In 2018, it’s predicted that live events are going to become a core factor of both the sales, and marketing strategies of B2C and B2B organisations.
In a report on Event Marketing Benchmarks & Trends for 2018 – Bizzabo reported that 91% of over performing organisations cited live events as being integral to their success.
Why are successful organisations so committed to live events?
Live events are considered a sort of marketing cure-all, improving results in the following key areas:
- Lead Generation
- Lead Nurturing
- Community management
- Client Retention
It’s no wonder that Bizzabo reported that the average Chief Marketing Officer allocates a whopping 24% of their annual budget to live events.
These stats show that live events are fast becoming a must-have for any marketing strategy, despite the overall marketing field becoming more, and more digital.
Why do live events trump digital marketing efforts?
Because in a world where most communications, and research happens online, face to face interaction has become the domain of decision making.
Whether you’re wanting to warm up prospects, or convert leads, meeting with them and delivering real-time, real-world value through live events will lead to bigger, and better results.
Meeting with your leads, or current clients at live events also gives you the unique opportunity to really get to know them as people.
A lot of your target audience’s pain and pleasure points are difficult to deduce, but once you are able to shake hands with them, answer their questions, and listen to their thoughts – you will begin to get a more accurate picture of how your product or service fits into their everyday lives.
Live events will help you to know your leads and clients inside-out, which will in turn help you to better market to them, nurture them, close deals with them, and retain them.
It may come as no surprise that most event marketers rate live-events as the single-most effective marketing channel (31%), ahead of content marketing (27%), and even social media (6%).
In 2018, most over performing organizations will be allocating even more time and resources to live events; looking to leverage the value of real world interaction in a society that’s increasingly communicating solely online.
Are you convinced that live events can help you reach your marketing goals for the year?
Here are some examples of live events to help you reach your 2018 goals
- Events for lead generation
- Events for lead conversion
- Events for community management and client retention
Events for lead generation
Educational events, which both position your organisation as a thought leader on a niche topic, as well as give no-strings-attached value to your event attendees, are a great way of warming up prospects, and generating leads.
Make sure you’re collecting the contact details of your attendees at these events, so you can further target them with nurturing marketing campaigns. A great way of collecting their information is by offering free white papers, or recordings of talks, post-event via email.
Events for lead conversion
When it comes to converting leads via events, experiential marketing seems to be all the rage. Experiential marketing is about creating an interactive experience, in which people have a real world, offline experience with your brand, and services/products.
Experiential marketing works best for well known brands, but the principles can be leveraged for just about any organisation.
The main takeaways of an experiential marketing event is that you want it to be interactive, and a fun, memorable experience.
As for knowing what kind of experience would best resonate with your leads, try to analyse data beforehand – to understand what they most aspire to – and figure out how to best deliver an on-brand experience in relation to their wants, and needs.
Events for community management and client retention
Networking events, with a focus on keeping your clients in the loop with your organisation’s current, and future movements, is a great opportunity to leverage real life connections with your client base to achieve better community engagement, happiness, and retention.
You may want to present to your clients a ‘future road map’ to offer transparency on the journey your organisation is undertaking. You could offer educational workshops on common issues your client community regularly struggle with, and lastly, you could offer brand-related giveaways as an incentive for your clients to attend, meet, and participate.
When it comes down to it, it’s you and your organisation’s team that will best understand the type of event that will encourage your client base to attend, and engage with your brand. Your in-house customer support team will have particular insight that can be leveraged for these sorts of events.
You need live events in your marketing mix
Whether you’re looking to gain new clients, or keep the ones you have, live-events are foundational to your overall strategy.
See what live events can do for you, and start meeting with your community face to face.
You’ll be amazed at the difference in engagement when you take the time to meet with people, and deliver value, offline, and in person.