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How event marketing makes an impact on decision makers

By Sarah Ballantyne

Event marketing reaches people who make key decisions about your brand, giving them a unique taste of who you are and what you do. And through them, you reach your audience. That’s why you’ve got to make an impact.

It’s a highly effective PR and marketing strategy. Each event you organise is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, to prove your point of difference face to face. And if you build an integrated communications campaign around it, you stand out further.

Any event – be it a product launch, a store opening or an awards night – is an opportunity to combine media relations with social media marketing and activating the power of social media influencers to get through to your audience.

Remember, the people who actually go out and buy your products or use your services need to know they’re available – and it’s the names on the guest list for your event who make that happen. It’s our job as an integrated communications agency to use our events management expertise to get the right people there.

Everyone invited has to be of value to your brand. Of course, the client is going to be represented and will have its people there, both in-house and contacts – a glam event is great for schmoozing. What we’ll be doing is putting together a list of journalists, influencers and bloggers who fit right into the demographic the brand is targeting.

See real engagement

It’s crucial in event marketing that we get people along who genuinely talk to the audience the brand is trying to engage with. A social media influencer on Instagram might have 50,000 followers, but we need to see real engagement – likes and comments – if we’re to push out the messages we’ve defined with the client.

Like so many aspects of public relations and marketing, getting that guest list together comes down to knowing your audience, where to find them, and what they want.

The interactivity of events has appeal both to client and to media-savvy guest. You give them something engaging, something that goes new places and you have a completely open platform to address your audience directly.

You need to build an atmosphere that suits the brand you’re promoting and the market you’re promoting it in, but appeal to your guests and, through them, your customers.

One of the most important things in these day of social media marketing is to make the event as Instagram-able as possible – to the point that we always set up a dedicated “flat lay station” where bloggers can lay out items, snap their perfect picture and then get it up on their profile instantly.

Grab attention

You’ll also need the kind of features that make people stop and smile. The selfie mirror’s past it, but the donut wall goes down a storm, while a wall garlanded with flowers at the launch of the Blythswood Square Hotel’s penthouse suite had great Instagram potential. Great event management relies on finding trends and activities that grab attention.

Serving canapes – make them pretty and dainty. Cocktails? They’ve got to look – and taste – like heaven. Bubbles? Be sure you’ve more than enough for everyone – and don’t forget glasses. In short, you’ve got to be more than a good host, you’ve got to be a sensational host.

Treat your venue as a stage set and dress it for impact. Something that catches the eye inevitably ends up on social media on the night.

Social media marketing

We come up with hashtags and encourage their use, which allows the client to see the campaign gaining traction right away through social media marketing.

Maybe a social media influencer will post quickly about the event on the night, then follow up with a longer post or blog later – that would two bites at the cherry for the client from just one guest as a result of the event marketing plan.

Some events are about more than the night itself. For example, when we launched the Arran Aromatics store on George Street in Edinburgh, there was a full PR campaign leading up to the launch – 30 days to go, don’t miss the opening, revealing celebrity is performing the opening – that drip-fed stories and built a bit of anticipation.

Then there are the events which don’t make news headlines – the Specsavers press show, for example – but generate copy for later magazine and newspaper features as well as bloggers and influencers.

This underlines the benefit we provide that standard events management agencies don’t … an integrated communications approach that includes PR services such as media relations and content creation, as well as videography, maximising brand exposure.

To find out how we push the boundaries of PR, marketing, digital and web design to get the best for our clients, call us now on 0800 612 9890.