September 28, 2018

Event Strategies

Banzai September Event Industry Trends


Kirstin Fulton

The September event industry trends overview, reviews event security, experiential event design, virtual attendance, and haptic marketing.


In the world of marketing events, thoughtfulness officially has a seat at the table. And we have to say, it’s a trend we’re thrilled to get behind! Savvy marketing teams have known for years that attendee-centric events draw a direct line to better ROI, but it seems that we’re finally hitting a stride. As you head into the Q4 season, center your event around audience experience, ease, and well-being for the win.

Security is top of mind

While safety and security procedures might not be at the top of your mind when planning your event, it’s nonetheless a critical component of any event plan. Ultimately, physical security and safety often fall under the venue’s purview, but that shouldn’t stop your team from being involved in the grand plan. When it comes to information security—particularly if you expect your attendees to use specific tech as part of your program—you need to safeguard them against threats. Here are a few ways to weave security planning into your event strategy.

Apps for accountability

Apps loom large at marketing events these days, serving as tools for registration, messaging, and (yep) safety and security. Services like Safety Check, from event management company DoubleDutch, allow you to send direct messages and receive ‘safe’ and ‘not safe’ checks from attendees during an emergency.

Develop a data security strategy

In attending your event, your guests expect that you’ve taken the steps necessary to protect their privacy. Though it may feel daunting to manage and secure your attendees’ data, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Bizzabo offers a basic approach to developing a strategy and communicating privacy policies.

Layered security

For large events, layered security provides different screening tactics at different areas of the venue, managing people flow from the outermost perimeter to the smallest meeting room.

Have an action team (and plan)

This simplest option is often overlooked. But in the midst of an emergency, your people are your #1 resource. Build an action plan. As part of it, know the roles of your emergency management team and who owns each one.

Experiential event design

The experience trend is taking the world by storm, from schools and shopping centers to any event under the sun. Consumers want engagement over passive information sharing, so marketers are getting creative. And the results are fun fun fun. Since experiential marketing is about getting your audience to (you guessed it) experience your brand, service, or offerings, a field marketing event is the perfect venue. Ideas abound for how to turn your event into a true experience. Swap ballroom lectures with interactive, audience-centered sessions. Invest in entertainment stations instead of tchotchkes. The result: Guests leave with an emotional connection to your organization—and that’s the best kind of buy-in.

Virtual attendance is giving events a significant boost

When planning your next meeting or conference, ask yourself: Can we create a virtual experience that’s as good as the live event? It’s a heavy order, sure. But if you can pull it off, you’ve got a strategy for radically boosting attendance and involvement without raising overhead costs. Endless Events offers some creative ideas for connecting a global audience in one venue, from live streaming and digital hangouts to full on VR components. And if you’re focused on having the ‘right’ people in the room for meeting, setting up a virtual hosting option can significantly increase your chances. There’s no shortage of tips and resources to design amazing virtual meetings, so don’t overlook an easy way to get more involvement.

Attendees want to feel to believe

Ever heard of haptic marketing? Well if not, get acquainted. This not-too-distant cousin of experiential marketing is just getting hotter in the marketing world. Haptic means tactile. So in a nutshell, this marketing technique focuses on tactile sensations. According to specialist Joann Peck, if consumers are able to hold, try, touch, use products, their sense of ownership increases, which makes them more likely to buy (or buy more). It’s not a new concept, but it is getting a refreshing facelift. Of course, touch isn’t always an option—and sometimes shouldn’t be. But when possible, subtle haptic technology can do wonders for attendees and for engagement. So choose a technique that works for your meeting. Set up robust stations for curated product sampling. Bring in simulation booths for electronics or vehicles. Or simply provide a low-interference haptic wearable to elevate the attendee experience.

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