What is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is a promotional strategy that involves face-to-face contact between companies and their customers or other businesses at special events like concerts, fairs, and sporting events. Brands will use experiential marketing services like shows, contests, or fun events to reach consumers and other brands through direct hand-to-hand sampling or interactive displays. This practice is effective because it engages consumers while they’re in a willing, participatory position.
Consumers often pay to attend these events, which already prequalifies their interest level. Finally, events can happen online or offline, and can be participated in, hosted, or sponsored. In most cases, the company will hire an event marketing agency to orchestrate the entire event because they can promote the event more effectively and with greater efficiency. The promotion of these activities can occur through a variety of inbound and outbound marketing techniques.
How Event Marketing Works
1. Brand Voice
For the first step in the event marketing process, companies should consider the personality that their brand is trying to convey. A brand like Toms, which has historically tried to align its product as a harbinger of global peace, kindness, and economic opportunity, made an excellent choice by designing a system which automatically creates charitable events upon every purchase.
2. Brand Targeting
When it comes to advertising, it's imperative that each company knows who their "target audience" is, and how to reach them. A target audience is the demographic of people most likely to be interested in your product or service.
3. Memorable Events
Companies must consider what lasting impression they wish to make on their audience. Many people remember the Red Bull "Stratos" campaign in 2012 as one that broke barriers, literally — as an iconic example of participative advertising and event marketing. The brand’s message: “Red Bull gives you wings” was further emphasized with this mission to the edge of space.
Event Marketing Best Practices
1. Use Event Marketing To Build Visibility
Consumers may not have ever experienced a brand like yours before. Though they may not purchase your product or service right when they experience your exhibit/event, you now become a face they have met and connected with in person. Yours will be the first brand they go to when needing a product/service in your field.
2. Use Event Marketing to Stimulate Word of Mouth
As the saying goes, “any publicity is good publicity.” If you create an interesting and exciting marketing event or instillation, people will want to talk about their experience. Make it fun and exciting, and something worth sharing on social media! The best companies utilizing event marketing understand that great content could be shared and used, both by individuals through social media, and for the press.
3. Conceptualize an Event to Foster Connections Over Sales
Companies are striving to get closer to customers — actual and prospective. Events, by their nature, are about bridging the gap. Whether attending, sponsoring, or hosting an event, making new connections or strengthening existing ones is a top concern. Furthermore, events help speed up the revenue cycle by engaging prospects, customers, and leads in a high-touch, highly-engaging environment. Through events, customers can discover, compare, and engage with a brand in ways not possible with traditional or even digital communication.