Carlota Pico recently spoke with Netherlands-based Emma Lohuis-Aguilera to discuss her current position as marketing manager for the energy branch of Clarion Events. Emma, who’s originally from Spain, talked about how her company and the events industry as a whole have adapted to the current global crisis. She also provided valuable insights into working in communications for a government institution (thanks to her previous role in the Basque Government) and shared key tips for creating successful marketing campaigns in Europe no matter which sector you’re in.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on our YouTube channel, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • The events industry was heavily impacted by the pandemic, and Clarion had to adapt—but it didn’t happen overnight. They were already trying to reach a wider audience through digitalization, which suddenly became a much higher priority.
  • Zoom and similar applications have made it possible not only to save money on travel and meet with people all over the world, but also to really engage with them. Emma has been able to launch new media partnerships after connecting online.
  • There’s a huge difference between communication for a government agency and corporate communication. The form, timelines and approach are completely different, and you have to be extremely careful with sensitive government information.
  • A politician’s purpose is to serve his or her people, which is very difficult if people don’t know who they are. That’s why communication departments exist: to humanize politicians and help them understand the people. It’s a two-way conversation.
  • Marketing is like food; if you cook something really tasty but it looks horrible, no one is going to try it. It’s the same with marketing—if you want to sell something, it needs to look appealing.

The most important element in developing a successful marketing campaign is having a very clear image of your target audience.

Rapid-fire recs

What’s your source of inspiration?

I would say my grandfather. He was the only person I knew who spoke Esperanto, and he was a Buddhist and vegetarian. He was very ahead of his time, and I always wonder what he would think of me as a person now.  

A book or publication that you’d recommend?

I’m not usually into self-help books, but I recently read a Spanish book called “Ser feliz en Alaska” (which translates to “Being Happy in Alaska”) by Catalan psychologist Rafael Santandreu. It explains how you don’t have to depend on what’s happening around you to be happy—it’s all about your mindset.

A valuable resource, event or hashtag?

I have to recommend my own event, Enlit Europe! And for those who aren’t in the energy industry, I’d say TechCrunch. I actually saw it on the HBO show “Silicon Valley” and I think it’s really great how they’re constantly adapting their communications.

Connect with Emma and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Rishabh Agrawal, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

For more insights into events marketing in 2020:

The year of online events – Tiffany Mayne, EMEA head of marketing at GB Intelligence

Changing consumer priorities – Debora Mondella, head of global marketing at Aztec Events

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.