AEO Event marketing forum 2015

The AEO Marketing Forum always provides food for thought and this years’ forum was no exception. Held at the Crystal last Thursday the day kicked off with a keynote session from Rian Shah of OMD-UK exploring trends identified within their Future of Britain study.

The study informs media planning and creative campaigns for key brands, highlighting changes in consumer behaviour over time e.g. purchasing processes, technology usage, media engagement etc.

The content definitely resonated with me, looking at data and speaking to consumers on a daily basis means that many of the trends identified in the Future of Britain study are coming through in research we’re doing; not least Crunched Consumers.

Our chair for the day was Lisa Taylor, Marketing Director at UBM Live London. She told a story of change for event marketers and highlighted how today’s teams more than ever need to become data junkies to get under the skin of their brands. As an insights company, we certainly support that sentiment.

Saul Leese, Group Trade Brand Manager at Media 10, took us through his 10 tips for international launch, emphasizing the importance of understanding each market and its cultural differences.

Our pre-lunch session explored language and the importance of speaking to customers in the right language (literally in some instances!) and tone. Alistair Herbert from Linguabrand looked at how language is under-exploited to deliver true brand USPs. He encouraged us to think about what we want to say – clarity, speak about benefits rather than products – proposition, use sensory language to stimulate the audience and to talk about ‘you’ not just ‘we’ – tone.

The Crystal did us proud with a yummy lunch and then we launched into a panel session on conversion rates. Rob Nathan (Media 10), Alison Berends (Reed) and Jeremy Rees (Excel) shared their knowledge, experiences and some stats on conversion rates. In our experience, a typical trade event converts around 50% of its pre-registered audience to attend, obviously this varies widely by market. However, what is also key here is the accurate measurement of conversion, in our experience with event data, it’s not impossible to add another 10 percentage points to a conversion rate based on accurately recording attendance.

It can also be incredibly annoying as a show visitor to be communicated to post-show as a non-attendee!

Our next speaker, Caroline Hodson from CleverTouch spoke about marketing automation and life-cycle marketing. Given the discussion on conversion rates, this again emphasised the importance of clean, reliable data in order to effectively automate.

Finally Greg Morris (UBM) and Murray Dickson (NEC) talked technie and making me want a new data geek more than ever! If that’s you, please get in touch – we’d love to hear what you can bring to the Zing team.

As well as all the insightful sessions, the day also provided a great opportunity for a catch-up with some of our friends in events marketing and the chance to meet future event marketing friends. We look forward to the next one.

Lisa Holt

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