The power of in-person
For the last few months, I have been tracking and validating what drives people go to events. Is it to get inspired and in the know on the zeitgeist of blockchain or AI? Is it to get out of your corporate circle, meet new industry peers and even wait for that potential economic opportunity that might arise? Or is it to fight the evening commute and reward yourself with a new experience over a glass of wine?
More importantly, why do I care? Because I am looking to find the objectives that license marketers to spend money on events as a channel. Today there are 5000 or so companies hosting, organising and sponsoring tech events alone that equates to an estimated £185B a year in sponsorship
From my interviews and data gathering, it’s really all three: we go to events to promote our brand, promote ourselves and promote our functions. That is, we use our business cards as credentials to get in; we don’t shy away from being approached for a future interview, or even be actively promoting roles (or sometimes both serendipitously) and potentially bring more work back to the office. And we always gain a soundbite of knowledge on our journey. It’s a true win-win-win-win + drinks. Score!
As much as this might sound that we got to events to market, sell and recruit – in a B2B perspective – there is one unforgettable and incomparable aspect to B2B ad tech we seldom forget about: it’s all in person. Perhaps this is the special ingredient that can make Boring2Boring fun and worthwhile.
On user engagement, scale, and business cycle
In person is something that data ad tech targeting fight to achieve through personalisation at scale but is always challenged by one core aspect: user engagement. That is, did they really give that brand their undivided attention? Is engagement a real click or a faux-pas? It’s tricky but wouldn’t it be quicker if we went from digital to in-person engagement, instead of digital targeting to the annoyance in an individual’s feed? Are we really putting user engagement to the test through placing an individual’s name in the header? And given what we know of digital advertising, ad fraud, ad blocking, isn’t real life merely an authentic, transparent alternative? We all know it is…
Yet in person loses enormously at scale (and to a lesser extent in dollars as I am currently working on today) as digital ad tech, although slower to convert is able to penetrate a broader market. So next up comes business or sales cycle: if our best in person digital tool is the email and there is a 3% average conversion rate, don’t you think you could meet and convert more than 3 people at a 100 attendee event and close the gap on your KPIs? I bet you could.
So is digital doing something wrong? – absolutely not! Delivered knowledge for people to like is standard, yet the journey of starting digital and ending in person can be shorter, accountable and easy for you to market your products, develop your business and hire your peers. Ultimately making that marketing spend deliver end to end.
At Airfinity I have been validating how one can use the enormity of data to target the right people and deliver through in-person marketing at the right event with your relevant audience there. It works! You go from ad tech targeting to enjoying the nibbles next to your future business partner.
I am truly enjoying how we are able to use and deliver high-quality data that has saved a few of our first users hours of time and provided a focused resource. It’s thrilling to see what a 15 strong team of intelligent and dedicated people can achieve, and how we are on the brink of bringing a new solution to the events data market that helps achieve marketing goals.
Thanks to digital and real people we can make it happen.
Hi, I am Afonso. The above opinions are my own and I have been engaged in this journey for over 3 months. My role is to develop business partnerships and go to market strategies validated by users. It’s a thrilling time for us at Airfinity and we look forward to disrupt and reshape your market soon.