Posts By : Beth Gladstone

How to Create an Event Content Marketing Strategy
How to Create an Event Content Marketing Strategy

At Smart Digital we work with event organisers, agencies, brand partners and exhibitors looking to produce a better level of content marketing for use within their communications strategy. In this infographic we have pulled together a guide to making the most of the potential of great content marketing within events. This covers:

  • The potential of great content
  • Statistics that point towards content marketing strategy as a growing trend in event success and ROI that improves year-on-year
  • Quick wins within content marketing strategy, across email, social media, web and more
  • Content KPIs and benchmarking your campaign for success
  • Content streams across all key verticals, including video, audio and written mediums
  • How to measure the content cycle across a pre-, during- and post-event campaign

How to create a content marketing strategy for your event Infographic

To find out more about a comprehensive content marketing strategy for your next event or exhibition contact tim.henderson@smart-digital.co.uk today.

How agencies can offer video packages
How and Why Agencies Should Offer Video Packages

In a recent study, representations from both agencies and brands agreed that video has become an ever-more-pressing issue. Brands are keen to have video content to share and agencies are aware of how crucial video production is as a service to offer alongside traditional content creation.

Yet despite the shifting landscape that sees video as a growing trend, many brands are still struggling to adopt video as part of a comprehensive content strategy.

How agencies can provide more appealing video packages for clients

So how can agencies help brands to create more video, while retaining the exclusivity that makes them such valuable partners?

Often, we find that it is the framework that is missing, not the potential.

Brands have a huge amount of opportunity to capture and create video. From events, to product launches and meetings with key executives; all offer the perfect circumstance to collect video marketing content.

Marketers in-house at such brands recognise the potential too. 85% of companies find video marketing ‘very successful’ or ‘somewhat successful’ as a marketing strategy. Additionally, studies repeatedly show that video increases email open rate, reduces web bounce rate, improves time spent on page and leads to more direct conversions.

There is a clear case for all brands to be creating more video as standard. So what are the blockers that agencies can help brands move past to get the cameras rolling?

Lack of strategy – out of all those who have a content marketing strategy, how many have a video strategy? If they do, the strategy is often undocumented. Producing video content needs a team to own it and take it forward, whether that team is an extension of the agency or within the agency itself.  Offering this as an additional package to traditional web advertising or social media content which agencies are perfectly placed to deliver.

Lack of opportunity – video content is often perceived as being more high maintenance to create than web, blog or social content. The equipment and specialist resource required to create high quality video can be expensive and difficult to source.

Lack of expertise – full service advertising agencies may not be affordable to most brands, whereas marketing agencies often lack specific video expertise. This can hold back both parties; the agencies who want to offer video and the brands that need it.

Fortunately, it is becoming more and more acceptable to hire video specialists that have the ability and the expertise needed to help agencies and brands pass all three of these roadblocks.

A white label video content creation service

Many agencies now invite a third-party content partner to plug in to their model, providing a white labelled video service that can be offered to clients. This suits both parties. Brands do not have to manage a separate agency and video supplier; agencies are able to extend their portfolio and offering.

The benefit of this is twofold; the agency is able to pull on its own skillsets of strategy, direction, content creation and distribution. While doing so, the partner is able to offer a full video content creation process, from storyboarding to creating media channels and social media updates. This allows the agency to have control over the creative process and provides clients with a specialist team whose sole job is video.

Working with a third-party allows the agency to provide the service as part of its own repertoire yet still be agile and reactive to client briefs without the pressure of a full time team.

Hiring video specialists also means that the content is right first time around. In situations such as events, you only get one chance to capture rich video footage. A third-party content partner will see the opportunity, organise the onsite deployment and edit the finished product, ready for distribution across multiple channels. Often on the same day.

This could be anything from interviewing key executives, to capturing product demos and organising highlights or daily show reels.

At Smart Digital we work with creative agencies as an extension of their service, allowing them to capture their own work in action for case studies and hero content, and provide clients with rich video footage.

