Last week, DoubleDutch celebrated the convergence of the physical and digital worlds of marketing at LIVE 2016. It was an opportunity for marketing and event professionals to come together and think critically about using live events to meet tangible (and measurable!) business goals — and, of course, network with some of the industry's brightest minds.
Whether you joined us at the conference or couldn't make the trek to San Francisco, below is a recap below of some of our favorite moments and the key themes our presenters discussed:
All About Data
After a lively musical welcome from our very own Customer Success Manager, Jeff Hayward, DoubleDutch CEO and Co-Founder, Lawrence Coburn, kicked things off with a keynote about the importance of harnessing the massive amount of behavioral data that event attendees generate. It's up to event marketers to use that data to drive better, more informed business decisions.
Emily He, chief marketing officer at DoubleDutch, challenged attendees to take the time to imagine new ways to use event data and think about how it can inform both their marketing and business strategy. Event managers must ask new questions and seek new answers in order to better understand customers and prospects, Lawrence said.
Always. Be. Measuring.
Companies put on events for many reasons, but all event managers should start by thinking about how they will measure success. Gretchen DeKnikker, COO of SaaStr, said that Live Engagement Data is central to how SaaStr measures event success — but differentiating between good and great metrics is key. Raw numbers are good, said DeKnikker, but to be really impactful marketers have to take it a step further — pick an outcome and work backward from there. SaaStr , for example, has specific goals in mind going into an event, such as how many people from each company they want to attend and what percentage of those people they want to be returning attendees. Then they work backwards, filling in the steps in between to make sure they get the results they want.
Use Content Strategically
Live events have always been a part of the marketing mix, but it is only recently that they now have the tools to manage and optimize them like their digital counterparts. Live Engagement Marketing opens up a brand-new channel, but the payoff is only possible if event managers develop a solid content strategy for both the in-person and digital experiences.
One takeaway: Don't merely define your content strategy by keynote presentations and breakout sessions. Instead, include in-app content, like Live Polls and Topic Channels and customer questions to create user-generated content that can fuel your marketing program. In fact, you should even give as much attention to detail to your playlist — it's all content!
Even after the event, marketers can take what they learned and apply it to their overall content marketing strategy too.
Take the Lead
The events industry is going through a profound transformation. Event marketers that see the value in their data, and use it to not only measure event success and inform their content strategy but to get involved in the larger business strategy conversation will be the most equipped to lead. Emily He's message to attendees was simple: Get comfortable taking the lead, and embrace changes — new technologies included. It's an ethos followed by BlackRock's Cassie Muniak, who received DoubleDutch's inaugural "EventProf of the Year" award.