Technology and the rise of digital media have significantly changed the way your company, your customers and your brands interact. But despite the dependency of communities communicating online, there is also a rise of going ‘offline’ – or face-to-face. Going offline will not only completely reshape the way your events are organised, designed and managed, but can actually help your brands bring people together.
From online to offline communities
You can start off by finding out where your target audiences are meeting and creating communities online, and provide interesting ways to connect with them through offline relationships. Here are some examples how this is being done:
- Food and beverage companies are working with online culinary communities to create food blogger events and competitions.
- Healthcare companies are working with patient groups to develop patient-only events, and very different content and networking events targeted for healthcare professionals.
- Publishers are working with online book clubs to develop physical events including book groups and readings.
- Baby product companies are working with networks such as ‘Mumsnet’ to bring users together offline.
- Brands with feminist messaging are working with online feminist groups to create offline events on women’s rights and issues.
By helping communities really connect offline, they will become even more invested in your brand and the other members in the community. This will create the positive cycle of ‘online to offline to online’ – with members first connecting online, then meeting face-to-face during your events, then reconnecting online after the event, and so on. In fact, your brand will act as a facilitator, rather than being the main ‘organiser’, with the communities themselves defining the content of these events.
Going offline into niche events
As your attendees and customers are able to get more and more information from the Internet, when they do connect offline, they may tend to look more and more at specialist subjects, or niche topics that they feel very strongly about or are interested in.
For example, instead of general cardiology events, there are more niche sub-section events springing up, like electrocardiography to invasive cardiology.
Your company will have its very own specific specialities. Reach out to your target audience by thinking about the opportunities around your brands to tap into these types of niche events.