11 Fresh Event Marketing Trends to Plan for in 2018

event marketing trends

Keeping up with event marketing trends is essential to stay on top. Following outdated trends stagnates your strategy, but participating in fresh, developing trends can put your event at the front line. Check out the event industry trends below to see how you can apply them in your event marketing plan for 2018.

1. Augmented Reality

VR transports the user into a virtual world, whereas AR digitally alters the real world around the user. Both are growing trends in the event industry, but AR is often overlooked. At events, AR can entertain, inform, and inspire the audience. AR is definitely among the top event marketing trends to watch for in 2018.

  • Create AR business cards to hand out to guests.
  • Entertain an audience with AR holograms.
  • Set up a branded AR booth for guests to visualize new products.

2. YouTube Sponsorships

One way to solve waning registration numbers is to collaborate with a YouTuber. That’s right—many companies are sponsoring YouTubers, big and small, in return for visibility and brand trust. Why not use this genius system for your events? If you have the budget, consider sponsoring modest YouTubers who already target your ideal event audience.

  • Ask YouTubers personally to register for your event.
  • Create a collab video with a YouTuber.
  • Analyze YouTubers’ viewer demographics before agreeing to sponsor.

3. Drone Live Streaming

Drones + live streams = amazing. Any event that uses drones is guaranteed to collect  remarkable promotional footage. Drones at events also hype up guests and personifies your event as tech savvy and forward-thinking. A drone live stream can truly immerse your live stream guests.

  • Use your live stream drone footage to create an event highlights video.
  • Deliver handouts to guests with delivery drones.
  • Set up a drone booth to promote you and your sponsors.

Need more ideas for drones at events? Then check out the article below:

24 Inventive Ways to Use Drones at Events [Infographic]

4. More Accurate Targeting

Among the top event marketing trends, marketers will buckle down on targeting. No event marketing campaign is effective if it is promoted to the wrong audience. With new razor-sharp targeting technology in 2018, event marketers will know everything from their audience’s favorite ice cream flavors to their most responsive social networks.

  • Use targeting to determine your audience’s favorite type of events.
  • Create an avatar of your ideal guest so you know who to target.
  • Promote your event on your audience’s favorite social networks.

5. No Closed Registration

Marketers predict the advent of last-minute event registrations in 2018. This means keeping your event registration page open literally until the event is over—not weeks or days beforehand. Not only can this increase your number of event guests, but it will make your brand a leader in flexibility.

  • With day-long events, continue to promote the event throughout the day.
  • Promote that your event doesn’t require rash commitment.
  • Learn when and how guests typically register for your event.

6. Video Invitations

Instead of distributing digital flyers or links to a registration website, videos will become the top digital medium for event invitations. Quick video invites give viewers a sense of the event atmosphere. They are an effective way to get people to spread your event and invite their friends.

  • Create a video invite template for followers to invite their friends by name.
  • Video invitations should be short—no longer than 45 seconds.
  • Make the event personal—replace “Register now” with “You’re invited!”

7. Creative Sponsorships

Sponsors are more interested in sponsoring events in a unique way. Creative sponsorships make both you and your sponsors stand out. When pitching to potential sponsors, give them an idea of how you will make their logo or brand pop at your event.

  • Share a case study from the sponsor at your event.
  • Place the sponsor’s logo on a drone.
  • Transport guests to the sponsor’s HQ via VR.

8. Live Feedback

Receiving live comments during an event is the most effective way to obtain genuine feedback. It makes the audience feel valued. To obtain live feedback, you could create a live stream for your event and encourage guests to join and comment. Or, you could set up a live social media feed and include your event hashtag.

  • Feature live user feedback on a projector for everyone to see.
  • Act on and respond to your live comments as they come in.
  • Give guests a special hashtag or code for their exclusive feedback.

9. Instagram Event Marketing

Currently, most marketers target their event marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, Instagram is here to knock out the competitors and take over event marketing in 2018. Think about it—as of 2017, Instagram is Snapchat, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, and even Facebook combined.

  • Use Instagram Live to connect with your followers during an event.
  • Host an Instagram picture contest surrounding your event.
  • Create a custom hashtag and encourage guests to share event pictures.

10. Solving, not Selling

Instead of promoting your brand, try solving problems for your attendees. Among other event marketing trends, this goes along with focusing on the guests, not on your business. People are more receptive to a company that gives creative and effective solutions than to one who is only interested in landing a sale.

  • Identify common “pain points” for your clients.
  • Deliver inventive ways to solve a problem, not unoriginal solutions.
  • Laser-focus on only 1-3 problems at an event.

11. Hybrid Events

Many events in 2017 are hybrid, but we believe that this trend will only progress in 2018. Typically, hybrid events refer to events that are held online (e.g., live stream) and in-person simultaneously. Interested guests can register to attend the event online or in-person, each option with its varying perks.

  • Encourage your live stream audience to interact via comments.
  • Consider hosting a free live stream in conjunction with a paid event.
  • Promote the hybrid event to a global audience.


event marketing trends

If you want to come out as a leading brand in 2018, follow these event marketing trends. Furthermore, do some more research within your own niche to determine what will make you stand out from competitors in event marketing.

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