RASMUS BECH HANSEN, FOUNDER & CEO.
Events are the new black of marketing
As the world becomes ever more digital, “real life” experiences are becoming the new luxury. When the majority is glued to screens most of the day, the basic human need to get together in real life, share experiences, discuss, listen and learn increases. Eye to eye beats eye to screen.
This is the case even, or maybe in particular, for technology professionals. At Airfinity (www.airfinity.com) we are data mapping and analysing the world of events. We have compiled a database of all major tech events in London and have noticed that the industry is on a roll. There are more than 5000 events a year, many of them entirely new. More than 250,000 participants. More than 1,000 sponsors.
A trillion dollar business
Globally, the pattern is the same. Millions of new innovative events, conferences, meet-ups are organised every year. The event market is globally estimated to be worth more than USD 1 trillion and growing. This is almost 2x the global advertising market.
For companies, the booming event market presents an exciting opportunity. Events is in many ways the answer to the increasingly urgent needs of marketers. How do you capture the attention of an audience in a world of media fragmentation and banner blindness? How do you engage people? How do you become relevant?
Events can deliver just that. Event-goers attend because they care about a subject. They listen, pay attention and most importantly engage. If marketers find the right events and provide the right content, they can take advantage of this dynamic. Nothing builds a brand more than real life presence. No sale is more likely to be closed than after a proper handshake.
Finding the niche
And done right, event marketing can be as targeted as digital advertising. Our data allows for audience-centric event finding. We have learned that the best events attract a very particular niche. Looking for Python developers? There is a great event for that. Looking for investors in IOT? There are great events for that. These, often smaller, high quality specialised events have an attractive offering to the right corporate, but they often go un-noticed.
Add to this, the fact that the new generation of event organizers are increasingly sophisticated users of social media. Many of which, by our analysis, have lively communities of tens thousands, some even hundreds of thousands. So even for marketers looking for wide reach, events can be part of the answer.
Let’s hope that more and more companies realise what a compelling opportunity events present. With more sponsors, more attendees and more content — events will become even better and inspire us all to lift our head from the screen and go out and meet people.