An Event May Be Your Best Marketing Solution

Accela Marketing
May 6, 2022
minute read

Why Put An Event In Your Annual Marketing Budget

You have a set marketing budget for the year. You want the maximum return on your investment namely; exposure, lead generation, customer engagement and media awareness. You disperse your spend across above the line media such as radio, television, press, and out of home (OOH) ads such as billboards, cross-promotional signage. You also do a substantial rotation of online ads and social media ads.

It may seem like enough but the truth is, you cease to have any control over whether people actually view those ads. They are placed in a wide ocean of distraction. You are also having a one-way conversation with your target audience. Sure, you can make promises and claims in these ads but until they interact with you, they have no real reason to believe.

The Role Of Events In Brand Awareness

Investing in event marketing can give you far more return on your marketing spend and it puts you in a position of more control over the experience your customers are having with your brand and opens up a two-way conversation. The type of event you choose, depends on both your marketing goals and the nature of your brand. If your company’s brand and products are all about alcoholic beverages for instance, you may want to focus on hosting an event tied to food, music, partying, art, socializing. Products that are about health and beauty may want to host skin clinics and wellness retreats. But the limit is your imagination. Events play a major role in Red Bull’s marketing strategy and the focus is around thrill-seeking and entertainment. Events can literally give your brand its unique image and help you corner a niche.

The Role Of Events In Reaching Target Audiences

The event does not even have to be tied to your product but it can be tied to the segment of the market likely to purchase your product. The Mercades Fashion Week is not about the hard selling of their vehicles.  However, it  links the brand name to luxury and bespoke design by hosting an event for wealthy people who are all about premium aesthetics, with the money to afford it. Haute couture fashion is exhibited as well as the brand’s conceptual vehicles, as part of the experience.

Let’s say you have a pest control business. Rather than do an event directly about pest control you may want to host an event all about sustainable and innovative building and furniture design just to get face to face interaction with building managers, homeowners, office and property real estate managers and renters. Once you have them as a captive audience, in a setting and environment you control, the sky's the limit as to how you can interact with them and put your brand awareness and brand experience into their mindspace.

While most people will not click on an e-mailer or social media ad selling a product or service, they may be more likely to click on an event offering edification, entertainment, enjoying food, socializing or playing a sport that they are already excited about.

The Role Of Events In Consumer Engagement

For your next consumer promotion why not make the prize an event? Giving your consumers an experience is an excellent way to increase their spend,  reward their loyalty as well as keep them invested in your brand, upsell to them and position your brand in a positive light. You do not even have to come up with the excitement. You can use the buzz generated by something that is already hotly anticipated.

LIME (Now FLOW) used the event of the premiere of Man Of Steel, the hotly anticipated Zak Snyder Superman movie, to increase early bill-payment and reward its customers during its 50 Dynamic Dad’s Promotion that was conceptualized by its then agency Accela Marketing.

The premise was that hard working dads in Saint Lucia are the supermen of their families and deserve some recognition in the form of a Guys’ Night Out. The 50 Dads chosen (they were allowed one male buddy each) were treated to a grand premiere opening, with a red carpet welcome, DJ, in-service food and drinks by lovely LIME ladies, first viewing of the film, followed by a night of games, sumptuous food from whole suckling pig roasted, to top shelf liquor and to top it off prizes which included the hottest new mobile phone being offered by the company. While the event was only slated for the island of Saint Lucia, it was such a hit, it was scaled up to three other OECS islands.

Event Marketing The Gift That Keeps Giving

An event provides the pretext for concentrated marketing, directly to your target audiences before the event. Then after the event is over, if you’ve done your job well, it just keeps on giving! If you want the event to generate lasting buzz for weeks or even months after it is over, you need to ensure you not only provide your attendees an unforgettably good experience but you have created Social Media channels for them to evangelize.

Every event needs a hashtag and a web page and incentives for people to use the hashtag and share. At the event you need to have branded photo-worthy/photo enabled features that encourage selfie taking and sharing. Public Relations is a must to ensure your event makes the media or ensure you invite them. Hiring influencers, socialites, movers and shakers to do pre and post promotion is also key. For example, a famous food vlogger can announce he will be attending a Food & Rum event hosted by your brand before the event, then at the event, that vlogger can stir up excitement, taking pictures with attendees and post-event, the vlogger gives his reviews of the event and your product.

Can’t foot the bill to host an event all by yourself? That is not a problem at all. Align with complimentary brands and share the cost. Distribution companies of several brands are experts at doing this. A food festival hosted by several food brands each with their own unique product offering

Choosing The Right Event Management

An event can help businesses in many ways. It can help grow the customer base, increase brand awareness, and even improve a product or service. It is essential you choose an event management company that knows how to stay within your budget. Check out our case study where we identify the problem, strategy and solution for an event held for Strongbow which was done on a very small budget.

Your Event Management company must be able to conceptualize an event concept that will be a powerful brand boost and truly engage your most desirable targets. They should have a track record of being able to handle any situation, planned or unforeseen, with calm, innovative solutions.

Now that COVID19 protocols are easing up, if you are looking to grow your business in a short period of time, consider spending a percentage of your marketing budget hosting an event rather than putting it all into traditional advertising.

Written By
Accela Marketing
Caribbean-Based Agency Providing A Full Suite Of Marketing Services & Boundless Reach
Also In This Issue:
Stronger Together - Why we need an advertising association in the OECS
Campaign We Love
Social Media Stats for the Caribbean
Digital Marketing Landscape, Implications for Businesses