According to Maxime Rosenwald, Managing Director of GL events South Africa, event planners who have been in the industry for a while are also catching up with the newbies to keep up with the latest trends.

In the past few years, South Africa has shown a huge increase in attention to detail when it comes to marketing an event and implementing the right sources to improve the way events are run. One type of marketing that has caught our attention is digital marketing.

Researching and attending events to get insight into the latest industry trends and campaigns is a good way to start. Social media platforms are far more effective in today’s marketing landscape and are highly cost-effective.

2020 will see increased usage of social media and new technologies that are sustainable. The focus is to pay attention to engagement. Research shows that YouTube is gradually becoming more popular than Facebook in South Africa – this is in both short and long-form. Technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, are not something the industry is rushing to get into, however, they are placed under the long-term strategy for marketing. Digital marketing works hand-in-hand with consumer experience, giving you the opportunity to engage seamlessly with your consumer before, during and after and event.

Implementing digital marketing into your events also means taking the time to know your consumer: what is it that they want? What are they comfortable with and how far are they willing to go for you and your event? Create an environment that allows for feedback-related marketing, as this will assist you to not only better your next series of events but creates a solid loyalty base and great engagement. The systems used for your consumer engagement should feel safe for them as research shows that South Africans are becoming more cautious with sharing data. It is important to keep customer data safe. This will mean keeping a clean database, not sharing data in any unlawful way and always giving consumers the option of opting out of communication as a form of surety.

E-commerce has shown to play a big factor in your events as well. A report compiled by Forbes shows that 72% of Instagram-users make use of in-app purchases and about 70% of surveyed Pinterest users make use of the app to find new and interesting products.

What does this then mean for your event? Electronic booking or ticket systems – selling tickets through existing software that is easily accessible for consumers and be able to track their online behaviour through analytics. The very same software can be used to promote your event. Another option that we’ve seen is having an app dedicated to your event only, this is especially important if your event is held annually. Your guests will have access to live updates, navigating through the event and leaving feedback. This gives event-goers a full-on experience.

New tools and technology are making the event industry run incredibly seamlessly, and every year it becomes better and better. It, however, does not end there. Always extend your knowledge on the latest strategies and align yourself with experts who are better skilled as they could know something you thought your event was nailing but is a huge fail. This year is going to be exciting for event planners and exhibitors. Remember: it does not end with digital marketing.

Read the top 5 stories weekly on WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletter.