In today's digital era as brands, we have the power to connect with hundreds and thousands of consumers with just the touch of a button. But, is this the right way to connect or are we forgetting the power of face to face interactions? Events marketing can be used for brands as a powerful tool to connect with the audience.
According to Bizzabo’s 2019 Event Marketing Bench-marking and Trends Report marketers believe events marketing is the most effective channel for achieving business goals. So if your brand isn’t using events now is the time to start!
What is Events Marketing?
Events marketing or experiential marketing is a way companies can directly engage with customers. In addition, it is a way to promote a brand, product or service. It gives the chance to be fun, creative and therefore leaves a mark in the customer's mind. This means hosting an event gives a unique way to engage with an audience which marketing media like print or TV advertisements just cannot do.
Examples of event marketing for brands could include an experiential pop-up, hosting a conference, holding webinars or sponsoring a popular event. The type of event which you choose to host should depend both on your company and your goals. Different companies will have different audiences who will each need to be uniquely addressed.
Event Marketing Supports Your Brand
Event marketing offers the opportunity to express a brand in any way. An immersive experience can be the perfect way to establish what your brand is and what they stand for. what better way to make a mark in your customers mind then present them with an in-person experience?
Creating a ‘stunt’ style event is a great way to establish brand awareness. It can quickly generate public attention as well as PR coverage. It is a quick way of getting the company name out and about- now all you need is a great idea. Whatever event you create ensure it is relevant to your brand values as first impressions matter.
Creating an event means you are surrounding your brands with your target demographic (as long as you have the branding right). This creates the perfect opportunity to generate leads. Connect with your attendees, get them interested in the company, and of course take their contact details so you are able to follow up and make sales.
Events offer the perfect feeding ground for customer engagement as they offer the opportunity of real life interactions. So it is these positive interactions your customers have with your brand which build loyalty. Retaining and growing existing customers is the best way to generate ROI as generating new customers is far more expensive.
Use your event to set your company apart from competitors. To do this you can think carefully about what knowledge your audience will want to gain and drive education in this. As an engaged audience provides the perfect opportunity to implement brand knowledge upon them.
Digital vs Physical Events Marketing for Brands
swag bags and even a simple handshake the possibilities to build relationships here are endless.
Offline events can include, sponsorship, experiential, pop-ups, trade shows, conferences, dinners.
This is when your brand sponsors an event which is already happening. Participation can range from putting your logo on different promotional materials and generating visual awareness to creating a unique experience exclusive to your brand. For example, a makeup brand could take over a salon at a large event, cover it in branding and give visitors makeovers. A unique experience requires more resource however would give the audience interaction with the people and products. It also has the power to create a positive brand impression in the consumers mind. Therefore this will create higher brand loyalty.
This is where your brand creates an experience for the audience. This can be a both in a public setting or a new type of experiences like a shocking piece of artwork or a treasure hunt- the possibilities are endless. This means each unique experience is sure to make an impact, therefore, generate a clear brand message.
This is often in the form of a one-off shop which is around for a limited time. It can offer a different product or service to what your company normally has and create demand through limited timings.
This is where many brands in the same industry gather. You are able to hire a space and showcase your brand here. As trade shows are usually within once industry this means the attendees will already be interested in the category you are competing in.
These are a perfect way to deliver a lot of information about your service. Conferences have a large education focus.
This could be any meal; breakfast, lunch or dinner or even just drinks. The usual scenario to hold these are when you are targeting a small group of people intimately. A great example of this use would be when targeting influencers to love and share your brand. The intimate setting allows personal and meaningful connections to build brand love and loyalty.
Tips for High-Performance Events
Events marketing although a great tool is not a quick process nor an area for shortcuts. There are many factors you need to organize from designs, space, and permissions to speakers and content. Therefore planning early will give you the maximum amount of time to figure this out. By leaving this time to prepare you put your event in a strong position to achieve the best customer outcome.
The overall message is the most important part of every event marketing campaign. Conveying the correct brand message to your audience is extremely important.
Whether the event is virtual or physical creativity is essential. After all the time and effort you put into creating the event you want it to be remembered by the audience and stand out from competitors. Consider games and interactivity, or a big surprise. Your team should get together and hold a brainstorming session to come up with the best ideas.
Don’t Forget Segmentation
This one is often overlooked in events marketing but it is a great way to get the maximum ROI from attendees. So make sure to gather information about your attendee's demographics. Use this to create quality data lists so you are able to re-target the attendees in the future with precision.
Make sure you choose these very carefully. Pick agencies, influences and collaborators which have the same passion for your audience as you. It is Granted that if your partners do not have passion behind them this will always be clear at the event and attendees will not have a great brand impression.
Include social media
This is an easy method to generate buzz around your event. Use the platform to get the word out about what your brand is doing and generate awareness so people attend. You can also use social at the event. Create hashtags or competitions to bring in user-generated content and continue to bring your brand messaging to the public.
7 Brand Event Marketing Examples
Nu Skin excelled in precision marketing in their global conference. When signing up to the event attendees answered questions about their skin type. From this Nu Skin gave each attendee access to different areas of the event where the skin products would be relevant to them. This is a great way to demonstrate how the brand directly cared for each attendee's original concerns.
Smirnoff comic book party, this is where Smirnoff created a wholly immersive event. Decorating the venue with comic book characters, dressing up the brand ambassadors and using their brand colour red everywhere. Smirnoff’s party left a clear and consistent brand impression.
Marketo created an event roadshow where they had business meetings and conferences across 7 different cities. Each event was tailored to the culture of each location to connect with the audience. This tailoring is what really secured success for Marketo.
Google IO created a virtual event where their event included digital channels. This meant that attendees in remote locations or with travel budgets could still attend through Googles 360 degree camera live stream. They also hosted all the streaming through YouTube so it was free to watch.
Lululemon bought their brand to life for customers by creating a perfectly relevant event. They held yoga classes for shoppers to join. Whilst at these classes attendees would also wear their Lululemon gym wear whilst participating in putting the product to use and thereby creating positive emotions around the brand.
Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society created a beautiful fundraising ball. At the ball, they had live jazz music and even asked guests to wear masks, therefore, creating a fun experience. If hosting a ball style event for your brand make sure to plan the decor carefully as the atmosphere is essential.
Refinery 29’s, 29 rooms event is hosted yearly. It is a ticketed immersive experience which represents their brand perfectly. To do this they partner with 29 different brands and create themed rooms. The event is described as an immersive experience of culture. Refinery let participants get creative and also get involved in becoming a discovery zone for attendees.
Brands can use events marketing as a great way to demonstrate your values to the public. There are many different ways to tackle events marketing meaning that each brand is able to customize the experience to represent themselves perfectly. They are an opportunity for creativity and interactions which will imprint on the minds of your audience so generate leads.
Event marketing can take place both in-person and offline meaning there is a lot of flexibility. However, as events marketing can be very impactful and leaves a lasting impression make sure to leave plenty of time for planning and create consistent messaging for your audience is left with a brand love impression, and of course, don't forget to have fun!
Thinking about throwing your own marketing event for your brand? See why some of the largest brands including Facebook have turned to Glue Up to help run their events.