In today’s digital world, it can be easy to forget just how impactful the experience of in-person events can be for a business. Yet, events remain an important element of any marketing strategy. In fact, according to Eventbrite, more than 1.3 million business events are held annually across the UK, highlighting the power of event marketing.
Event marketing is a tactic that involves either participating in, sponsoring, or hosting an event that’s tailored towards your target audience. There are many different types of business events, spanning from large-scale exhibitions and industry-specific trade shows to company luncheons and corporate retreats. An event can be used as part of your marketing tool-set to accomplish a wide-range of objectives, including launching a new product, engaging with key suppliers, rewarding top-performing employees or communicating with the media.
No matter what your marketing goal, events can be an effective, immediate and real way to connect with your core audiences. Here are just four reasons why you should consider including events as part of your marketing tool-set.
Build Brand Recognition
Events are a great way to showcase your brand in a real setting and give potential customers the opportunity to experience the look, feel and personality of your brand. The goal of event branding is to put your brand in the spotlight, while creating personal relationships with prospective buyers.
The location and time of year of an event is crucial to creating a memorable experience for event attendees. If you’re hosting your own event, consider centering it on a theme that ties into your venue. Take for example, how one corporate hotel management company threw an intergalactic party for guests in a glass-ceilinged atrium, complete with LED space dancers and an LED dance floor. The open space and greenhouse-style ceiling provided a truly out-of-this world experience for guests.
Source: WM Events
Engage with Prospects & Clients
Live events are a wonderful way to foster greater engagement with prospective and current customers. Unlike online tools, events offer the opportunity to gain real-time feedback from customers and also enable them to ask questions of your sales or product teams. The ability to engage in a real discussion can be invaluable when it comes to landing new leads or retaining current customers, and also encourages the chances of turning clients into brand advocates.
Gain Free Publicity
It’s not just customers you want talking about your brand! Events can also be a great way to engage with the media. A well-executed event can help you garner free publicity from journalists, bloggers, and news anchors. For example, in 2015, more than 13 tons of candy were carefully placed together in the streets of Chengdu, China as part of an event to promote a new shopping centre. The stunt resulted in extensive media coverage and an incredibly successful mall opening!
The ultimate goal of any event is to generate business! Events can be a great platform for lead generation, given that you choose the right event. Take the time to research your target audience, as well as the event, to ensure that you’ll be putting in the time and resources to attracting potential buyers.
With any event, it’s important to consider your marketing strategy for before, during and after the event. Be sure to invite clients, leads, partners and suppliers to the event, and devise a way to easily capture the details of new leads you encounter over the course of the event.
Another idea is to give away branded merchandise during your event. When implemented well, branded swag can help continue advertising your brand long after the event is over. Consider giving away custom branded badges, totes, notebooks or other practical items to ensure that recipients will use them and remember your brand time and time again.
Launch New Offerings
The right event can prove a powerful launching pad for new products or services. A launch event offers an excellent way to showcase your new offering, build hype around it and even acquire some sales at the event. The key is to select the right venue, theme, entertainment and develop a stellar promotional strategy. The goal of a launch event is to get as many people talking about your product as possible, so be sure to tap into social media to help not only promote your event, but also build buzz around your new offering.
In a time when digital has become the go-to marketing channel for many businesses, events have become more important than ever for today’s marketers. From building brand awareness and garnering publicity to generating new leads and securing sales, events have the power to become one of the most important tools in the marketer’s toolkit. Companies that recognise the potential in sponsoring and hosting targeted, experiential events, will be on their way to enjoying greater sales success and improved marketing return-on-investment than those solely focused on digital.