Has the digital era for events arrived?

Has the digital era for events arrived?

New research from event marketing firm XING Events has revealed digitalisation has a firm spot in the event marketing world.

The research, which surveyed both national and international organisers and attendees of events, found more than two thirds of organisers say they have achieved their goals thanks to digital channels. Attracting more attendees (84 percent) and increasing the events’ profile (72 percent) take the top ranks.  

The research found there is a large gap between what attendees want and what organisers offer. Besides their website, organisers are strongly focusing on established communication channels like email marketing (76 percent) and social media marketing (73 percent). However, personal recommendations from friends and acquaintances are the way to go for 66 percent of attendees when choosing events. Email and event newsletters were right behind with 59 percent indicating the effectiveness of these methods among the organisers’ target group.

‘These results nevertheless clearly indicate that viral marketing will be an essential ingredient for an ideal marketing mix in the future’, says Professor Dr. Cai-Nicolas Ziegler.

Meanwhile, organisers and attendees are on the same page about updates, with more than half of organisers and attendees agreeing that digital event marketing simplifies exchanging information with each other. Attendees (62 percent) would like to further this improved exchange of information via social media groups. In turn, organisers seem to not (yet) recognise this potential – a mere nine percent of the organisers use this channel for communication and attendee retention.

‘By using various channels like email marketing, organisers are on the right track”, says Ziegler.

‘However, they still need to catch up when it comes to innovative marketing activities – especially viral channels, making use of influencers and content marketing.’