The past two years have undoubtedly been a challenge for events of all sizes. 2022 is almost here and the country has been faced with another COVID – 19 variant that significantly impacts planning.
Here are five key takeaways all event planners should consider!
1. Hybrid is Non-Negotiable
A hybrid component to an in-person event used to be a nice option, now it’s a must have! More people prefer to network and gain insights online for safety and convenience. “Today’s audiences are expecting the same amount of event content at the click of their fingers,” says Durecia Moorer, Manager Partner and Chief Marketing Officer. She recommends an event strategy that is focused on the virtual portion of the event just as much as the in-person version for maximum impact and the ability to quickly pivot.
2. Distinctive & Immersive Experiences Matter
With many audiences participating online, it’s important to make sure the virtual experience is fully engaging. “With many events being viewed on a screen now, it’s important to implement an aligned visual aesthetic between in-person and virtual.” In addition, ensure the online broadcast is framed through a branded interface with supporting images that drive the theme and messaging of your event. As the metaverse becomes a reality in the event space, the innovation behind the experience becomes more than visuals, but a five senses experience.
3. Sponsors and Exhibitor Satisfaction Remain a Challenge
Sponsors and exhibitors pivoted to virtual booths and expo halls to engage with attendees, yet achieving ROI still lags in comparison to in-person events. “Many audiences still want the in-person experience when it comes to meeting with exhibitors. While it’s important to bring that experience back to your next event, it’s also important to build out a nurturing, online funnel post-event that continues the conversation throughout the year.”
4. Marketing Must Define Value
Making audiences aware of your event and building a need to attend comes through strategic marketing that must start early. “The marketing for your event should define value for the audience you are trying to reach. You are competing for their time and money, and now, must also make a compelling reason to attend virtually.” Durecia adds, “Don’t wait until the last minute when working to find vendors, partners, and resources to help complete your event. We are still recovering from supply chain issues. You can’t expect stellar results if you try to do everything in a truncated time period.”
5. Events Are One Piece of A Larger Puzzle
Events can generate revenue, subscriptions, and membership. But it’s essential to take a birds eye view on how they fit within your overall brand strategy. “Events are not the end all, be all. There has to be a long-term strategy to engage with your stakeholders. You must have a keen sense of what’s impacting your specific audience. Take the time to make informed, data-driven decisions. And don’t do it alone. Seek out advice and partner with someone or other organizations to help you figure it out and deliver the best possible experience, says Durecia.”
ABCD & Company wants to know what has been your biggest challenge when it comes to producing events? Leave your answer in the comments!
- Sourcing a technology partner or platform
- Delivering ROI for Sponsors and Exhibitors
- Marketing & Promotion to Generate Registrations
- COVID-19 & Safety Protocols
- Procuring Vendors & Suppliers