Over the years, event marketing was placed on the back burner as a result of changes in the economic environment and the effect of the recession. However marketers have forgotten the power of event marketing, the overriding impact left on customers placing them further along into the purchasing process.
When considering the best approach to the marketing mix, in the past event marketing has not been on the top of the list of strategies. Now, that marketing budgets have increased, revisiting event marketing will allow marketers to realize the unparalleled level of customer engagement offered with face-to-face events.
Customer engagement is the new mantra for marketing, with companies using multiple touch points to generate conversations. Events provide an opportunity to create personal interaction that initiates engagement and build on loyalty of new and existing customers. Through events, brands share ideas, new products and brand messaging. At events, you enjoy the chance to upsell customers by introducing them to products or services, creating a memorable impression.
One thing is certain; events must leave attendees with an experience that last. The intention of the event directly influences the experience, ensuring that your customers are not left feeling that the experience is a large-scale advertisement. Without question, the true power in events is the lasting positive impression delivered by the brand, solid brand awareness in an environment created by the brand.
Last year companies allocated on average 1/5 of their marketing budget to event marketing (2012 IDC Benchmarks), which is a sizeable percentage achieving realized ROI on the marketing dollar.
Why Events Identify the Outcome Early in the Process.
Decide on you event goals, and then weave these goals into every aspect of the event. If your intention is to have large-scale events occurring in several cities, then select a theme that incorporates your message while delivering on geo-targeted messaging. The most compelling objects for events are:
- Branding and awareness
- Generating leads
- Engaging with prospects and existing customers
- Educating attendees
Although not mentioned above, the current trend in event marketing is integrating social media into the event, sometimes creating hybrid events that connect the offline with the online. Some events have social media stations while others have used social media photo booths that serve as an instantaneous method of achieving several of the goals outlined above.
By allowing people to experience and interact with your company, brand, product or service while participating in an event, you are connecting with potential buyers and building on existing relationships. Adding events to your list of reliable tools for your marketing mix will impact the outcome you wish to achieve with your marketing strategy.