Events hold a great importance in integrated marketing communication. It creates a buzz about the product or brand, it creates a fan following even before the user has experienced the product or service, it creates a positioning for your product or service and most importantly it creates sales-ready leads. However events are difficult to manage, they need meticulous planning, they need a crystal clear message that company wants to convey through it. But still events have held their place in marketing communication.
The process of planning and coordinating the event is usually referred to as event planning and which can include budgeting, scheduling, site selection, acquiring necessary permits, coordinating transportation and parking, arranging for speakers or entertainers, arranging decor, event security, catering, coordinating with third party vendors, and emergency plans. Each event is different in its nature so process of planning & execution of each event differs on basis of type of event.
The events industry now includes events of all sizes from the Olympics down to business breakfast meetings. Many industries, charitable organizations, and interest groups hold events in order to market themselves, build business relationships, raise money, or celebrate achievement.
Each and every company that wants to create an effective marketing communication strategy takes help of events. Be it a product launch like iPhone, be it sports event launch like IPL, be it movies, software are launched through events prominent one being Windows Vista launch at Taj Mahal, even TV shows these days are conducting launch events. Kaun Banega Crorepati held an event before it started broadcasting daily episodes. Even corporate giants take help of events, this includes ‘Google I/O’ an event by Google, ‘F8’ by Facebook, not to mention the glamorous product launch events by Apple. Can you imagine an iPhone launch without the flagship launch event associated with it? In fact so many people tried to watch iPhone 6 launch event that the live streaming was repeatedly failing to cope up with the demand. Suffice to say Apple is not only known for their product quality, now they are known for the events they conduct as well. And people are waiting for their next event to take place. No other marketing communication technique generates so much of anticipation; people don’t anticipate your emails or your newsletters, but with events it’s something different altogether.
Events are part of event marketing strategy, which is in turn a part of the marketing communication strategy of a company. So what exactly is event marketing for B2B marketing communication? In simple words it can be explained as ‘the process of developing a themed exhibit, display, or presentation to promote a product, service, cause, or organization leveraging in-person engagement’. Events can occur online or offline, and can be participated in, hosted, or sponsored. With the advent of innovations in ICT sector, events are going online in the form of webinars; However live events with live audience have a different unique appeal.
Role of events Management in B2B Marketing communication
- Events create a great deal of fodder for social media. We use social media for promoting our products, our features, corporate policies or brand. But all these things are virtual, whereas events help in creating a real life content which can be used for social media. With the help of events an engagement can be created on social media. To give a simple example probably company can say ‘tweet about the event, ten lucky people will get a free pass to the event’ this drives more traffic to your social media sites and websites as well.
- Events create long lasting impression. No other marketing communication method can match events with this regards. If you have watched Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, then you must be remembering the well-orchestrated human count down. That’s how long the impression stays.
- Print media is considered one of the most reliable mode of marketing communication. And events give you an opportunity to use it very effectively. Whether its pre-event promotion or post-event promotion; events provide a lot of marketing opportunities with respect to print media.
- Events help in communicating your product, your brand at a single go to a vast number of audience. With the emergence of online streaming you are no more constrained by space availability of venue. You can literally reach millions of people. With this technology your event won’t be restricted to a small geography, in fact you can make it an international event. Consider a product launch event where targeted audience in excess of thousands is giving you sole attention. No other marketing communication grabs that much of attention. To state the example of iPhone 6 launch event again, it was streamed in Chinese language voiceover as well, making it a truly international event.
- Events give your brand a sense of reliability. People’s perception about a company that is willing to meet face to face is really good.
- With single event you can promote your brand, your products or services, your company culture etc.