An event strategic approach

Did you know that 70% of all companies don’t have an event strategic approach?

Business events go beyond fun and friendly gatherings with your customers and other relations. You want an event that deliver results, right? The contribution of an event to the business is often unclear or invisible. As a result, events are mainly seen as a cost item.

To solve this you need a clear defined event strategic approach. Events are the only personal and interactive touchpoint with your customers and prospects. No matter if it is an onsite event, digital or hybrid. A well-organized event delivers a shared meaningful experience and emotion with your audience. Secondly it adds value to your brand and company. With live communication, you can directly influence your participants and change existing perceptions, while activating your brand. It is the most impactful instrument for direct communication with your audiences.

However there are important steps, before a marketing department can decide to organize or participate in a business event. Steps that you as marketeer often take for granted. That you don’t think about or simply don’t come up for discussion.

Include events in your marketingplan

In general, companies develop an Annual Operating Plan (AOP) that is linked to the business strategy and its market segments. This plan includes growth targets, budgets, investments, product development, sales and marketing strategy and go-to-market segments and channels.           

As a marketing department, you develop your annual marketing plan, that supports the AOP. You make choices like go-to-market programs, campaigns and the crossmedia mix to achieve the plan. This is a difficult process. Because you have to prioritize what marketing budget you spend and where to spend it, to get the best results. Besides you have to deal with the requests from business units and sales teams who wants to do everything. And of course everything is equally important. 

Investing in events without goals and metrics
is a waste of money

And this is where the first step begins to think about events as an impactful communication channel. Does a certain type of event contribute to the marketing strategy and objectives in your marketing plan? Can it be an important touchpoint in the customer journey? And where in the sales funnel does the event has the biggest impact. If you start looking at events in this way, you will automatically make strategic choices whether an event adds value. Just like you already do for social media, advertising, public relations, web and email marketing. Even if you only organize one event per year it is worthwhile taking this event strategic approach.

A event strategic approach is born

This is how you develop an event strategy. You make well-considered choices about the use of events, the event format, and you can build an annual event program. As a result an event strategy prevents you from organizing an event ad-hoc, because there is a compelling request. 

What I currently see around me is that companies are shifting their marketing mix to digital channels for demand and lead generation. Furthermore it is difficult to prove the event ROI. For that reason other communication channels seem more effective for direct growth.

The power of events

But the great power of live communication remains. This is also backed up by Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2021 where events are still 8.4% of the total marketing budget spend. An event is the only and most valuable communication channel for every company to get direct contact with customers, prospects and other stakeholders. It is essential for the future of any company that invests in long-term and lasting relationships.

Do you find this interesting? Feel free to contact us.