Do you know what 80% of marketers say is one of the most important keys to their company’s success? According to the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report, it’s live events.
In fact, companies such as Salesforce Apple and Facebook invest heavily in creating large-scale events each year.
“Brands use live events because they are an excellent channel through which marketers can achieve their annual goals. . . the power of face-to-face marketing can’t be supplanted by digital tricks and tactics.”
“Live events may just be the single best channel to fuel your business growth,” says Entrepreneur. Here’s why:
Appeal to younger people who prefer live experiences
Since 1987, spending on experiences and live events has increased by about 70%. This increase can be attributed, in part, to younger generations who prefer spending their money on things like travel, live events, and other experiences that can be shared on social media.
Brands recognize that younger people—who often feel isolated even though they’re more connected than ever before—prefer live events.
“Events give like-minded people the opportunity to form more meaningful connections with ample opportunity to share their experience on social media.”
Instead of relying solely on digital channels, it’s important to allocate some funds for live events. Not only do events have a lower overhead and less commitment than year-long leases, but they also help retailers be more creative about the way they connect with their intended audiences. Additionally, live events provide an opportunity for brands to connect with customers on a human level—something that’s hard to achieve in a digitized world.
Take advantage of an effective marketing channel
According to Bizzabo, over one-third of marketers believe that events are the single-most effective marketing channel over digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing
As Entrepreneur points out, many of the best marketers rely on trade shows, user conferences, networking events, roadshows and similar events for generating leads, getting closer to customers and earning media attention.
That’s not to say that other channels don’t produce results, but live events empower brands to do reach their objectives a lot quicker and in a meaningful way. Because of this, marketers are investing more heavily in live events as a means of increasing engagement in a timely and reliable manner.
Measure attendance and ROI
In the past, it was very challenging to measure event attendance and calculate event ROI. Today, though, event management platforms have the capability to measure a variety of event metrics in real time. There are even integrated platforms that can attribute live event performance to revenue, customer retention or press mentions.
For brands just beginning to dip their feet into event creation, there are planning tools that can measure event performance. Eventbrite, for example, costs nothing when used for free events, so it’s a good option for those just starting out.
There are also many options available for those interested in planning more sophisticated events. These platforms help small-business owners organize and measure events by integrating with Google Analytics, Hubspot and Salesforce.
Deliver unforgettable experiences
WeWork hosts an annual Summer Camp that boasts a weekend-long music festival and employee retreat structured to feel like a utopian tech paradise.
This year’s Summer Camp hosted 8,000 people from around the world at Eridge Park, 40 miles southeast of London. Attendees enjoyed a long weekend with music, food, outdoor activities, and opportunities to improve skills and learn more about themselves.
While WeWork uses live events to define their company values, bring employees together and connect with their target audience, small businesses can use live events on a smaller scale to accomplish these objectives, too. Hosting a memorable product launch party, for example, will help draw industry influencers and reporters, as well as potential customers and new hires.
The most successful events—from trade shows to consumer pop-up stores—all have one thing in common that makes them successful: human connection. There’s nothing wrong with using the best technology and tools available to create an amazing event. But it’s important to remember that the purpose of using these tools is to enhance the human connection, not replace it.
“In a world where our use of digital modalities is bordering on dependency,” says Entrepreneur, “live events provide brands with an opportunity to break free from the noisy online world to connect more meaningfully with attendees.
For attendees, live events provide a unique environment for meeting new people, refining business skills and sharing FOMO-worthy experiences with their tribe on social media.
Live events benefit companies big and small, providing opportunities to establish their brand, build customer relationships, generate buzz, and attract positive media.
Also published on Medium.