25 Apr Event Marketing: Do the pros outweigh the cons?
With the advent of engaging virtual events that utilise new technology solutions, experiential activation is evolving at a rapid pace. But when you’re looking to showcase your products, engage key opinion leaders and generate media interest, in-person event marketing remains a key pillar in any marketing strategy.
Whether you’re organising a conference, exhibiting or attending on foot, it is a great way to generate interest in your brand and build your presence in the market.
Marketing and sales teams should take a collaborative approach centred around their unique business assets, partners and relationships when selecting which events to attend and how to allocate marketing budgets.
This might mean the difference between attending larger events such as AAOS, EUROSPINE, NASS and MEDICA, where hundreds of manufacturers, distributors, consultancies and surgeons exhibit or attend, and smaller, more targeted events with an intimate feel like NSpine or OrthoManufacture.
These events still have many companies exhibiting, but you are more likely to be seen and have a better opportunity to stand out from your peers.
Attendees at these events are there to learn by watching lectures, discovering innovative new technologies in the exhibition hall and networking with peers by attending planned evening meals or social gatherings.
In this article, we’ve compiled some of the pros and cons you need to be aware of when planning, managing and activating your event marketing strategy to ensure you get the most from your budget.
They are great for building awareness of your brand and promoting knowledge of the latest products and technologies. Having a stand that best represents your company can showcase your products and your brand mission and values. You should treat this as a branding exercise, creating an experience that connects with your customers on an emotional level, compelling them to pick up your products or take part in giveaways to generate interest.
Events represent the best opportunity to reach new customers in person and strengthen existing relationships with brand loyalists. Work with your sales team to generate meeting opportunities as part of your pre-event marketing strategy, both through organic and paid social media as well as dedicated email campaigns and one-to-one invites.
During the build-up to and during the event, you have the opportunity to create a variety of social media content to drive awareness and bring new eyes on-brand. Get the most out of your attendance with a dedicated digital content strategy that includes short-form video and imagery. Take advantage of event hashtags and ensure you tag the location, event and people featured in your posts to reach the widest audience possible – create content fast and share it quickly to capitalise on the interest in the event.
Exhibiting and attending events are both significant investments for companies, while a strong ROI can be both hard to measure and take attendance at multiple events over an extended period to achieve. Ensure that your event strategy extends beyond the final day of the congress or meeting and includes a detailed plan of how you will follow up with new contacts and deliver on your leads.
If you fail to prepare for the key event in your business calendar, prepare to fail. Delivering a great event marketing campaign requires a high level of cooperation between marketing, sales and leadership teams with clear goals and lines of communication, which can be challenging for smaller businesses. Understanding what the opportunity is and agreeing at the outset on how you will take advantage of it will be key to your success.
If you are attending the larger conferences, most likely so will your competition. Making sure you stand out from the crowd will be key, whether that’s by developing a visual brand identity that resonates with your audience and helps you achieve your positioning goals or the branding on your booklets, packaging, social media, billboards, emails and more.
With the world still recovering from the pandemic and every country experiencing a nuanced return to business, attendance levels have remained lower than pre-2020. So make sure you use this to your advantage, spending more time with the key people in attendance, building stronger relationships.
Implementing a well thought out and targeted event marketing campaign should form a key pillar of your overall marketing plan and support your overall business strategy. After two years largely without face-to-face meetings, people are excited to be back at in-person events and now is the right time to invest.