How neuroscience and communication can help event marketing

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How neuroscience and communication can help event marketing
Source: Reed Exhibitions
November 24, 2022

The specialist details the process that marketing professionals can carry out to increase their sales

Tom Roach, VP of Brand Strategy at Jellyfish and Knowledge Theater speaker at this year's IBTM World, explained to Mike Fletcher how neuroscience and a greater understanding of communication principles can help event marketers .

Q: You talk about the human brain as a constant that, if fully understood, can help event marketers better understand audiences and how to reach them. Can you elaborate?

A: We are obsessed with technology and change in marketing. But the one thing that never changes is the human brain. It is the hardware that all the software involved in event marketing and event design runs on. Our emotional responses to things are programmed. So how you communicate your event brand is all about harnessing those responses by creating powerful and consistent cues that align your activity with people's emotional and subconscious habits. You don't need people to love your brand, you just need to make them think of you so that they regularly choose you over your competition.


Q: How does the way the brain works affect people's behavior when they attend an exhibition or event?

A: Psychologist Daniel Kahneman described the two systems of thought processes that govern all human behavior and decision making. System 1 is fast, intuitive, automatic, lazy, and effortless, and it governs the vast majority of our decisions and behavior. System 2 is slower, more conscious, more deliberative, and more effortful, and is responsible for only a small minority of our behavior. So although people assume that we are thinking, feeling creatures, we are actually sentient, thinking creatures.

In environments that provide sensory overload, people's System 1 thought processes will be much more powerful in choosing which path to take than System 2 thinking. In terms of event design, therefore, that is possibly why Show organizers always seem to place the bar in the center of the floor plan or why a simple yet effective and eye-catching booth or brand design is better for attracting new inquiries.


Q: Of your seven principles of effective marketing communication that will always hold true because they are based on how our brains work, which one comes first?

A: You have to start by reaching as many people as possible and grabbing their attention through creativity. It's a good place to start, as it reminds you that most people in any given period of time just aren't that into you. As Martin Weigel says: "The health of your brand depends on a lot of people who don't know you well, don't think much of you, and don't buy from you often, if at all."

So remember, your most important audience isn't as obsessed with your brand as you are, and don't just talk to existing fans. You need to reach people en masse and start by delivering universal human truths.

Once you've captured their attention, you can influence individual emotional responses, something events do incredibly well by delivering consistent, distinctive, and motivating content.


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