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Learning about the year’s top events is one of the best ways to stay ahead in the ever-changing landscape of event planning and marketing, says Metroclick.

These 2018 conferences, shows, and festivals are some of the best examples of what live event marketing can (and should) do. This list of 5 outstanding marketing events are sure to inspire.

New York City Wine & Food Festival

Imagine getting to walk around one of the finest cities on the planet, tasting food and beverages created by the world’s most inspirational culinary talent. That’s exactly what attendees of the 2018 NYC Wine & Food Festival indulged in when they participated in this annual gastrofest. With venues ranging from restaurants to rooftop bars, the sheer variety of the event itself required some highly skilled organization.

If you’re planning an event with multiple locations and ticketing options, consider adding RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to keep things flowing smoothly for guests.

From an event website filled with helpful videos, downloadable guides, simple ticket purchasing options, and strong social media presence, this festival made sure to provide as many avenues for engagement with guests as possible.

Tidal

Tidal X 2018 reserved it’s spot as one of the greatest marketing events of 2018 when organizers decided to use the star-studded lineup as a way to bring attention to important social issues and charities.

In 2017, Tidal’s fundraising efforts supported thousands of families who were devastated by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Last year they turned their event focus to criminal justice reform, a cause near and dear to headliners like Meek Mill. Meek Mill himself has made a point to fight for the rights of criminals through a variety of non-profit organizations.

In addition to being a talented performer, Meek Mill was an excellent addition to the event because his values aligned directly with that of the event itself. Booking on-brand guests and speakers is a powerful way of leveling up any marketing effort.

American Idol  

American Idol Live! 2018 Tour proves yet again that everyone loves a comeback. After its historic return to television earlier in the year, the American Idol brand decided to take the show on the road. The 40+ city tour featured the top finalists from the season and gave super fans some highly anticipated and one-of-a-kind performances.

If you already have one successful event planned, why not expand and make it two successful events? Whether it’s an all-star retreat following a conference or a pre-gala soiree for high donors, there is no limit to the number of additions you can make to capitalize on the success of pre-existing events.

Anheauser-Busch InBev

SAMCOM 2018 was a hit for the Anheauser-Busch (AB InBev) brand. The unforgettable three-day long extravaganza used all the hallmarks of a perfect live event: a festive atmosphere, dynamic speakers, and immersive experiences. AB InBev uses this conference to showcase where they’ve come from, where they’re going, and how they plan to also help their customers succeed.

Although this event was rather large (hosted in a 230,000-plus-square-foot space), smaller events would be wise to follow their lead. For conferences (or any other major event type),  engaging activities combined with interesting people is always a success.

Comic-Con International

San Diego Comic-Con is already one of the world’s most high-profile pop culture conventions. In 2018 proved to be a significant year for the brand as they successfully won a lawsuit over its trademark. As a result, no other convention can use the phrase, “comic-con”, in their title.

This is an incredible call in event marketing history. Taking ownership of a phrase, whether legally or through brand messaging, is an assertive way of standing out amongst like-minded events. Even if someone else is using your lingo doesn’t mean you can’t out-market them with a newsworthy affair.

No matter what type of event you’re planning, keep these great examples in mind for 2019. Strong branding, a sense of play, and a little creativity might land you on next year’s list of greatest marketing events!