The events industry could be argued to rely on social proof more than anything else. Demand is everything - if you cannot generate footfall then your event will not continue year after year because lets face it, no one wants to go to an empty event.
That said, events also provide one of the very best opportunities for your business to create relevant, engaging video content, both prior, during and after the event. This is not just for those running events, if you are attending events this is a great opportunity for you too.
CeBIT Australia is the largest and most comprehensive annual gathering of industry, government and services in Australasia. This year saw CeBIT double up as Australia’s largest startup event too. With 450 exhibitors and 30k visitors, it packs a punch!
Getting technology based companies involved in the online conversation around the event is a challenge. Everyone is extremely busy preparing their own sales efforts, and dare I add that many of Australia’s technology companies are less active online than other industries.
One of the key strategies that CeBIT uses to grow this conversation is social proof & engagement via video. They use video as a tool to leverage their advocates, experts, and engage new visitors and exhibitors to the event.
Part 1. Pre-Event Video Strategy - Creating conversation
CeBIT were challenged with increasing online conversation in the weeks prior to the show. Most exhibitors & visitors don't think to join the conversation until the day or two before they go.
However, with such a strong focus on startups this year, CeBIT had access to a secret weapon. Startups are amazing at self advocacy, each and every one of us is a salesman, a hero for our brand, and we’ll take every opportunity we can to get more exposure.
CeBIT decided to harness this power, and requested each exhibitor to submit a 30second video as to why people should visit them at the show this year, using Verbate.co. Video submitted would be shared out to CeBIT’s social media daily - great PR for the new business's.
The strategy generated a 25% response rate, and in doing so increased:
- Engagement: Videos were shared by CeBIT & startups too. Conversation grew.
- Exposure: 2,590 views on a quick email campaign. Awesome.
- Peer social proof: On average 1.5 videos were watched by each visitor.
N.B. The most watched videos were the companies who put a little time, effort and personality into their videos. Well done Socialstatus , Kazileo , Maestrano , Tanda and XYGaming gathering the highest number of views
Part 2. During event Video Strategy - Mass social proof.
There is just so much excitement, advocacy and testimony to the great work CeBIT is doing during the event.
The CeBIT team used their army of volunteers to capture 30second film clips of many of the exhibitors during the event, using just their smartphones. Again they asked why visitors should come and visit each stand. This video was published live to the CeBIT homepage throughout the event. In addition, each exhibitor was sent their copy, hosted on CeBIT’s Facebook page, which they could also share.
The strategy generated an 85% response rate (people asked), and in doing so increased:
- Offline Engagement: Volunteers spending personal time with each exhibitor.
- Online Engagement: 144 shares and 233 likes.
- Exposure: Almost 3k views. The reach due to the sharing was multiples greater.
- Peer social proof: Live publishing, tweets and re-tweets and shares.
- Expert social proof: CeBIT also filmed key speakers & profiled visitors.
N.B. The most watched videos in this case, were usually driven by the companies who shared these to their own, personally relevant networks. Well done Indusnet , NSW Trade & Investment , Calendar Power , Tanda and UK Trade & Investment gathering the highest number of views.
CeBIT growth results are given for comparison only. Video was only an element of the engagement strategy.
1. Genuine content wins
The more personal, fun, genuine videos experienced 10x the views of other video. Pre-event, a few companies uploaded an existing marketing video, rather than make one about the team. Across the board these achieved sub 10 views.
2. Leverage your advocates
The majority of sharing came from CEO's & the marketing team's. Find your advocates and concentrate on them.
3. Aim for both views & shares
The pre event campaign rocked on average views per person, but during the event, we experienced far more shares. Shares are great for brand exposure, views signify engagement.
4.Determine the value of unique vs repeat views
More unique views mean more people are seeing your content. More repeat views mean less people are however spending longer on your website.
5. Seeding is sacred
The pre-event video was slow to take up, that is until we reached 8 videos. From this point the other 30 snowballed. No one wants to miss out. Make sure you seed campaigns, do this manually if you have to.
A final note & thank you to the CeBIT team
CeBIT 2015 may be a year away, but whilst for many of us the show is out of mind for another 10months, the CeBIT team are back on the ball. This event takes an entire year of planning, and round the clock work by the dedicated team. The ability to pull this off is testament to their dedication to the Australian technology ecosystem. Keep it up guys!