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Why Events Should be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

No matter your product or service, or the industry which you work within, there are events which are aligned with your market. Whether a B2B conference or trade show, or a music festival, sporting event, or other consumer gathering, events are a great way to get in front of your target market, and create a relationship with current or potential customers, outside of their web browser, smart phone, or brick and mortar storefront.

While digital marketing has greatly taken hold of most marketing dollars these days, there are opportunities to further connect with current and potential customers in the flesh, and give your organization and identity.  Events, whether B2B or B2C are great ways to engage outside of the digital realm.  Here are some of the top reasons why participating in an experience can have a lasting and positive impact on your brand equity.

1. Generate Meaningful Brand Awareness

A brand awareness campaign is one of the oldest tricks in the marketing playbook.  From billboards, to sponsorship, TV commercials, and more, brand awareness is important for any organization which wants to be recognized in its field.  While digital marketing via internet channels or social media can give you lots of 'reach' and 'impressions', internet users are becoming better and better at selectively viewing only the content they want to on their screens.  Additionally, it can be hard to target the people you want to get your brand in front it, and similarly, we can measure the number of impressions we get from these digital channels, but unless they take action right from that add, it can be hard to attribute future behaviors of this customer to the actual digital campaign.

Events allow you to very accurately target your brand awareness campaign spend.  If you want to target technologists, you can look for tech conferences to attend or sponsor.  If you want to target 15-20 year old basketball fans, you can find a consumer event which will help you reach these people.

In addition to accurate targeting, events allow you to create deeper and more personal connections than any banner or Facebook ad could ever do.  Experiential marketing can also be used to create an experience surrounding your brand, highlighting your product or service, and help attendees associate the experience with the brand.  With 76% of consumers preferring to spend money on experiences rather than material items, experiential marketing is becoming a very effective way to promote your brand, create brand awareness among your target market, and ultimately connect with consumers. 

2. Generate Quality Leads

There are more and more events now than ever before.  The traditional trade show model, where attendees walk aimlessly booth to booth, grabbing pens or canvas bags with the exhibitor's logo, is largely dead.  Technology has had a great impact on this as well, as it's becoming increasingly easy to find and contact potential customers or partners.

Enter: niche, targeted, thought leadership and facilitated networking oriented conferences for specific topics.  This helps people and businesses which are participating in these events meet the right people, and generate quality contacts and leads.  

Additionally, with more and more event technology designed to help attendees meet relevant people, incorporated into networking events, event attendees and sponsors can maximize and optimize their time onsite.

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3.  Thought Leadership and Industry Knowledge

Events provide two opportunities with regards to thought leadership and industry knowledge.  First, is it's important to stay up to date on what's happening in your industry.  It can be easy to get into a rhythm and continue with business as usual, which can hinder innovation and organizations improvements.  Reading articles is a good way to learn about industry happening, but even better can be attending thought leadership events and hearing from other industry experts discuss case studies, ideas on how to innovate your product or service, and more.  

Second is to establish your organization or executives at your organization as thought leaders by speaking at a conference.  Being able to share industry insights and best practices to a live audience will further legitimize your organization, and cement it as a notable industry player and industry expert.

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4.  Networking

While our world, especially in business, is largely dominated by digital communication, there is still no replacement for face to face dialogue and connection.  Events provide networking opportunities for your organization to meet face to face with other industry participants and create these meaningful connections.  Connecting with large numbers of other industry participants opens doors for future business and partnerships.  If there's someone in your industry who you want to meet, and they aren't at the event, there's a good chance someone at the event can help facilitate and introduction.

Events spur irreplaceable dialogue and create connections which are not possible with email or social media communication.  As events become better produced, provide better networking and help with facilitated networking, and continue to specialize and become niche, there are more and more business opportunities which cannot be replicated in the digital world.

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