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Brent Turner - SVP of Strategy and Technology at Cramer

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Brent Turner is the SVP  of Strategy and Technology at Cramer, which is an agency that delivers experience design, live production, audience management, and strategic event marketing service for global brands like ADP, Caterpillar, Fidelity, IBM, Puma, PwC, Sanofi, Siemens, and UPS. 


Show notes

Part 1

Brent’s Background and Cramer (02:17) 

Cramer is a brand experience agency based in Boston. There's about 150 of us and I love to refer to us as a Noah's Ark of awesome. 

The Role at MIT (03:40) 

The majority of my focus at MIT was in a media company called MIT Technology Review and that was a classic media company. In the early days of social, we did some broadcasts, streaming events, and display ads. 

Getting People in the Same Room (06:07) 

Events are becoming the community builders. 

Today there are various types of events - where you can get people together for one day, half a day, or five days.  

You go to events for content learning, skill development, peer to peer stories, networking. 

Strategy Event Marketing (11:38) 

SaaS companies and mid-size providers are growing and realizing that they need to connect with their customers for retention. Brands should start small user groups, focus groups, or VIP meetings. They need to validate if these channels will work for them. 

We’ve worked with some fantastic brands around the world. 

Part 2

Technologies Related to Event Marketing (02:22)

The most notable landscape that showed you how the Martech space is growing is Scott Brinker's event tech landscapes. We took this model and started using it at Cramer. The event tech landscape focuses on the tech platforms that event marketers use.

The big names in the vendor space are Two Gorillas and Adventury. They are massive registration oriented platforms.

There are companies like Adobe's marketing cloud, which is a place where a marketer can do virtually anything they want. Then you can cobble together a MarTech stack by using a wide variety of other tools like your CRM, your email marketing, your advertising platforms.

Typically, the CRM team is getting its CRM vendor, the social team is getting its social vendor, etc.

A company called Feather is a great tool to help drive registrations and market your events.

However, to actually do the registrations, they may go get a company like Splash or a group called Visibo.

Experiential Technologies (08:54)

Six Buckets gets the most buzz. Another provider we work with closely is Klick. They are making event wearables that swap contact info between attendees. This kind of wearables can replace business cards.

Also, brands are now looking at their events as a place to broadcast content. They can interview experts and broadcast it live on Facebook.

Part 3

Collecting Data (02:40) 

The big thing that is happening this year is a focus on data integration platforms. There’s Zapier and IFTT, but also those platforms which are making it easier than ever for all types of marketers to hook up APIs and stream data to different places. 

You can have this large collection of multiple vendors and your space each generating data and bringing it all together. 

In essence you've got three different players in the event marketing space. 

One of the best ways to collect data is through RFID tracking off badges. That's been around for 10 years. 

Using the Data in an Appropriate Way (06:53) 

You want to use the data to help your prospects have the type of experience that they want. At a live event, you have the ability to talk to your customers and ask them questions that they might not necessarily answer in a digital format. 

There is another component of data that is not necessarily qualitative but quantitative that can be collected through your events as well.

Part 4

The Value of Attending Events (02:21) 

The first is content. People are going to events to learn and improve their skills. The second is networking. The third is the experience overall.

You have to instill that fear of missing out. People also need to identify with the speakers. It’s the only way to fill the seats at the event. 

How To Know if the Event Will be Valuable (08:46) 

It depends on the role and type of industry. 

You have to think about which ones are going to produce the best results for you personally and professionally. 

Part 5

The Future of Event Marketing Landscape (02:30) 

If you're looking for the C level suite, they have very little time. They are probably high earners that probably want to go somewhere nice. They have high expectations of events and they probably also have families. You have to think about creating an event where the CEO of the enterprise level company can bring wife and children. 

If you're marketing towards younger people, it's a different environment. 

If you can bring more people into your tribe, even the people who don't use your product are going to think positively of you. 

You have the big guys who are going both horizontal and vertical in their offerings by acquiring purpose built startups. 

When it comes to data, you will need to give up on some things in order to get something back. In the event space, what you can get back is better networking and better personalization of your journey.

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