Events: Paving the way in 21st Century Marketing

It’s not about the dollar amount that you spend that guarantees your quality, and it’s the experience you had before, during, and after the purchase that sticks with you. I can’t count how many times I spent money on something and did not receive the value that I was “sold.” Before the purchase happens, your interest has to be piqued; you have to hear or see something. During the purchase, you have to feel that upon making your purchase, you are getting the best value for your dollar, reassurance. After the purchase, comes a feeling of, “I would buy that again” or “I had such a great experience.”

The real value in event marketing is the opportunity to get to know your customer. There’s nothing like going to an event and seeing your favorite product accessible to you or learning about something you would have never known about if it weren’t for the event. What is the number one way that you can best uncover your target audience by knowing who they are? It’s face-to-face, word of mouth and testimonial forms of direct marketing. Having facial recognition with your consumer is a straightforward way to spark their interest, make a sale, and leave them with an experience from your company that they can share with other people. Why? Because it’s harder to say “no” in person than it is to skip through a TV commercial or ignore a pop-up ad online.

Event marketing is not a new phenomenon. Therefore, my question is, why isn’t it happening even more? Why don’t we have indoor expos in the winter and festivals when it’s warm?

As online businesses are doing algorithms to identify their customers “click-through” trends, and radio and TV stations are getting more information on their listeners and viewers locations and demographics, the actual value is in being front and center to meet your customer. Therefore, event marketing will take your company to new heights. Imagine seeing the same vendor everywhere you go; at some point, you will stop and ask, “what does your company do?” Invest in making your company stand out from the rest in a room full of vendors, or with a unique experience at your own event. Create that experience with your consumers face-to-face so that they know the faces behind, what you want them to believe is, your trusted brand. Understanding this concept is just the beginning.

The next steps to start marketing your brand or company through an event is to first identify the “eye-catching” product or service that attracts your current audience or customer to you. Whether it is a product or service, you have something to create a live experience from. At any event you want to give your audience something to take away and remember you with, tangible or memorable. Here are some examples of things your business is already equipped with that can create an experience for your target audience at an event:

If you are in the food industry, your advantage is in tastings and samples. If you are in the apparel industry you will need live samples of your clothing. If you are in the business of art or entertainment you will want to showcase one of your best acts. If you are in the home improvement industry you will want to show before and after experiences from your customers. If you are in the service industry of any sort you will need to be able to produce a service, live for your audience. These are all things that your company does daily, that you can make appealing to an audience in less than 10 seconds and be at no cost to you. Think of it as providing your customer with a sample, just enough to convert the sale.

If you are ready to step it up a notch and attract your audience differently, here are some things you can try: a virtual reality experience of a vacation destination, concert experience or paint color on a wall for your home. You could set up a tutorial that gives people the chance to interact with your product themselves. You can incorporate an interactive game into your experience that showcases your product. Another great way to get people to stop at your vendor table or keep their attention during your own event, is to attract their senses of smell, touch, sight, taste or sound. These are ways to personally connect with your audience with an indicator that you are engaging their natural needs and wants.

These are just a few ways that you can grow your business through event marketing whether it’s your event or you are a vendor, wanting to stand out from the rest. All these examples go hand in hand and can be combined to create an experience that your audience has never had. The best way to see what works for your product or service is to get out in front of the audience you are looking for.

article written by: Chelsea Barnett, Account Executive

Chelsea Barnett is a well-rounded event professional with experience as an account executive and an independent video producer. In her new role, Barnett develops new business, services current clients, and acts as a liaison between clients and Bartha’s creative and production teams.

Originally from Columbus, Barnett attended Howard University in Washington, DC and recently has been residing in Atlanta.