Business events are typically the first thing to go when a company is looking to make a few cuts to the bottom line. Event marketers are continually having to make a case for the value of having corporate events.
But a new landmark study conducted by The Events Industry Council (EIC) and Oxford Economics validates that events play a significant role in the health of the global economy and the long-term success of a company.
According to the study, business events contributed $1.5 trillion to the global economy in 2017.
Corporate events also created 26 million jobs globally that year and supported $2.5 trillion in business sales.
And rightly so, corporate events are an excellent opportunity for any business.
Events allow for face to face interaction with current and prospective customers, a chance to increase brand awareness, showcase new product offerings, position your company as an industry thought leader, and share your long-term strategic plan with stakeholders.
Convincing stakeholders the value of having corporate events isn’t an easy task.
Having research to back up your case is excellent, but you’ll also need to break down the expected return on investment (ROI) to your particular business to win over the key decision makers.
Here are a few benefits to hosting corporate events:
Face to Face Interaction Will Never Replace Online Communication
We may be living in a fast-paced digital world where everyone’s lives revolve around communicating through the use of cell phones and other technologies, but new research from MIT shows that most business partners still believe face to face requests are 34 times more effective than those sent by email and that the physical handshake promotes cooperation and influences negotiation outcomes for the better.
In-person events still add a sense of intimacy that allows business executives to connect and have a one-on-one conversation.
In the age of digital marketing, corporate events are still the last opportunity to connect with your target audience face to face and convert a prospective customer into a new client.
Relationship building is what helps B2B brands thrive.
The B2B sales person needs that interpersonal connection to win new business and retain existing customers.
B2B buyers want to buy from people they know and trust and corporate events are an excellent opportunity to establish a rapport.
An Opportunity to Gather Real-time Data and Analytics About Your Target Audience
The ability to gather data in real-time is critical when trying to convince leaders at the top your business event is worth the investment.
Pre-conference data will allow you to identify information about attendees to make sure you’re making strategic decisions to personalize the experience to meet their needs before they arrive on-site.
Lead generation data gathered during the conference is instrumental when measuring the success of sales over time and the Return on Investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts.
You’ll be able to pinpoint where the prospect is in the buying cycle and at what point they converted into a customer.
You’ll also be able to gather instant survey results for reporting about the event from the mobile app, any social media interactions, feedback from vendors and the staff on-site to present to key stakeholders.
A Chance to Build Brand Equity
If you are a consumer brand its essential to build brand equity with your target audience in today’s digital world.
Consumers are interacting with hundreds of brands a day, so it’s crucial that you engage with then offline. Creating an experience for them through event activations is the easiest way to win over a skeptical customer who is curious about your brand but isn’t a brand loyalist.
An Opportunity to Share Thought Leadership Content with an Engaged Audience
They’ve already registered for your event, so they are halfway down the funnel and are interested in getting to know your brand.
Business events are an excellent opportunity to build your brand awareness and connect with an engaged audience. This gives prospective customers and vendors the chance to interact with your brand, meet members of your team, and hear about your expertise in an intimate setting.
Who doesn’t like free publicity?
Business events are also a great opportunity to get free media coverage for your brand. Having a celebrity guest speaker is chance to energizes the attendees and entice the media to attend.
It’s a win your brand because you’ve attracted attendees but also garnered free publicity for the event.
There are many benefits to event marketing.
This article touched on how event marketing can help build a sales pipeline, increase brand awareness, generate brand equity, and maintain long-lasting relationships so that your business can continue to grow and thrive.
Understanding the benefits of event marketing will make it easier to make a business case for hosting corporate events. Once you know the benefits you’ll able to map your goals and develop a strategic event marketing plan.