The COVID-19 pandemic shook the event industry to its core. An astounding 96% of event professionals say they experienced cancellations.1 Total lost revenue was estimated at $30 billion for 2020 alone.2

A crisis? Beyond any doubt. But also a unique opportunity — for event brands willing to transform their business and see audience engagement in a new way.

Board covered in ticket stubs

Move forward as one

There was a point when different event team members largely operated within their own silos. Event planners, coordinators, marketing and ticket sales went along doing their own thing.

The thing is, the customer experience includes each one of those touchpoints and more. Your customers don’t differentiate between them. They expect an exceptional experience, without exception. So you can’t afford to be out of sync.

Making sure every customer touchpoint is seamless is key to ensuring greater satisfaction and loyalty.

See every step differently

In the face of mass cancellations, marketers looked for ways to redefine and expand what events are all about. It’s a process that calls for carefully examining every step of the customer journey.

What’s the core of what you offer? Why does that matter to your customers? How else can you connect with them? What role can technology play? What challenges do you need help solving?

Our key performance indicators (KPIs) aren’t broad. We’re not simply trying to get interaction — we need to reach sales and recurring revenue targets, based on audience. If you already have your season ticket holders, for instance, how do you express what they mean to you?

Engaging your audience in new ways means moving beyond seeing customers solely as consumers. True communication and connection shouldn’t be one-sided; it’s a two-way street. That’s the foundation for building deeper, more meaningful customer relationships.

Focus on people first

Ultimately, people are what events are all about. They’re at the center of everything we do. And they’re why others are attracted — for the human experience.

That might sound like a simple idea. But fully embracing an audience-focused approach is key to reimagining customer engagement.

Content such as photography or video is so powerful because it taps into emotion. Think about what you’re capturing during the event that you can sprinkle back out and share with audiences afterwards.

When you show customers you care, you strengthen the connection with your event brand and give them a reason to come back.

Put data to work

Technology gives us a chance to capture data we didn’t have before. But without the right experts to gather and interpret it, all the data in the world isn’t worth much.

To give customers what they want, first you have to know what they want. Data collection and analytics are vital to establishing clear audience profiles. So you can understand their behaviors, values and needs.

From there, the focus shifts to defining and tracking what success looks like — before, during and after your event. It’s all about unlocking insights that help you provide the most engaging customer experience possible.

Empty stadium seats

Create a connection

There’s a spark to ignite within your audience. And everyone’s experience is unique. How do you make sure this is the experience they crave?

It goes back to research and strategy. Understand what audiences want from your event. Think about tangible things you can do to help them feel connected. Whether it’s physical tickets, wristband designs or micro-experiences, pay attention to how the marketing makes customers feel.

When audiences show up to your event and feel the way they expected to, it can create lifelong fans.

Find the right partner

Don’t get caught up in the same old, same old. Now is a great time to work with an objective, expert partner. Someone who’s been there and done it.

Want more details on how you can reimagine audience engagement? We’re here to help. Reach out to MKR with any questions.