With Asia’s economy growing and thriving, the M&E industry continues to thrive and flourish across diverse locations, from Singapore to Japan. Whether you want to set up a political meeting of global importance or an international tech conference, the Asia-Pacific region has the resources and facilities you need. Even if your event in Asia caters to an international audience, the setting still plays a huge role.
So how do you combine your original event mission with a local market? In this blog post, we are going to explore the ways event management trends in Asia are influenced by local advertising traditions as well as how to market different types of events to Asia’s masses.
The profile of an Asian consumer
To understand your local consumer, you need to be able to think and act locally. The incredible diversity found across Asian cities and countries makes it a challenge to figure out local behavioral patterns. This is why it’s so critical to dive into both the general values of Asia Pacific as well as regional consumerism trends.
According to a study on Asian consumers’ psychology, age is an important factor that impacts the way Asians build relationships with brands. While 25-year-olds tend to stick to reputable brands, long-term relationships with brands aren’t typical for consumers in the Asia-Pacific region who are over 45. As for the local differences, explore the ways people interact with brands and make buyer decisions. For instance, consumers in India value celebrity culture, which means if you are organising an event in India, you could benefit from influencer marketing campaigns.
Depending on the location you are focused on, create several target personas that follow local marketing trends.
Marketing trends and challenges for the Asia-Pacific region
Just as with a consumer profile, identifying marketing strategies that work for an entire region is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, if you do event advertising in Asia, there are some important regional and local patterns you should keep your eye on:
- Online shopping experiences are on the rise. There is one word that pretty much defines marketing in China: WeChat. Thanks to this robust platform, the Chinese have learned to conduct a huge number of operations online, from booking a doctor’s appointment to applying for a visa. Naturally, such capabilities have transformed the culture of online shopping by putting mobile first. If you are planning to sell tickets for your event in China, this is the key point you should keep in mind.
- Data protection is more than the GDPR. The number one challenge for event marketers in 2018 is aligning local data protection regulations, like PDPA in Singapore, with the European GDPR. Since numerous global events are being hosted in the Asia Pacific region, many of which cater to a European audience, it’s critical to create a data protection strategy that complies with both.
- Facebook and Google ads are still a cornerstone of digital marketing. Due to the recent Facebook scandal, many Western companies have started looking for other platforms, like Amazon, to complement their digital marketing. However, in Asia, Google ads and Facebook are still the fundamental tools event marketers use to reach out to a wide audience.
How to advertise an event in the Asian market
Just like in the rest of the world, the abundance of marketing channels available in Asia requires event marketers to walk several roads at once. Here are the most common techniques you can utilise in your marketing strategy:
Asian companies spend an average of 25% of their marketing budgets on content development and promotion. Spreading good, catchy content about your event’s value offer is a surefire way to attract the attention of your target audience. Here are two simple tips for doing content-based event promotion in the Asian market:
- Build excitement far in advance. Start producing different types of high-quality content—from blog posts to press releases—at least nine months before the start of the event.
- Ask influencers for help. Aaron Brooks, the founder of the influencer marketing agency VAMP, which is based in Hong Kong and Singapore, states that approximately 84% of brands in Asia execute at least one influencer campaign annually. Whether it’s due to China’s hierarchical traditions or India’s attachment to celebrity culture, influencer campaigns work pretty well in Asia Pacific.
Social media marketing
Facebook is the go-to platform when it comes to social media promotion in Asia. One good idea for pre-event advertising is to publish a social media contest. This is one of the best buzz-creating strategies that will help you capitalize on registrations. For instance, a catchy Instagram contest will attract random photo-lovers and encourage them to share and generate content for you. Using teaser campaigns is another popular technique that Asian event organisations experiment with. To intrigue the audience, announce an upcoming expert speech, or let people know about one of the onsite activities you are going to introduce.
Over 80% of event organisers in the Asia-Pacific region use email to invite their audiences to an event. While timing is a very important aspect of event advertising in the Asian market, taking an early-bird approach is a must. Start sending email invitations at the early stages. We recommend fueling the curiosity of your invitees without showing all of your cards. For instance, in China, there is a tradition of inviting a guest of honor to an event, which could be a nice focal point for your email marketing campaign. For instance, you can keep the name of this guest a secret or launch a contest where people guess who this person is.
Depending on your budget, you can combine different channels or stay focused on free advertising:
- Content sharing: You can share the information about your event on local content submission platforms.
- Blog posts: Create at least one post that will be linked with an event landing page to inform your target audience about an event.
- Social media: Go for Facebook Events, or pick your custom strategies for promotion that are compatible with social media.
- Google AdWords
- Facebook promoted posts
- Reddit ads
You can advertise your event in Asia even if you’ve never worked with local consumers before. Explore regional traditions of event planning, dive into invitations etiquette, and consult a local vendor before choosing the advertising channels that will resonate with your chosen location.