Did you ever have anything resonate with you so much, you feel like you’ve been kicked in the guts?
Such was the case for me (many times over!) when I recently attended the brilliant Event of the Future Dublin – an event focusing on the future of marketing and events.
The line-up of presenters was superb, thus it’s no surprise much of what they were saying really had an impact on me. However, it wasn’t only what they were saying that got me. It wasn’t even how they were saying/delivering it. What really stirred the physical reaction in me was the energy in the room.
As each of the presenters spoke, I could see the nods of agreement and the smiles of excitement from my peers around the room. I could even sense the internal cheerleaders galloping around their heads shouting “yes, yes, yes” – because that’s what was going on with me too!
It was the connection in the room, (and during the breaks… and on the way out the door…) that day that really made it for me and it’s this connection that make events such a powerful marketing tool.
We live in a digital era, where pretty much anything or anyone can be accessed with the press of a button. So why then do people still attend events? Connection. Not just communication – I’m talking face to face, hand shaking, meal sharing, banter inducing, human to human connection.
The marketing world today is abuzz with the term “experiential” and for very good reason. Today’s consumer is no longer a passive one, happy to learn about a brand by hearing your messages alone. No, today’s consumer wants to experience it. They want to feel involved, have input, and know their opinion matters. They want conversation. They want connection.
Digital communication is here to stay for sure and indeed has been used to great effect in experiential marketing today. However, it’s the brands/organisations recognising that digital on its own will only ever deliver so much, brands recognising that we as human beings are hard wired to connect and who are combining the use of digital communications with events who are really leading the way. Size is irrelevant.
Events and people are my passions, so yes, of course I’m all for events. However, I’ll leave you with the words of Kevin Jackson – one of the most influential figures in marketing today (and one of those brilliant speakers I referred to above):
“Events Are The New Marketing”
Yes they are.