From paper to digital: The changing face of event marketing

event marketing

Louise Stevens

Client Services and Operations Director

Posted on July 17, 2015

Business events and conferences have always been key dates in any corporate calendar but not usually easy ones to orchestrate.

A key person or two running late could cause panic, with crucial presentation notes or handouts stuck in their luggage. What’s more, all print content and media needed to be finalised and expensively printed well in advance, meaning that if there was a need for last-minute changes to speakers and agendas, it was hard to manage it professionally.

When it came to delivering the information itself, presenters with something important to say but unskilled in its delivery could leave the whole thing feeling rather dry. Ream after ream of handouts would be put in a burgeoning event bag along with countless brochures and a feedback form, never to be looked at again.

Sound familiar?

What surprises us at Talisman is that far from being a thing of the past, some or all of these problems are still the reality for many corporate events.

With print so intrinsic to our event marketing experience, it’s been hard for some organisations to shift with the times and realise that there is no need to be held back by paper-use anymore. Not only are digital alternatives more cost-effective, they’re actually simpler, more flexible and provide a run of additional, powerful benefits that would be foolish to ignore.

We work with a company called Concise Media to provide custom content on leased iPads for events, from a few for your display stand right up to one for every attendee. It’s something we’ve already used well for clients Partnership and J.P. Morgan on their event stands and our designers are busy exploring its potential use for the future.

You’ll be surprised by what a relatively simple and user-friendly piece of kit can achieve:

Focused, branded content

Tablets can be loaded with custom-built, branded HTML apps and layouts, designed and installed quickly by your agency without the need to go through problematic app-store processes and sign-offs. The rest of the tablet’s functionality can then be hidden and ‘locked-off’: no distracting browsers to tempt users to check their Facebook halfway through a lecture.

Interactive agendas

Apps can be made ‘live’ when you’re ready, so if you’ve got a programme of activities, you can control your content release to time with the main points. And the apps themselves can display any kind of interactive content you like: images, videos, live polls and data entry – you name it.

Content that does the talking

With the freedom to craft and edit content right up to its delivery and utilise video, animation and audio, presentations are no longer reliant on someone to deliver them. Lively and engaging presenters and reps on the day can complement content, but even without them (or if they cancel suddenly) you can be reassured your audience will be treated to perfectly delivered, on-brand messages.

Freedom to roam

Knowing that every attendee or visitor to your stall has every piece of key information at their fingertips means the pressure’s off to nanny them. Rather than be followed or shepherded around, users can navigate content at their own pace and still be guided into all the important actions, whether that’s to register for further information or submit feedback.

Increased participation

The ability of attendees to submit questions anonymously via tablet rather than putting their hand in the air in a presentation room drastically increases people’s willingness to ask bold questions and engage with the event. Live poll functionalities mean you can also receive instant feedback on people’s views and feelings and display them to the crowd.


HTML apps can be distributed for use at home on users’ own tablets after the event, through download links that can be sent via email. A compelling app or two is for more likely to be referred to later than an unnavigable mass of paper, and allows organisations to continue to communicate and engage with attendees long into the future.

Comprehensive analytics

With the ability to track clicks and usage in real-time on the day, event marketing organisers can finally collect meaningful analytics data to show what worked and what didn’t. These could prove useful strings to your bow when you need to argue for an increase in your budget or the opportunity to pursue a new marketing angle.

Brand recall

Playing fields change fast. To be seen as credible, relevant and worth engaging with, brands need to be using digital to its full advantage. Well-designed apps and content can communicate all your key brand messages simply and impressively – it could be that one memorable thing that means you’re remembered above and beyond all competing voices that day.

Talisman are a marketing agency who work with the financial sector to deliver high-achieving, branded digital projects. We can help you with all aspects of digital event marketing planning – from help with developing and designing event marketing content to on-the-day support and assistance. Come talk to us about how we could make your next event something special.