Don’t be stupid. Use events as part of your marketing mix.

Marketing is in essence the promotion of your products or services to your target audience. 

An event is a unique opportunity for creating a lasting impression and engaging in an ongoing conversation with your customers, so it would be stupid not to consider events as an integrated part of your marketing mix.

Of course, running events is not the answer to all of your marketing questions. But think about it. Nowadays, it is all about cutting through the clutter and standing out from the crowd with your differentiated offers and marketing efforts.

With an event you can do just that.

Your existing marketing?

Marketing is the process of identifying, anticipating, and satisfying your customers’ needs and wants. It is absolutely vital in boosting your company’s sales, so of course you do marketing.

You can follow several objectives with your marketing efforts. Perhaps you want to:

  • promote your products or services,
  • promote your brand,
  • target new customers,
  • retain existing customers,
  • show your presence in the market,
  • identify trends and market needs,
  • or?

And you are probably already using a lot of different channels:

  • owned and earned digital media and social networks
  • paid media like PR and advertising
  • traditional offline marketing
  • and so on

So how can running events help you in achieving your marketing objectives? And how can you mix the channels in an effective and efficient way? 

(Before you go any further. Make sure you know exactly why you want to achieve a certain marketing objective by the means of an event. If you are not clear about your WHY, then pause and rethink. Figure out your event goals first.)

Why consider events?

Events have proven to be extremely effective and are a widely used marketing instrument among B2B professionals.

In fact, some surveys have shown that 41% of B2B marketers agree that (in-person) events are the single most effective B2B marketing channel (Marketing Charts, 2019) and a staggering 68% are convinced that live events generate the most leads (Marketing Charts, 2018).

Like no other marketing channel, an event gives you the opportunity to create a unique experience for your audience and to engage with your prospects and customers on a one-on-one basis.

With an event you can actually create a space of interaction, in which you can actively engage your audience instead of just pacifying them.

So when you launch a new product or service, you can get buy-in much faster having a live audience to showcase it to. Or you can demonstrate your thought leadership in depth having your attendees’ undivided attention. Or you can get reliable product or service feedback fast and easy (whilst increasing customer satisfaction). Or …?

And if you are clever enough, you can actually engage your audience to an extent, where they become an active part of your marketing campaign. 

With the right event and the right content you can get people to proactively promote your brand and your products or services to their networks, just because they are excited. 

And taking it a bit further, you can even consider running events with the sole purpose of accelerating this word-of-mouth communication. Because people are 90 % more likely to buy from a brand recommended by a friend or personal contact (Invesp), making word-of-mouth a highly powerful marketing technique.

Besides being effective, having your attendees spread the word about your event is extremely cost efficient for your event promotion.

You decide. You set the stage. Intimacy isn’t necessarily expensive. 

On top of that, you can use the actual event for creating additional content for your marketing campaigns: videos, survey statistics, quotes, etc.

With your customers one-on-one, you have a huge potential for creating endorsing content. Giving you the so-much-needed edge of credibility.

So of course you want to do events. An event is a unique stage for you and it is all up to you how you will use it. 

But please never forget about your audience. If you bask too much in your own glory, you will achieve nothing. So you need to keep in mind why people mainly attend events. 

Why do people attend events?

There can be all sorts of reasons why people attend events. But to categorize it a bit, people (knowingly or unknowingly) want to:

  • meet other people: mingle, network, promote themselves, experience a sense of belonging, … 
  • be inspired: learn new things, meet new thoughts and perspectives, get insights,  … 
  • participate: share knowledge and ideas, give inspiration, help others, ...

When you do events, you need to consider how you can give people what they want. 

With your marketing goal in mind, you now have to choose the right tool (event type) for the operation (marketing goal), and set the stage for giving your audience a unique experience that satisfies (or better exceeds) their expectations. 

If you want to...

...promote your brand or a new product targeted to a broader group:
You need to set the stage for crowd enthusiasm and social proof. People know that they will learn about you or your new product - but unknowingly they probably want to feel a sense of belonging, which is why you want to create a sense of unity and a sense of people joining a bigger movement. You will go for experts or celebrities endorsing you or your product, mind-blowing or spectacular demonstrations, and so on.

... get feedback or identify trends:
You will aim at creating an atmosphere of intimacy. With a couple of well-planned questions, a sufficient time frame, and a plan for creating common grounds you will give people an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience. Not only will your attendees benefit from this exchange but you will also receive your desired insights.

... demonstrate yourself as a thought leader of the industry:
You will get credibility from customers or experts endorsing you. Set the stage for demonstrating trends and make sure you have selected the right crowd, so the right people can mingle and you forever will be known as the place, where peers (in your target group) meet and grow their minds and businesses together.

So stand out. Do events as part of your marketing mix. The right way.

Manage the entire event journey to create better events

This article is one out of many covering a "New take on events" - phase 1 of our pioneering event journey, giving you the right outset for creating better events.

Read more best practice articles.

Focus on people

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