Marketing With Events
Corporate event planning has become a significant part of a businesses marketing strategy, and for good reason. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, events allow people to meet in person and build enduring relationships based on rapport.
Identifying Your Goal & Creating A Strategy
Corporate event planning becomes a whole lot easier once you know why you are doing what you are doing, and you have a clear strategy for how you will communicate and promote your event.
As a starting guide, here are three important things to remember when planning corporate events:
- Pick the right event to match your business goals.
- Stay on-brand and consistent in all communication.
- Provide post event opportunities for engagement.
Any event you choose will have a slightly different purpose. For example, you may want to increase exposure for a new product, build business relationships, generate leads, attract new customers, let current clients and customers know you value them, or build brand identity. The first thing to do is match your goal to a type or style of event.
1. Conferences & Knowledge Leader Events
A speaker series, a workshop, a conference or a panel will position your business as a leader or expert in the field. For this type of event you would target current customers, but also design your marketing to attract new customers or colleagues (depending on the industry) in order to increase business opportunities.
This type of event is not about direct selling. It is about marketing your business as an authority.
2. Product Or Brand Launch
To gain exposure for a new product, think about having a product launch. Invite existing customers and colleagues. Create a feeling of exclusivity and make them feel appreciated, without feeling pressured to purchase.
This type of event also works to gain new customers, if you implement a customer loyalty scheme and provide a discount or special offer to existing customers if they bring along a friend.
3. Appreciation Events
Appreciation events build loyalty and are similar to a launch, but may be off site at a sporting or cultural event. These type of corporate events emphasise the social aspect and are about communicating to your most valued clients and customers that you value them.
4. Charity Events
Charity events allow a business to connect to new customers and to build brand awareness. By aligning your company with a particular cause or charity you communicate what you value and what you stand for.
Customers increasingly care about the values and ethics of the companies they do business with, so events that allow you to show that you are socially engaged will expand your brand’s relevance and social literacy.
Marketing & Tickets
Before you start marketing your event, think about who you are targeting and where you can connect with them. Email? Newsletter? Social Media? Traditional advertising? Think about ways to cross promote with other businesses or look for businesses to partner with to increase your reach and resources.
If you are selling tickets, consider your ticket prices carefully. If you make your event free, you won’t be able to rely on the number who register, turning up. If you charge a ticket fee, make sure it reflects the value of what you are offering people. And finally don’t undersell yourself. Know your value and do the calculations that will tell you whether you expect your event can give you a return on your investment.
Engaging Your Guests
Your event is one stage in a continuing marketing strategy to engage with your target audience. Think about the method and style of communication you will use before, during and after your event. Sometimes the smallest details will shape people’s impression of you, so pay attention to the small as well as the larger details.
If you goal is brand promotion, make sure you take photos that you can use for promotion on your website and on social media. To make people feel included, take a group photo at the conclusion of the event. Always provide a hashtag for your event as a way for people to engage.
Think of other ways that you can engage people and encourage them to connect with fellow guests. Integrate networking opportunities, fun break-out sessions and interactive competitions, and photo booths into the schedule. If you are running an exhibition or conference, provide guests with a checklist of all speakers or exhibits. They can check off each one as they see it and it encourages people to stay for each session to complete their card.
Follow-up communication after the event is an essential part of your strategy. For example, following a seminar, conference or workshop, email participants to ask for feedback and ideas for future workshops or speakers. Maintain communication through newsletters and organise new events that continue to build these valuable connections.
All these elements provide opportunities for continual engagement and make people feel a part of something.
New Or Existing Customers?
A common mistake is to think a new customer has more value than existing customers. In corporate event planning, your existing customers are your best asset. That’s because new customers and business relationships take time to build.
Existing customers and relationships should be an important part of your corporate event planning strategy. If you run repeat events, make sure you offer a loyalty program to reward existing customers and clients. Don’t plan your events each year as if you are always marketing to new people. Think about different ways to run the same event. Keep it fresh, get new speakers, and keep finding new ways to impress the people who already support you.
Professional Corporate Event Planning
When a corporate event is planned to meet a clear purpose, with attention given to the corporate and brand impression, it will be more likely to succeed.
Events require an investment in strategy, time and resources – something that many businesses can’t afford. That’s why Melbourne businesses often turn to professional corporate event planners to help with their events and to help with their marketing.
Phoenix Creative Management provides professional and creative corporate event planning, conference management, party and wedding planning, and event entertainment. If you would like assistance with your next corporate event in Melbourne, contact us.