Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Susan Boyle and the On-Site Experience

From my perspective, there are two things that keep the world going around – good marketing and insane social-media driven phenomenon – such as the whole Susan Boyle craze that has been in play since last Saturday night. Thirty two million views on YouTube really says it all.

In Susan Boyle, you may immediately wonder, what does an unemployed person of Scottish descent in their 40s have to do with event Marketing? [Those of you that know me: irony intended] This may be a stretch – but I have to argue that Ms. Boyle reinforces the importance of you, as a marketer, being intrinsically involved with the on-site/user experience at your event or of any product.

This is a leap of faith of an analogy, but Boyle is like a session at an event – a part of something individuals spent time and capital to attend (or watch). A session, granted, that attendees went into grudgingly, but came out with a “Holy Cow!” look on their faces. She is really about, in this context, first of all exceeding expectations, and, more to the point, capitalizing on the experience – marketing it - to the fullest. Boyle didn’t happen in a vacuum; the marketing team at Britain’s Got Talent had their ducks in a row and ensured that buzz was created.

And it’s our job to remember to do this – on a smaller scale – on site at events. When you’re on site (and you should be on site – as I
commented on earlier) you should make sure you’re:

  • Attending sessions – seeing and learning first-hand what the attendee is experiencing
  • Talking to attendees – getting feedback on their “wow” moments
  • Getting On-Site survey results ASAP – and leveraging what was seen as valuable.
  • Pending budget and time, filming attendee interviews for content.
  • Tweeting – and encouraging attendees to Tweet – about their on-site experience.

And, post-event, acting on the “wow” moments – developing content from edited session clips, interviews, etc. and uploading the content to YouTube (and/or your site). Develop podcasts. And get this content out on the Web. Get your PR – and your buzz going – submit releases to relevant portals including the links to the content you’ve built.

Not that you can expect an event or piece of content from an event is going to get eight-figure (and counting) hits on YouTube within a week of posting. But not sure the folks on Britain’s Got Talent really did either. But it was a great story communicated and marketed quickly and efficiently.

Good luck!

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