From social keynotes to full broadcasts, brands are putting conversations at the forefront of their virtual event experiences.
At their most recent Summit, Sirius Decisions put the spotlight on one big number that B2B CEOs and CMOs know too well: B2B brands spend up to 40 percent of their budgets on events. This level of investment is pushing brands to maximize their investments beyond the ephemeral.
At the heart of this push is brands’ focus on content. Event marketers are asking: How can we create more content moments for our attendees? How can we extend our event content into our broader marketing programs? How can we engage broader audiences, rather than just those who are able to attend our in-person events?
In 2019, the answers are found in the conversation-focused content movement. This movement began in the general session and has spread across the event and cross-channel marketing teams.
Beyond the now-expected, one-way live webcasts, keynotes are being purposefully extended with online social experiences. When hosted on popular social platforms, like the live offerings from YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or on emerging platforms like Crowdcast and BlueJeans, brands are nurturing live stream-specific conversations, audience engagement, and digital extensions. From chats to multi-speaker video to audience response tools, brands are extending their keynotes with live formats and social-first tools that drive new forms of engagement for remote audiences.
With a holistic focus on message matrixes that connect content throughout an event, leading B2B brands are developing beyond-the-ballroom content moments that pop up throughout an attendee’s journey. From recording podcasts in beautifully designed booths at a user conference to Facebook Live-Streaming tradeshow floor fireside chats to showcasing reporter-on-the-street, in-the-moment conversations, modern live streams draw onsite crowds, break down walls, and capture unique conversations.
Our industry’s largest events are pushing their content investments even further and adopting approaches that are akin to broadcast television. With anchor desks and news-styled studios, cadres of on-air talent and reporting teams, motion graphics packages, pre-recorded segments, thoughtful sponsorship integrations, and more, brands are going “on the air” all day (and sometimes through the night). With this approach, user conferences like Microsoft Build and AWS re:Inforce are leading examples of brands that are engaging live audiences and extending the event’s impact long into the future by making this content readily available.
By exploring these event trends and syndicated content approaches, event marketers will find new ways to maximize investments for their brands, and, most importantly, the investments their audiences make in them.
By Brent Turner