Welcome to your event marketing guide created by Aloha. Below you will find the best practices to make your target audience aware of your event and attend it without hesitation.
What is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is the promotion of a product, brand or service through in-person interactions. There are many forms of event marketing and each can be addressed to address the specific objectives of a marketer. A company can organize its own event and build stronger relationships with its prospects and customers.
A company can attend an event as an exhibitor and introduce its product to potential customers. Online events, such as webinars or live broadcast workshops, vary in scope and prove to be as impactful as live events.
Whatever the format, event marketing is a versatile and incredibly effective strategy that creates long-term value in relationships with customers and partners alike.
Why Event Marketing?
In essence, marketing is communication. It is the ability to clearly convey a message at the right time. Live events provide the opportunity to connect directly with stakeholders and clearly communicate your message. It is no wonder that event marketing continues to grow as one of the most important marketing strategies for large companies today.
According to Forrester Research, events represent 24% of the B2B marketing budget. By 2020, 3.2 million global professional events will be held annually. Companies believe in the power of live events and this trend will only continue to grow in the coming years.
Below you will find a complete and comprehensive guide to best practice in event marketing. Whether you are planning a 3-day conference or attending an international trade show, this guide will give you a more complete understanding of event marketing strategies and how to maximize your impact.
Types of events
Today’s technology combined with the growing need for events has resulted in a wide range of event types. Having a firm understanding of each type of event will help event marketers determine which ones most closely align their specific objectives. Below is a sample of event types to help you understand the structure of yours.
These large-scale events are an important part of the event industry. The conferences can be either B2B or B2C and usually have a calendar full of interesting speakers, educational workshops and valuable networking sessions.
The most successful conferences are those that balance a professional environment with an energetic and social atmosphere.
The fairs are also large scale and host thousands of attendees from all over the world. These events generally take place within a specific industry and provide companies with the opportunity to showcase their products and services.
Trade shows are the ideal arena for gathering qualified sales opportunities that are more likely to become customers. While conferences are generally open to the public, trade show attendees must often be pre-selected buyers, company representatives or press.
The seminars generally take place in a more intimate setting and are very focused on educating the attendees. The smaller group of attendees allows for more in-depth discussions and a valuable exchange of knowledge. Seminars usually last one day and often only for a few hours.
Similar to the seminars, the round tables also have a specific educational objective in mind. Roundtables may vary in size, but are generally smaller in size.
These events often take place in a more intimate setting, giving each attendee the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. Roundtables are usually composed of higher level executives such as CEOs or CMOs, providing a much more focused networking opportunity for attendees.
While most events are open to the public, the summits are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Summits are often reserved exclusively for high-level executives, industry leaders and government officials.
This is where the big ideas are discussed and the major deals are made. Summits have a slightly smaller scope due to their high-profile nature and consist of very important speakers.
Virtual events are ideal for companies that may not have the resources to host a large scale live event and for companies that cannot afford to travel to an international conference. Virtual events allow people to participate from all over the world and strive for a more globalized and diverse group of attendees.
As the technology for virtual and augmented reality continues to evolve at a rapid pace, virtual events can quickly become a leading form of live event.
An event can have elements of in-person interaction and online participation. Such hybrid events provide versatile functionality and give event organizers the freedom to stretch the boundaries of the event, both in terms of scope and reach.
How to measure success in event marketing
To maximize the impact of event marketing strategies, it is necessary to set the right objectives and use the relevant KPIs. Defining and measuring the success of the event is as important as the event itself.
Below is a list of ways to articulate event marketing objectives followed by nine indicators to properly measure event ROI, which helps ensure ongoing success.