The pace of innovation in event planning seems to have accelerated overnight. Remote work and society became ubiquitous. And everyone had to play catch up. This created a forcing factor that resulted in leapfrog advances in tech innovation, to the point that we’re now actually talking about Metaverse. This may make hybrid events where the audiences interact a viable option in the future. However, we are not quite there yet, which leaves us where we are today – which is effectively doing both in person and digital events.
The pace of innovation in event design and planning has accelerated overnight, thanks in large part to remote working. Most people love the flexibility of working apart, but they crave and benefit from the intimacy, authenticity and creativity that comes from being together. So… now we have the Metaverse. Event content and design professionals are definitely paying attention, but we’re not quite there yet. So, even with all of the advances in tech innovation, we’re still doing simultaneous in person and digital events.
In our recent two-part webinar series, we focused on two things. First, what digital formats have worked well, what hasn’t, and what the future of content looks like in a hybrid world. Second, the importance of meeting your attendees where they are in their journey with your brand and how to create a content engagement strategy to deliver the right content at the right time.
Engaging our audience has changed exponentially over the last two years. From pre-recording presentations to offering varying lengths of sessions, it’s no longer your run of the mill event… Successful formats now include longer executive keynotes with multiple speakers and the breaks are getting shorter. Audiences want the celebrity factor and unmoderated chats along with more interaction for the online participants.
Our audiences want choice and flexibility. They tend to hop around and want the ability to come and go as they please. Now we’re finding that there must be compelling reasons to travel—they are comfortable at home and need a good reason to change their behavior.
Since we know the expectations of our audience. Where do we go from here?
We build a content engagement strategy!
Competition for time and attention is high. Event content and design professionals have to push the boundaries of what they did last year in order to stay relevant. And their budgets aren’t growing. This requires a content creation and development framework that is designed to exceed audience expectations and create real business impact.
A good strategy sets a roadmap to plan, create, and manage content. It guides all your marketing assets and supports ongoing content management to meet your critical business initiatives. Organizing, scheduling, generating, publishing, and promoting content pieces all fall under the content strategy. A more robust plan will include working with other teams and your stakeholders.
Creating this process from scratch takes time, industry insights and solid research. It will also save time and attract the right attendees to your event.
Lucky for you, we have laid out some tips to get you started:
- Identify types of content that will bring your event to life, keeping brand focus as an essential guideline. What types of content do you have or need that can keep your event on-topic and in-tone? How does it align with company goals or brand positioning efforts? Connect all three for a streamlined, consistent, and well-defined plan.
- Identify the channels for your content. What will make the most impact within key channels like social, events, training, sales, and marketing? Sometimes these channels can also create a type of content.
- Get creative with your experiential engagement integration. What in-person and digital audience engagements allow for the activation of your content? Always be on the lookout for the right format for the audience and what you're inspiring them to do. White papers or articles, data sheets, facilitated sessions, and demos are great options in addition to standards like webinars and keynotes. Video, memes, infographics, and other digital media can be folded into both in-person and online experiences. Watch for what others are doing to build on a diverse portfolio of content.
This type of event marketing connects consumers and brands through face-to-face marketing tactics, engaging their target audiences through webinars, lunch and learns, conferences, etc. If you aren’t connecting with your audience in an authentic way, you are missing out on true engagement and growth. Once you know your audience and where they are in their journey with your brand, you can tailor and personalize event elements based on their interests, needs, and wants. Take note of what in-person and digital audience engagements there are, and look for opportunities to launch the content you cultivated within your plan.
We have some significant challenges to overcome with the pervasiveness of digital fatigue and the demand for meaningful engagement. The good news is that event professionals are some of the best problem solvers there are, and there’s no one more up for the challenge.
The only way to get ahead of the competition is by developing winning strategies. Since there's no “one size fits all” solution, identifying your content, and potential marketing channels and getting to know your audience will help develop a plan for event and business success.
Building a strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Your messaging should be unique and always on-topic. Content must meet your audience’s journey and move them to take action. Not to mention, having an effective distribution is essential for exposure to high-quality content. At Impact Point Group, we specialize in helping event leaders design and create an effective content strategy. Contact us today to learn more about our services or for more insight into developing event trends.
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