Event Marketer recently held a “Strat Chat” featuring Oracle, Atlassian, Sprint and Ford. This conversation with top event marketers gives us some insight about the future of event marketing for 2020. One interesting angle we noticed was people discussing the challenges of scaling up event marketing, and strategies for smart growth.

We know that even modest event marketing campaigns can be very complicated affairs. To say that there are many moving parts is a gross understatement. You might have to consider the objectives and concerns of the Sales, Marketing and Product Development teams, and develop a compelling program that satisfies all of their requirements. This Strat Chat shares some ideas about how to manage these concerns.

When dealing with the complexity of multi-generational markets, increasing globalization and digital habits of consumption, you have more than enough on your table. To deal with this workflow effectively, you will need to strategize effectively. Following are five tips for managing the process of scaling up your event marketing.

1. Prioritize: In order to take care of everything in advance of your event, you need to figure out the order of things. Putting the most important things first ensures that you have a solid structure underlying your planning. Experience in planning events is critical for time management, as many tasks take longer than expected. A smart event marketing plan is going to cover the essentials first and leave plenty of time and budget to fill in all of the details.

Of course, plans do change, and when they do, you have to re-organize on the fly. Angie Smith of Atlassian shared a story about her efforts to align marketing efforts with the sales team. She states: “Midway through fiscal 2019, we got a huge influx of event support money. And it was to go after a campaign in the IT market. I have event managers on our team, but the new campaign meant that I needed field marketing expertise.” In order to stay true to her priority of aligning with sales goals, she knew that they needed people with higher levels of skill in the field and so she chose to work with staffing agencies to bolster their team with contractors who have field experience.

2. Partner: Finding the right agencies to help you to build your program and to staff your activations is very important. You need people who are experienced with your markets, with your target demographics, and with the kinds of experiential storytelling techniques that will be effective at engaging your potential customers. Garret Carr shares that Ford has a small team and they work with agencies. In order to do this, “the skillset you need is the ability to talk to the sales team, the product team and the brand teams, and to be able to tease out the messages we’re trying to say.” Selecting the right agencies and managing the process is critical to succeeding with event marketing partnerships.

3. Prepare: Before you commit to any specific plan, you will want to ensure that you are ready to commit. This means making sure that your budget is clear, the chain of command is in place and the core team is equipped with the resources to succeed. As chefs prepare all the ingredients before beginning to cook, your process will go much more smoothly if you create a mise en place. When your event marketing efforts reach a certain scale, however, agencies can help keep the bigger picture in mind.  “Some larger companies might have so many events going on in so many geographies that they actually rely on their agencies to be the connective tissue, and to know what’s going on across the company,” Event Marketer states.

4. Parley: Expect conflict. Your team is passionate about getting the desired results, but they do not all agree on the best strategy. Be ready to mediate effectively. Each team has valid concerns and important goals. Managing these will be critical to your success. Another advantage of working with an agency is having an outside point of view and voice to provide some clear direction when things get in the weeds.

5. Produce: If you think about your event marketing like a theatrical production, then you can tap into a vital force: creativity. By bringing together the right talent, equipped with adequate resources and all following a clear plan your event marketing can happen in multiple cities and create a powerful impact.

2020 is looking even more exciting for event marketing. As you scale up your marketing efforts and increase your portfolio, remember that agencies are a critical component of managing this growth. Choosing an agency like Encore, with our vast pool of talent, our proprietary software with extensive search criteria, and our experience scaling up marketing is a smart decision. Contact us today to learn how we can help you to scale up your event marketing.

Larry Hess
Encore Nationwide, Inc.

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