Recurrent trends from 2013 Event Awards judging

Posted by: Line Up on August 16th, 2013 IN Awards

A few weeks ago, Line Up’s head of experiential, Rupert Cheswright, joined forces with other event professionals for a day of judging for the Event Awards.  Here he highlights some of the trends and recurrent themes from this year’s batch of entries.

Event-Judging-2013028

Being an Event Awards judge was a great experience and from what I have read and seen it’s fair to say that the event industry is in rude health and there is a huge range of campaigns engaging people in ever more inventive ways in a variety of locations.

While none of the judges actually know the results at this moment in time (we re-scored the short list then handed our sheets in like at the end of a test) I thought it might be interesting to share a few recurrent themes I identified from the day.

ROI is relative

One of the key measurements to success of campaigns is the ROI, but remember it’s all relative to the initial investment. Some of the best campaigns we looked through were not expensive. In fact some of them were ludicrously good value for money and their ROI was a key factor in identifying this. Having a great idea and seeding it with the right people in the best way leads to incredibly effective marketing and doesn’t have to cost the Earth.

Digital interactivity

One of the most popular mechanics for creating engaging live experiences is the use of digital interaction. I know it sounds obvious but if you cast your minds back, things used to be simply visual or mechanical. Now many of the most interesting experiences are created using some kind of digital interface – giving people the ability to create their own content and spread it far and wide effortlessly.

Audiences are going on more journeys

Experiential marketing has come a long way from individual brand trial moments. Don’t get me wrong – simple brand trial is still very effective in the right circumstances. But there’s a definite trend towards campaigns which focus on longer journeys and relationships with consumers, before and after these ‘moments of truth’. Of course we all ultimately want consumers to buy the brand. But there seems to be much more recognition that value isn’t all about instant short-term sales uplifts – if you can create passionate brand advocates from events, the longer term ripple effects can be far more profound.

“Turn it up to 11”

Amplification of campaigns through social media integration is not only prevalent but seems to be an integral part of most event activity. It brings a new dimension to what used to be quite literally Word of Mouth and can propel a simple but well-placed campaign to a global audience or at least extend it beyond the perimeter of the event. Brands are more ready than ever before to test out social platforms and with sound advice and clear understanding of what they are using they can crank up the volume of their campaign dramatically.

As someone who lives and breathes experiential it is a pleasure to see how consumer behaviour and trends twist and turn. We constantly have to evolve to keep pace and create the most effective campaigns. Audiences, technology, creativity, all keep on moving around to challenge us to come up with the next best way of engaging people and keep those conversations going. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.

This article first appeared on Rupert’s regular “Content is King” slot on the Event Magazine website.

Line Up

Line Up

Line Up is an award-winning, creative communications agency, headquartered in London. We create engaging live and digital brand experiences for internal and external audiences all over the world.

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