Event Marketing Summit – Day 3: Three Key Takeaways

Posted by Lori Ryan / May 12

The third and final day of the Event Marketing Summit was just as great as the first two (check out my Day 1 Recap here, and my Day 2 Recap here)! It was another day filled with a ton of great talks and panels with industry experts, and we had the opportunity to present on the 360-Degree Sponsorship Approach with our partner Santiago Gallo of Constellation Brands – Beer Division! Here are our three key takeaways from Day 3!

  1. Want to stand out from your competition, create something cutting edge AND be environmentally friendly? Check out utilizing shipping containers for your next event environment.
    Some of the ways that shipping containers are being utilized by brands:

    • Temporary event location (trade shows / sporting events)

    • Building elements

    • Pop-Up stores (permanent or semi-permanent)

      While there is an up-front investment that can range from $15k - $50k to retrofit a shipping container (per container), as part of a longer-term brand strategy, it can be a great investment. Once the containers are built out (to include features such as AC, sound, lights, water… you name it!), the creative can be reskinned simply to keep the experience fresh & current for years to come. 

  2. ​​Are the days of free events over? Probably not. But I sat through an interesting session on ticket-based event strategies, or pay to play. Here are some guidelines for developing a ticket-based event:

    • You can charge if there is a good reason (like it’s a completely exclusive experience that delivers social currency)

    • People will pay to support a good cause! Team up with your brand or company’s favorite cause to deliver an event that supports it.

    • Don’t charge if you are trying to get trial or lead gen out of the event, or launch a new product or service. This type of strategy should really be reserved for events that deliver some sort of social currency or exclusive experience for your fans.

       The next biggest question is probably – how much do I charge? Obviously, there isn’t one magic number, but here are a few tips for determining the right price:

      • Look at other similar types of experiences to get a gauge of what they sell for (if there are comps)

      • Ask your fans what they’ll pay via your social media channels! It’s a wonderful way to find out what experiences your fans are willing to pay for, and how much.

      • Test & learn. If possible, try different strategies in different markets to find the sweet spot.

  3. It’s amazing how many of us execute the same bad habits trying to think creatively for the brands we are tasked to come up with the next big thing for. During a lecture by David Burkus on The Myths of Creativity, a rather large group of us came face to face with many of these bad habits in a very easy to understand way. A few points that can make sense to us all:

    • Externalize ideas for feedback as opposed to moving forward originals. Everything is a protocol. Even the best ideas can be made better.

    • Being an expert on a topic can be a hinder to creativity

      • Most often the best Ideas come from those that work for the expert

      • The more of an expert an individual is the less likely they are going to have the most creative output. With experience an expert in the field has learned “what cant be done” or “what will never work”. While the junior person under that expert is more likely to think why not and lets try it. Sometimes these ideas an expert shoots done instantly end up being the best ideas out there.

    • Always read and learn about things not in your field, limiting yourself to what you already know limits creativity.

All in all, it was a great three days at the 2014 Event Marketing Summit! Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2015!