The Marketing Mix. The mere mention sends shivers down the spine of some people. Those of us with a few years on the tread will fondly remember the days of advertising and direct marketing and well, that’s about it really.
Since then things have truly exploded. And if you don’t have a grasp on it all, you’re not alone. It’s almost impossible to keep up with. And it begs the question – how long before there’s a backlash? But that’s another story that we’ll cover at some point.
What has become clear, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the proliferation of ways to “communicate”, especially in the digital sense, we are craving personal and authentic connections more than ever. And a conference just happens to be one of the best ways to deliver that en masse for a given community.
It’s little wonder then, that it seems like every major brand now has its own conference in some form or another. From the gargantuan user fests hosted by Amazon and Salesforce, through to intimate gatherings over a breakfast. The hosted conference is now a prominent feature of any serious brand marketer’s strategy.
With most forms of promotion you don’t actually know if your intended audience is seeing/reading/hearing it, let alone reacting to it and registering an impression. A hosted conference on the other hand is by definition a captive audience. And that provides an unprecedented level of attention - which is a scarce commodity nowadays.
It goes without saying, gatherings for the purposes of communicating a vision or belief aren’t exactly new. But today it’s the case conferences have jumped the shark in terms of delivering a much-needed tangible touchpoint for organisations, as well as being an important way of engaging communities - be they employees, existing customers or potential customers.
Whilst product manufacturers have long used events to launch products and wow clients, conferences have proved to be an essential way for an intangible service to put a face to their name, and give people, well, something tangible.
With more brands appreciating the opportunity conferences present, we expect the realm of hosted conferences to expand dramatically. We do caution any brand that thinks a chat robot on their website is enough “interaction” to engender loyalty and deliver a favourable impression. News flash: It isn’t.