*GUEST POST* Today we have a guest post from David Janes of NCC Home Learning about the potential of event marketing as a means to help boost your organization's bottom line. Here's David:
Trading conditions have been tough with the global financial crisis of 2007 to 2008 kicking off recessions in many countries, including the U.S. in 2007 and the U.K. in 2008.
For many businesses, this meant that their bottom line was under pressure and they were squeezed to within an inch of life. As profit was hard to come by, investing in new products services was low, if not non-existent and all budgets were squeezed, including the marketing budget.
Thankfully, the global financial crisis seems to be fading (yay!) but your bottom line – the income you have left after paying all your expenses– may need a concerted marketing effort to get it back to a healthy level.
There are many ways of boosting your business profits. Event marketing is one of them. With an understanding of how events work, along with the effort, energy, and organisation needed to ensure events are successful, events can become a useful marketing tool for your organization.
What is Event Marketing?
Themed exhibits or displays, presentations on a product, service, or cause, or in-person engagement and networking are all examples of event marketing.
These events can be online, such as webinars, or offline such as breakfast networking events. Some companies host or sponsor several of these kinds of events. They could be the perfect means of raising brand awareness for your business, which will have a direct knock-on effect on your bottom line.
But Why Event Marketing?
The modern consumer demands more today. They have a higher expectation of how and why brands engage with them – here's a hint: it's not just about selling.
The consumer wants information about you and your product or service. They want information on which they can base their buying decision. They want a clear sense of what it will be like to buy from you and interact with you. The expectation is that brands will have character, personality, and a 'voice'.
Thus, to increase your bottom line with event marketing, you need a strategic combination of offline and online events.
The Impact of Event Marketing
To make an impact, an event must be memorable for all the right reasons.
The desired impact depends on the goals of the event with most businesses wanting their event to be more than just an advertisement for their business or brand. They want to create a lasting, favourable and powerful impression of all that the business can deliver.
Event marketing allows people – your customers – to connect with you and for you to connect with them.
Not all events are created equal. What started out as a great idea, can easily fall flat, earning you heaps of nothing but criticism. Alternatively, with the right event in the right place, with the right goals driving it, you have an instant success on your hands.
And beware – one, ad hoc event is not going to show your customers and fans what a great company you are. If you think event marketing is a cheap option that will bolster your flagging bottom line overnight, you need to think about the concept in a wider, broader sense.
How Event Marketing Impacts Profits
Companies choose to participate in event marketing for different reasons – a small business may want the exposure that a live webinar can offer, but a larger company may need the face-to-face interaction that comes with a trade show.
Overall, a business wants an event to connect with people in a way that inspires them to look to their company to buy. Here are some of the top reasons to consider event marketing:
#1 Brand Awareness
Establishing and building your brand is essential for growing your business and your profits. An event allows you to cultivate and express this identity.
Through events, either online or offline, you can create the perfect venue through which to share your thoughts and ideas, in the way that you want to present them. Events also give you a listening tool too.
#2 Lead Generation
Want more customers? Where are your potential customers? Focusing the event in the right location places you firmly in the eye-line of prospective customers. They may have already expressed an interest in what you do and who you are; the event can confirm that you are the right organization to do business with.
#3 Customer Engagement
There is no doubting that events offer an unparalleled level of customer engagement. There is no substitute for positive and personal interaction that builds loyalty.
Every wizened marketer knows that the biggest return of investment on their marketing budget is retaining and growing their existing customer base.
#4 Educate and Inform
Most people attend events to be educated and informed. Add to this the healthy dollop of networking, and you have an event that is useful, practical, successful, and – just as important – memorable.
Types of Event Marketing
From webinars, to live streaming events, to tradeshows, to conferences, to networking, to seminars, there is a whole raft of marketing events that your business can host and sponsor, both online and offline.