It can be hard to know which marketing tactics are worth your company’s effort and investment. As the year is coming to a close it is time to look at your marketing spend strategically to ensure that you make the biggest impact with your available resources. At CWDi we’ve created many bespoke events for our clients, and we’ve seen that nothing can surpass the value of face-to-face interaction, making events an essential part of any marketing budget.
Trends come and go, but the effectiveness of events is here to stay. Given the noise of digital, many more business are realising the power of events to create memorable personal engagement with their target market.
“For many years, events were ‘special’. A fun party as an add-on to the marketing mix, but not necessarily strategic. But as marketers began to understand the importance of relationships with audiences as a key component of the purchase cycle, they began to recognise event experiences as drivers of strategic value.” Lesley Waterkeyn, CEO, CWDi.
The strategic relevance of in-person events is two-fold:
Tapping into the FOMO effect
According to a study by Eventbrite, 69% of millennials experience FOMO (fear of missing out) when they can’t go to specific events that others in their social circle are attending. More than any other form of marketing, events build a sense of FOMO by tapping into the “can’t miss” mentality that keeps people intrigued.
Eliminating the noise
“In a digitally obsessed world, events are where customers can connect with your brand.” Lesley Waterkeyn, CEO, CWDi.
Although creating a conversation with your consumers online is essential, engaging in person adds a whole new dimension. Events allow you to cut through the digital noise and reach an audience that is eager to hear your message.
The six principles of event intelligence
We believe that effective events can play a central role in the overall success of a business, brand or campaign. These six principles make up our event toolbox.
Invest in the power of proximity
“An event is one of the best ways to engage with your customers. It creates an opportunity for them to experience your brand and emerge themselves in your brand story.” Cara-Ann Potgieter, Marketing Manager, CWDi.
Nothing can replicate the richness of meeting in real life. At an event, you can deliver key messages, have attendees interact with your products and services while answering questions and seeing the reactions of your audience. This kind of direct engagement ensures that you not only have more of your audience’s attention, you also have a much better chance of having your message stick.
Having said that, optimal event design caters to on-site and secondary audiences. If your product-launch has 300 people in the room, there could be another 30 000 people participating in some way through social sharing.
Begin with the end in mind
Start with what you want to achieve and work backwards by setting clear, measurable goals upfront. Without clear objectives, you won’t be able to measure the success of your event.
Some questions to get you thinking along these lines are:
- What actions do you want people to take post-event?
- What outcomes would prompt you to host the event again?
- What do you want attendees to think about your brand after the event?
Think R.O.E.I – Return on Event Investment
Meet measured goals and ensure you add value with an event. When executed well, events can drive financial returns. According to an EMI & Mosaic report, 48% of brands realise an ROI of between 3:1 to 5:1 through their events and experiences. In other words, events pay off in terms of brand recognition, customer loyalty and sales. Perhaps most importantly, events are the ultimate lead nurturing channel where guests can engage with your product or service and get excited about it.
Honour the rule of five
Make sure your event makes the best impression in the first five minutes and the last five minutes – including parking, directions, welcome and farewell goodies or a captivating opening video.
Provide entertainment, music, drinks, or food to make the experience less formal and more comfortable. If you can create an environment where attendees can relax and ease into the experience within the first five minutes, you are already well on your way to success.
Sweat the small stuff
Your event is your opportunity to share what your business is all about. And it’s the small details that count here: the venue, ambience, refreshments and entertainment should all seamlessly add up to give your guests a “feel” for who you are, bringing your brand to life at every touchpoint.
Never forget the fizz
Some call it the magic, we call it the fizz. Whatever you call it, what is important is that your event should wow your guests.
“Events are not just about networking, sharing information or just coming for the food. Modern events are more about participation. We create events that will facilitate a mind shift. As humans we have short attention span so we need to surprise and delight all the senses and evoke emotion and disrupt and get people out of their comfort zone.” Debbie Nortje, Head of Events, CWDi.
In today’s competitive business environment, guests squeeze events into already overflowing schedules, and in order to truly blow them away, your event has to be worthwhile and different. Craft magical memories by providing an exclusive experience, whether it is a behind-the-scenes moment, a once-in-a-lifetime encounter or a moment of real joy and surprise.
Our team of event productions experts can elevate your message and convert your audience into brand advocates by transforming your next event into a fully engaging, memorable experience. Are you ready to start planning your guest list?