion. The companies that are really garnering the best ROI from field events are working smarter (and more creatively) to curate a thoughtful, targeted client experience. Here’s how they’re doing it.

Event metrics

So much of what we do lives in the cloud, from our daily patterns and our preferences to our heartbeats and movements. As human behavior becomes more trackable, event planning becomes more metrics based, making success less subjective than qualitative.

Event stakeholders—from registration to senior leadership—want to see the direct results of past event initiatives. How many pre-registrants actually attended? How has sponsor investment changed year to year? What social media channels drive strongest engagement from your base? To build better events, you need to have the right event metrics locked and loaded. By focusing on which metrics derive the most strategic value, you can source the right technology tools and resources for your needs.

Event technology

Showing event ROI is a consistent struggle for field marketing teams. In fact, few surveyed marketers manage to calculate ROI at all. New event technologies work to solve that problem. Adopters of event platforms that offer both management services and data analytics see ROI reporting at a rate of 37%—versus 23% for non-adopters. There’s still a lot of room to grow, but the big reveal here is that better insight into your event equates to better ROI.

As with event metrics, your ideal event management platform depends on your specific needs. So start by targeting your focus. Bizzabo offers a great comprehensive guide to choosing the best event management software for your event.

Integrate sponsorship

Gone are the days of sponsor booths—if not in reality, definitely in spirit. Today’s clients are looking for more subtlety, creativity, and authenticity to sponsorship. Because of this trend, marketers are in a unique position to serve sponsors and clients at once by offering options tailored to audience and context of the event. Of course, this takes orchestration and understanding the needs and wants of both parties. While there are many creative ideas for integrating sponsorship into your event, here are a few that rise to the top.

  • Offer clients an (irresistible) sponsor giveaway. A remote control drone that I can take home to my kids (or keep for myself). Yes, please.
  • Offer unique sponsor hosting opportunities. Hosting an event at an outside venue is pricey, so event marketers are alleviating the stress on their budgets with unique sponsorships from parking and wifi, to livestreaming and virtual grab bags. Get creative.
  • Organize a space for structured conversations. Marketing is about matchmaking. Much of the time, that match is between service or product and an ideal customer—but what about making a kismet client-sponsor connection? Marketers can be excellent intermediaries, positioning a vendor for an authentic conversation with a client about needs and solutions. Start simple. For example, create small boardrooms or networking tables based on a single, targeted industry question.

No-holds-barred activities

Nothing spells partnership like feeding a gator together. Client entertainment activities are getting more extravagant. Where sporting events and the theatre once ruled the day, today’s clients expect more. So marketers plan for pop—activities with a unique twist and wow factor. Something that tells their clients we think outside of the box.

No, you don’t need to go the gator-feeding route, but to be competitive, you do need to be creative. The most successful activities will offer an exciting venue and activity with plenty of time for discussing business on a more casual level. Take your clients for an unconventional golfing experience. Grab front row seats at a monster truck rally. Host a trivia night at a local brewery. The options are many, so whatever your budget, you can stir up some great ideas.

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