This enables agencies to offer high-quality video campaigns for online, corporate, marketing and internal communications, ensuring that clients receive a higher ROI, a more engaged audience and a better overall experience when working with an agency.

If you are an agency looking for a video partner service like our client in the video below, contact tim.henderson@smart-digital.co.uk today.

GITEX Live 2016
Why Exhibitors Should Be Involved in GITEX Live 2016

When exhibiting it’s vital for brands to be able to ensure a strong return on the budget, time and effort invested. As well as leads generated and business deals done, exhibitors are looking for ways to extend the activity beyond the show itself.

If you’re exhibiting at GITEX 2016 and want to draw in more visitors, gain more exposure and achieve extended traction post-show, GITEX Live is for you.

GITEX Live is the updated event TV network for GITEX 2016. A digital network of screens throughout the exhibition venue, combined with online broadcast through the GITEX web site and social channels, and backed by a media team and film crew who capture video and live broadcasts throughout the show.

Following the success of previous years, including 2015 which you can see in action here, the GITEX Live screen network has been extended for 2016. Bringing all of the sights and sounds of the show inside the halls for the very first time.

Across a 27-screen strong network, GITEX Live will encompass back-to-back totem screens and huge LED screens that are ceiling-flown for maximum exposure.

Here are some of the ways GITEX Live will specifically benefit exhibitors using it throughout the show:

Fixed exposure in every GITEX hall

Exhibition stands are only exposed to those who pass by. By taking a GITEX Live airtime package, you gain a fast track to every hall throughout the show. Placing you in front of more visitors and enticing them to visit your stand. Through the format of video, you can build authenticity, engage fans and gain more brand awareness from access to the show’s wall-to-wall audience.

High-value PR

The GITEX Live network is the principal broadcast medium at the show, used to release some of biggest news stories of the year. It is a key channel to feature live footage of exciting innovations from the exhibition floor including product launches, business wins and new partnerships. As a GITEX Live partner, you have access to thousands of eyeballs, including leading press teams, who are ready and waiting to receive news from the show. Releasing news on the GITEX Live network often leads to additional press coverage and exposure through media outlets, maximising on the return of your investment.

A global online audience, that lasts well beyond the show

Exhibitors on GITEX Live reach attendees and audiences dynamically, across multiple media, from the largest high-impact on site screens to the smallest mobile devices.

Peak online viewing times in the areas around the event are early morning, and late evening, as attendees plan their day and catch up on anything they missed. GITEX Live ensures you fill these key spots with rich content – before the show day and after it finishes.

Online viewing of the GITEX Live footage continues post-show in the months that follow. During the last year, GITEX Live 2015’s online players have delivered thousands of views from all over the world, lengthening exhibitors’ campaigns and expanding their audiences.

A perfect opportunity to capture video for all marketing channels

According to statistics, adding video to email creates 2-3 times as many click-throughs (Forrester) and adding video to a web page can increase conversion rate by 80% (Eyeview Digital).

GITEX provides an excellent opportunity for exhibitors and sponsors to create and capture engaging video content for all of their digital channels, since they typically have the essential elements together on-site: key staff, customers, their latest products and fresh promotional materials. By utilising the expert crews, presenters, editing suites and facilities producing GITEX Live, exhibitors can obtain excellent quality video content throughout the event.

Some of the video formats we can capture at GITEX 2016 include:

  • Product demonstrations – tradeshows provide the ideal backdrop for natural, informative product videos. The lighting, the bustle, the product stands – every element is set up ready to demonstrate your products from all angles, captured in the best light.
  • Explainer videos – as well as your own stand, tradeshow environments contain a number of dynamic areas that make great explainer video backdrops. Busy halls, studio setups and on-stand environments all make for a great place to explain what you do and why – without looking staged.
  • Leadership interviews – at a leading tradeshow such as GITEX, many of your key personnel and customers will be in one place. This makes capturing leadership content easy. As well as off-camera presenters who can ask key executives a series of pre-defined questions, we also offer a presenter service with professional, specialist interviewers who can create a fluid, interesting overview that will engage the audience.

