Live-Marketing –
On- and Offline

Live marketing, which in the event and trade fair industry is based on the unique personal and multisensual experience, is confronted with new challenges by digitalisation. New technical possibilities and digital tools make it possible to make many activities in live marketing much more effi cient and convenient. Therefore, it is about digitalisation in live marketing through the combination of online and offline marketing. The use of digital tools should be more than just decoration, it should be constitutive for the concept of live marketing. The fields of action of digitalisation have been becoming more and more diverse for years.

The use of software for participant management at events and trade fairs has long been standard. With the current digital tools, however, a new level of efficiency has been achieved. Not only can consistent digital participant management be achieved from the invitation to post-pro-cessing, but it can also accompany and guide the participant smartly during the event. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and XING already offer the possibility of target group-focused invitations during the invitation process. Once contact has been established, the participant management system is not only used passively to manage personal data, but it can also be used actively to convey information and for dialogue with the event participant or trade fair visitor. During the event in particular, ID-supported systems offer the possibility of digitally guiding visitors and tracking the customer journey.

Digital technologies such as mobile event apps, beacons, RFID chips and social walls enable digital interaction during live marketing events on the basis of individualised offers. For example, the guest can be invited to take part in a competition or be made aware of employees and managers of a company who have invited them to engage in dialogue. Sensor-based systems can support the digital interaction of participants and their networking with each other (so-called matchmaking). Event apps can be used to control light shows via the participants’ smart-phones.

Digital interaction in the community, for example, supports systems of staged digital moderation that significantly increase the participants’ willingness to interact and the experience value of lectures through active participation.

By using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, completely new worlds of experience can be opened up for the visitor, enabling an extension of reality. Using VR headsets, visitors can immerse themselves directly in a fictitious, digital brand world at the exhibition stand or at events. AR applications link the event modules with other levels. The event visitor is given the opportunity to delve deeper into the content (immersion).

The temporal and spatial limits of live marketing can be overcome by disseminating information and images via social media. On Facebook and Instagram, participants post impressions of events as pictures or short video sequences, and organisers have the possibility to publish on YouTube summary video reports on live marketing events or to inform about the course on Twitter. This information is available indefi nitely and can be retrieved again and again. The live streaming of event content via social media channels such as Facebook Live and YouTube Live offers truly new possibilities for a digital event.

Dr. Cornelia Zanger – TU Chemnitz

Here, for example, keynote speakers of a live marketing event or show highlights can be made directly accessible to a broad, interested target group without them having to be present at the event. Using VR technology, target group members who are not present can virtually participate in the event. Virtual event participants transform from passive spectators into active participants of the event experience. They look to the right and to the left and can see the participants next to them, they can look back or admire the performance on stage, and they feel like they are there live, enabling them to become part of the event community.

It should also be noted that digitalisation in live marketing brings with it new risks in addition to the many opportunities to increase efficiency. Participants at live marketing events reveal personal information such as address and account data, which must be protected from external access. Countless images are distributed on social media platforms and they can reveal sensitive information about individual participants and their contacts via face recognition. Data protection in live marketing the-refore requires special attention, not least as a result of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Dr. Cornelia Zanger