Investing in live events

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BtoB: Where are you seeing marketers increase investment at live events? Matt Pensinger: Clients often are putting more into generating their own media. They're creating content and coming away with elements they can use across their entire marketing program—for example, at a conference, harvesting content, and presentations and other pieces of media that they can repurpose and push out through social media or other channels or use in other ways. It's an investment in their own media elements. The live event is still that focal point for the deepest engagement that you can have, but there are other layers and extensions around it that can also be leveraged. We tend to see clients concerned about creating enough engaging content and measuring results from it. It's optimizing the events strategy. … There is a lot of focus on getting the booth ready or preparing content to lead into the event; but there also is such an opportunity to use the events themselves as a channel and a source in creating content—to gather customer testimonials or have an executive speak about a new product. In the simplest way, that can be doing the live stream of a Q&A session from an event and making it available online, but then it can also be archiving that content, making it available on demand, sending it to customers in certain categories. A lot of times, people talk about the status of the live event versus virtual or these other channels. There is a very important place for all of them. They all work well together. I don't think too many clients are going 100% virtual, but they certainly are not putting 100% of their dollars just into live events either. It's using these things together and really trying to optimize the mix in the right way.
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