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How to revive your event marketing in 2022

22 April 22

In a year where marketing events are making a comeback, the last thing your business needs is to be left behind. After all, marketing events can be effective pipeline drivers and can work wonders for brand awareness. 

In 2022, the challenge is building events that are engaging enough to combat low attendance rates and digital fatigue. And, there are many ways in which you can innovate, whether that means investing in new technology, or embracing the power of direct mail and gifting. 

So, whether you’re organizing a summit for your customers, a lunch and learn for your prospects, or a virtual event for VIPs, here are some tips on how to create events that attendees are excited to take part in.

5 ways to create engaging marketing events this year

1. Invest in personalization

It’s no secret that today’s audiences are looking for more curated and personalized event experiences - 99% of marketers say personalization helps advance customer relationships. After all, who wants to be one of many, if you could have one-to-one experiences instead?

Personalization can be used at every type of event to create a more engaging experience for attendees. 

For virtual events

Personalization should start at the pre-event stage. Luckily, virtual events are brilliant for collecting data, so partner perfectly with the goal to increase personalization. If you’re sending out invites for a webinar, for example, you could personalize them according to the preferences of your ideal customer personas. Invites should always contain the recipient's name and as much personal information as possible to entice them to sign up.

If you’re sending physical invites, get creative and have them printed onto cupcakes or cookies and sent out to your recipient’s preferred address with the help of Reachdesk’s Address Confirmation feature.

For in-person events

Wasting time walking around a conference center trying to find the sessions that are relevant to you can be frustrating for attendees. Instead, you could make use of the personal data that each attendee supplies when signing up to create a personalized event agenda for them. Asking them about their interests and what they want to learn could help to make this possible.

For hybrid events

To encourage both virtual and in-person attendees to turn up, offer them the chance to win by taking part in the event before it even begins. You could send them something sweet, like a box of personalized cupcakes or brownies before the event, which contains a code that they can activate by signing in to the event when it starts. By activating the code attendees are entered into a prize draw to win a virtual cocktail making class or luxury food hamper.


2. Utilize gifting

It’s a no-brainer that everyone enjoys receiving gifts. But, when they’re employed as part of your event marketing strategy, gifts are also proven to get results - direct mail can boost virtual event attendance by 42%. Utilize gifting with the aim to reduce event dropouts and stir excitement for your marketing event.

For virtual events

Boost attendance to webinars or virtual events by sending eGifts or vouchers for coffee or lunch on you in the lead-up to the event. Schedule email reminders containing Deliveroo or Starbucks eGift cards, along with a message reminding attendees of how much time there is before the webinar. This offering acts as an incentive for those who have signed up to attend.

For in-person events

Incorporate the element of surprise by holding giveaways and encouraging attendees to enter prize draws at your conference or trade show. Prizes that will generate buzz around your booth could include tech bundles like Apple AirPods or AirTags, or the chance to win a wine tasting experience.

For in-person customer training sessions, employ the help of physical gifting by rewarding attendees with a personalized bottle of bubbly or gin to congratulate them on completing the session.

For hybrid events

After your event, send gift bundles to show both virtual and in-person attendees that you’re grateful they showed up. Bundles could contain useful items like a branded USB stick, healthy snacks, or coffee beans. Each bundle should also contain a custom thank you card for each attendee.

3. Embrace sustainability

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to those with purchasing power - 92% of consumers say they’re more likely to trust brands that are environmentally or socially conscious.

Events can be a great place to demonstrate that your business is serious about preserving the planet and tackling climate change. Show your commitment by launching green initiatives that attendees can get excited about and get involved with.

For virtual events

You’re already reducing the footprint of your event by holding it virtually, but you don’t have to stop there. Go paperless and encourage attendees to fill out forms and engage with your event content or collateral digitally, perhaps on an app designed for your event, rather than printing them off and wasting paper in the process.

For in-person events

Start by finding an eco-friendly venue that’s energy-efficient and has a strong sustainability policy. You could also choose to deal only with suppliers that boast carbon neutral status, like Reachdesk.

While the event is happening, encourage attendees to reduce food waste and incentivize onsite recycling by offering attendees prizes for using recycling points.

For hybrid events

Receiving free t-shirts, pens, and tote bags is part and parcel of attending any marketing event, but producing these items en masse harms the planet. 

To combat this, supply both in-person and virtual attendees with sustainable goodie bags and swag options. Allow both parties to choose whether they wish to redeem swag items on an opt-in basis to reduce waste, and pick reusable items like coffee tumblers, as well as promotional branded items that are made of sustainable, locally sourced materials.

4. Provide value with content

90% of B2B buyers say that online content has a moderate to significant effect on their purchasing decisions, so nurture prospects, customers, and VIP’s by doubling down on the helpful and educational content supplied at your event.

For virtual events 

Educational content can perfectly supplement virtual events like webinars. Provide attendees with links to blogs, eBooks, and whitepapers that are relevant to their pain points and personalize them as much as you can. Distribute the content during the event via the chat function, so that attendees can ask questions.

For in-person events

Taking notes during a live session can cause distraction and disengage attendees. To remedy this, send attendees all of the information they need after the event, so they can revisit it. Personalizing the session notes based on their interests is even more helpful.

For hybrid events

Provide on-demand access to the recorded sessions that take place at your event, for virtual and in-person attendees to access. Follow up after the event with personalized content suggestions, too.


5. Nail the event follow up

Pulling off a brilliant marketing event is a big achievement, but the hard work doesn’t end there. The next stage involves following up with all of the prospects you captured. Offering attendees something edible as a thank you for their time, as well as to re-engage them after the event is a solid tactic.

For virtual events 

When prospecting key stakeholders, running  Just when VIP prospects thought the fun was over, surprise and delight them once more with your post-event follow-up. Send cupcakes or cookies to their desk or door, inviting them to start a conversation about your product or service.

For in-person events

Just when VIP prospects thought the fun was over, surprise and delight them once more with your post-event follow-up. Send cupcakes or cookies to their desk or door, inviting them to start a conversation about your product or service.

For hybrid events

Part of the challenge of running a hybrid event is ensuring that both sets of attendees have an equally engaging experience, despite attending in different ways. To show attendees that they’re equally valued whether they attended virtually or in person, send everyone a gift bundle. Wearable tech, gadgets to help learning and productivity, and tool subscriptions are all solid ideas.


Wrapping up

Engaging the attendees at your marketing event is easily done if you know the right tools and tricks to use. With the help of gifting, personalization, and a solid plan for follow-ups, the events you run in 2022 will be impressive, and lucrative. 

For more actionable advice on how to level up your marketing events this year, download a copy of our field marketing gifting playbook


Ellie Scott Content Marketing Executive @ Reachdesk

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