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A Year-Round Conversation Through #Event #Marketing

There may have been a time, once upon a time, when an event marketing strategy was as simple as “plan it and they will come.”

But those days are done. With a larger number of competing events, new and sometimes fractured marketing channels, and shrinking budgets, it isn’t enough to put together a dynamite program and count on the audience to show up.

The smartest, most effective event marketers are making those three or four days onsite the cornerstone of a year-round conversation, in which:

  • The business and collegial relationships start developing online.
  • The dialogue is advanced onsite.
  • The closing plenary session isn’t the end. It’s the end of the beginning for the new ideas, opportunities, and issues that participants will carry back to their online channels to continue the conversation.

A New Way to Interact

This new way of interacting is a huge opportunity for any event. But it’s particularly promising for the kind of innovative, groundbreaking program that association executives said they wanted when we did the background research for the Engaging Associations Summit, July 24-25 at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

You told us you wanted to learn and share experiences with your peers, rather than just hearing from consultants and industry vendors.

You said you craved fresh, alternative formats that would deliver a more powerful learning experience.

And we knew it would take more than a few days for those deeper, more useful conversations to grow and flourish.

That’s why we asked Rachel Stephan, Principal of sensov/ event marketing™, to join us as a strategic partner for the Summit.

Back to First Principles

sensov’s approach to event marketing—and the approach we’re taking for the Summit—is a good reflection of the questioning spirit we’ve brought to this entire adventure.

We’re going back to first principles, leaving no standard practice unexamined if we can help it.

You asked us for an event that replaced talking heads at the podium with real dialogue among peers. You encouraged us to second-guess whether a successful event had to take place in a standard meeting room, with standard décor and amenities.  sensov/ event marketing™ is helping us rethink conventional marketing strategies by putting different audience segments at the centre of every decision.

  • We checked all our assumptions about the benefits and takeaways that would make the conference a great investment for association executives, then built our marketing around the language we heard back from prospective participants.
  • We aren’t placing ourselves at the centre of our own marketing universe. sensov/ event marketing™ encouraged us to treat speakers and participants, sponsors and exhibitors, our venue and other vendors, and our partner organizations as the best messengers to introduce the Summit to their own contacts and communities.
  • Although we’ve ended up with a robust social media campaign, we didn’t have any preconceived notions about which messages we’d be sharing on which platforms until we’d mapped each segment of our campaign to our specific audiences and objectives.

And in a great example of preaching what we practice, Summit participants will get to interact with Rachel Stephan first-hand, hearing her ideas and sharing their own experiences with event marketing campaigns that put participants and audiences first.

Click here for more on the Engaging Associations Summit, July 24-25, 2014 in Ottawa.

sensov/ event marketing™ is a creative marketing agency with a clear focus: marketing association meetings and international congresses. Challenging status quo, pushing the limits of existing marketing campaigns, sparking new marketing ideas, being at the forefront of event technology. Since 2001, our strategies and creative campaigns consistently deliver results that meet and surpass clients’ meetings objectives.