6 Event Marketing Trends for 2018

February 9, 2018

Katie Boucher

Katie Boucher is the Marketing Content Strategist at Derse, where she leads the strategy and development of targeted, relevant content across a variety of channels to ensure an effective approach to the company’s marketing communications and lead generation programs. She has a strong record driving positive customer results through thought-provoking and engaging initiatives in trade show, retail and manufacturing industries.

Whether it’s making a list and checking it twice or end-of-year recaps and wrap-ups, winter is the season of lists. At Derse, much like when it comes to events, we’re all about preparation. So, we’ve scoured the internet for opinions and predictions on event marketing trends for the coming year.

These predictions from Chief Marketer, Entrepreneur, Forbes and more, combined with our knowledge from the past year and our expertise in aiding companies with events, exhibits and experiences led to our own list.

Here are the trends to look out for in event marketing over the next year.


  1. Quality content: Being present is important and a huge advantage in face-to-face marketing, but it’s not enough. Quality over quantity is the name of the game across all marketing channels these days and it will be crucial to have relevant content that resonates with your event attendees in 2018.


  1. Virtual and augmented reality: While the adoption of these two technologies hasn’t exploded as quickly as expected, their potential to change how events work is still huge. Expect to see the reality of events change in 2018 as more brands incorporate this tech into trade shows.


  1. Phones and video: Video content is the new norm. Live video from events broadcast on social media, like Instagram stories, will be key in the new year. Video isn’t bonus content anymore; it’s table stakes. Provide it or be left behind. This also means phones will be all over every event to film and broadcast attendee and influencer content. This makes it essential to have an event site that’s optimized for smartphones. It will help coordinate social sharing and provide helpful info to tech-savvy attendees during the event.


  1. Immersive technologies: Drones, artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way information from events is gathered and analyzed. That means marketers will have more – and more accurate – data on event trends than ever before. This can be used to fuel effective immersive and experiential marketing, both of which can leverage new technology. Look out for plenty of immersive and experiential marketing in 2018, too.


  1. Social media and influencer marketing: While there’s speculation that both these forms of marketing will undergo drastic changes, they will still be important during 2018. As they go through this metamorphosis, the key will be to keep a finger on the pulse so you can adapt to new social media and influencer evolutions, and the trends they become, as they happen.


  1. Real connections: Brands still agree that event marketing is essential to success but it’s the execution that puts the real results behind that faith. Technology and automation are on the rise everywhere, making genuine connection something audiences will crave alongside those new tools and gadgets. Use tech, but make sure you’re partnering it with personality and a human touch to create relationships with your attendees.

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