In a world where digital marketing seems to offer so much for very little cost, it is easy to understand why business leaders sometimes question the value of holding events and conferences. When the focus of communication seems to be about short, sharp, fast – where do events fit in?
An event, whether it’s a trade show, conference, product launch or gala dinner, is the most powerful way to engage an audience and have them truly experience your brand. It’s the best way to create a memorable association with the brand, and build a lasting relationship with your customer. It’s about emotional connections, loyalty and credibility. However this can all be a bit intangible for senior management, so we’ve come up with five reasons why including events in your marketing strategy is good for business!
Grow Credibility and Reputation
Reputation matters in business. It is evident that trust and credibility have consistently rated highly when it comes to making purchasing decisions. With influencer marketing a key trend for 2017, it has been noted that the key to success in this area is authenticity. Holding an event where you are able to offer a genuine and exclusive connection with attendees is the perfect foundation for building trust and influencer collaboration in your target market.
Generate Leads and Develop New Relationships
Being able to showcase your products or introduce your services is the most effective way to demonstrate your capabilities. It’s an opportunity for your team to make new contacts and to build upon existing relationships as well. If your sales model is based on an individual appointment strategy, or an online business model, consider the power of having 100 of your potential clients in a room together. They’ll experience the same brand messages and understand your value proposition all together, and at the same time.
Don’t forget this is also a great way to build your database! It will support your digital marketing and enable your team to continue the conversation after the event is over.
Promote Brand Awareness
Promoting your brand to a targeted group of people has the most impact when they get to experience it. Holding a fun, interactive event which engages prospective and current clients is a powerful way to increase brand awareness and to position yourself as an industry leader.
Increase your Reach through PR & Media Opportunities
If you are attending a larger event as an exhibitor or sponsor, the event organisers would be promoting that event over a multitude of communication channels. Their communications could engage a broader audience that you wouldn’t normally have access to, meaning your brand is reaching these people too! If you’re holding your own event, consider all media opportunities and event listings to promote it in the lead up; and if you deliver a ‘PR-able’ event, you will get coverage ensuring you brand is noticed.
Engage and Understand your Customers or Staff
Event lifecycles have expanded to include pre-event, onsite and post-event communication opportunities. The opportunity to engage your audience in a way that alters their behaviour, makes them them think differently or be inspired is the strongest when you are in the room with them. It’s also a great way to understand what they want from your brand, and specifically your products and services. Response rates to surveys, learning activities, gamification and content are always higher when associated with an event.
Events are also a great way to say thank you to your staff or customers for their support and business. As Richard Branson famously said, “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”
As the scope of events is expanding, so is the potential impact of including events in your marketing strategy. Yes, putting on an event can be daunting and even a little scary. You are putting your brand in the spotlight and creating a “look at me” moment – but the return can be immense.
Overall, the important thing to remember is emotions create memories. Face-to-face communication enables you to connect emotions with content and the conference or event’s outcomes. It is the best way to build your customer base and create “share-worthy” experiences that will be associated with your brand.
Contact us to schedule a free one hour consultation to discuss your upcoming project and brainstorm ideas.
Image courtesy of Exhibition and Trade Fairs.