EMS 2016 in Denver; Definitely a High-Altitude Experience

Ann Marie Burke | May 11, 2016

The Event Marketing Summit 2016 in Denver, Colorado brought the country’s top brands and event strategists together over 2.5 days. The event was inspiring and empowering as we saw firsthand the ever increasing value of experiential marketing in reaching the target audience.

While traditional TV advertising can be opted out via DVR, 55% of direct mail is thrown away, spam filters restrict email messages and pop-up blockers eliminate online advertising, face-to-face marketing is emerging as the final frontier for real connection and meaningful dialogue. It is truly unstoppable.

A few new trends were identified…

1. Brand pivots that go from what’s done to what should be done.

Brands are seeing incredible results from a marketing plan that leads with the face-to-face experience. A plan where the goals are specific, the audience is truly targeted, the efforts are balanced over the entire marketing mix and the ideas are bold but executable.

2. Using the branded live event as a content factory.

One live event can produce content for the rest of the marketing mix; content that can be used for 3, 6 and even 9 months down the road. For example, trade show booths are serving as recording studios for YouTube videos.

3. Extended engagements.

Through technology we are “always on” both socially and professionally. Our work and private calendars run together 24/7. So it is important to make a social event have business relevance and/or a business event have a social element.

4. The shift from lifestyle marketing to aspirational marketing.

Instead of simply aligning with key milestones, aspirational marketing goes after dreams, such as incredible business productivity. This means creating a third party narrative that leads them where they want to go and causes them to see your product/service as the perfect solution to get there.

If you are focusing on experiential marketing you are heading in the right direction. If you incorporate the above insights you will get there ahead of the competition.

Ann Marie Burke is a Marketing Communication Strategist with MG Design. She plays a vital role on a number of client teams, regularly imparting her wisdom, leadership, insight and passion for trade show and event marketing while providing great experiences for the company she serves. Ann Marie helps companies amplify brand experiences well beyond the footprint and timeline of their events through MG’s internal marketing services agency, magnify™.