It's no longer about B2B or B2C, but H2H

It's always about people. Business events experts open up on why human-to-human connections are paramount to brand experience and engagement.

The "digital twin" concept is deployed during ABBA's "Voyage" concerts in London to maximise nostalgic engagement from the audience.
The "digital twin" concept is deployed during ABBA's "Voyage" concerts in London to maximise nostalgic engagement from the audience. Photo Credit: Abba Voyage/Visit London

The events of today and tomorrow are focusing less on B2B and B2C and more on H2H – a human to human connection. Brands are exploring experience design as a way to create event experiences that tap into the entire attendee journey.

Cate Banfield, vice president, experience & event solutions at BCD Meetings & Events, points out that this could involve the use of high tech, low tech or no tech – creating environments where attendees can immerse themselves into a brand experience fuelled by technology, or find reprieve from a busy event agenda in a more wellness-inspired quiet zone.

Consider creating a "digital twin"

 

Tyronne O’Callaghan, vice president, strategy & global activation at Pico, says event planners should consider a "digital twin" to broaden reach, sustain engagement, and optimise their exhibition investment."

“This is not just social media integration such as using LinkedIn Live, but a more immersive digital approach to recreating a live experience,” he says. “But it needn’t even be limited to that; a truly engaging approach would be to craft a unique experience that blurs the line between digital and real worlds.”

O’Callaghan references ABBA’s "Voyage Show," which recently kicked off in London and which features realistic de-aged digital versions of the pop group members in their prime. “By adopting this digital twin concept, the show sent a wave of nostalgia through the crowd and hyped their engagement to the maximum,” he says. 

Seamless user experience is paramount

 

No one wants to navigate multiple tools and technologies to register or participate in your event. Streamlining your tech toolkit is key, creating an easy way for attendees to build a relationship with your event pre/during/ post programme, connect with fellow attendees, and follow the content in the palm of their hand.

The gaming industry has typically led the way with how people connect online, and successful experiences in this space are paving the way for the future of digital events, complementing an in-person experience.
Cate Banfield, vice president, experience & event solutions at BCD Meetings & Events

BCD M&E’s Banfield concurs with the addition of the digital element - while she says most people would agree there is little desire to go back to a 100% virtual event landscape, the reality is that the metaverse is starting to make its way into events.

“The gaming industry has typically led the way with how people connect online, and successful experiences in this space are paving the way for the future of digital events, complementing an in-person experience,” she says. 

“Watch this space; it doesn’t have to be all about VR headsets and complex digital environments. Companies are exploring scalable models that fit their needs, while also extending the opportunity to monetise and diversify revenue streams around their events.”

 

Adopt an account-based approach

 

Exhibitions provide a key opportunity to pursue account-based marketing plans, where marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers, and planners should plug into these.

Consider creating an exhibition environment that offers visitors a personalised journey, and then utilise tailor-made content based on that experience to approach each specific account.

“This could also be conveyed via an exclusive VIP or meeting environment which uses multi-media to deliver content based on what you already know about the account from your account-based plans," says O'Callaghan.



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