The 3 Pillars of Digital Event Engagement

March 22, 2018

Marketing Event Speaker

Today’s CMOs allocate an average of 24% of their budget to live events. Yet Forrester’s research shows it’s time for a ‘digital wake-up call’ to boost effectiveness.

Live events are a staple of many a marketing plan. While they can provide an invaluable chance to get face-to-face with priority audiences, today’s events require a huge investment of time and money to organize. In my view, they fall short in three vital ways:

1. Limited Reach
You only manage to connect with a relatively small number of attendees on the day

2. Pre- and Post-engagement
Too often, brands struggle to sufficiently engage audiences pre- and post-event

3. Lack of interaction
Traditional events don’t often give attendees the opportunity to engage and add value

A digital event with a difference

Financial services executives are inundated with event invites on the future of Fintech. These events range from global blockbusters like Money2020 to ‘sleeves-up’ hackathons. Whatever the occasion, participants frequently tell us of their primary frustrations; events don’t often move the debate forwards or capture all audience insight.

With that in mind, when conceiving ‘Fintech Face-off’, the event at which we planned to launch our joint World Fintech Report with Capgemini, our objective was to do something different. But with impact. The new playbook for digital events is built on three pillars – gamification, virtual engagement, and social amplification. We looked to build our event around these three themes.

“The debate format was a brilliant idea very well executed. Well done! - Jane Barratt, CEO, GoldBean

1. Gamification

We recognized that audience interaction was key. That’s why the event format resembled a debate with the audience invited to vote and pick the winners. Recruiting respected FS names was equally as important. Our event panel of industry superstars including representatives from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, USAA, Lloyds Bank and other Fintech challengers. We picked two teams who then competed through four rounds to see who could articulate the most compelling vision on the ‘future of finance’.

2. Virtual Engagement

To ensure maximum attendance, we ran the debate simultaneously from two locations – New York and London. In addition to in-person attendees, we livestreamed it across six digital platforms, hooking an additional 20,000 virtual attendees. In total, we drove 4,800 hours of audience engagement.

3. Social Amplification

In addition to the debate, and to ensure we encouraged audience feedback, we enrolled a team of established social influencers. Through their digital outreach, the debate inspired over 11,000 tweets and a social reach of 10 million.

“Great event… really well orchestrated. You guys took a risk on a new format and I thought it really came off well.”  - Jeff McMillan, Chief Analytics and Data Officer, Morgan Stanley

Beyond the golden hour: pre- and post-event engagement

Of course, good engagement goes beyond the golden two-hour event window.

Pre-event, we used ABM targeting by role and sector to actively engage prospects. We used relevant content from our ‘Agent of Change’ interviews with Finserv CEOs. This tactic drove over 110,000 people to visit our site pre-event.

And because we recorded the event, we now have a rich resource of audience-validated content to deliver. We intend to package these up into themed ‘mash-up’ videos and activate back through channels and events.

The events of tomorrow

I have no doubt that live events will remain a core part of the marketer’s arsenal. But savvy marketers are taking the next step and leveraging them through digital. And not just during the event itself but also before and after.

Social channels offer an unrivalled chance to go beyond just awareness and transform the whole event experience for all attendees. Give your event invitations a chance of being opened, and your events attended, by incorporating digital into your event strategy today.

The new playbook for digital events is built on three pillars – gamification, virtual engagement, and social amplification.

To see more content from our #FinTech FaceOff and to read the World FinTech Report 2018, visit our hub.