From initial concept, through to providing expert presentations, editing and distribution, you can use GITEX as the platform through which to capture evergreen film content.

 

To speak to us about becoming part of the GITEX Live network, or to employ your own video package email tim.henderson@smart-digital.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Using video to secure exhibitor rebook
How Using Video Increases Exhibitor Rebook

Securing exhibitor rebook has always been a high priority for event organisers and meeting professionals. Often, the best time to do this is at the event itself. When exhibitors are present, you are already thinking about the future event lifecycle and the exhibitor and brand experience is front and centre of mind.

With many turning to digital channels, the current perception of live experiences can make this more difficult. It is the job of today’s event organiser to employ a sophisticated arsenal of tools to ensure that the live event experience is perceived as a key platform through which to build relationships and close business.

Exhibitor rebook and event TV

Event TV is a dynamic broadcast channel that transmits real-time and pre-planned video content across screens throughout the concourse of an event and online. It’s part of a pre-, live-, and post-event marketing strategy that provides exhibitors with a multitude of content to repurpose and share with their audiences. It’s a platform that can be monetised, adding value to the event, while remaining affordable for organisers and their exhibitors.

Using event TV not only captures and broadcasts exhibitor content throughout the event, but also offers an excellent opportunity for organisers to prove ROI, minutes after show ends to encourage exhibitor rebook. With event TV, organisers are privy to a selection of videos which can be interspersed with statistics on engagement, attendance and sales made, all of which make an enticing offering for an exhibitor considering rebook.

Organisers are able to utilise expert film and editing crews to capture the sights and sounds of the entire show and create an end of event showreel which gives exhibitors all of the information they need to make an informed rebook decision.

This video can be played across the halls on final show day, or as exhibitors pack up, allowing them to get a feel for how the show went before it has ended.

The use of video and an event TV platform can help improve exhibitor experience, increase ROI and give organisers a portfolio of statistics on engagement and interaction that can garner interest in the next show ahead.

Statistics on how many attendees there were, what they viewed, how much information they took away and how many stands have already been rebooked. Custom information such as special offers and discount on rebook can also be incorporated, with visual countdowns and messaging that cuts through the noise and speaks directly to exhibitors still at the show.

 

Some of the other benefits of using an event TV video platform to encourage exhibitor rebook include:

Engagement

Video is by far more compelling then text alone! It captures attention and requires little on the part of the viewer. This is twofold; an event TV platform used throughout the show to capture exhibitor insights and key interviews provides exhibitors with rich content that they can engage audiences with all year round. At the same time, it provides organisers with a rich depiction of the event where exhibitors can see, hear and take in the event aura which will entice them to want to rebook for the next show ahead.

By using video as a way to engage exhibitors into the rebook process, it provides a more intimate experience and gives a well-rounded view that a web page or stats sheet alone just cannot provide.

Furthermore, exhibitors can use the video as a 1-2 minute overview that they can send to their CEOs and other key executives who may not have been able to attend the event, therefore making the message more accessible.

Rather than reading stats, the exhibitor and their team can see them, designed in a more visual way. The result? They can picture themselves there and are able to make a decision – fast, on whether they should ensure exhibitor rebook for the year ahead.

360-view

Within events, exhibitors are often stuck on their stand and miss seeing the wealth of activity going on around them. From keynotes, to breakout sessions, entertainment and launches, there is often more to the preparation and execution of the event than meets the eye. For organisers, video provides an opportunity to capture insights from every corner of the event. This content can then be made into a showreel and targeted specifically at exhibitors to give them a 360-degree view of the show. It can be enhanced with captions, notes and bullet points that annotate the areas and guide the viewer through the experience.

