As an event planner, you’re probably aware that marketing can end up feeling like somewhat of an untamable beast. But it’s a necessary evil – those tickets won’t sell out by themselves!
The fact is, marketing trends and tactics move at an incredibly fast pace, changing from one year to the next. Sometimes these shifts are subtle – like the recent transformation of the need for great customer service into the need for instantaneous and authentic customer service. Some are more in-your-face, like the rise of TikTok, or the (almost) death of Twitter. Either way, it can feel tricky to ensure you're channelling your time and money down viable marketing streams, rather than inadvertently flogging a dead horse.
On that note – what’s new for 2023, and which marketing trends are particularly pertinent to event planners? Let’s find out👇.
Next-level customer service
Customer service has always been important but evidence shows individuals are looking for an even more authentic, responsive experience going into 2023. Studies suggest, for example, that since the pandemic, customers are focusing more on urgency – they want brands to be available in a much more on-demand way, as this is what they got used to during the online-living days of lockdown. The use of chatbots on social messenger apps rose significantly during the pandemic, with 53% of companies who use them saying they implemented them as a result of its impact.
We’ve heard first hand how navigating customer service for certain types of events can be a minefield. In a recent interview, Ticket Tailor user Show Aloha Land talked about the crazy volume of queries their Christmas wonderland event was getting – until they leant on explainer videos to pick up the slack. Worked a treat, apparently – something that’s definitely worth bearing in mind for event planners who want to stay ahead of the customer service curve!
If you're worried about keeping up with messages across multiple channels, you could look into setting up auto-replies that acknowledge when someone gets in touch, and manage their expectations about when you can get back to them (like we do on our Instagram).
And speaking of customer care (quick bit of self-promo here) – it’s worth noting that with Ticket Tailor you get access to our round-the-clock team, who’s average response time was under three minutes in 2022!
TikTok and other short-form videos
A report on 2023 marketing trends revealed that short-form video will see the most growth in this coming year. A third of marketers already use this content medium, and are planning to invest more in it than any other trend in 2023.
90% of marketers already using short-form video say they’ll keep doing so, and 21% say they’re planning on leveraging it for the first time this year.
As an event planner, the opportunities for reaping the rewards of platforms like TikTok and Instagram with short form and live streamed videos are rife. Think:
Behind the scenes footage
Live clips of performers
Entertaining, inspirational or informative teasers from influencers, speakers and performers
These are just some of the enticing ways you can put this marketing tool to good use. And, judging by the stats, it’s going to be more important than ever to jump aboard the bandwagon as marketers seriously up their short-form video game.
Ethics, sustainability and social conscience
Listening to Gen Z is crucial for any event brand that wants to connect to a younger audience. Thanks to the fact this socially conscious collective was brought up against a backdrop of digital media and technology, they’re incredibly informed, and they’ve got big (commendable!) demands. One recent report shows:
50% of Gen Z’ers say companies should take a stance on social issues like racial injustice and climate change
51% of Gen Z’ers say sustainability is ‘somewhat important’ to them when they’re making a decision to buy something
51% of Gen Z’ers say they’re more likely to buy something if they know the company treats its employees well
It’s no longer enough for just a small collection of events to be socially and sustainably minded. In truth, any event that wants to stay current and sell tickets needs to make sure it’s ticking the right boxes here – from reducing environmental impact to ensuring staff are able to thrive.
Interested in calculating your event’s carbon emissions? Learn how the beautiful Thorington Theatre is doing exactly that, and how sustainability is a number one priority for this unique woodland venue.
Content curation, not just creation
Most of us know what it’s like to get hooked on TikTok, Facebook or Instagram, scrolling through quick-fire videos that span from the hilarious to the empowering to the downright silly. The accounts posting these videos aren’t always the ones who created them, though. Instead, they’ve been thoughtfully curated by accounts dedicated to just this – sharing content as a sort of public service (albeit one that can end up reaping profits as follower metrics soar).
As an event planner, marketing your brand doesn’t need to just be about creating your own content. Curating and sharing the content of others can be just as powerful when it comes to solidifying your brand personality. Think of it like this: you’re sort of saying “Hey, we’re the kind of people that find this type of content hilarious or fascinating, or empowering, or important – just like you, our like-minded attendees.”
Podcasts are a fantastic, often underrated content medium. In fact, a sizable 26% of organisations use podcasts to get their content out to the masses. Other data shows that 38% of podcast listeners actually buy products mentioned in podcasts.
They’re also much cheaper (and easier) to make than videos, while allowing you to create highly-focused content for super-engaged audiences – win win.
Whatever field your events are in, we bet there’s a podcast opportunity there. From music to theatre, literature, technology, science, world issues and everything in between – pretty much any topic lends itself well to this content format. Getting influencers together to explore a certain subject, or interviewing artists, performers or industry leaders are good places to start.
Influencer marketing continues to thrive, promising a higher return on investment than any other 2023 marketing trend. And data shows it’s going to see another significant growth this year, with 17% of marketers saying they’re going to get in on the influencer action for the first time in 2023.
Event planners should bear in mind some of the other upcoming marketing trends when honing their influencer activity. Working with those whose values (think: sustainability, social issues) align with yours is going to be key – especially if you want to appeal to Gen Z. And it might be worth experimenting with content formats, too. Podcasts ☝️ are a great way to get influencers working for your brand, as are entertaining, non-salesy TikTok style videos.
Employee Generated Content (EGC)
Employee generated content (EGC) is where employees post on their own social media channels about the company they work for. Sounds simple, but it’s proven to be a really effective marketing tool.
In the events world, a piece of EGC could come from a member of staff posting behind the scenes footage at one of your gigs, for example. Or an employee posting photos of your conference or workshop – or simply of a great day out with the team. The exciting bit? EGC posts get 10 times more followers and eight times more engagement than brand posts. This is probably down to the fact they feel more authentic and trustworthy than content coming directly from your company accounts, which can feel more self-promotional.
Ways to encourage EGC can include running employee competitions, organising some fun props for employees to have Insta-fun with, and regularly sharing any EGC you do see popping up. That last point is important; it lets employees know you’re happy for them to post about working for your company, as well as which kind of content you like.
Phew! That’s a wrap for now, but watch this space for more marketing insights and trends as we move through what’s hopefully going to be an amazing year for all you wonderful event planners out there. Here’s to an epic one! 💪
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