Friday, June 18, 2010

Let’s Rename and Rethink It!


I did some guest writing on Mindjumper´s blog. Read some of my more angry thoughts below, and about a case I digg.

Honestly, I don’t like the concept of an Event. What I hate even more is a Happening or what about a Stunt. It sounds both stupid and expensive and is so outdated. Don’t get me started on the Buzz thing… My inner marketing hater just showed its true face.

I associate an Event with a single occurrence lasting for 8 solid hours, being heavily branded with a hidden agenda of getting the people to buy or try the goddamn product, and without really creating long-term commitment or adding real value. It could be supplemented with a celebrity signing as a sweat add-on. This is really not the outcome, when thinking beyond the physical gathering! I have to show my humble face stating that I’m not an expert within this field, but I have my point of view.

Using digital media to gather people
According to Wiki an Event can be a type of gathering. Taking a bunch of people to a place with the purpose of giving them an experience they can spread. I think the spreadable part has been neglected, especially when it comes to Event marketing (!?). Spreading a message or sharing experiences is most easily done by having a digital platform as the centre of your activity. You easily let people, yes, share, and it decreases the cost per “contact/experience/involvement”. So to speak it makes the experience better for the people and more efficient for the one’s investing.

The message is clear: I think that digital should be worked into everything that aims at gathering people. It needs to act as the glue that will bring it all together, while prolonging the activity. The awesome thing is that these platforms are free so make use of them!

Contribution and engagement is another thing that has really not been taken seriously. To make an experience awesome, it is critical to make people contribute or engage at some level. If they can’t contribute to the content or engage at some level, they will abandon the experience and go someplace where they can contribute. So step up on the contribution part and let it be something more than just an SMS campaign (communicated through a flyer) where you can win the (goddamn) product.

A Case…
It leads me to one of the better examples of exploiting Facebook for a traditional physical gathering. It’s Danish and it’s called Zulu Sommerbio. Zulu Sommerbio is an open-air movie gathering touring in Denmark during the summer. Plus it’s free. To activate it´s fans and potential fans, Zulu Sommerbio did a simple competition on Facebook. Compete and get Zulu Sommerbio to your hometown. Fanpages was created for the different cities and more than 200.000 competed. The competition has just closed and the winning city was Horsens.

I love it since it taps into what people really are committed about: Their hometown. The people or fans drive the competition themselves by organizing their hometown groups.

I think this is an awesome example of how you can take a physical gathering and exploit Facebook to its fullest by doing a simple competition. It uses Facebook for what its best at: Creating movements and making the movements battle each other. It prolongs the activity, amplifies the experience and builds excitement into it.

My prayer! Let´s rename, redefine or bury the term/word/area called Event marketing and let´s put digital into everything that gathers a bunch of people. Any good suggestions?

Finally, I want to quote Chris Anderson from the recently held Wired Conference.

The next 20 yrs will be about applying what we’ve learned about social networking to the real world“.

Do you follow me, or?

Posted via email from christianfhermansen's posterous

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