This allows organisers to ensure that all of the incentives and concepts they work on throughout the entire event cycle are placed forefront of the exhibitor’s mind when it comes to making a decision on rebook. For the exhibitor, they are able to see any opportunities they may have missed that can be incorporated into their planning and marketing schedule for the year ahead.

Social proof

Anyone can write and publish a testimonial, but video testimonials cannot be fabricated. Using video at your event to capture and interview thought-leaders and attendees on their perception of the show can create powerful social proof that the exhibitor should rebook for another year.

These could be the testimonials that help sway an exhibitor’s decision who may be in two minds about whether to book now or consider later. Video testimonials filmed live at the event also capture that buzz that only comes when you are in the thick of the show with exhibitors and visitors alike, buoyed up with atmosphere and success.

Video testimonials create rich social proof that your event was exactly as depicted and creates visceral reactions in the minds of those watching. Allowing you to increase exhibitor rebook rates and your exhibitors to make an informed decision.

Extending reach

Once created, video can be shared across industry associations, websites, press releases, social media channels, email communications and blogs. It makes excellent material for exhibitors who are looking to extend the reach of their event presence.

By providing exhibitors with video content from the show, both exhibitors and organisers can amplify their reach and therefore gain more mileage from their exhibiting experience.

As well as being a useful tool during the event itself, video is an essential part of most organisation’s marketing and content strategy outside of the event.

Google’s universal search showcases video content on the first page and prominently above the fold. Video content is much more likely to generate first page rankings than traditional SEO methods.

Creating event videos for exhibitors to use and repurpose gives them huge opportunity to attract organic search traffic and raise their profile ready for the next time they exhibit with you.

Proving ROI

A key consideration of many exhibitors is how to prove the ROI of their event presence. Event TV and video collateral provides a tangible way in which they can monitor the success of their exhibition stand. Rather than looking at how many attendees they spoke to during the event, they can also see statistics on who engaged with their event video during and post event, how many shares they had, what the reach was across social media and a whole host of other statistics.

This means their investment in the event doesn’t just stay with the event itself. Instead, it continues to work hard for them after the event, through the rich video collateral that is sent out to all attendees (even those they may have missed during the show). It also works through video players which can be embedded onto their websites, through the video they can use to raise engagement and reach on social media and the leads they can accumulate from the videos alone.

All creating a rich list of metrics which can be used to analyse their event performance and reach and improve their chances of rebook for another year.

The nostalgia effect

Events are incredibly intimate experiences that play on the human emotions that come along with the power of face-to-face interactions. Capturing these in video format will increase nostalgia for exhibitors.

A short video sent post-show, brings exhibitors back into the moment they were at the event. Invoking the same emotions, smells and touches and reminding them why they were there in the first place. This creates a second touchpoint through which rebook can be achieved.

 

For help creating a video strategy for your next event, have a chat with our team on tim.henderson@smart-digital.co.uk

Airbus - event tv
How to succeed with Event TV: a guidebook

Exhibitions, tradeshows and conferences are breaking new ground, providing an ever more vibrant environment for attendees, in which they experience all that the event has to offer in real-time, and across multiple channels. Technology is enabling this 360 degree experience, with sophisticated AV and digital tools delivering every part of the event to continually connected attendees.

In 2016 providing good video content for attendees and video broadcast opportunities for exhibitors is essential, as studies show that video is preferred to and consistently more effective than other forms of content, now accounting for around 69% of all consumer internet traffic (Cisco).

So a key medium for the up-to-the-minute event experience is video, and the primary platform that enables event organisers to deliver such a forward-looking digital experience is event TV.

Event TV

Event TV is a dynamic broadcast channel that transmits real-time and pre-planned video content across screens throughout the concourse of an event and online. It’s part of a pre-, live-, and post-event marketing strategy that provides organisers and exhibitors with a multitude of content to repurpose and share with their audiences. It’s a platform that can be monetised, adding value to the event, while remaining affordable for organisers.

