B2G marketers: this article is part 3 of a 4-part series recapping the June 2023 Content Marketing Review.
Public Sector events are traditionally a high-value tactic. Is that still true? Travis Wolfe, Director of Event Operations and Business Development at GovExec and Stephen Ellis, Director of Public Sector Marketing at Palo Alto Networks spoke about events and webinars. Travis coordinates GovExec events and has been a part of the resurrection of in-person events. Stephen has vast experience running and investing in different types of events.
- Are we going to get the ROI on these events?
- Are people actually going to show up?
- Does making an event hybrid impact in-person attendance?
Travis noted many of us are in a weird gray zone from pre-COVID to post-COVID and are trying to decide where to go from here. This is what the research says…
In-Person Public Sector Events
The data shows that in-person events are coming back. Travis has personally witnessed this from the number of sponsors and vendors asking him to host live events.
However, only about 30-45% that register for your event will actually show up; therefore, finding creative ways to showcase your content is important to secure your audience. You want to make sure you are initially sharing engaging content, whether it be featured speakers or big conversational topics, to pique your audience’s interest. You also want to ensure that there are interactions with experts. The expert one-on-ones and hands-on moments with products and technology are what motivates people to get out of their homes and to your events. Although we are seeing an increase in the amount of live events being held, there are still barriers to getting attendees to your events. A lot of employees are still working hybrid or remotely so you want to make sure that you are making it worthwhile for them to leave their homes, commute, and incur traveling/event ticket costs to attend your event.
Public Sector Webinars
Webinars continue to be popular: approximately 75% of respondents attended four or more in the last year. Webinar attendees are typically interested in more technical information, fireside chats, and flashy presentations that don’t necessarily work at an in-person event. Using compelling visuals can really make your webinar stand out amongst the sea of others.
Webinars eliminate many of the issues we’re seeing with in-person events, particularly travel costs. There are often registration costs associated with webinars, but the biggest takeaway is that attendees like the fact they do not need to leave the office to attend an event.
Final Thoughts: Public Sector Events are Back
Both in-person events and webinars have their own set of challenges. Preparing, creating innovative processes, and maintaining creativity throughout the entire process is key. You initially need to know:
- What is the ultimate goal?
- Who is your intended audience?
- What type of content would you like to resonate with your audience?
Once you know the basics, then you can choose the type of event that best aligns with your vision and begin targeting your audience. The most common channels through which to share event marketing details are social media and email blasts.
We have seen an uptick in the amount of people who are registering for events, not showing up, and then requesting the content that was shared at the event. It is important to keep in mind that if you share every detail that was discussed at an in-person event, people will never attend your event. You can share key takeaways and highlights but do not provide them with every piece of information unless you put it on demand and charge an extra fee.
At the end of the day, you want to increase the number of attendees, so being strategic in your approach of sharing information post event is vital.
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