Event Marketing & Data-Driven Enterprise Event Planning: First Thoughts

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The event marketing industry has no shortage of experts to guide purchasing decisions. On a micro-economic level the industry is currently saturated with enough cloud-based vendors and platforms to reduce risks of making “bad” decisions in the near future.

What differentiates an enterprise decision — or multi-event, multi-location — from proprietary, single event or meeting planning is that the future matters. The technology adapted at the enterprise level must remain agile, modular and most of all extensible enough to accommodate a fickle business landscape. It needs to fit seamlessly into your marketing stack, it needs to play easily with marketing automation systems and must not become a boat anchor when the technology tides shift.

While much has been done to analyze the market as it exists today, what is missing is the kind of macroeconomic analysis to help enterprise event marketers adopt not just a software platform but instead an ecosystem for the future. This “ecosystem” approach heavily dependent upon rules-driven, evidence-based event planning—or what has been termed DEEP-Data-Driven Enterprise Event Planning.

Going DEEP. Four New Quadrants and Five New Posts:

As a leader in the DEEP event marketing space, G2Planet will be introducing a series of quadrants to help forward-looking Event Planners map out a new landscape. Today, we will introduce the first of four quadrants and discuss in limited detail how it differs from conventional market analysis. (Download the full analysis below).


DEEP Whitepaper One


Future posts will take a deeper dive into how each variable impacts corporate OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) Planning and Enterprise Marketing Functions. For a look at how Cisco, Citrix, Intel and others use OKR planning drive resource allocation and event expenditures go here.

The Role of Data in Decisions

The event marketing industry, arguably, has been hesitant to embrace 100% data-driven planning due to the high-touch nature of the business. As CMOs demand evidence-based approaches that align with corporate OKRs, data is replacing knowledge of the latest color schemes and consumer trends as the “must have” intelligence for event planning.

 G2Planet Quadrant - Enterprise Event Marketing Management.png

Quadrant One: Data-Driven Enterprise Event Planning & Event Marketing:

The quadrant above depicts how this shift to DEEP is impacting the current vendor landscape. What is interesting about this quadrant is that the challengers depicted have not currently been perceived as players in the event marketing space (except for eTouches).

Therefore, before we can consider how DEEP is impacting the event marketing space and the underlying architecture that supports it – it helpful to look first at how the industry is positioned – and has consolidated – at present.

The Current Landscape

As depicted by the chart below, Cvent and Lanyon dominate the upper reaches of event marketing. With Vista Equity Partner’s acquisition of Cvent that presence will only increase. While world-class financial engineering has now been applied to event marketing space, however, there is no guarantee it will drive the deeper, innovative forces at work.

G2Crowd Event Management Size ChartFigure two: Size of Current Enterprise Event Management Software Market
Source: Data & Graph courtesy of G2Crowd

Light and agile architectures, for example, may be discarded in favor of legacy approaches that benefit the vendor’s bottom line. Functionality, extensibility and front line data integration (at the registrant level) can be sacrificed to “silos” that work better with current systems that cannot be easily changed.

Initial Observation: What Data Means. And What It Doesn’t.

It exceeds the scope of this blog post to predict what will happen the event planning landscape in the next few months. As the upper reaches of enterprise event marketing consolidate however, the real action is taking place in the Data-Driven space.

In fact, while some are looking at the “big picture” as a market and vendors divided by comparative strengths in meetings or events, the savvy enterprise marketer is more agnostic. It is no longer a question of choosing the right software for meetings or events, for example, but instead a question of how well the platform can be extended into marketing automation systems, generate unadulterated data, and be supported by a light and agile architecture instead of a “legacy” approach.

In words of another respected industry CEO “For the first time, the infrastructure and ecosystem is at a point where digital principles and methodologies can be applied to a physical world event. Event engagement can be tied to business outcomes, and real-life signals can be digitized and quantified.” 1

In short, Enterprise Marketing Professionals will progressively play by the rules that have yet to be written instead those that already have.

How can Data-Driven Enterprise Event Planning (DEEP) software help your company?

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Read more about Data-Driven Enterprise Event Planning (DEEP) in Part 2 of this post here

Footnotes:  (1) Lawrence Coburn - Chief Executive Officer, DoubleDutch | May 2, 2016