The Changing World of Data Privacy is Impacting the Event Marketing Industry—What do I Need to Know?

The Changing World of Data Privacy is Impacting the Event Marketing Industry—What do I Need to Know?

The most important changes in data privacy regulation started a sea change for our businesses, marketing, and people everywhere.

What started in Europe with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), quickly came to the United States with California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and is expanding from there—quickly.

Old news, new realities.

It has been just over a year since GDPR came into effect and the teams here at Opus have taken a fresh look into how event marketing operations at global brands have changed in this time. To prepare for our recent webinar on data privacy and security, we connected with event leaders and marketing executives from global brands across our portfolio of clients. Here is what we are seeing.

Not Slowing Down

Leading global brands typically have three primary streams of data privacy-oriented work happening.

1. Organizational Education

The ever-changing landscape of rules and regulations are filled with nuance and complexity. For some marketers, there are perceptions arising that privacy compliance can be easily attained—put a checkbox on your registration form, add disclaimers to your email footers, popup “we use cookies” agreements. Progressive organizations know this is only a tiny piece of the full puzzle—overall data privacy education is a continual process.

2. Tool Development

From the earliest days of marketing technology to today’s massive provider landscape, marketers have most brands’ biggest drivers of Shadow IT. To corral teams filled with people who love to BYOA (bring your own app), global brands are locking things down. Marketing executives are now partnering with internal InfoSec and IT teams to define ever-narrower lists of sanctioned tools their teams can deploy as part of their events and experiential marketing programs.

3. Comprehensive Training

To change behaviors and ensure compliance, global brands are expanding their data privacy-centric training programs. Starting during onboarding and continuing through periodic refresher courses, the brands have prioritized not just the Why and What of education, but the specific How’s: how to use the right language on specific initiatives, how to configure tools for data security, how to share contacts with sponsors and partners, and on.

While these three streams of work are making an impact, the biggest challenge remains behavior adoption.

Creativity vs. Compliance. Creativity and Compliance.

Marketers in the healthcare and financial service industries are well versed in the realities and restrictions of legal, compliance, and regulatory. For most marketers in other industries, the concepts of compliance are nascent and sometimes even contrary to their roles.

At our core, marketers and event professionals are makers. We thrive in arenas of empowerment and autonomy to deliver important programs and campaigns. And, as event marketers, we do all of that under tight, unwavering deadlines with executives who expect more results, and more return on the experiences and investments we are creating.

In this environment of increased compliance, brands expect more data to inform and drive their businesses. When brands sponsor, they want new contacts. When their events host partners and expos, they want their partners to generate new leads. When brands hold user conferences, they want to open new communication streams with more of their customers.

This is all happening at a time when a brand’s executives are also pushing for more data security and more attention to data privacy. Today’s brands are built on reputations of trust and transparency. More than ever, executives need both creativity and compliance to help them build their businesses.

Meanwhile, the people our events and experiential marketing campaigns engage—our attendees—now have increasing expectations for transparency in how their data is being collected and used. We all are more aware of and want more control over our own data.

These forces are all converging and will continue to push big changes for event and experiential marketing.

Where do we go from here?

These are big questions, without simple answers. Digging into the details of how the landscape has changed in the last 18 months, the reality of executing successful events in the privacy age, and a view toward the next developments we can expect were all on the agenda during a recent webinar:

Through this presentation and discussion, we cover:

  1. the latest developments in data privacy and security that matter to your events and experiential marketing programs
  2. current recommendations and action items for your next events
  3. what’s next for capturing, using, and protecting data during and around your events

If you missed the live presentation, it’s not too late to check out the recording . Watch the webinar or send your questions to @OpusAgency. You can also download our slides, and connect with our presenters:

Brent Turner | SVP Business Solutions, Opus Agency

Chris Arrendale | Chief Privacy Officer, Trendline Interactive

Howie Cockrill | Senior Corporate Counsel, Opus Agency

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