Before the pandemic, many businesses and companies were leveraging in-person events and event graphics to share their products and services. Many saw festivals, gatherings, and trade shows as the direction marketing was taking, and were able to generate good results in these settings.
2020 had other plans. The global pandemic shuttered the idea of in-person event marketing, along with the very notion of festivals. Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella, and the whole industry of these events were postponed indefinitely. Have we come to the end of these major spectacles?
While we don’t have a crystal ball and can’t tell you quite what the future will look like, many major conferences have rescheduled to the fall of 2021. Assuming no surprises come our way, it may be safe to assume that event marketing will come back in full force.
At the beginning of the decade, some optimistically called for a return of the “roaring twenties”. Some comparisons can certainly be made – the swinging age of bop and jazz also followed a once-in-a-decade pandemic, and afterwards people wanted nothing more than to get out and have a good time.
Event marketing may have taken a year-long hiatus, but it will come back. The format may be different however. How can businesses leverage event graphics in a world that has regressed behind the screen? Will things be the same, or completely different?
Managing Expectations About The Future of Event Marketing
It is difficult to predict what the return of event marketing will look like. One Forbes article, written during a bleak period in January when vaccination rates appeared stagnant, suggested it has been completely disrupted. Yet the majority of marketers also have signaled that they fully intent to return to in-person events as well. Where is the future taking us?
The shift to working from home has allowed many marketers a broader outreach through digital campaigns, but this strategy has also had its drawbacks. It is unable to generate the same level of enthusiasm. Consider digital conferences – sure, they have had the benefit of being easy to access without having to travel. Yet engagement has also been far lower. When people can’t converse face-to-face, how can they expect to network? Chat rooms aren’t cutting it.
More than likely, events will straddle the line between the physical and the digital. Talks will be recorded and available to watch online, but in-person will still have its place.
Event Graphics Must Speak to Segmented Audiences
If event marketing were not affected by the pandemic, it would still have to contend with new technologies. COVID-19 sent businesses about ten years ahead in terms of how they leverage internet communications. For a business to make an impact, they must bridge between event graphics and digital strategies.
QR codes are no longer a popular method of advertising at functions, but the idea was in the right place. Giving customers the ability to see what you have to offer by simply scanning it with their phone allowed for an effortless bridge between in-person events and digital interfaces.
Event graphics moving forward need to speak to this gap. A conference or a festival has a new novelty to it that it didn’t in 2019. People will be coming together again for the first time in over a year. Your method needs to engage them in a meaningful way.
Investing in your online presence is now equally as important as how you depict your brand at an event. Offering backgrounds or places which people can pose in front of to take selfies can help build traction. If there is a hashtag that relates to your product, offer it proudly on your displays. Make sure that your online presence synchronizes with what people see during an event.
Event Graphics are a Form of Communication
Event graphic design depends on a firm grasp of what your company has to offer, and how it is presented to your audience. Design event graphics around the things that matter most to your customer. Use this to leverage your brand across a variety of platforms.
At Bishop Image Group, we pride ourselves on being one of the best Chicago sign companies with a national reach. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your next event be a glowing success.