A major shift that has been seen recently in the marketing space is the surge in the popularity of hosting, sponsoring or tailoring an event. This is largely due to the way that events provide lead generation, sales and brand awareness in a much more effective manner than print and digital formats. Ultimately in the modern day, despite the advances of technology, people will always crave that eye-to-eye contact and physical interaction with products.
Here are our 10 reasons why an event should become a permanent part of your marketing strategy
1) Value provided to guests
If the format of the event includes a guest speaker, or a topic of real interest to the people you’ve invited, or a panel of experts or entertainment of some sort, it will be easy for people to accept your invitation as they perceive high value in attending.
2) Lead generation
Always encourage your guests to bring people similar to them. If they are a partner in a professional services firm, and that’s your target market, they may elect to bring another partner from their firm if you ask them. This is a great opportunity to generate potential leads with a highly targeted audience.
3) Create more touch points
When you invite people to an event there’s the invitation which is the first point of contact. You may follow up to confirm if they will be attending. After the event you can follow up and thank them for attending. After that you may follow up with some photos that were taken of your client or prospect at the event – as long as it’s a good photo most people will be delighted to receive that and like the personal touch. After that, if the person is not a client but you’d like to have a meeting with them, you will both be comfortable about an invitation to meet and discuss potential opportunities. You’ve taken them from a cold contact to a warm lead.
4) Constant contact
If you hold an event that your guests love, you have an opportunity to make it a regular event. Your clients become your PR team and will bring more prospective clients to the next event. This leads to an incredibly effective way of remaining constantly relevant and in contact with current and potential clients.
5) Genuine and authentic
When you invite clients and prospects to an event they would genuinely be interested in attending, it’s not a ‘salesy’ approach and they are likely to be very open and willing to accept your offer. It’s a win-win for everyone.
6) Content creation and potential for media awareness
You can potentially use the event for online or offline PR. If there’s a ‘news-worthy’ element to it, you could draft a press release and send it out to various media. It could result in coverage for your business, it could drive visitors to your site, it could reinforce your positioning in the market, or it could result in you being interviewed or profiled in some way.
7) Shared experiences
Hosting an event is a simple yet effective way to provide them with opportunities to learn about who you are as a brand and why you are passionate about your cause, all while having heaps of fun! The key is to create a positive, interactive atmosphere where two-way communication thrives. Interestingly, research has found that events are the perfect time to inspire your supporters as participants experience a ‘peak’ or euphoric state of being. Here, they are more likely to associate your organisation with feelings of happiness and positivity and support you well into the future.
8) Creating a community
Celebrating your successes with others will heighten a sense of achievement, leaving your supporters feeling a true sense of community. Taking the time to share impact will lead to a lifetime of valuable support. Hosting your own events and giving clients a personal experience that is fun or meaningful or memorable in a good way, is a really excellent marketing strategy that will always pay dividends if done properly.
9) Refine and improve your databases
Events are a great opportunity to gain valuable insights into who your key supporters are and knowing who is in your database is a powerful basis for all your marketing strategies. When signing up, participants are likely to provide you with information you can use to improve your database and CRM, which will then tell you who you should be talking to, based on their age, gender, and other lifestyle factors. You can then identify and develop targeted communication strategies, design and implement coaching programs to maximise the activities of successful fundraisers and select the types of events you offer, to better attract high-value supporters.
10) Reinforcement of market position
Since it’s an event that your brand is actively involved in, you control how everything is done from catering to signage to welcoming guests and any product samples or information provided. The style of the event and all of its different elements will reinforce your brand and your position in the market. The guests you invite will have an experience and associate your brand/product/company with that good experience.