Digital marketing is always changing. In order to efficiently reach more meeting planners, DMOs need to constantly be asking themselves, “What’s next?”
While a destination’s physical logistics are still important to meeting planners, the emphasis of meetings marketing has evolved from physical logistics to human engagement.
“Instead of rates, dates and space, and tables and chairs, the meetings industry really has to pivot away and focus on people and purpose to maintain its relevance,” said Brian King, global officer, Marriott Signature Brands & Global Sales.
Keeping up with digital marketing trends is challenging for any DMO, so we’ve compiled a list of DMO digital marketing trends and how meeting planners can incorporate them into their overall meetings marketing strategy.
Sensory analytics are more important than ever
Chip-enabled devices are becoming more popular, and more meeting planners are relying on them to improve efficiency. When meeting planners attend an industry event, DMOs have the opportunity to target their smart devices with specific messages, or accumulate the data that they’re providing.
The Internet of Things produces a lot of data, so it’s important for DMOs to figure out how they’ll store, track and analyze the vast amount of data being generated. If DMOs can make sense of the data, they will be able to better understand how meeting planners work and improve efficiency for how to connect with them.
DMOs need to accommodate narrower niches
Today, there are so many channels available where Internet users can connect with people who share likeminded interests on niche topics. Digital technology, and more specifically social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, has enabled Internet users to connect, and that concept needs to be carried over into physical meetings. Destinations need to have flexible function areas available at meetings and conventions in able to foster these smaller subsets. By providing these areas, DMOs are encouraging tighter collaboration among subsets that resembles online conversation.
Content generation should be more non-linear to reach Millennials
Content marketing has been a buzzword for a while, but meetings and events have considerable room to improve their online content marketing efforts. Live events, such as meetings or conventions, offer considerable opportunities for DMOs to be engaging millennial audiences. Marketers should be placing more emphasis on content in order to personalize the event experience for each individual.
Everyone today is an author or editor, so when meeting planners are running an event, it’s important that they’re monitoring the content that others’ are putting out there. Meetings marketing will be even more effective if planners can repurpose and incorporate the content that others’ are producing into their overall marketing strategy.
Planners are searching for sites that improve quality of life and productivity
Every year, the line between personal and professional development becomes a little blurrier, and that trend has carried over into meetings marketing. In hospitality, there’s been a movement toward more sustainable building practices, healthier banquet food, improved natural light and fewer harmful chemicals. When meeting planners consider a destination, they’re going to search for a destination where their attendees can improve their quality of life and level of productivity.
“The industry has an opportunity to address meeting-goers’ existing routines and behaviors, changing the sentiment that travel and meetings are “cheat days,” King said.
Captivate your virtual audience
Despite the omnipresence of digital communications, DMOs can rest easy knowing that face-to-face meetings will never be replaced. The digital evolution will supplement niche groups so they can find each other, then meet face-to-face. In order for destinations to be more appealing to meeting planners, they need to have capabilities to intertwine digital technology into every aspect of meeting planning. The most successful meetings will marry live human engagement and virtual connectivity.
Check out more DMO digital marketing trends.
A veteran in Destination and Hotel Sales and Marketing, Shirley utilizes her expertise to develop services that assists DMO’s in research, generating leads and increasing awareness for the destination’s meetings product and experiences.