Benefits for organisers using event TV

Organisers can use event TV to deliver a cutting-edge experience for attendees and exhibitors, increasing satisfaction all round. They can utilise the opportunity to broadcast on a state-of-the-art screen network at the event, and through web and social media channels beyond it, to grow their network and increase demand from potential visitors for the years ahead. They are able to take advantage of the unique opportunities that their event provides for capturing thought-leadership video content for themselves, their exhibitors and their attendees. In some cases they are also able to grow an additional revenue stream through on-air advertising on their network.

Benefits for exhibitors using event TV

Using an event as the canvas on which to capture video content not only benefits organisers but also offers an excellent opportunity for exhibitors, for whom an event is often their biggest showcase. By enabling them to create and broadcast expert video content, you can help them to increase their ROI, both within the show and beyond. Exhibitors who use event TV benefit from a dynamic channel on which to showcase their brans, expertise, and news, driving awareness and bringing customers to their stands. They are able to utilise expert films crews provided by the event organisers, and capture the insights and expertise of their business leaders and customers while they are all in one place.

Benefits for visitors using event TV

For visitors event TV provides a connected experience in which they can enjoy the whole event from wherever they are situated. They receive breaking news, even if it is happening three halls away, and find out about interesting activities, products and key messages. Post-event, they are able to watch insights from the industry leaders they saw and those they missed, and share them with their colleagues. Able to engage in a continuing conversation across social media and other digital channels, they have a more in-depth and personal experience of the event and can demonstrate the value derived from it.

Download the expert event TV guidebook

As you can see, the benefits of employing an event TV channel extend across all areas and dimensions of your event. Smart Digital is the leading event TV provider for the global exhibition, tradeshow and conference industry. We have produced a full guide that will help you learn how to provide an event TV channel for your next event.

In our event TV guidebook through six key chapters you’ll learn:

  • How to plan your event TV solution.
  • How to deliver a high-impact video channel across your event estate.
  • How to cover all angles of your event and beyond – taking coverage to social media, websites, video blogs and other digital media channels.
  • How to develop your event TV channel in a year-round engagement strategy that will attract and retain interest and increase rebook for your event.
  • How to integrate event TV into your post-show marketing and communications strategy, including your website, email and YouTube channel strategies.

To download your event TV guidebook, click here

 

A crowd of people walking to an event
Event Marketing Predictions for Brands in 2016

At Smart Digital we look to cover all ends of the event marketing spectrum, from video creation, content storyboarding and influencer engagement through to social media and email communications. Unlike some event marketing cycles, this lasts much longer than just the event itself and the best campaigns never stop – working seamlessly all year round to entice and attract an event audience. Our aim is to form a new experience for attendees -one that is more engaging, insightful and relevant for those taking the time out of their day to attend an event.

Here are seven of the event marketing trends we expect to see brands embracing throughout the year ahead:

  1. Relationship event marketing

Events may be temporary but using them as a platform to create a longer lasting connection between brand and audience is a key goal for 2016. Event marketing is at its best when focused on building stronger loyalty and long-term customer engagement that lasts far beyond the show ends. Relationships that are built on the tradeshow floor create brand loyalists who will then go on to provide social referral and word of mouth recommendations across online and offline channels. One way in which brands will adopt relationship event marketing in the year ahead is to provide content and experiences which do more than just entertain. By using the event arena to provide useful information, interesting content, insights and data to take away, audiences will leave with something of clear value. Shows leading in this approach are using sophisticated live content platforms to broadcast news, insights, product launches and more throughout the show concourse and on their websites. Not only does this give brands a valuable platform on which to release their most important updates but it also builds the relationship with the visitor, as it engages them with key information that’s truly relevant to their industry.

