How to make your event stand out in a saturated market

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How to break into events

The pandemic has accelerated the popularity of virtual and hybrid events – forever changing the events landscape, says Cathy Song-Novelli, chief marketing officer at Hubilo. 

In-person events are also making a comeback following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions around the globe. These trends show that the events industry is set to grow rapidly, so it’s more important than ever to invest to ensure that your event stands out.

Three vital elements make an event engaging: content, promotion, and experience. Irrespective of event format, all three of these elements are needed for a successful event in 2022. 

Content

The most important part of any event is its content. Identifying your goal and purpose is essential for creating a captivating event for your audience. Bringing unique topics and themes to your event will drive interest and engagement in your event. That’s why it’s important to understand why you’re holding the event and what your audience stands to gain from it. By making both points clear, it’ll help to define your purpose and what you seek to achieve.

Cathy Song-Novelli

People want to participate in events they find compelling, immersive, and engaging, which is why event organisers need to find ways to make their event stand out from others, such as by finding a new or distinct approach to frame the event. This can be achieved by facilitating a diverse panel with different viewpoints, which fosters insightful discussions and keeps the audience engaged throughout the event. This is especially important for virtual and hybrid events where external distractions are abundant.

Panellists and speakers with controversial or novel opinions help to prevent ‘webinar fatigue’ as audiences are more likely to find what they say thought-provoking and inspiring. Lastly, I would also rethink paying for expensive speakers because, in my experience, the ROI hasn’t always been there, and prioritising unique content may be a better path to ensuring your event stands out.

Promotion and amplification

Paid promotion is helpful in making sure your audience is aware of your event. However, amplifying your paid efforts is key to both reaching a broad audience and ensuring participation. I would recommend amplifying your event with influencers and event speakers as this will boost interest in the event and showcase what you have to offer.

At Hubilo, we’ve been working with Walls.io to display event-related posts from different social media platforms into a single feed. The live social feed increases participation and engagement because attendees can interact with one another during the event. If used effectively, this feature can become a great source for user-generated content – creating momentum for your next event. 

Also, consider using new technology like Snöball, which enables each attendee, speaker, and sponsor to become ambassadors for your event. The word-of-mouth marketing platform lets you tap into your attendee’s network, further increasing reach across a wide array of people.

Experience

Immersive experiences drive attendee engagement. As things stand, virtual events have been experiencing drops in registrations, attendance, and engagement which is often due to lacklustre experiences. I don’t believe this is the fault of the event organisers. The entire industry is learning in real-time and trying to understand what your audience and your event organisers need, what tech is available, and how to integrate more immersive experiences.

These opportunities range from 3D green screens to hybrid experiences that bridge online and offline events. We’ve also been looking into including metaverse layers that can be added to your event – there’s no limit to what’s becoming possible.

From the beginning, Hubilo has focused on client experience. Event hosts benefit from live support to help alleviate tech challenges and ensure the event runs smoothly. We’ve also invested heavily in gamification, which uses rewards and incentives to increase engagement amongst attendees.

Gamification also encourages audiences to build connections by working together. For example, a simple feature like a poll can make your audience feel like they’re a vital part of the event.

To summarise this, to make your event truly stand out, you need to focus on the content of your event, how you promote it, and the audience’s overall experience. Focusing on these three elements will set your event apart from the increasingly crowded events market, helping you build an event that your audience will believe is specially designed for them.

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