Q1: In your experience, what non-traditional marketing trends have you seen in your industry?

Marketers are finding ways to strike a balance between live events and virtual events. Virtual events have allowed us to extend the experience to those who may not be able to attend live.  The virtual event experience is anything unlike it used to be: live chats, opportunities to submit questions to the presenter in real time, videos of presenters, virtual tradeshow floors, and social networking with other attendees; the capabilities are endless. With that in mind, we also have to recognize that the value in connecting attendees face- to-face will never be replaced with virtual.

Regarding the mobile trend, we in the events industry are trying to bring the experience to every attendee in the easiest, most comfortable ways possible – right at their fingertips. We don’t want attendees feeling like they have to work towards an enjoyable meeting experience, we want to bring it to them. What better way to do that then to provide them with everything they could possibly need on their own mobile devices?

Q2: Do you think that non-traditional marketing tactics are just a trend? Or are they going to be increasingly used?

Platforms will always change, and I’d definitely say there isn’t any one specific tactic that could be considered the golden ticket. What I believe won’t change is getting to know your audience on a personal, more meaningful level – getting them involved in the conversation from the very beginning – and using that information to drive whichever platform is used.

Q3: How have you seen a digital marketing partner with these non-traditional marketing tactics? Do you think that experiential/event/guerilla marketing needs digital efforts to succeed?

I think that digital marketing, especially in the event space, makes a profound difference on the attendee experience. Here are some actual quotes from our meeting attendees; I’m sure you’ll agree they have nothing but good things to  say about the digital tactics used in the event space.

  • “I feel so much more connected in the discussions, the app is highly informative.”
  • “The app is really a brilliant tool! So much fun for partners and it really encourages networking.”
  • “I am learning to be so much more social J”
  • “Learning more about the 2012 plans for marketing, very cool ideas involving mobility.”
  • “35% use mobile apps…I bet a lot more here are using the event app! J”

Q4: Please name some non-traditional marketing best practices.

Get your audience involved in the discussion/planning upfront – it will help you understand their needs/wants and what works for them – we’ve found marketing tactics are always more successful as a result and we’ve come up with new ideas/tactics we hadn’t initially thought of. Remember just because it is non-traditional doesn’t always mean it’s appropriate!