Where’s Your Head At?

Channel attitudes to face to face and hybrid events.

Will they? Won’t they? Can we? Can’t we? What can we do now? What can we do later? Where should I spend my marketing budget?

I’ve been doing some thinking. A lot of thinking in fact.

It feels strange out there in the channel marketing world right now doesn’t it? It got me thinking about our eBook we launched back in January of this year on ‘Tech Marketing and the C Word. Why Covid will make you a better marketer’.

In this eBook, we revealed what we learned about marketing from an unprecedented year – and how our clients and prospects can use these insights to improve their 2021 marketing. We made 6 predictions for marketing in 2021.

Just over the halfway point of the year, I thought it would be worth revisiting these predictions to see how accurate they were and where channel and tech marketers have been focussing their attention. So we will be revisiting these predictions in a series of regular blogs.

So, here’s what we predicted:

  1. Digital disruption will continue to change marketing
  2. Virtual will continue in 2021 – but it will be better
  3. Blended physical and digital events will emerge
  4. Highly targeted marketing (with compelling calls to action) will boost results
  5. Marketing departments must change – or die
  6. Trust will be more important than ever

Point 3 really stands out for me.

Blended physical and digital events will emerge.

Post-pandemic, 48% of consumers increased their use of video conferencing. A third of consumers, however, miss experiencing products in person (both are Gartner statistics).

COVID poses different risks to different groups of people, and different people have varying appetites for risk. Some are already pining for the return of physical events. At some point in the future – perhaps in late 2021 – physical events will return. But they’ll be different.

Will those based overseas really feel compelled to fly to speculative one day conferences, eat alone in restaurants and spend an evening in a Travelodge? Will they even be able to?

To satisfy everyone, soon enough, marketing events and experiences will not simply be ‘virtual’ or ‘physical’. They’ll be both. Marketers will start to blend both the physical and digital, enhancing event marketing even more, keeping everyone happy and, more importantly, keeping everyone safe.

This might not come in as early as 2021 but you can bet it’s coming – so it’s worth some prep.

So where’s your head at when it comes to events?

Our clients have been turning to us for advice on what events they should plan.

Where and when and how. And like them, we are tired of the uncertainty so we worked with Ignition Technology and asked the partner community what they think.

A few highlights from the results.

63% reported feeling comfortable attending events face to face yet, on further probing, only 41% would attend a face to face event immediately. So why is this important? It’s a pretty well documented stat by channel marketers that they expect / anticipate a 50% drop out rate on confirmed registrations to both in person and online events. It’s not always the case of course (right audience, right message, compelling reason to attend etc, etc) but it does happen.

So …. Should these stats be factored into lead targets and expected ROI. Would you consider your event a success if you had to adjust your lead targets down this much?

Sure, things may change, and these days they change fast, so we plan to rerun the survey post the summer to see if anything has changed in the results. So watch out for that. But in the meantime, it’s food for thought.

Download the Infographic to find out more.

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