In an era where smartphones are almost like the second heart of our lives; where we are able to get all sorts of information and shop until we drop with a tip of a finger, does marketer still need to budget for those more “conventional” offline events?

I received daily loads of emails reminding me on a special discount offered by some of my favorite brands or to book a dinner for a special occasion. They are real good handy tools but as an event manager who has been involved in face-to-face marketing at event and exhibition for over 20 years, I do believe event still matters.

A successful event can increase visibility of your brand, provide an opportunity for your potential buyers to taste, feel, touch and experience your product and brand, and more importantly create a brand loyalty. After all, we are human being.

Creating experiences

We believe the success of every event and exhibition is determined by the experience it delivers to its target audience. An event with good creative that matches with your brand’s identity and personality can convey your message to your target audience more effectively.

As an example, Canon runs a PhotoMarathon every year in 13 regions in Asia-Pacific. The photo mission would only be announced instantly and contestants need to complete the task within the same day.

Contestants embrace the challenges in terms of both creativity and physical fitness as they take and submit photographs for given themes within a designated time. The contestant numbers surpassed preceding year every time and for 2016 event, it successfully attracted over 2,800 contestants plus committed brand followers. Was the objective of Canon Photomarathon met? I believe so.

However, one should not neglect the importance of technology, digital solutions and social media platform. For Canon PhotoMarathon 2016 for instance, where we were appointed as the event manager, we successfully connected a non-lined event to an online one. We included a flash mob dance where performers dance suddenly in different busiest districts of Hong Kong.

The energetic music and dancers easily caught the eyes of the passerby as well as loads of smartphones – and a non-lined event easily created a viral effect and online community engagement as public share the videos or photos through different social media platforms.

Less time, more expectations

Nowadays, exhibitor and visitor have less time but more expectations when deciding on whether to attend an event or exhibition. There needs to be some proven benefits or values the event or exhibition can bring to them. They demand interactivity, relevancy, information, and fun.

We see that more and more exhibitions are incorporating conference or seminar into their show where it can also serves as an educational, knowledge and experience sharing platform for their audience. In addition, different experience zones are created to provide visitor or potential buyer the opportunity to personally experience, be it taste, smell, touch or feel the product and the environment created by the technical service provider or its event manager.   

Yes, our clients are expecting more from us. It is therefore important for us as event manager, to understand our clients, and to work closely with them to build an experience that deliver measurable results.

Silvia Olmo
Editor in Chief in neventum