Event Marketing Trends for 2020

Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Not too long ago, I was sitting here writing about 2019’s social media event marketing tips. Although those tips still hold true, 2020 has brought with it certain event promotion challenges that event managers need to keep in mind.

Event promotion is no longer just about having a strong social media presence but also making efforts on other platforms such as TVs, physical banners and public awareness. Here, I’ve listed some marketing trends to keep in mind when spreading the word of your next big event.

Event Marketing in 2020

Using Existing Clientele to Spread Word of Mouth

One of the most important things to remember on your event promotion ventures is that you don’t have to go at it alone. If this isn’t your first rodeo, there are sure to be some past attendees who were so impressed by your last event that they won’t miss your next one for the world.

Use that to your advantage.

The secret is to spread your hands far and wide to look for potential attendees, but to keep it subtle at the same time. There’s no need to be obnoxious or over-the-top, else you risk offending your audience.

You can incentivize audiences to bring their friends, families, and co-workers to the event with an award of some sort, be it a shout-out, perhaps a goodie bag or a free sample of your product. This is great not only for promoting your event, but also to help you increase brand awareness.

“Humanistic” Content

It’s not enough to just create personalized content, it needs to show how much you care about your event as well. It needs to have a human feel to make sure it connects and enhances engagement.

For example, a tagline that says:

 “The 2020 ‘Relaxing’ event will help you relieve stress and get rid of negativity”

might speak to audiences, but not as convincingly and engagingly as:

“Experience serenity and find your true self at the 2020 ‘Relaxing’ event by rooting out negative thoughts and stress factors.”

Yes, I know this might not be a perfect statement, but it does sound much better than the first, more robotic one, doesn’t it? Incorporate your banners, social media posts, advertisements, and other event promotion ventures with this type of content and you’ll see a significant increase in people who want to attend! More descriptive, the more attractive.

Different types of content you can use include;

  • Videos
  • Readable content
  • Newsletters
  • Banners

Art Installations – Targeted and Random (Now I love these!)

I’m using the word ‘random’ here very loosely.

Even the most random marketing tactic is supposed to lead back to you, otherwise why bother? One of the best ways to attract attendee attention is by using art installations. Let’s discuss the targeted ones first.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Marketing Tactic

From a large burger spilled on the road to a huge VR hot-air balloon, art-marketing literally comes in various shapes and sizes. For example, for the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) Sony did something similar. The idea of the movie is that food rains from the sky, and Sony played with it and incorporated installations around the city in the shape of huge fallen ice cream and a huge burger on top of stairs.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Marketing Tactic

This was effective, and invited many foodies to cinemas across the city to watch the masterpiece.

You can do something similar for your event and based on your budget, you could either go for one huge installation or numerous across the city.

Anonymous Marketing

As for random art installations, we must talk about the large, 8-foot tall Lego man that washed up on a beach on Florida on 25th October 2011. The Lego man had “NO REAL THAT YOU ARE” printed on its shirt. Although LEGO® denied any involvement; it did help the world recognize the brand even more.

If you can’t go for something like that, perhaps an online puzzle can help attract puzzle-solvers to your event. Of course, you are going to have to put in a reward at the end for those who solve it and put in information about your event somewhere, so it might not be as random.

With the ease and accessibility offered by smartphones, everyone likes taking photo. Art installations are a great way to make your audience want to take pictures, all while spreading the word about your event.

Virtual Experiential Marketing (VEM)

When it comes to VEM, there is no cookie-cutter policy for this. It’s all about enhancing your audience’s digital experience either by offering readable content, interactive videos, infographics, e-books, or any other type of media.

One common example of this is a Customer Relation Management (CRM) system that offers web-based live chat platforms. The idea is to target five core elements:

  • Sense
  • Interaction
  • Pleasure
  • Flow
  • Community relationship.

If you’re successful at stimulating any four of the five elements, the last one will follow automatically. We recommend using the 7Cs framework for this;

  • Content
  • Customization
  • Customer Care
  • Communication
  • Community
  • Convenience

Advocacy

Millennial and Generation Z are more inclined towards the ‘greater good’ or ‘social good’ that simply partying. They expect brands to advocate a good cause. This plays an important role in event marketing in 2020.

Even promotion isn’t just about letting the world know your products or services are out there, but is about helping people understand that value that comes with your products as well.

For example, two ads about the same milk brand, one that simply tells customers that this milk is out there and another that boasts about its organic make and positive impact on the environment are going to perform very differently.

The one that promotes the greater good (the second one) is bound to be more appealing to audiences.

Introduce Challenges

This is where you target Generation Z alone.

While Generation X and Millennials aren’t as keen on challenges, Generation Z is somewhat more, dare we say, competitive.

Respective of what you aim to promote, you can create a challenge on social media platforms and perhaps offer gifts at your event to those who complete it.

You’d be surprised at how much effort people are willing to put in for prizes. It’s not about what you get, it’s about the applause and feeling of accomplishment people get that keeps them going. Challenges also create a unique, shareable experience for your attendees, apart from serving as an icebreaker at your event.

Capitalizing on event marketing trends is a great way to promote your event and maximize the impact of your events, be it for brand awareness, business ventures, or simply to promote social welfare.  

Always remember to keep your marketing ideas fresh and target them to the right audiences. Here’s to an exciting 2020!

Author
David Yakas
Managing Director
Wrapped Creations