Understandably, in-person events all but disappeared during the pandemic – replaced in large part by virtual events. Some were better than others as organizers experimented with different platforms and techniques to pull them off.
Early on, without many in-person events to attend, sponsor, and exhibit at, event marketers jumped on the virtual bandwagon too and experimented with different ways to get their messages in front of attendees and engage them.
For a while, the new approach seemed to be working. But then, virtual event fatigue set in. Attendance and engagement dropped, causing many marketers to put event marketing plans on hold, replacing them with stepped up means of going to market in other ways.
This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing though because marketing must be agile and evolve.
It appears that the pandemic will continue to be an influence on how marketing is done. But in-person events are making a comeback and will most likely co-exist with virtual events. Attending events is still an ideal way to network, learn, share experiences, and get exposure to products and services – regardless of how global health and safety crises may impact our ability to do these things.
The new challenge now though is that as events re-start, budgets are tightening as companies feel the impact of inflation, supply chain challenges, hiring issues, and economic pressures. However, there are several essential methods for marketers to get a bigger bang for their event marketing buck, including smart investments in:
- Pre-event attendee recruitment and messaging
- Maintaining top of mind presence and engagement with attendees during events
- Standing out from the crowd through post-event attendee follow-up
There’s an important place for events in the marketing mix. In this guide, we’ll explore how smart marketers can optimize their event investment even in the face of budget restraints.