EMS 2012: SAP’s Soothsayer - Event Marketer

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EMS 2012: SAP’s Soothsayer

The second day of the Event Marketing Summit (May 1) opened up with a keynote by Scott Schenker, vp-global events at SAP, who spoke not only as a marketer but also a visionary forecasting the future of the event marketing industry (sponsored by ewi Worldwide).

With the WikiLeaks releases still fresh on folks’ minds, Schenker focused on disruption and change forged by the new trend of “people to people marketing.” He said, “Face-to-face marketing is no longer enough. We need to take into account what is going on today and tomorrow,” and called event marketers “caretakers and Janitors.” He used janitors not in the custodial sense, but referred to Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions. Schenker said that we are in the midst of a “Janus Moment” as certain trends, like owning a smartphone, become the norm. (On that morning, only one person in a room of about 500 didn’t have a smartphone.)

He highlighted disruptive trends, like protests, transparency, user-generated content and life logging as part of a shift that’s already happening. “Protest may be becoming the new marketing tool,” he said. “Guerrilla was more of the domain of marketers. Now it’s becoming public.” Schenker said that in a recent survey 30 percent of people said that their event had been interrupted. He urged marketers to be on point and work more closely with their partners in p.r., for example, to manage this shift.

“Are you ready for attendees who capture and share everything at your event. Do you have a life logger policy,” he asked. “Anybody can create an event now. Free and inexpensive content is now the norm. You as caretakers will not be immune to that.” Visit janusdialogs.com to learn more.

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