Last month, we blogged about “Why LIVE Matters” – why it’s so important for us to remember the power of a live experience, while embracing the capabilities that digital marketing presents.

Seth Godin mentioned three critical elements that elevate live experiences above purely digital ones – reasons someone might pay hundreds more to see a concert rather than (or in addition to) buying the CD.

There are people around you, fellow travelers, magnetic energy, shared joy.

Something might go wrong. The artist is like a tightrope walker, taking big chances and the drama it creates is engrossing.

You might be surprised. Something new and wonderful might happen and it might jar you awake.

The instruction is not to avoid these unknowns because they’re hard to control (as so many marketers make the mistake of doing), but rather to embrace them. To quote ourselves: Your event is providing you with an incredible opportunity to connect with your fans in a very fundamental, human fashion. The magnetic energy, the drama, and the element of surprise are factors that you can leverage to elevate your interactions with your fans.

So… if Live is so great, why add Digital? What are the particular strengths of Digital+Live over either channel alone?

If Live allows you to encounter fellow travelers, Digital+Live allows you to maintain those connections and create an ongoing community.

If Live allows you to witness mistakes or something unique, Digital+Live allows those unique experiences to be shared and relived among a wider audience. Digital+Live enriches the experience with information. It also allows attendees a measure of “fame” among their circle of friends.

Digital+Live is different than either Digital or Live alone – when those factors are integrated, the Digital+Live experience as a whole becomes more than the sum of its parts. That’s good math, whether you’re a participant, creative director, data head, or the budget committee. Participants experience the energy of an event, create connections, and share the memories. Creative directors can weave a dynamic relationship from two fabrics of experience. Data crunchers get great participation numbers onsite, and then have the ability to track that activity and drive a call to action. And budget committees can review event ROI and plan for the future with minimal cash lubrication (in other words, adding a digital element doesn’t put too much pressure on event budgets – even though it creates a tangible return).

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