In the modern experiential marketing space of the MENA region, the traditional metric of Return on Investment (ROI) has evolved to encompass a more nuanced and meaningful measure: Return on Engagement (ROE).
Today’s discerning consumers crave genuine connections. It isn’t enough for brands to simply shout their messages from the rooftops. Instead, they need to engage in dialogue, listen and cultivate genuine relationships.
The second Campaign Saudi Briefing event of the year will be taking place in Riyadh on 12th October 2023. A variety of panels and speakers will be discussing the themes of media and marketing. For more details, click here.
The landscape of experiential events in the Middle East has undergone a dramatic evolution, and it’s imperative that we adapt and realign to meet the emerging trends. There are three key trends to monitor:
Connecting through experiences: Today, attendees expect to be transported into thematic worlds or cultures. Brands must focus on multi-format strategies, seamlessly integrating in-person, virtual and hybrid events. Event-goers now anticipate immersive tech integrations, from augmented reality and virtual experiences to enhanced accessibility.
New realms of technology: AR can amplify networking experiences by overlaying attendee information, drive engagement through gamified experiences, facilitate augmented tours and allow product showcases in novel, interactive ways.
Sustainability and social elements: Today’s consumers are more discerning and conscious. The future will see more emphasis on measurable impacts, carbon footprints and responsible event planning. The significance of diversity, equity and inclusion cannot be understated, and an inclusive approach to venue selection, speaker representation and event communication is vital.
One significant advantage of experiential events is their ability to forge emotional connections with attendees. This is because firsthand experiences resonate on a deeper emotional level.
To enhance these emotional ties, experiential event organisers can offer opportunities for attendees to contribute or give back during the events. Events featuring games, photo opportunities, or interactive and emotive experiences tend to leave a more profound impression than standard conferences or trade fairs.
Such events provide attendees with more than just the experience itself; they offer lasting memories and establish a genuine bond with the brand. While traditional marketing strategies will often prioritise financial outcomes, experiential marketing seeks to deeply engage consumers.
This approach not only bolsters customer loyalty but also amplifies brand awareness more significantly than traditional methods. Hence, the shift in focus again towards Return on Engagement (ROE).
For the foreseeable future in the MENA region, the emphasis seems to be on personal interactions where brands can personify themselves, cultivating relationships with potential buyers or new partners.
By Ben Kershaw, Founder and MD of Hivemind Creative Marketing