Q&A with B2B Marketing Expert Katie Martell

Part Two: How Companies Can “Leave Their Mark” by Putting Their Brand Front and Center at Events

In Part 1 of our Q&A series with B2B marketing expert Katie Martell, we talked about the need for brands to differentiate themselves and break through the clutter at events.

Now, in Part 2, Katie shares how and why companies must make their brand message the focal point of their marketing efforts. She also predicts the top industry trends and companies who will dominate event marketing in 2019.

Why is it important for event marketers to put their brand front and center (as opposed to that of their partners and customers)? How does doing this benefit attendees?

Katie: I actually believe the only way for a brand to achieve the longevity and reach it needs to grow is to incorporate partners and customers into its strategy at events. At our core, every marketer needs to know what their brand stands for – and that’s our North Star that guides decision-making.

But the most successful event activations follow the “rising tide lifts all ships” mindset. Parties are bigger when budgets are combined with partners. Trust is gained when a customer joins an executive on-stage for a speaking opportunity.

Event marketers should put their brand front and center, that is true. But doing so without the validation of customer advocacy, or the amplification of partners, is a mistake.

“At our core, every marketer needs to know what their brand stands for – and that’s our North Star that guides decision-making.”
— Katie Martell

Do you have any predictions for brands that will leave their mark on event marketing in the coming year?

Katie: Oddly enough, I’m seeing a lot of dogs at events, in partnership with local adoption shelters. While I don’t hate the collaboration, I wonder how effective this really is at national events. They are darn cute.

Overall I think the idea of experience is front and center when I think of great events. I was just discussing this with Ryan Brown of Ceros – their “big idea” is that content should be an experience, just like live events. Stay tuned for what this brand does at future events, I think you’ll be in for a treat.

The rise of pop-up stores is fascinating to me — see what Hourglass is doing in Boston to draw visitors in to shop clothing and art in temporary spaces around the city. A totally new experience each time.

Rosé mansion in New York was an educational wine tasting experience, selling over 80,000 tickets to a totally immersive world of Rosé. Visitors roamed each room while drinking Rosé from around the world – learning about the history, science, and culture of the drink. Photo opps abound.

The Illuminati Ball from Cynthia von Buehler is a total immersive art / dinner / music experience in NYC.

How can that translate to what we do on trade show floors? We’ve got to think about the experience an attendee has from the moment they see our pre-show email, to when they arrive at our booth. These are precious moments of in-person attention in a world of information overload. Let’s not waste them.

Our two-part Q&A with Katie has helped to highlight some major trends for marketers to consider and look out for in 2019, including big ideas, bold actions, and the importance of knowing what your brand stands for so that you can really leave your mark. In-person events are an opportunity to connect face-to-face and make an impression, so taking risks and getting creative can make all the difference between a memorable event and forgettable experience.

Our mission at Certain is to help marketers drive measurable results from their events, and we are dedicated to delivering on that mission. Contact us today for more information on our suite of event automation products and solutions to help take your events to bigger and better places in 2019.

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