Digital event management is the process of facilitating and augmenting events using technology.
It does not simply aim to get as many people as possible from the online world into your events, but also the reverse. Digital event management can influence the planning of events to boost the performance of your brand.
There are several advantages to digital event management. Digitisation is the most efficient way of getting information to clients and potential attendees (who, these days, invest less time in preparing for events). It also makes targeted marketing much easier and more effective. Furthermore, it allows rapid feedback invitation processes and attendee management.
With all of these advantages, however, digital management certainly presents a challenge. There are many delicate balancing acts to attend to. For example, it’s important not to oversell, to make a good impression, and to measure the impact your campaign is having. This measurement includes both positive and negative responses – the people interested enough to open your emails, and the people repulsed enough to unsubscribe. This feedback should be analysed and monitored to allow you to target current and future events to the people who will appreciate them the most. Finally, an event host should decide how to balance organic growth (for example, through social media) and paid search engine advertising (for example, PPC advertising or google adwords).
A survey carried out by Xing events is instructive in terms of keeping abreast of current developments in digital event management. In the survey, online ticketing topped the list of uses for digital technology commented on by attendees. Online ticketing was comparatively underappreciated by hosts despite facilitating increased ticket sales. Xing events note the implication – event managers are not always attuned to what their attendees want.
The most frequently used digital event management strategies were straightforward email campaigns and online marketing (used by 66% and 72% of event hosts respectively). This online marketing might include the use of Facebook and social media. Attendees valued most the communication and transparency that digital methods were able to provide, and so digital event marketing and communication provided a symmetrically pleasing service for hosts and attendees alike. Interestingly, 44% of hosts used online communities, and event apps and video streams were each used by 32% of the surveyed hosts. Event managers are ready to embrace digital solutions in a variety of forms, but there remains a mismatch between the desires of attendees and the solutions provided by hosts.
Furthermore, not all hosts are all satisfied with their use of digital management strategies. In the aforementioned survey, only 75% not all the organisers thought that digital event management strategies improved their event optimisation. This suggests that there is significant potential for improvement in at least 25% of events with respect to digital event management techniques. Some hosts might benefit from outsourcing, both from what they might learn from partners who are more conversant in digital event management, and from the optimisation that such an arrangement might provide.
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