Should you be making use of event marketing in your small business? Event marketing strategies aren’t for every company, but they do have the potential to leave a lasting, brand-focused impression on a new customer or client.
They are often a fun way of grabbing the attention of a group of people and, if executed successfully, event marketing will provide them with an experience that should resonate in their minds. So, what exactly does event marketing involve?
What is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is a marketing strategy which allows direct contact between companies and their customers at special events such as conferences, festivals and trade shows etc.
Brands might use event marketing to reach consumers through direct hand-to-hand sampling or with engaging interactive displays - which generally works because it engages the consumer while they’re in a engaging position.
Unlike more traditional forms of advertising, which often targets millions of consumers at a time with a television ad, radio ad or billboard message, event marketing targets a more specific group of individuals in hopes of making quality individual impressions.
Successful Events Marketing for Small Businesses
There are many ways a small businesses can get involved in event marketing. A business might host its own event, which can build stronger relationships with its clients and prospective customers. A company might also attend an event as an exhibitor and introduce their product to potential clients. For smaller companies and budgets, online events, which include webinars or live streamed workshops, can also prove to be just as impactful as live events.
According to a 2016 study by the Event Marketing Institute & Mosaic:
- 98% of attendees felt more inclined to purchase after an event
- 65% of attendees state that live events give them a better understanding of a product
- 70% become regular customers after an event
A well thought out event marketing campaign should provide value to attendees beyond simply providing information about a product or service. Including extras like discount codes, free samples and merchandise, or a fun activity, can help to make customers feel like they are receiving a benefit and not just attending a live-action commercial. So what kind of event marketing can your small business get involved in?
Types of Events
Virtual events are ideal for small companies that may not have the resources to host a full-scale event and for companies that cannot afford to travel to a conference. This includes webinars or live streamed workshops, which can be just as successful as live events. Virtual events allow the whole team to participate from all over the world - from the comfort of the office.
Conferences tend to be large scale events that make up a significant portion of the events industry. They can be either B2B or B2C and usually have a schedule filled with notable speakers, educational workshops, and networking sessions.
They can often get a bad rap for being pretty mundane and boring, but they don’t have to be. Conferences are most successful when they balance a professional environment with an energetic, social atmosphere.
Trade shows are huge events that tend to host thousands of attendees from all over the world. Whereas conferences are usually open to the public, trade show attendees are often pre-screened buyers, company representatives, or the press.
This, along with the fact they are typically industry specific, means they give companies the opportunity to exhibit their products and services and collect qualified sales leads that have a higher probability of converting.
Seminars will typically take place in an intimate setting and are focused more on educating the attendees. Smaller groups of attendees will get a more in-depth analysis and valuable knowledge. Seminars usually last one day and, often times, only for a few hours, and can be a fab way for small businesses to network.
Whatever the method, event marketing can be an incredibly effective form of marketing that builds long-term value. While these strategies may not be for every company, they do have the potential to boost brand awareness, trust and leave a lasting impression on clients and the public.