The credit crunch of events

Skift Take

The current crisis hitting the financial markets has impacted events. The trend of user generated events is going to shock our market even more.

Photo by: Kyle May

I already talked about making your event web 2.0 compliant. This is just a part of what needs to be done. There are definitely other trends you need to look at if you are already missing out or if the scenario ahead does not look good. It’s not a case that a popular BarCamp took the challenge and shared their opinion on how they empower the user.

Please answer the following:

Do you work with events, in the same way a product manager approaches a brand portfolio?

Do you feel lost without your event production team?

Is your ROI ridiculously high compared to the resources you use?

Do you run events with scientific committees?

Do you charge astronomic fees to create scarcity, when possibly most of the content discussed is already out there?

If you answered yes to 1 or more, what’s ahead does not look good.

User component in events

I have been advocating user generated events for a while now. I am a big fan of Barcamps, Unconferences, Open Space Technology, Meetups. My latest work in terms of event planning revolves around these new formulas. If you did not noticed users now like to be in control. They have blogs, they upload content to the web, they can make a brand collapse over the Internet,. This web phenomenon is not limited to virtual reality, my friend. This is happening right now in events as well.

Users are now empowered by technology to run their own events. They can set up a page and sell tickets in a matter of seconds. Promote them socially in few clicks. They now rely on platforms such as Meetup, which targets users by interests and approach sponsors with the most selected audience.

Start asking yourself questions

You should ask yourself why ebay hosts BarCampLondon 5, which was previously hosted by Gcap Media, Google and Microsoft.

You should ask yourself why events promoted via Facebook or Linkedin become major hits immediately.

You should ask yourself why Blogfest, an unconference about Blogs in Italy, is now covered by national media and collects sponsors such as Microsoft or TIM (the largest Italian and European telecommunication provider)

This ain’t no curling

Photo by: edit felix

During Turin 2006 Winter Olympics, everybody loved curling. It just looked great. Curling finals recorded unprecedented share percentages. People rushed to the courts wanting to start playing immediately. After the Olympics, curling was gone. At least from mainstream media or interest.

This is not the case. Unconferences, Barcamps and user generated events won’t go away. I figured out a good reason why.

User co-production in services marketing is one of the reason why events and experiential marketing are remembered. If you are involved in it you like it. Thus the more you are involved, the more you will like it. The common component of all the above is co-creation in a way which was never experienced before.

It is impossible to compete

You can’t compete with your users. You can’t tell them that what you planned is better than what they will achieve in a community effort.

Group discussion is always better than a bullet point presentation. Always. No matter how good the presenter is. A good facilitator is always better than a bullet point presenter.

Top 10 tips on how to keep up

1. You should introduce participation.

2. You should allow your users to upload content (Blogs, Social Networks, Social Messaging)

3. You should get rid of control.

4. You should stop treating attendees as monkeys.

5. You should empower each and every participant.

6. You are in charge of holding time and space, nothign more than that.

7. You should attend a BarCamp.

8. You should unplan and leave room for creativity.

9. You should grant access, instead of constantly creating virtual barriers defined by absurd ticket prices.

10. You must be aware on how these trends evolve.