The obligatory sign hanging over the event exit reading ‘See you next year’ usually, accompanied by a message offering a discount if you book your tickets for next year now, has been a staple of event for as long as I’ve been attending and one thing I hope covid has taken as a casualty, here’s why.
As you are leaving an event, presumably after enjoying and deriving great value from it, at your most engaged with and receptive to the show’s brand and what they can offer… they remind you they won’t have much of interest to you for the next 12 months until you come back to the show, except for perhaps a good ticket deal. This is why the level of engagement for events typically looks like the graph above. Great engagement leading up to and during the event with little throughout the rest of year.
Learnings to take forward
The last year and a half has shown us that even when the physical event is not on people’s appetite to engage with the event brand remains, whether that be through webinars, event marketplaces, digital networking, full virtual events or any number of ways events have found to engage with their audiences digitally. Unfortunately some organisers will undoubtedly drop these new channels of engagement when physical events return, though the ones who emerge from this stranger will be those who can successfully integrate these new channels with their physical event to make both stronger.
The digital side keeps people engaged with the brand throughout the year improving retention and driving higher conversion and the physical event provides high value interactions and experiences unavailable through other channels. Platforms such as ShowShoppa, Hopin and Zoom are making it easier than ever to keep your audience engaged by providing them with something of value in between events, and in the case of ShowShoppa every day of the year with very minimal effort.
I hope the ‘see you next year’ goes the way of the dodo not because we shouldn’t be encouraging people to come back next year, we absolutely should, but because I hope events will have so much more to offer in the 51 weeks between one event and the next than has been possible previously. If you would like to find out more about how ShowShoppa can help your event with engagement 365 days a year through an easy to run event marketplace get in touch here.