Differentiating your financial services organisation in a competitive landscape is essential. Leveraging events and cutting-edge event technology can foster brand distinctiveness, enhance customer relationships and empower financial firms to thrive in the evolving industry landscape.
Victoria Akinsowon, content strategist for event marketing and management solutions at Cvent Europe, a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with 4,800-plus employees and more than 21,000 customers worldwide, explains more.
In a highly competitive environment, differentiating your financial services organisation is essential for success. With ongoing digital transformation, evolving technologies, changing consumer behaviour, and the emergence of fintech startups and other industry disruptors, financial services companies must remain flexible and able to adapt.
Events are a powerful, yet often underutilised, way for financial services organisations to differentiate themselves from the competition and build brand awareness. Far from a nice-to-have, events provide an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with clients and prospects, foster a sense of community and loyalty, expand reach, and build a sales pipeline.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can use events and event technology to your advantage and their benefits for your organisation.
The power of events for financial services
According to a recent Forrester study, eighty-nine per cent of meeting and event decision-makers say that events are important or critical to driving revenue. Similarly, seventy-five per cent said events are critical to improving the customer experience.
No matter your objectives or key performance indicators (KPIs), events provide several benefits for financial services companies. These include:
- Differentiating your brand: Events allow you to show your audience why you’re special, whether it’s through your product experts, expert branding, or thought leadership.
- Brand visibility and awareness: Events put your business front and centre. They allow you to emphasise your company’s brand values, such as trust, transparency, or innovation. Financial services firms can reinforce their brand identity by aligning the event experience with their brand values, further differentiating themselves from competitors.
- Showcasing expertise: Providing thought leadership content, participating in panel discussions, or hosting workshops positions your business as an authority in its field, fostering trust and credibility among stakeholders.
- Building trust and relationships: Events provide an opportunity to establish personal connections and build trust with clients, prospects, and partners. Building trust is especially crucial in a sector where reliability and security are paramount.
- Attracting a new generation of customers and employees: As a new generation of young professionals enters the workforce, they bring with them an expectation of digital experiences. Events that incorporate digital elements, like video, are likely to resonate with this digital-first audience.
- Market research and competitive intelligence: Events help financial services firms gain insights into industry trends, customer preferences, and emerging competition, helping them refine their strategies.
The role of digitisation and event technology
The rise of digitisation over the past few years has given events—and what they can do for your organisation—a new lease on life.
But this rise means that event technology has become an expected staple of events. In fact, seventy-seven per cent of meeting and decision-makers say attendees have higher expectations for digital features compared to a few years ago.
And there’s a good reason for this rising demand. Technology enriches the attendee experience and improves engagement. But it also streamlines your processes, saves costs, provides valuable insights, and allows you to reach a broader audience. Event technology lets you stand out in a competitive industry and build stronger relationships with customers, partners, and investors.
As financial services firms look to acquire and retain customers through events, event technology will be a core part of your engagement strategy.
Examples include using an attendee management platform to host hybrid events or checking in attendees using smart software.
Best practices for increasing audience engagement
Connecting with your target audience, providing value, and achieving your objectives are the most important parts of running an event. Fortunately, a wide range of event technology is available, from pre- to post-event, to help you meet (or exceed) these goals.
Consolidating your existing event technology is a helpful first step. For Fintech Week London’s two-day flagship conference, a priority was ensuring that the entire event could be run end-to-end with a single technology solution.
To create a seamless attendee experience, they needed one platform to manage the entire conference: registration, appointment scheduling, event app, event website, check-in, badge printing, lead capture, virtual networking, and on-demand content.
Here are a few other ways to use event technology to personalise the attendee experience and increase audience engagement:
- Pre-event content: Building anticipation for your event through teaser videos and other content is an effective way to engage with your audience. Generative AI tools can also help create engaging event descriptions, session descriptions, marketing emails, and more. However, ensure that any content generated is always edited to ensure brand consistency.
- Event mobile app: Making your mobile available before your event is an excellent way for your audience to access important event information, interact with other attendees, and keep up-to-date with their agenda.
At the event
- Virtual add-ons: Adding virtual components to your event helps reach a larger audience. Fintech Week London, for example, offered virtual networking options and on-demand access to the conference’s recordings.
- Appointment tools: Appointment tools allow you to meet and catch up with the right people, facilitating deeper relationships and meaningful connections. Financial services firm, Morningstar, secured 195 private meetings and 80 training lab appointments using such tools.
- Reporting: Tracking engagement and session attendance is vital. FinTech company, Fidelity Information Services, says it helps them show stakeholders that virtual events are here to stay and worth the return on investment. They could also provide their sales team with key attendee insights.
- Surveys and feedback: Attendee feedback is crucial to understanding what you did right and what you could have done better. Dynamic surveys, for example, reduce survey fatigue and increase response rates.
Events and event technology come in all shapes and sizes and serve different purposes depending on your objectives. But one thing is clear: they are vital for financial services firms looking to build deeper audience engagement.
Done right, events expand your reach, personalise attendee experiences, and give you an edge over the competition. And using the right event technology helps offer the best attendee experience possible and drive impact.
For more insights on optimising your event strategy, download the free report: Building More Profitable Financial Industry Events.