When you hear the term Event Marketing, you may assume it only means marketing for a specific event. While it does mean this, Event Marketing is also a strategic marketing strategy that directly invites your target audience to participate in the advancement of your brand.

In an increasingly wired world, the value of face-to-face events has greatly increased. Event marketing can be used as a part of your business plan to deepen relationships that have been built online and through low-engaging mediums. Highly targeted event marketing campaigns may draw upon the strengths of digital, online social networking and other media to more effectively reach and guide your audience through the sales cycle.

When Hatch, a business growth company, wanted to become the region’s authority in the business development space, they created a series of events that appealed to their ideal customer. Founder, Zack Miller asserts that, “Instead of focusing our efforts on traditional advertising that may yield little to no return on investment, we hosted events that attracted pre-qualified prospects which generated a higher return.”

Executive Events, a strategic business promotion group, will help you perfect or develop events that speak directly to your target customer. These experiences are all about building relationships – the holy grail of marketing in the 21st century! Relationships secure customer’s loyalty. Sales funnels are shortened and brand awareness skyrockets.

Experience marketing allows your company to promote and share its unique identity firsthand. You are in complete control of the message you convey. Here are three reasons your business should incorporate event marketing into your overall business plan.

1. Generate Leads
Once you have determined where your ideal customer lives, works and plays, you can create or tailor an event to attract them to your business’ service or product. Event marketing offers you the opportunity to capture deep and meaningful information about prospects in a short period of time. It also provides you with an opportunity to engage directly with them. By responding to your invitation, registrants have expressed interest in your message and have pre-qualified themselves even before the event occurs. Attending your event can take the place of a first sales call, therefore, moving prospects down your sales funnel faster.

2. Branding and Awareness
Brand perception is a critical characteristic of your company. In order to be successful and recognizable, your brand must have qualities that build a connection between your customer and your product or service. Event Marketing can be a very unique and extremely viral way to elevate your brand or highlight your business directly to your key audience. Events and the marketing around the event can fortify your brand’s credibility and also create positive, trackable dialogue about your service or product.

Whether you want to reinforce your image as an organization that caters to business owners, provides innovative solutions or is a leading contributor to your region, an event marketing strategy ultimately brings your brand into closer contact with your customer than any other channel.

3. Education
An educated customer is the best type of customer. When a potential buyer is well-informed about what you do and exactly how you can help them, you will significantly decrease your sales cycle. Hosting a strategically targeted event gives you the opportunity to directly impart knowledge that your audience will value. By sharing unique insights that are important to them, you will expand your reputation as a thought leader in the industry and develop a critical connection between your brand and prospective buyers.

Strategically targeted events will allow you to start deeper in the sales pipeline by attracting pre-qualified prospects directly to you. In today’s complex business environment, your organization should use event marketing to create a more efficient and cost-effective approach to engaging consumers from the acquisition phase, through nurturing and loyalty. This ‘personal touch’ marketing model is about profiting from long-term customer-centric relationships.

About the Author
To learn about creating or improving an event to get more clients for your business contact Deany Dormer at 757-785-5081 or Info@AssistMyEvent.com. Deany Dormer is the Owner and Event Manager of Executive Events, a strategic event company that specializes in event planning, marketing and management dedicated to increasing your event ROI.

[This article was originally posted in the April 13-19th, 2015 edition of the Inside Business Journal in The Experts section.]