5 Event Marketing Opportunities Business Owners Overlook

24 April, 2016

Event Marketing is about leveraging an event to market your business. Events create more enduring value than business owners give them credit for and this article shows how. Here are 5 things business owners forget when assessing the ROI of an event.

1. Business Owners undervalue the halo effects of event marketing

Events create a tangible experience inexorably linked to your business. Memorable events are the most effective instrument in the marketing toolkit to create a emotional connection between your customers and your business. In fact, when building a brand’s story, events are a cornerstone. Nothing beats bringing together a group of people for a memorable experience that was initiated by your business. Long after the event is over, people will remember how your business made them feel, and that is something they will return to your door to feel again, albeit in a smaller way, over and over again.

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2. Event Marketing creates ‘customer siphoning’ opportunities

Business Owners forget the power of creating an event with 2 or more brands, believing that inviting more businesses to the party will reduce their overall revenue take on the day. This is short term thinking and a mistake. When planning an event, think about potential complementary partners that already have a large customers base of like minded consumers.

YOUNG + ESTABLISHED

This works especially well if your business is young and new and the partner is well established. If you bring the value of organising, hosting and paying for the event, they bring the value of an ready made customer base. This works super well if they want to break into your customer segment because of the ‘cool’ attaché it adds to their brand.

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3. Event Marketing isn’t just about activities on event day

Business Owners tend to under invest in the pre and post event marketing activities around an event, yet this is as important as the experience on the day.

PRE MARKETING

Pre marketing creates opportunities to create anticipation of what is to follow. It is also one of the most powerful database building opportunities you’ll have. Recently, for a event I was building hype for, when the weather looked a little iffy, I asked the Facebook event group to ‘be the weatherman’ linking to a three question survey about 1) weather 2) their email for cancellation news and 3) hearing more about the business. Within 24 hours I had converted over a third of the RSVP’s to email subscribers of the business.

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POST MARKETING

I find post event opportunities are best delivered succinctly with a thanks+ offer. “Thanks for attending our event on Saturday, Bob. It was great to see you and we hope you had a good time. If you run out of supplies, we can save you a trip by ordering online next time. Use code ‘AB20’ so you don’t have to pay for delivery!

Trust me, 99% of Business Owners forget about pre and post marketing activities, treating customers like a unit of dollars on the day. Don’t be like the 99%. Stand out and you’ll create customers for life.

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4. Logo sponsorship on its own is a waste of time.

Unless you’re an ego driven CEO (and many are which is why sponsorship deals make such a big deal out of logo branding), logo sponsorship on its own is a waste of time. Logo on a jersey. Logo on a sports ground sign. Logo on a flyer along with 20 others in technicolour dreamcoat of colours and designs. Just don’t do it, unless you’ve thought about the pull through opportunities that event sponsorship can offer you.

This is of paramount importance when looking at sport sponsorship where there are multiple events for the same sets of fans. At the very least, combine logo sponsorship with a digital call to action that can get the sport fans to engage with your brand. That provides you more opportunities to capture and build your database. Logo’s are out, digital call to actions are in.

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5. You don’t have to host an Event to benefit from Event Marketing.

Major events are sources of opportunity for Business Owners yet are rarely leveraged unless they’ve decided to be a sponsor. These activities can be as simple as asking your existing customers whether they are going to the event or offering a deal that includes your products related to the event. This is such an easy win yet continues to be a missed opportunity.

The Hawke’s Bay Marathon is coming up creating so many opportunities for businesses to leverage the day particular before and immediately after the race.

event marketing

For example:
– create products options related to the training period in the run up to the day.
– give products away to your customers in return a group of them wearing your business branding on the way around the course and sharing on social media them doing their thing along with the event hashtag.
– create a party pack of your products for runners to celebrate with friends and family when they get home.

‘Decide whether your event is primarily about customer acquisition, customer loyalty or straight monetisation. This should drive all of your decisions around the event.’ Ryan JenningsAngel Marketer

REMEMBER THE FUN POLICE

The last thing you want is an unintended media disaster because the basics of event planning weren’t in place. It can feel unnecessary or even daunting to get the local authorities involved especially for a first event, but it’s well worth at least having a chat to find out the minimum requirements. Always over deliver on the experience. Less queues, fast payments… ask yourself where all the friction points will be on event day and create a plan to remove them to make the event frictionless.

We have all seen events that went overboard on safety or overboard on event management which had a negative impact on guest enjoyment. We’ve also seen guest having too much fun at the expense of safety and good event management. The key is to try and get the balance right at every touchpoint for every minute of the event.

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Event Marketing Summary

Business owners tend to be reluctant to put events on because of the time and effort of organisation and the potential risks to an under attended event. Now you know that you don’t have to put the event on, start looking at that major event diary! Note: be careful around event hijacking. It’s a fine line and you’ll know you’ve crossed it if you get a cease and desist letter from a major ‘logo’ sponsor.

Ok so there you go. That’s 5 opportunities business owners can now leverage for event marketing!

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