Data is probably the single most important asset available to the modern marketeer. Online or offline, data helps you understand your audience, target appropriately, and evaluate what you have achieved. Marc Michaels, Director of Direct Marketing and Evaluation, COI For every organisation, there is an imperative to measure: be this HR statistics, i.e. attendance, satisfaction, […]
The previous post You’ve got to deliver what the audience really wants has provoked discussion in a number of forums and the responses have made for interesting reading, not least because of the seeming inability to move on from old arguments.
So let’s look at the topic from a different angle, by considering two industries closely related to producing live events; so closely related in fact that you would consider them siblings; i.e. publishing and broadcasting.
In both of these industries, the key players are referred to as Media Owners. Because they own the medium through which the content is broadcast. And for years this is exactly what they have done; decided when, where and what information and entertainment their audiences or readerships were going to consume. They have made and broken many a star, politician or company profit, simply through the editorial decisions they have taken which have influenced the masses.
Conference and exhibition organisers, be they commercial operations, industry bodies or associations, continue to believe that they must operate in a similar way. Developing programmes of content that they perceive the audience wants, choosing speakers and selecting participating exhibitors (via an economic filter it is true) and presenting a finished product to the visitors at a time, date and venue over which the latter has no control.
Then along came the Internet and social media and the shift in power from owner to audience was seismic.
Because the concept of expertise ownership by a few large corporations doesn’t fit any more. You can’t tell me what I should be watching, what information I need, or who I should be networking with. You can’t stop me finding organisations who can’t afford to exhibit at your event or who haven’t got a charismatic speaker, because if their Search and SM strategies are good I can do this on my own. And, you can’t stop me telling people, a lot of people, about the experience your organisation offers me, within minutes if I so choose.
So let’s bin the argument about virtual not replacing face-to-face; because we all know it won’t. Let’s stop finding fault with virtual technologies, because frankly some of them are pretty amazing. And let’s stop pretending that we still own audiences and industries because of the events we produce because we don’t. Let’s embrace the new to enhance the old rather than dismissing it as a fad that has nothing to do with us.
What we need to be doing, with or without the help of virtual technologies, is to work out how we build and maintain relationships with our communities; how we facilitate communication and collaboration between individuals both through a single live day and an online presence; and how we use the unfettered enthusiasm of our audiences to create a profitable business model for the future.
Tags: associations, Building virtual events, business, collaboration, communities, event organisers, Events, Hellen Beveridge, innovation, Networking, Social Networking, technology, Virtual events, virtual technologies
Tags: 6Connex, audience target, business, client satisfaction, collaboration, customer behaviour, Hellen Beveridge, Inxpo, Networking, On24, retrospective research, satisfaction surveys, Social Networking, Ubivent, virtual technologies
Still a bit confused by what this Hybrid Event is that everyone is talking about? Let us bring you up to speed…
Hybrid events are physical events—tradeshows, conferences, product demonstrations, executive showcases—augmented by virtual technology marketing. They unite the best of both technology and offline environments to create a more powerful and profitable experience. They bring together the most compelling aspects of onscreen, in person and online dynamics.
Participants who can’t get to your event can join in from afar, interacting with exhibitors and attendees, and accessing presentations and content. Visitors who do make it to the physical event can view, download, and forward content from booth kiosks and displays on laptops and mobile devices (at last a proper use for that Internet Cafe you’ve been building for years).
There are three types of hybrid events —Concurrent, Inclusive, and Successive.
A concurrent hybrid event is a physical show launched in tandem with an online virtual counterpart that can be accessed anywhere in the world.
An inclusive hybrid event integrates key virtual elements inside an established physical environment such as an Executive Briefing Centre, sales facility or event specific “command centre” headquarters.
A successive hybrid event is essentially a two-part marketing experience. At the conclusion of a physical event, a virtual version is launched and made available to previous attendees, as well as new customers and prospects.
Want to read more? Read the complete White Paper which is available online now.