Event marketing trends have shifted pretty dramatically in recent years. First everything went online. Then, people were desperate for in-person events. Now, the market seems to have landed somewhere in between.
According to a study by Bizzabo, 68% of event organizers are planning to include a virtual component at their next event. And 53% are “focused” or “very focused” on a fully online event strategy for 2023. And that’s without getting into the rise of the latest trend: experiential marketing.
In this article, we dissect different event marketing examples and explain how they can be modernized for 2023 with recent case studies. Check out our event marketing guide for more.
Livestorm helps teams collaborate and deliver memorable live or on-demand video experiences.
No, event marketing isn’t quite the same as experiential marketing. Event marketing is a way to promote your products or services by organizing in-person or online engagement at a specific time or date. For example, this could be any five-day in-person conference or webinar marketing event.
Experiential marketing is a type of event marketing that connects you to your consumers by stimulating the five senses to create memorable experiences. It can be used as part of an overall event marketing strategy to launch products, build brand awareness, and move prospects through the engagement funnel.
From trade shows to thought leadership events, there are many different event types and event marketing tools to consider for your next event marketing strategy. Here are some of the most successful, with 12 real-life examples.
The objective of experiential marketing is to immerse consumers in a live experience. You want to inspire attendees to share this experience with others and spread positive word of mouth.
Refinery29 is a digital media and entertainment website for young women that has seen huge success with its 29 Rooms events. Self-described as a “funhouse of style, culture, and creativity” 29 Rooms is a festival structured around a series of interactive spaces with different themes that people can explore.
Each room has unique activities and designs that draw huge crowds and get people (especially influencers) to create user-generated content. In an interview, Refinery29 said the experience had “become a physical manifestation of the Refinery29 brand”. It’s branded, but in a subtle way, using the themes of each room to reflect the interests of the target audience.
The Hands Free House at SXSW 2020 is a fun example of an experiential pop-up, which is a type of marketing event that’s made exciting by the fact that it’s temporary. This super interactive event got plenty of media coverage and social media engagement.
Playing off the fact that Cheetos leave your hands covered in orange dust (aka Cheetle), the brand jokingly suggested it was responsible for the rise in hands-free technology. The House was dubbed ‘Cheetle-on-the-fingers-friendly’, and each element was creatively designed with hands-free entry, smudge-free remote controls, and virtual assistant technology.
A virtual summit is an online gathering of business leaders, industry experts, and speakers discussing a specific topic. Virtual event marketing through summits, webinars, and trade shows can be highly effective for reaching a wide, global audience. Attendees aren’t required to travel, so they can join from any convenient location with an internet connection. Making events more accessible can drive attendance rates and boost attendee satisfaction.
Agorapulse is a social media management tool that hosts the online-only marketing event, Agency Summit. Aimed at digital marketing agencies, the event included live keynote speakers, workshops, and table talks.
What makes this example so successful is that it embraced the online event format while working hard to provide a human touch. The organizers placed a strong emphasis on interactivity and networking - two elements that can be forgotten at virtual events. The event emphasized:
Pro tip: if you’re thinking about entering the world of virtual event marketing, make sure you’ve got an online event platform like Livestorm that enables interactivity through live polling, question upvoting, and breakout rooms.
Adobe, the creators of the PDF format and popular software such as Photoshop, went fully virtual for its 2022 edition of the Adobe Summit. Catered towards digital businesses, the summit went the extra mile to include interactive elements in over 200 sessions with training workshops and virtual learning opportunities.
The event was a huge success with over 100,000 people in attendance. The Adobe team used a smart mixture of quality speakers from high-profile brands and ‘Sneaks’ - sessions that tease future Adobe products and features. Throughout the event, Adobe provided clear takeaways and value for the attendees but also got to promote its brand.
Webinars are the Swiss Army knives of the modern event marketing world, providing an easy and flexible way to reach customers with valuable content. Typically, a webinar involves a live or on-demand online video presentation with some supporting resources. Live webinars should also answer audience questions (that is, if you’re following webinar best practices!).
Livestorm is a video conferencing platform that hosts regular webinars to help marketing teams improve their online events. We joined forces with Mention, a social listening web app, to offer a webinar on engaging your audience with social media pre, during, and post-event.
Partnering with another brand is a great way to increase your audience reach and double up on the value provided. This webinar was packed full of useful tips and advice for promoting your events and capturing your attendees' attention. We practiced what we preached too, making sure the audience had a chance to interact during the Q&A session and that the recording was available on-demand after the live event was over.
