Emerging networks hold importance to event professionals.
Emerging networks have begun to dominate digital marketing. Unlike the ‘Big 3’ networks (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), these channels are the growing red herrings of digital media disrupting our expectations of content sharing. These emerging networks not only differ from the big three by focus, but also from the lack of solid ROI for marketers. While Instagram may be the second largest social network today, it’s still considered emerging due to the struggles of accurate ads within users feeds.
The events industry took a decade to fully embrace digital media, negatively impacting attendee perceptions. Trade shows were given stigma by millennials for being out of touch and attendees were coming home without sharing experiences. To avoid an encore trade show organizers will need to further maximize digital communication. One strategy is exploring the growing use of the emerging network. These networks provide the tools to satisfy changing expectations in the way attendees interact and experience events.
Latest & Greatest
The most popular emerging network is Snapchat. With over 100 million daily active users, Snapchat has become big for millennials. The company denied a reported three billion dollar offer from Facebook in 2013 and never looked back. Unfortunately marketers have yet to completely figure Snapchat for marketing outreach. The question arises about the platforms promotional value considering the content’s short shelf life. However, no one can deny Snapchat has made great strides over the last year to make their channel better for marketers. Their most important advancement includes the capability for anyone to create a custom geofilter for an event or location. This allows users to create content and splash a unique logo across the image. With an array of prices marketers and brands would be wise to customize attendee content.
Visuals will make up more than 85% of all consumed content by 2020. Another emerging network to consider is the use of Periscope. Essentially, Periscope is a live streaming app that takes complexity out of broadcasting. Trade shows have been using the app to live stream product demonstrations, lectures, and special events. Despite steady growth in 2015 the introduction of Facebook streaming could turn this network off due to the inconvenience of downloading a separate app. Regardless of outlet, brand’s should include streaming within their social strategy.
Professional development is also being targeted within the emerging realm. One such example is the recent announcement of SummitSynch. This Tinder modeled app allows attendees to meet based on professional interest. If a meeting between two persons is mutual they both ‘Swipe Right’ and communication services become available to plan their meeting. The app is also used through LinkedIn to avoid any ‘catfish’ scenarios.
Taking the Risk
Emerging networks will only be new for so long. Few will push into mainstream utilization but winner’s will yield new benefits to both show organizers and attendees. Putting your event on these networks will help you maximize your exposure to current and future attendees. Remember attendees continue to become younger. Keeping special events up to date virtually will be critical for physical floor success. We as professionals cannot afford to fall behind again despite the diminish of our comfort zones. Don’t be afraid to try something new, your attendees will thank you.