InEvent Fest Pocket

5 key takeaways from InEvent Fest Pocket #1

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Posted on March 18, 2021

InEvent Fest Pocket reunited some of the best event industry professionals to share their expertise.

Launched in November of 2020, InEvent Fest came back in style. In this edition, attendees made powerful connections, shared experiences, and learned from thought-leaders about the future of virtual and hybrid events.

The virtual event covered the best practices to attract and engage the right audience, virtual events production, behavioral targeting, creativity in events, and more.

So, we have highlighted the key takeaways from the sessions. If you didn’t have the chance to join the event, you can watch the sessions on-demand here.

Ask yourself why

First, InEvent Fest Pocket speakers underscored the importance of focussing on the “why” of your event.

As Bogdan Manta (Founder of The Essential Workshops) affirmed, event professionals, tend to center on the “how” and “what”. Consequently, they disregard the overarching narrative underlying the event.

Before going into the technology used, and the content offered, organizers need to define the story. Why are we doing this event? What are the missions we need to accomplish?

Similarly, Ruud Janssen (Co-founder of Event Design Collective) emphasized that the story has to be clearly articulated and memorable. It has to be told in 60 seconds or people will not remember it.

Understand, observe and listen to your audience

Then, speakers at InEvent Fest Pocket described methods to narrow down your target audience.

Kinard Robinson (Chief Executive Officer at Empowering Creative) suggested creating personas, detailing age, gender, industry, income level, etc.

Adding to that, Bill Dolan (President at Spirit Media) talked about defining your audience´s wants needs, objectives, fears, and frustrations.

Also, both speakers distinguished between the current customer and the aspirational customer. Who is your ideal client? Among the clients you work with, who do you wish you had a thousand of?

Subsequently, it´s about getting their media behavior right. Which channels are they using the most? Are they most active in television, radio, social media?

Once you have that, you can design silos of content targetting specific customers. For instance, you could offer educational, promotional, or product marketing content.

As Sabrina Meyers, InEvent Fest Pocket host and Founder of Hot Hospitality Exchange summarized: when you get the right audience, the right platforms, and the right methodologies in place, then you get the engagement.

Engage at an emotional and sensory level

Quoting neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, Bogdan Manta said “‘We are not thinking machines that feel, we are feeling machines that think'”.

While we tend to believe our decisions are rational, most of them are based upon emotions. Therefore event organizers need to design event experiences that appeal to the emotions and the senses.

In contrast with in-person events, their virtual counterparts are generally limited to sight and sound. In that context, event hosts have to be creative. The emotional and sensory appeal can happen through the use of kinesthetic learning, and visualization of objects, complementing speech.

Likewise, Liz Caruso (Event Specialist, Consultant & Speaker) discussed how the event industry as a whole needs to step up in innovation and creativity. To make virtual audiences feel as if they are at the event venue, she recommended leveraging technologies such as augmented reality.

Goal-oriented analytics

Additionally, InEvent Fest Pocket speakers recommended the use of data and analytics. Catherine King (event director, moderator & host at Corinium Global Intelligence) cited thought-provoking research, revealing that organizations neglect over 90% of data.

Nonetheless, the use of data and analytics has to be carried out with predefined goals and objectives.

Indeed, given our human bias and the wealth of data at our hands, we commonly twist analytics to fit a positive evaluation. To prevent this, we need to clearly define the metrics we intend to target before the event.

Ashanti Bentil-Dhue (Virtual Event Expert at EventMindPro) and Andrea Reynolds (Sr. Sales Manager at Key Events), discussed this topic distinguishing between different event types and objectives.

For instance, if your event is more commercially-driven, then you may want to collect data on the leads generated, the download of brochures, and the meetings booked. If it is about community building or brand awareness, you could monitor and collect chat comments, post-event feedback, and social media engagement.

Ending events on a high note

Finally, thought-leaders at InEvent Fest Pocket stressed the importance of ending events well to leave a lasting impression.

In that sense, Bill Dolan talked about the concept of an event afterglow, so that attendees are engaged after the event is finished.

Likewise, David Adler (Chairman & Founder at BizBash), discussed how the footprint of live events is going to be greater in the future, as organizers will deliver on-demand content to keep up the event engagement.

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