It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

If you are guilty of binge watching The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills on a Friday evening, you will know just how much these women love to host a party. With masquerade balls, fashion shows and Michelin star cookery lessons all in their repertoire they have turned event planning into an art form. You may not expect to find event marketing advice on a reality show centred on America’s social elite, but take a closer look and interesting lessons can be uncovered.

By Henrietta Painter

Event marketing is an effective tactic that provides brands with the perfect opportunity to promote their products and services by raising awareness through in-person engagement. Hosting an event can help businesses to enhance their client relationships, improve brand reputation and increase ROI.



Relationships

While social media campaigns and editorial features are examples of owned and earned media that successfully targets select audiences in specific ways, event marketing literally bridges the gap between a company and its audience.

Product launches, journalist press briefings and trade shows all provide perfect opportunities for brands to distribute targeted messages to key audiences. Interacting in person with journalists, current customers and potential leads allows companies to ensure new relationships are cemented and old relationships improved. Because all guests are confirmed prior to attendance, companies can effectively tailor their content to each individual to ensure these relationships are secured.

Top tip: Goody bags with creative gifts inside can be a great way to cement a relationship. Stay on the right side of corporate bribery legislation by making sure the contents of the bag are not overtly lavish and proportionate to the attendee and that you are present at the event. Read more about corporate bribery here.


Reputation

Just as Beverly Hills housewives and Bentleys are the perfect match, brand awareness and reputation go hand in hand. Events allow enterprises to create and maintain positive brand reputations by increasing brand awareness using techniques that only work face to face. From live product demonstrations to innovative training sessions, events offer a range of opportunities for improving company reputation and brand image.

Because reputation is based on a company’s values, products and communications, successfully demonstrating a business’s unique personality is the key to differentiating it from its competitors. Events allow brands to convey their unique personality using exciting and interactive tactics that leave a lasting impression on guests.

Top tip: When organising a press conference, allowing other industry speakers to present alongside you can build your reputation by association. Having a trade body speak at your press conference will attract journalists that would have otherwise not attended.

ROI

Most marketing tactics are used to increase sales, enhance profit margins and improve brand relations. An event can help companies to improve all of these key areas effectively.

Providing a perfect opportunity for lead generation, businesses can secure exclusive potential sales with select businesses and customers while simultaneously creating conversations for potential projects and opportunities.

While American white wine brunches may not initially seem that relevant to event marketing, important lessons can be learnt on how to creatively convey personality and key messages to improve relationships, reputation and ROI.

Top tip: To help avoid accusations of corporate bribery, do not play host for potential customers whose work you are currently tendering for. Instead, focus on potential and existing customers. Remember, there is nothing wrong with making a deal at an event - the key is that the event itself shouldn't have unduly influenced an existing decision making process.

Jessica Phillips

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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