What is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is a strategy marketers use to promote their brand, product, or service with an in-person or real-time engagement. These events can be online or offline, and companies can participate as hosts, participants or sponsors. Marketers use both inbound and outbound event marketing strategies for promotional purposes.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the event industry will grow by 44% from 2010 to 2020, exceeding most growth predictions for other industries. So why is the event industry growing so quickly and why has it become such an integral part of successful marketing strategies?
Event marketing is one of the best ways to:
Build brand awareness
Increase customer engagement
Educate prospects and customers
Why You Should Include Marketing Events in Your Plan
An event marketing plan can help your company stand out in a crowded marketplace. By combining event marketing with your digital campaigns, you create a more meaningful and longer lasting relationship with your buyers.
Whether it’s an exclusive appreciation dinner, an informational webinar, or you’re a sponsor at a trade show, events offer a unique chance to interact with your customers on a more personal level. Having a direct interaction is invaluable to fostering a long and prosperous relationship.
Why are Companies Using Event Marketing?
Branding and Awareness
74% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about the company, brand or service being promoted after the event
One of the biggest reasons companies participate in, or host, an event is to establish and build their brand name and identity. With the increasingly fierce competition in almost every industry, being able to differentiate yourself is crucial.
You may choose to participate in specific marketing events to associate with the host’s name and ecosystem, to gain access to a highly targeted audience, or show off your brand’s personality.
Dreamforce: you want to penetrate the Salesforce ecosystem. You’re trying to sell to their target market and customers.
The Super Bowl: you want your brand name to reach a broad audience and associate with some of the biggest names in advertising.
Fashion Week: you’re a lifestyle brand that wants to establish yourself in the luxury category.
In-person events help humanize your company and create a more authentic connection with consumers. By immersing your customers in a unique and memorable experience, they’re more likely to have an emotional tie to your brand and will be more inclined to share their experience with friends, and maybe even other businesses.
Word-of-mouth is the most effective means of generating new customers. And happy, engaged customers are more likely to talk about your product or service and refer others.
By creating a meaningful interaction between your brand and your customers, you have a higher likelihood of increasing client retention and creating brand loyalists in the process.
Lean Cuisine managed to engage customers through their #WeighThis event by creating an experience for their customers that was non-disruptive, it allowed customers to share their personal stories on what they have accomplished, or ‘what they want to be weighed on’.
Conferences and events are a powerful way to engage with your target audience, gain a more in-depth understanding of their pain points, and facilitate their decision-making process. When people attend an event, they’ve already shown an interest in the product or service you’re offering, and many times they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.
Before an event, you should set up a lead scoring model. Your lead scoring should incorporate information collected from scanning a participant’s badge like company size, industry, and title as well as how many, and which, touchpoints they engaged with during the event and their previous level of engagement with your company.