Today’s marketers must manage a complete multi-channel marketing strategy. As a result, marketing software has emerged to integrate and centralize a variety of marketing inputs and activities into one location. What’s interesting about this evolution is that events have, for the most part, been left on the sideline.
In our 2014 survey of marketers, we found that while most events are managed outside of other marketing programs, marketers believe their organizations need to look at events as a step in the buying process just like any other channel.
Today’s leading event management platforms are out to change this paradigm and the results are catching hold. Technology is geared to meet the needs of marketing and event professionals and that opens up a whole new way of thinking about event management.
Today’s platforms allows organizers and marketers to both flawlessly execute the logistics of each event and provide targeted engaging experiences for all attendees. The result is a high level of value for all event stakeholders–from the event organization to sponsors, partners, exhibitors, and attendees.
Here are some of the specific ways technology is transforming the view of event management for marketers and event professionals:
Increasing attendee engagement and satisfaction
A significant development in event management technology is the features that improve attendee engagement. Specifically, technology is allowing event organizers and marketers to integrate attendee data they already have in marketing automation systems, along with the data they collect during registration to personalize event experiences. For example, recommending specific sessions to attendees, or tailoring email marketing messages, based on what you know about each person.
Event management systems are also making the deployment of event mobile apps a breeze. Through mobile, attendee engagement soars even higher as attendees can engage with event content right from their mobile device.
Eliminating a one-size-fits-all experience
Gone are the days when event attendees are herded around, without any attention paid to their personal preferences. Correction: Gone should be the days. Today’s event marketing technology has the ability to help organizers turn one-size-fits-all experiences into far more engaging experiences.
Today’s technology allows you to deliver to attendees a complete picture of their event schedule, and suggest activities to participate in. Having all of the event information in a central location saves attendees time and the hassle of shuffling between various apps.
Facilitating connections between participants
Events are a key way for attendees to connect with others in their industry and help them build partnerships and find business leads. Event management technology is facilitating this process by providing a platform for scheduling 1-to-1 meetings—even suggesting meetings automatically–and giving attendees control over who to connect with while at the event.
Incorporating events into broader corporate and marketing initiatives
Technology is moving events solidly into the fold of a multi-channel strategy. Today’s event management technology has the ability to push all attendee activity data directly into marketing automation platforms to ensure it is measured and utilized in the same way as other channels.
Accelerating the sales cycle
With today’s technology, there is no excuse for not making events a crucial part of your sales cycle. Increase lead intelligence by tracking attendee interest and their activity throughout the event. An integrated app will tell you which sessions they’ve registered for and attended, any appointments they’ve arranged, and if they read content you send them. With this rich behavioral data, you can refine your lead scoring for targeted follow up after the event.
You use marketing technology throughout all of your platforms — don’t leave events out
Marketing automation software and CRM systems are ubiquitous in marketing, and they’re viewed as a necessary component to capture rich data for campaigns. View event management technology the same way — it has come a long way, and with the right tools, you can completely transform how you manage events, and give event attendees a more personalized experience.