This is my second post sharing insights from the conference, The Future of the Experience Economy, that took place in London on 15th June 2016, organised by Eventbrite.
Since my first post, Eventbrite has published a summary of the event which you can read here. You can even sign up to view a video of the whole conference!
If you’re still here, I’m going to share three key takeaways from the session on Brand, Loyalty and Consumer Expectations. This panel discussion went to the heart of what every customer-facing organisation needs to know:
What is driving customer expectations and customer loyalty, and how do I stand out and build sustainable customer relationships?”
The panel comprised some of the UK’s foremost event organisers:
- Chris Smith, Director, WOMAD Festival
- Tim Hunt, Head of Marketing, European Tour & Ryder Cup
- Damian Norman, Managing Director, Telegraph Events
- Victoria Archbold, Director of Sponsorship & Events, Hearst Magazines UK
- [Moderator] Marino Fresch, Director of Marketing UK & IE, Eventbrite
And here are my key takeaways from the session:
- Everything starts with your brand – that is, the story that runs through everything you are and everything you do. Your customer’s view of and loyalty to you is driven by the products/events/experiences you create. Start with a vision – extending and creating new experiences of the brand – and stay true to that vision as you implement. Chris Smith explained that 87% of WOMAD attendees are repeat visitors who are loyal to the WOMAD vision and the way it is delivered.
- Excellence is key – customer expectations are being driven by rising quality, and of course if you deliver a bad event or poor quality experience, everyone will know! And excellence is a journey – it’s essential to keep moving forward, evolving the experience whilst keeping to the vision. Tim Hunt talked of the need for “relentless improvement” – the day after the Ryder Cup ends, he and his (no doubt very tired!) team sit down to review what went well, and what they could do better.
- Knowing your customer has never been more important. Ask your customers what they want – then deliver more! In other words, be bold and be prepared to take risks by being innovative; don’t assume that your customers know what they want; but don’t depart from the fundamental reasons they are loyal to you. Design intelligent customer surveys, reflecting your strategic vision, so that you get the feedback you need. Understand the social media platforms your customers are using, and how to use them to maximise the value of your event, experience, or product. As well as driving future growth through FOMO (see previous post!), your social media audience now has the potential to increase the value of what you are doing to potential sponsors.
What to do now:
In the next post I’ll share some great ways of thinking about innovation and risk whilst developing products and events in the Experience Economy. Don’t miss out: just click on “Follow” to the right of this post to receive new post alerts.
Stephen Spencer is a keynote speaker, business coach and consultant, helping organisations create better Customer Experiences to unlock team and profit potential. He has over 25 years’ experience as a leader, trainer and experience developer with some of the UK’s most prestigious Retail, Tourism and Hospitality brands. Sign up for Stephen’s POSITIVE Customer Experience newsletter here.