From Events to Experiences: It's All About Engagement

A February survey of 300 marketing executives revealed that the desire to engage customers through event marketing is still great, even in a recession. Event marketing was tabbed as the best approach "that best accelerates and deepens relationships with target audiences." Furthermore, 29% of the executives surveyed said they would place a greater emphasis on experience marketing in the next 12 months.

Event marketing is typically thought of as a form of experiential marketing, so what's the difference? The difference comes down to the level of engagement created between brand and audience at an event. A mere presence at an event in the form of signage or even a booth or exhibit does not elicit strong consumer engagement. While event marketing can generate brand awareness and perhaps sales leads, it often falls short without a strategy to engage and involve event attendees.

Interactivity bridges the gap between exposure and experience. Examples of ways to engage event attendees include multimedia exhibits, games, and celebrity appearances. Event properties often seek sponsors to support their events. Offering prospective sponsors benefits limited to exposure is outdated. Awareness can be measured, but it does not always lead to the cash register ringing.

The extent to which a brand can have meaningful interaction with an audience at an event, the more memorable the experience will be and the potential to create favorable brand attitude is greater. It is the experience people have with your brand that they will remember long after an event is over, not your name or logo on signage.

Link: Brandweek.com - "Event Marketing's Importance Increasing"

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