It’s been quite a roller-coaster ride for a couple of years since the pandemic began, especially in the events industry. We found ourselves in a situation where face-to-face events were now replaced with virtual ones. However, despite this global pandemic, new ways of amplifying the events have evolved and there’s no stopping this growth and innovation, whether it be for online or face-to-face events!
Last year was when hybrid events became the new normal. When the word pivot was used all too often and where virtual reality was just reality. With these rapid changes in the event landscape, ever wondered what you should expect this year? Well, strap in – you’re about to find out!
Priority One – Face to Face!
With the increase in face to face events that happened last year, the race is on to increase that number this year and make up for lost time. Although virtual and online events are great for reaching a larger audience and have a place in the event landscape, we can’t escape the human desire for contact and connection and the experience you get from face-to-face events.
According to the research (Insider Intelligence), 71% of decision-making executives report that virtual events can’t fully capture the magic of in-person relationship-building, and 95% of exhibitors say they prefer in-person to virtual events. Though there are some predictions that there will still be virtual and on-line events this year, live events will be the main priority for most.
Meeting & Group Business magazine predicts that the in-person events landscape will be stronger than ever this year. The 2023 AMEX Global Event Trends Forecast says “booming optimism and focus on in-person meetings and events” are fueling this growth.
Experiential Marketing is Back on the Radar
Given what we’ve been through the last few years and how much time we spent at home (especially in Victoria!), people became quite accustomed to being on the couch in activewear attending events virtually – there wasn’t a lot of choice! This has actually created an enormous appetite for authentic and memorable experiences that involve walking out the front door!
As a result, companies and brands are investing more and more in creating genuinely engaging events for their customers, staff, and stakeholders. This year’s focus will be on creating the most innovative, immersive and memorable experiences for event goers that offer tangible ROI and lead-generation opportunities.
Nevertheless, for this to happen, it will be necessary for live events to harness the full potential of experiential marketing and the power of social media. Something that we here at Social Exposure are experts at!
Event Technology Will Continue to Develop
To up the ante and create experiences never before seen or encountered, technology will continue to develop and push the boundaries. If you want audiences to be completely immersed and engaged in the event and/or brand activation, experiential marketing needs to incorporate technology that isn’t the norm.
Here at Social Exposure, these are our custom event builds. Touch screens, augmented reality, and green screen videos are some of the ways to blend real-world, physical elements and our first class tech. It’s not going to be enough to snap a picture in 2023 and share instantly. Tech is going to have to jump a notch or two and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Developing the technology and digital side allows people to explore new environments, engage their senses to promote an emotional connection and guarantee social exposure and positive outcomes.
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
The Datareportal July 2022 global overview shows that social media growth has continued to increase as it has become part of everyone’s lives and businesses are flocking to it to reach more people. There are more platforms, more ways to engage and more algorithms than ever before but unless you harness its power, you will be left behind! .
When done right, social media will remain the most powerful tool to engage customers, generate revenue, gather new leads or increase brand awareness. And most importantly, if you can harness the power of user-generated content on social media, you pretty much have it made. User generated content is easy if you have an activation or experience that is too good not to share. If you’ve done your research, engaged the best of the best and really understood your goals and market, it will fall into place naturally.
Let’s look at when we partnered with Universal Studios for their massive release of the long awaited The Matrix: Resurrections. The brief was to engage event goers at a fan day event, create viral content for social media and provide people with an opportunity to feel connected to the franchise and excited for what is to come. Guests were pleasantly surprised when they were able to step onto our 360 Social Revolution Platform and create their own unique video which saw them quite literally in amongst the iconic green digital rain. We added audio and video effects for an even more impressive experience and every video was created with a sting at the end, advertising the movie and release date.
Over two fan day weekends, there were a whopping 1231 videos created, with a total of 2,244 shares and a reach of 192,217 on social media. Now that is what you call Social Exposure! There are countless ways to engage your audience; it just takes imagination, creativity, the right tech and the right people.
So, what 2023 event trend are you most excited to explore?
Connect with us now and see how we can partner with you to create meaningful and shareable moments that build connections and kick event goals!