In-person trade shows and live marketing events are back! However, in some ways, event marketers are navigating the same level of uncertainties as in 2020. That’s why it’s important to plan to incorporate hybrid strategies in trade shows and corporate events moving forward. The best way to achieve this is by utilizing a virtual event environment pre-show, during the show, and post-show — to ensure that you’re meeting your target audience wherever they are.
While in-person events are happening, one undeniable fact is that participation and attendance numbers are down from years past. There are several reasons for this, including venue capacity limitations, budgetary restraints, and personal comfortability with travel and large gatherings. Regardless, what we do know is that brands still need to reach their full audience potential. This is why, when planning your exhibit or corporate event strategy going forward, you should learn the best ways to marry your physical presence with a virtual environment.
Let’s discuss how a hybrid event model is an effective asset in your event marketing strategy for your pre-show, during-show, and post-show outreach and engagement.
We love the idea of using digital marketing to start relationship-building in a timely fashion before the live event.
When brands personally invite guests to events, it lends a feeling of exclusivity and personalization leading up to the event. Your guests are more likely to set aside the time to visit your booth, whether in-person or virtually. It’s a great way for event marketers to really hone in on that list of the target audience who wants to buy. Mining for this gold is much easier to track in a virtual environment or with digital marketing.
Our favorite ways to utilize a virtual environment for your pre-show are:
During the trade show or live event, you can open your virtual environment during the same days/hours as the live event to create an interactive, digital experience for the portion of your audience who cannot make it in person.
Think about having a designated staff member as a host, facilitating the virtual environment for attendees who are not able to physically attend. The host is an essential human connection to your brand, while in a virtual setting so that more clients and prospects can be included. Some ideas include having live stream sessions from the event in the virtual space and offering exclusive giveaways for the virtual audience.
The show has come to a close, but don’t power down the virtual environment just yet!
Event marketers know that post-show outreach is probably the most critical, yet most overlooked step in event marketing strategy. The connection with your brand does not end just because the event has come to a close and everyone is heading home. In the few days, up to a week, following your event is the time to convince your audience to take the next desired step.
In a hybrid event setup, you can use your virtual environment to your advantage to stay in touch with ALL of your attendees, not just the people who attended your virtual event. Here are few suggestions:
If the wheels are turning on how to create an exceptional hybrid event, let’s set up a time to discuss your next trade show and see if a virtual environment can help maximize your event marketing outreach and engagement!
Connect with us here.