What do you know about event marketing? It’s a growing trend in the advertising and marketing world that describes a broad range of activities that can occur online or in the real world. Event marketing takes a product, service, or an idea right into the hands of a company’s customer – and it’s a great way to create a buzz. In today’s guide, I’m going to go through some of the basics of event marketing and explain how you can get started, and how it can benefit your business. Let’s get started with my guide to event marketing for beginners.
1. The Basics
People enjoy events, for obvious reasons. A special event can bring joy to the heart, make people feel part of something, and give them an experience they won’t forget. By and large, the average person will remember an event for much longer than they would from reading a flyer, or looking on a website. Events encourage interaction, participation, and closer observation. Every business needs those things to make a bigger impression on their customers. Event marketing helps you achieve those goals.
2. Types of Event Marketing
Event marketing can take place in many different forms. You might remember the flash mob craze from a few years back – that is event marketing. Companies would employ people to do something unusual in the middle of a shopping mall, or on public transport. Not only would the flash mob raise awareness of the company’s message to the people present at the time, but also later down the line. Many flash mob videos took on virality on the web, and some were seen by millions on platforms such as YouTube.
However, event marketing doesn’t have to be as large scale as this. It could be as small as holding a video conference with three or four of your customers – or even getting a stall at a trade show. Any event can have a brand led twist attached to it, no matter how large or small.
There are many different benefits of embracing event marketing for your business. The first is that it is a tool that anyone can use, no matter how large or small your budget. As I mentioned above, holding a webinar or conference call online is a cheap and efficient form of event marketing.
The central principle of event marketing is, of course, to improve your brand name. It raises awareness of who you are, what you do, and how you differ from the competition. The perfect example of this would be at a trade show. Almost everyone who is there will have an interest in the industry you serve, but if you are a startup, not many will know who you are. The opportunities are obvious. You get the chance to show off your skills and wares to potential customers, other industry people, and journalists and the media. With any luck – and some hard work – you won’t be the obscure little startup you were when you first arrived.
Event marketing also generates leads for your business. You might have a launch party, for example, and invite business people from your local community. You should consider notifying plenty of local journalists, too. You could set up event marquees or even hire a community hall as a venue. As soon as you have people through the doors, you have the opportunity to get up close and personal with them. You can show off your products, give demonstrations, and offer discounts to people who make preorders. As long as you make sure you are taking names and contact details, this kind of event can bring you enormous returns on your initial investment.
Your event could have an educational slant, too. Whatever industry you are in, it’s important to come across as someone who knows what they are doing. People prefer to deal with and put their trust in authority figures, and an educational event can underline your credentials. Educational events can be a valuable addition to your income stream, too. Let’s say you are a social media freelancer that looks after the Facebook and Twitter accounts of local businesses. A good way of expanding your reach would be to hold social media training classes. You could hold seminars or webinars, or take your business straight into the heart of your business community.
Our final example is one that you are probably aware of already. The next time you go to a superstore, have a look around for the areas where they offer free samples. This is event marketing – as is having a little stall outside a sports stadium offering double glazing. In essence, event marketing is any activity that you take your product or service direct to the people.
4. How to Succeed at Event Marketing
So, there are a few examples for you. Now, the big question is: how can you make your event a success? There are a few things to think about. As with any kind of marketing idea, it’s important to have a strategy and plan in place. Your event needs a reason to exist, obviously. You should collect all your goals and aims for the event, and work out how you will judge your success. Targeting is also a big factor. You will be wasting your time creating an event if you do it in front of the wrong audience.
It’s also worth thinking about the fact your event should take place as part of a wider marketing strategy – not just as a standalone occasion. There needs to be a coherent string running across that wider campaign that people can tap into easily and reference themselves. And, of course, never forget that if you want success, event marketing doesn’t end when the audience goes home. Make sure you follow up with your customers and use all the data you gather to your advantage.
As you can see, there are many benefits of event marketing. Think you can use it in your advertising arsenal? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!