Reflecting on the year, there were many emerging trends in the Live Event industry. Many factors like emerging technology, changing ticket sales trends, more creative activations, and a new legal climate have changed the landscape for marketers, organizers, artists, participants, and pretty much everyone involved. Here are five resolutions to consider when setting your goals for next year: Leverage Facebook Groups and Events, Have an Artist Curate Your Event, Utilize Technology More, Get a Sponsor to Activate, Keep an Eye on Sports Betting.
Leverage Facebook Groups and Events
Photo from Chutima Chaochaiya/Shutterstock
Facebook still reigns king when it comes to monthly active users. While the social media platform has faced some privacy issues and loss the trust of some, it still maintains 2.2 billion monthly active users. Having an event page that is optimized for ticket sales is essential and easier than ever before since Facebook has a wonderful “Buy Now” button that can be added to the top of your page. Creating an Event on the platform is also an essential part of any live event marketing campaign. Events allow people to RSVP, which lets their friends know they are going which thus markets it to their whole network without organizers having to do anything. Facebook events have also seen a 40% increase in engagement year over year. Given new updates in the social media websites algorithm, community driven content ranks the highest. This is why a utilizing Facebook Groups can give an event a real edge. Whether it’s creating a group specifically for the event or engaging in other related groups, this strategy can really boost ticket sales.
Have an Artist Curate Your Event
Continuing an unfortunate trend, this year saw the fall of many beloved events. Even after decade long runs, many major festivals announced that they were closing up shop. From lacking permits, noise complaints, and other venue issues to low ticket sales and other financial troubles, there are a lot of reasons for a festival to cancel or not return the next year. One type of event that seems to be immune to this epidemic is that curated by the musicians themselves. Artists like Bassnectar, Chance the Rapper, Post Malone, Bon Iver, and others are dominated the festival world with their sold out events. Having an established, loyal fan base, getting their friends to play for less, and creating a unique experience for attendees are some of the major advantages that artist curated festivals have over normal one. These festivals tend to sell out relatively quickly since many people are eager to see a physical representation of the artists creativity through a live event.
Utilize Technology More
From Cashless Payments to RFID vending machines, your live event can not only become more efficient but be spiced up with the use of more technology. Innovating simple tasks like the way people pay for their beer can really add to the overall guest experience. Cashless payments were found to reduce time in line, lead people to spend more, and create a more seamless process for everyone involved. Another emerging technology that has been transforming live events is the use of augmented reality to gamify the experience. Gamification involves adding game elements to a space through the use of technology. Adding this to your event can get guests more engaged than ever before by appealing to their competitive side.
Get a Sponsor to Activate
Photo by Marissa Taylor
Recruiting the right brands to sponsor your event can have tremendous benefits. It is important that not only you bring sponsors on but that they add to the overall experience of the event as well. Gone are the days of one way communication when it comes to brands marketing at festivals. While all the major events will still see branded stages, now brands are expanding past that and creating spaces where participants actively engage with the brand. Major companies have been working to create lounges, virtual reality games, RFID vending machines, photo booths, and other experiences for festival goers that enhance the overall event and give the consumer a positive brand association. Just to name a few, this year the festival world saw Irish Spring set the world record for most people showering together at one time at Firefly festival in Delaware, LG cleaned everyone’s clothes with their laundromat at Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee, and Tito’s incorporated a positive message and community impact into their Feel the Love activation at Governors Ball.
Keeping an Eye on Sports Betting
This year the Supreme Court struck down a ruling that previously made sports betting illegal in most states. While only a handful of states have passed laws allowing for it to be allowed, the future effects of the legalization should still be kept in mind in 2019. Some of the positive effects could be that fans (or non fans) can now be engaged in new ways. After the initial ruling, Caesars Entertainment stock prices rose by 6%. Looking to our friends across the pond, sports betting being legal in the US could have a huge economic impact. Next year, those events that embrace this early will really be able to capitalize on it and get in on the ground floor.
The New Year brings a lot of promise for the live events industry. As you and your team begin to set goals it is important to keep in mind some of the biggest trends from this year. Looking forward, the use of Facebook Groups and Events for marketing an event will remain an advantageous element, partnering with an artist to curate a festival will also continue to help boost ticket sales, utilizing technologies like cashless payments will also make events more efficient, having the right sponsor for your event doing an engaging activation will also add to the overall experience for guests and add to your wallet, and finally the effects of sports betting legalization will begin to be realized in the New Year.