  1. Video over text

The shift in focus from editorial to visual media over the past year alone has been huge. In 2016, it’s fair to say that visual content will take the lead as brands strive to entertain, inform and inspire through the medium of video. With Cisco predicting that video will account for 69% of all internet traffic by 2017, it’s an area that brands can’t afford to shy away from. Within the event arena, we have seen brands employing our Event TV platform in order to find a cost-effective way of producing content such as key executive interviews, show highlights and real-time broadcasting that can be used live during the event. Furthermore, this creates a rich portfolio of video content which can be repurposed across the web, blogs, social media and visual platforms post-event, gaining more traction with audiences throughout the world. Within this, event organisers play a key role in ensuring that brands are able to utilise the opportunity to capture video during an event to full affect. The ones that continue or start to embrace this in 2016 will be the ones who find themselves steps ahead in terms of both trackable ROI and event interest.

  1. Location-based event marketing

Wearables and mobile technologies are becoming two of the most useful forms of technology within event marketing to help brands connect with their audiences. Using iBeacon and other near-field services in order to provide discounts, offers or just signposting to attendees as they wander a show is set to become much more mainstream in 2016. Wearables, currently in their infancy, will also see a rise in adoption this year with many already invested in the benefit of push notification and messaging systems which will work between an attendee and their iWatch or similar, during events of the future. The key for any location-based event marketing is of course, relevancy. It won’t be long before messaging apps and push notifications become as brand-driven and lost in noise as social media and email before them. In order to cut through, brands must be clever, interesting and selective about the updates they choose to send, particularly when in a time-sensitive event environment.

  1. Innovation

The words ‘innovation’ and ‘experiential’ have became overused and underappreciated in the events industry, but their relevance has stuck. Brands are doing more than ever to innovate the event experience and engage with the attendees who pass through their doors. This includes everything from innovation of the registration experience, where mobile scanning replaces paper tickets and long registration queues, through to data-sensors and tracking technology which allows brands to capture offline information that mirrors the level of detail previously seen in online communications. In our field, innovation is clearly led by the number and sophistication of event communication tools such as video, which allow a brand to connect with its audience in real-time. In 2015 we worked with hundreds of brands throughout shows such as the Dubai Motorshow, ADIPEC and ICE Totally Gaming who fully understood the powerful of innovative event communication. Using video, the brands at these shows drove engagement not only at event itself, but for months to come across YouTube, Instagram, web and email. We can’t wait to see how this level of innovation will continue to evolve throughout 2016.

  1. Connected events

Events, which were once standalone occasions, are now much more integrated across the entire marketing spectrum. Event planners are using digital channels such as online, email, social media and webinars to drive sign ups and generate interest in their events all year round. Attendees are able to collate useful information that mimics the event experience and gain access to a knowledge hub that they can visit at any point throughout the year. In 2016, we see this growing in importance with event organisers aiming to continue the legacy of their events all year round. Through the sharing of video content, social media communications and rich, deep-dive branded content, the event experience will become one that’s connected to its attendees in an all-year-round cycle.

  1. Enhanced content marketing

Content marketing has become big business not just in events but also in the marketing arena as a whole. With event marketing, the key to a successful content strategy is to capture the content created at the event so that it can be shared all year round. Both brands and event planners have a limit on the amount of time and budget they can invest in developing content. Key content produced at an event, such as video and image collateral, can be repurposed and used in other forms to continue the legacy and give more return on initial investment. This means taking videos with key leaders from a company during the event, and turning them into Podcasts, written blogposts or email communications, used to recap with existing event attendees and attract new ones. The repurposing and building of this type of enhanced content marketing will create meaningful connections all year round – with little or no additional cost needed.

  1. Shared experiences

Social media and online channels have created a culture where thoughts, ideas and moments can all be shared at the click of the button. Within events, we expect this to extend even further in 2016, with brands making the most of the event experience to attract a wider, international audience. One of the ways we’ve seen shared experiences take hold is through brands that embrace live content sharing across social channels such as Snapchat and Periscope. As well as sharing moments and broadcasting events as they happen across these channels, many brands are making use of YouTube and other content sharing platforms to bring in a wider audience for months after the event ends.

 

If you need help implementing any of the latest event marketing trends in your strategy for 2016 get in touch – we’d love to help