With the online advertising market becoming increasingly saturated, and users increasingly turning to ad blockers to avoid marketing altogether, it’s time for a new way to get your message out there. Event marketing can be a powerful tool, not only for B2B companies but for B2C-focused organizations as well. Organizing a marketing event can increase awareness of your brand, build brand affinity, and most importantly, drive sales to provide you with a great return on your investment.
In this article, we’ll discuss how a marketing event can be one of the most effective ways to drive your business to the next level, and why it’s one of the most powerful tools on offer today, allowing you to engage with more customers than ever before, and build lasting business relationships. We’ll also give you some tips to ensure that your marketing event is a success.
How Effective Is Event Marketing?
An Authentic Buyer Perspective
Nothing can beat a real, face-to-face conversation with a customer to find out what they really want. It’s a great way to test your buyer persona, especially if you’re a B2B company, where interaction with potential clients may have been limited to emails or the occasional phone call. Marketing through events even allows you to meet your customers face to face and will undoubtedly provide you with high-quality feedback that will later be invaluable when it comes to improving your customer experience.
Meeting your customers, as well as potential customers, allows you to tailor your brand towards what they really want without having to rely on a buyer persona that might well be outdated. For example, if you’re experiencing a level of customer dissatisfaction with your product or service, meeting existing customers and interested prospects can quickly throw up the root cause of it. On the other hand, you might discover an unexpected strength that you were previously unaware of that can now be capitalized on.
Identify And Engage with Potential Clients
In-person events can often attract potential customers and other interested parties. This is an unparalleled opportunity to reach out, engage, and network with prospects, who may be very close to buying your product or service. It’s an opportunity to find out what’s holding them back, and what you might be able to change to make your product more attractive.
An excellent way to do this is to hold a Q and A session as part of the event, where attendees can reach out and to you and your team directly and launch discussions about any queries or concerns that they may have.
Build and Strengthen Customer Connections
Marketing experiences such as events can drive brand awareness, customer loyalty, and ultimately sales in ways that more traditional forms of marketing can’t possibly match. Statistics show that over 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service after attending an event, and an incredible 91% report a more positive outlook towards the brand.
A live event connects consumers and brands in ways that are meaningful, purposeful, and lasting. Being able to see and meet the people behind your brand in person can lead to the formation of long-lasting brand loyalty. In fact, up to 70% of attendees report becoming long-term customers after an in-person marketing event.
Increase Engagement with Social Media
Hosting a marketing event can have a huge knock-on impact on your online marketing as well. Leveraging social media feeds and influencers to build up excitement and anticipation for your event can not only increase attendance of the event itself but also provide an increase in social media followers that persists even after the event is finished. This helps to build a sense of community amongst your customers, helping to transform them into brand advocates who will willingly share your social media and online content with an even wider audience.
An event is a great way to get everyone talking about your brand, and you can encourage this by regularly posting updates and statistics in the run-up to the event. You can even live-stream the event itself to motivate more posts and engagement. Another great strategy can be to run an online competition tied to the upcoming event, such as for the best picture by an attendee.
Measurable Return on Investment
It’s all very well having a packed house when the day of the event rolls around, but how can you be sure that the right people are attending. At the forefront of any marketer’s mind is the return on investment, or ROI. It’s this figure that’s likely to determine whether the event has been a success, so make sure that you keep a close eye on those sales figures post-event. It’s also important to show that any sales spike is directly attributable to the event before planning it again for next year.
Be sure that you are marketing towards the right segment of your buyer community. Not every segment may attend the event, which allows you to create a bespoke marketing offering for just this segment of the consumer community. Put together a specific attendee persona, in addition to your existing buyer persona. Use this post-event to measure impact; have the sales to this specific group increased? Then the event could have been a success.
Improving Your Event Strategy
Now that you’ve begun to plan your event, how can you make your strategy as effective as possible? An event is inevitably going to require more of your marketing budget than online-only marketing, so it’s important to get it right. you want to get the best return that you possibly can on this large investment, so it’s important to be certain that you’re offering exactly what your attendees want and increase motivation to buy wherever possible.
Create a Welcoming Experience
While it may seem like a small detail, it’s one you can’t afford to overlook. The people who’ve taken the time to attend your event should feel welcome there, and that their presence is appreciated. Make sure this is both the first and last impression you give by using personalized communications such as emails, phone calls, and even paper mail to communicate with those who’ve registered and lay on staff to welcome them at the entrance.
During the event itself, makes sure your staff are constantly on-hand to answer questions and address concerns. Just talking to those at the event can have a huge impact. Post-event, make sure to use personalized follow-up communications to request feedback, offer special content, and even early registration for your next event.
Educate Your Attendees
Those who attend events need to gain something from coming. After all, they’ve given up their time and possibly traveled long distances to be there, and they might also have had to pay the entrance fee that around 40% of marketing events charge for attendance. However, they need more than just a branded pen or t-shirt; many of those who come to events want to learn.
Take a look at the focus of your event. Do you already have an educational focus? Then evaluate what information you’re providing and be sure that you’re adding knowledge to your guests, and not telling them what they already know. If the event is more focused on experiencing or demonstrating a product, try to find a way to give those attendees who want to learn more an educational element.
Consider the Attendee Perspective
When planning your event, think about how it will bring value to your customers. You’ll need to more than simply list speaker names on the brochure – you must effectively communicate a reason to attend. While many may be explicit in what they expect from the event, others may prefer to keep their reasons to themselves. Either way, you need to ensure your event solves their pain points and meets their needs.
An effective approach can be to ensure that potential attendees understand what’s on offer, as they will be unlikely to search for reasons to attend, and if the benefits are unclear, they may switch off altogether. Make sure you successfully capture their attention, for example by providing an effective solution to the problems they’re facing.
Time for a Change
The way events work is changing thanks to the influx of technology that’s connecting physical events with the online world. These can solve some of the biggest problems for the marketer, including new ways to measure attribution and ROI, especially through videos and virtual experiences that tie in with the physical event. While event marketing has a unique set of challenges, it can still be a very effective way of differentiating you and your brand and provides a great alternative to online marketing.
Here at King Sixteen, we are committed to helping you engage your customers in new and innovative ways. We thrive on creating partnerships that matter, and long-lasting experiences for your event attendees. When it comes to event design, we can help you plan everything from a 100-person bar meeting to a 1000-person gala. We’ll cover everything from catering to sound systems, security to entertainment, so you can focus on what you do best. Call us today at King Sixteen to find out more.