Deminars are a new event marketing trend that combine a webinar format with a product demonstration. They offer an advantage over traditional in-person product demos because they’re less time-consuming and expensive to set up and run.
SurveyMonkey is an experience management company that provides businesses with survey data about customers and employees. Its various marketing efforts have attracted 17.5 million active users. The enterprise-level subscription plan involves online product demos which, for a limited time, included free Fitbits for attendees.
This was a great incentive for potential customers and a smart way to boost attendance. Plus the registration page is clear about what attendees will learn during the deminar, while the demo format allows face-to-face interaction between sales teams and prospects.
Notion is a note-taking platform that helps teams manage their knowledge and data. It runs regular deminar events that show off the platform and provide tips on best practices. The organizers highlight the Q&A section of the demo, so potential attendees know they’ll be able to interact with the presenters and ask follow-up questions during the session.
Since each deminar only lasts 30 minutes, they’re cost-effective for the company and less demanding for busy attendees. The use of a countdown timer on the registration page helps to create a sense of urgency and attendance is made easier with the ability to register with your Google account.
Workshops allow attendees to gain hands-on experience with a niche or industry-specific subject matter. They’re a highly attractive marketing channel because people are always looking for ways to improve their skills and learn ways to work more efficiently.
Asana is a project management tool that offers workshop ‘boot camps’ via its partnership with Branding Bear. These online workshops consist of interactive events that help users get the most out of the software.
The workshop has a super clear value proposition, to improve the user experience and increase work efficiency, and offers a great way for Asana to directly engage with its customers. The registration page also does a good job of digging into customer pain points to drive attendance and tailor the content of the events themselves.
Hubspot is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that offers regular workshop events for sales leaders. The ‘New Sales Enablement Office Hour’ event is specifically centered around answering users’ questions about both the sector and the platform.
But it also covers HubSpot platform updates and news. This means Hubspot is providing a high-value, interactive experience for attendees and heightening brand engagement at the same time. Hubspot prioritizes audience interests and emphasizes the interactive element of the event by asking attendees to post their questions in the discussion group before it starts.
Conferences are planned meetings of people with a shared interest or agenda and normally take place over several days. Because the event will appeal to a wide range of people within your sector you can draw high attendee numbers and position yourself as a thought leader in the industry.
Google I/O is a virtual conference for developers held by web giant Google. In 2021, it created an entirely new digital experience by gamifying the event with the I/O Adventure.
Attendees could enter an entirely virtual world to talk with Google and other developers, watch Google product demos, and earn badges. There were also:
Google streamed all of the sessions live and made sure to keep things interactive for attendees.
A product launch event is the big unveiling of your new product to the market and the media. It offers a massive opportunity to build interest and sales and increase brand awareness.
HTC is a cell phone company that also creates virtual reality (VR) headsets. In 2020 they held a virtual event to launch Vive XR Suite - a VR software program designed to increase office productivity for remote work.
The clever twist here is that they used VR technology to launch the product. The event was held on its Vive Sessions app, a VR app used for virtual meetings in a VR space, and attendees joined in from around the world as avatars. This event is an example of the perfect synergy between product and platform and couldn’t be more immersive.
According to Grand View Research, the metaverse industry is expected to grow to $679 billion by 2030, meaning more events could take place in virtual worlds like these.
VanMoof is a Dutch electric bicycle company that had been working on the launch of their new range, the S3 series of e-bikes, when the pandemic hit. With such a physical product this put the company in a tight spot but they decided to press ahead and launch the product online.
Instead of trying to replicate an in-person event they leaned on the high-tech nature of the product and created a virtual, interactive live event. The launch included audiovisual material, interactive 3D experiences, and a live online audience.
VanMoof also made sure to include a section before the launch proper so that attendees could chat and get to know each other, and a Q&A section at the end. And the results paid off with:
Find more event marketing strategies on our blog.
Livestorm helps teams collaborate and deliver memorable live or on-demand video experiences.
As more and more brands switch to hybrid or fully online events the hi-tech future of event marketing cannot be denied. Every type of event marketing can be adapted to, and in some cases improved by, moving attendance online. To ensure success, follow these virtual event best practices:
The five essential features of event marketing are:
You create an event marketing strategy with the following steps:
The three components of event marketing are:
The difference between event marketing and event management is that one is about increasing product awareness and the other is about organizing gatherings. Event marketing is creating a meeting where you promote your products and services. Event management is the process of producing and overseeing these gatherings.
The purpose of event marketing is to promote your brand, products, and services. By putting on an event you draw attention to what your business offers with the goal of raising awareness and sales.