Bored of web ads and flyers? Event marketing can be an exciting change of pace. Unlike other forms of marketing, you get to explore a new environment and interact face-to-face with your potential clients. There are lots of different types of marketing event to consider. Here are just seven different types of event to try out.
When launching a new business or a new product for the first time, a launch party can be a great way of attracting initial attention. A launch party could be open to all members of the public, or could be an invite-only private event. It’s worth inviting some key people such as local journalists, owners of fellow businesses and maybe even a local celebrity – anyone who will attract attention or be able to spread the word.
Launch parties shouldn’t be overly formal or salesy. They’re parties, so they should be an excuse to have fun. That said, people should still be aware of the cause and you may want to throw in a presentation or give a speech to remind people. Launch parties can also be great networking events. You should allow people to mingle rather than having everyone seated, as this will allow people to talk to one another more freely.
Trade fairs are big events in which lots of companies all run stalls and compete to promote their wares. These events are usually dedicated to a niche industry such as the fitness industry or IT or organic food.
Taking part is a trade fair can be expensive. On top of the cost of hiring a stall, you need to consider things like trade show displays, branded items and other marketing gimmicks that will make your stall stand out. They can however be less stressful than conferences and launch parties as the venue is already sorted. Trade shows are also great networking events, allowing you form alliances with other business owners in your trade (as well as scoping out any competitors).
Workshops aren’t promotional events in the usual sense – their main objective is to pass on knowledge to others. Many business owners run workshops as a way of teaching other budding entrepreneurs the secrets of business, or as a way of teaching their clients certain tricks. It’s possible to charge people to attend and make money off of workshops, providing you offer people some useful advice.
A workshop can have the dual purpose of making you appear more credible and knowledgeable in your field. By improving your reputation, you may be able to generate a few extra leads.
It’s also possible to run a workshop that’s also partly a conference. You could teach your clients certain skills, whilst also trying to sell your service to them. However, take into account that many people will be there largely to learn a new skill, and may appreciate a workshop that’s more promotional than it is educational.
Job fairs are also a form of marketing event – whilst they may be aimed at prospective employees rather than clients, they still require you to use some of the same strategies so that the best jobseekers choose you and not a competitive business. Job fairs are often like trade shows in that there are multiple companies all competing against one another with their own stalls. It’s a chance to show off incentives of why people should work for you, whilst talking in person with interested applicants. Schools and universities are the most common places that you’ll find these fairs.
It’s possible to get your business’s name out there by sponsoring an event. This could be a festival or a sports game or a fair. Depending on the nature of the event, you may be able to help with the organisation, although in most cases it’s more of a case of investing money and letting others take control. Sponsoring an event allows you to have your branding displayed all over the event. You can also sponsor charity events, however you should be careful of using these for marketing purposes as it could damage your reputation if people believe you’re not investing in the cause.
Webinars are a new type of marketing event that has been spawn with the rise of the internet. Unlike other physical marketing events, webinars are hosted virtually, often via a live video stream to a select number of viewers across the web. Webinars could be promotional or they could be educational. They don’t offer the same interaction of other marketing events, however they do have the advantage that you can invite people from around the world to listen in. They’re also much cheaper than real-world marketing events as you don’t have to hire a venue or provide catering.
Customer conferences are more formal events. They come in two forms.
The first is a sales event to potential customers – here the aim is to convince people to buy your product/service, whilst giving people the opportunity to ask questions and get to grips with the product. These often involve a presentation and potentially a product demo (if it’s a product you’re selling).
The second type of customer conference is for existing customers. These may be to tell people about updates or offer tutorials or simply answer queries that customers have. Such events can be great for keeping customers loyal. They may even offer you a chance to repair your reputation if you’ve suddenly become the target of negative media attention due to a disaster within your company.
Conferences can be boring unless you throw in some extra incentives. This could include offering some snacks and refreshments, allowing some time to mingle and potentially offering unique promotions to anyone who attends.