Conference and trade show organizers tend to be conservative in terms of content issues. I rarely see any major events breaking from the traditional model of pre-set agenda, presentations, 5 minutes q&a, maybe with an occasional “birds of a feather” session, or hospitality event. But I’ve tried to keep tabs on the Open Space Technology movement, commonly referred to as “unconference.” A couple of great sites are available to give you an overview on this meeting structure: Open Space World includes a great collection overview information and links about the Open Space community. Unconference.net is more Read more…
This great post from Brian Solis gives a good breakdown of Forrester’s five year forecast on interactive advertising spending. While the bulk of this revenue comes from search, the highest compound annual growth rate is in social media, at 34% and increasing to over $3 billion by 2014. As we’ve argued frequently in these posts, event media is (or must become) social media. Thus we take a bit of warmth in this cold winter of our recession.
In terms of scale and innovation, B2C marketers are way out on the cutting edge of creating a social media marketing experience, and this Mashable post about the same Forrester Read more…
A discussion about new models for B2B event would be incomplete without a look at appointment events. I’ve seen an up-trending in two appointment formats: 1. The pure play appointment event. At these events, sponsors pay for, and are guaranteed a certain number of one-on-one meetings with potential clients. 2. The speed-networking approach, where an attendee and sponsor are brought together at a pre-existing event by the organizers.
1. The pure play appointment event: Min’s B2B recently ran an interesting article on appointment events, featuring Questex’s Mclean Events. As with the executive roundtables, this format is well-suited for tough Read more…
Ignore the snarky tone of this post from Valleywag and consider 1. What tech conferences (and eventually all conferences) are becoming in spite of the efforts of conference organizers, and 2. what’s going on at the New York Times.
1. Face-to-face events have the potential to be the locus of an information broadcast driven by the participants. This is happening without encouragement from conference organizers. How does this get harnessed?
2. The New York Times gets it–hopefully not too late for their survival. Read this New York Magazine article on the renegade cybergeeks behind nytimes.com. I’ve seen a dozen things recently on the web site that made me stop and think. Some of them will work. Now they’re opening their API to outside developers. There’s a B2B event opportunity in there somewhere.
Relationship marketing plays an important and under-appreciated role in the B2B marketing mix. It is the job of the B2B marketer to move the potential buyer from brand/product awareness, to investigation, to purchase, and ultimately to an interactive, long-term relationship. The relationship aspect of this continuum is key in B2B. Consumer marketers make a lot of noise about creating communities of customers. B2B marketers, in a smaller universe, must quietly live and die by these relationships.
Conferences and events have traditionally served as the place where relationship are cultivated and harvested. As an event producer, I’ve seen a lot of neglect paid to this important tradition, by both event producers and business marketers. The strategy for event producers has been a big tent approach—create the largest gathering possible, and leave interaction to the participants. Too many event producers treat their business like a transient mall. They rent space and collect fees for a limited range of services. They recruit speakers, print badges. That’s not enough any more. Event producers must develop new tools that help business marketers create or leverage their customer communities.
Relationship marketing is fragmenting and fluxuating. Once limited to meetings and sales calls, business relationships are now cultivated through webcasting, user groups, social media, blogs, chat boards, traditional trade shows and conferences, inside and outside sales calls, informal meetups, custom/corporate events, product announcements, virtual events, and hybrid events.
This weblog will look at people, organizations, technologies and trends that will move event media forward and create new industry memes. Traditional marketing is built on the four “p’s: Product, Price, Promotion, Placement. Web marketers have proposed a lot of new “p’s”: Personalization, Participation, Peer networking. I’m going to roll them all up under the rubric of market “Presence.”