'Thought Leading Events' everyone wants to create them in the B2B space. Lots of people go to them, but do they leave as thought leaders themselves?
A lot of planning seems to go into the 'broadcast' element of an event. 'Come to our event and we will tell you why we are thought leaders in this topic'. Now, while this is a laudable goal, would it not be better to construct events with a slightly different emphasis? 'Come to this event and become a thought leader yourself! Leave with a plan to tackle a specific issue within your business. Build lasting relationships with career long value ' Better? We think so.
Events are marvellous heroic moments in the marketing calendar but let's look at ways to transform them into more meaningful experiences. Content Marketing should not just be pre and post event. Creating content at an event is a new experience that creates value for everyone. Using live interactive technology makes an event fun. For example, we love using Glisser for capturing polling content and managing audience questions. We like people to leave with some really practical ideas on how to achieve transformation, innovation and demonstrate thought leadership back in the business.
Storycorps and Stellar are apps that we will be exploring more in the B2B space this year because sharing experiences is a really strong reason for people to come to events. If the experience can be embedded into a wider content marketing strategy then so much the better.
As more Millenials are attending B2B events we will be challenged to create more valued and connected experiences. A baby boomer family member had me howling with laughter about his experience of a 'mindful' event last year. I'm pretty sure he will be dining out on his experiences in a teepee in the Mojave desert all this year and maybe next. This sounded like the organisers not really pitching the experience to the audience (a mid fifties oil and gas executive from Swansea, he approached this 'compulsory mindfuness' exercise by comforting himself on how much money he was being paid to do nothing) So while I find the concept completely intriguing and worth exploring, I'm not sure he would really buy into the Mysterious Tree of Symbols at the C2 Event. We need to be relevant and inspiring too, encouraging thoughts and relationships to build.
We should never be limited by imagination. There are many less dramatically imposing ways than building a huge art installation to create more meaningful event experiences for all age groups. Although if you have the budget to build a magical tree of symbols then you definitely should explore that too! Experiences at events must help create and inspire thought leaders. Co-authoring action oriented content for delegates to take back to their businesses post-event sounds obvious, but is rarely done. Embedding delegates into your content marketing strategy is a really meaningful thing to do.
Everyone has a good story, embedding the human experience into the machine of well constructed business content is the next level of thought leadership events. We will be layering intelligent story telling technologies around many events in 2016.
Give me a shout if you would like to talk more about the cool things we are doing this year.
StoryCorps is one of the apps that can be used by setting up an intimate sound studio within the venue where attendees can interview each other about their event experience. Steller is another app that allows users to upload videos, photos, and text to create more of a storybook about their experience. 1 Second Everyday is an app that only captures one second of content at a time. By having hundreds of attendees capture one second of the day throughout the event, event producers can edit these clips together into a single reel as a way to share the collective experience. This content serves as a historical archive and is also a sweet way to say thank you to the attendees by sharing it after the event – extending the life of the event many times over.