Event marketing is the experiential marketing of a brand, service, or product through memorable experiences or promotional events.  It typically involves direct interaction with a brand's representatives. It should not be confused with event management, which is a process of organizing, promoting and conducting events. Trade shows are an example of event marketing.
Event marketing is considered to be a part of experiential marketing and content marketing. Experiential marketing follows the process of corporate storytelling,[n 1] and aims to further engage the audience. Experiential follows a simple formula of combining a brand's message and interactive components. This mode of marketing places the target audience in a live environment that will encourage the desired outcome.
Event marketing mostly relies on emotions and the activity of the human brain. Event marketing uses emotions and is based on the fact that people remember what they are experiencing. Emotional stimulus significantly affects the image of the offered service or product. Psychologists proved that while stimulated by emotions, the brain remembers certain facts and pieces of information better. Experiencing something makes it more memorable. In this condition, it is more likely that the brand will stay in the receiver's mind and create a long-lasting image.
In a thesis for the International Business and Economics Programme at the Luleå University of Technology, Jessica Eriksson and Anna Hjälmsson wrote:
Event marketing is marketing through events, where marketing is seen as central and the event is considered the actual marketing tool. Event marketing is focusing on a target group and involves high contact intensity. It turns a message into an event that can be experienced by the audience. Several senses are engaged, which increases the chances to remember the experience and thereby also the message.
Event marketing can also function purely as a business-to-business (B2B) opportunity, whereby experiential emotions are not a factor in the event, but rather, the event serves as an opportunity to make business contacts and network with customers.
Event marketing worldwide
The term "event marketing" became an important part of study in German, American, British, and Canadian markets. Event marketing had been considered equal to the promotion of an event in order to increase the sales of the tickets and was forgotten as a form of marketing.
This conception changed with excessive studies in the late-20th and early-21st century. Philip Kotler's Marketing, which was published at the beginning of the century, is regarded as the first step to a clear definition of the term. It was later followed by a Danish publication Events as a strategic marketing tool written by Dorothe Gerritsen and Ronald van Olderen. Event marketing became recognized as a marketing tool, especially in Poland when it was introduced in the early 2000s. (Jaworowicz P., Jaworowicz M., Event marketing w Zintegrowanej Komunikacji Marketingowej, Warszawa 2016.) Polish academics mostly relied on Western studies and managed to build up the whole concept.
According to The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the event industry will grow by 44% from 2010 to 2020. A plurality of marketers (31%) believe event marketing to be the single-most effective marketing channel, with 27% voting on Content Marketing, and 25% on Email Marketing.
HubSpot has listed 11 experiential marketing campaigns from worldwide renowned brands like Facebook, Google, Zappos, and Guinness, who have hosted or created events as an innovative way of advertising a product. Each of them was successful and attracted thousands of new customers. Marketing Insider Group has also listed 5 event marketing examples that are still being talked about. Among them, The Kia Dream Chute is mentioned as one of the best ideas. All of those events are considered one of the best marketing campaigns in the world.
Moreover, 74% of consumers say that connecting with branded event marketing experiences is making them more likely to buy the products which are being promoted, according to research done by The Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic.
Event marketing strategy
An event marketing strategy is a tailor-made plan to promote a brand/product with events as an advertising tool. This includes an in-depth analysis of plans for the brand's presence at events. There are some steps you really need to focus on while creating an Event Marketing strategy.
1) Understand Your Audience - To plan a virtual event, you need a clear understanding of the general mindset of your audience. For this, you need to get answers about how technically savvy they are, what subject areas they are most interested in your industry, what platforms they actively use, what types of offers appeal to them the most. , Etc. Start a discussion forum with your audience as an answer to these questions or as an alternative. Your webinar marketing strategy should use this data to chart the audience journey.
2) Choose a software platform - Thanks to video streaming services it is an important part of webinar marketing and it is very easy to host virtual events for remote webinar audiences. Webinar software such as Cisco WebX, Zoom Meetings, Megameting, Google Hants, Facebook, and YouTube Live are some of the ways to connect with your audience. Each webinar platform has some different factors that serve a different purpose.
3) Choose Speaker of the function - You can hire an effective, knowledgeable, or even in-house staff member who has a command of the subject and can answer questions from the audience. The person must also have the ability to speak clearly, be comfortable with the camera, and be able to manage time effectively. You can also plan an event with two hosts who have a strong influence and can respond and manage the audience smartly.
Event promotion & Event Partnership Programs - Remember: Encourage it effectively and they will come to the event, especially when you give your attendees an online audience value and great motivation. Have at least one unique selling point that your program has to offer to your audience and make sure that you display it in your event marketing plan. This could be a guest speaker, your subject, skill-sharing opportunities, or anything like networking. Share event details across all relevant platforms such as social media sites, email, paid ads, etc., and invite them to join the event. As there are many ways to promote a virtual event you can go for event partnership programs, explore it, or contact a webinar marketing expert to guide you through better timing, content strategy, and other webinar promotion tips.
Find out technical issues - Before rushing to start the event, check that everything is going well. Check your internet connection, and tell your host to do the same. If you miss a thing, or it gets damaged, make a backup of your slide deck and every necessary document. Take a comprehensive test before the event, identify problems, and be prepared for solutions.
Engage your audience - Try to engage your audience in your next sales webinar. If you create opportunities for them to respond, they are definitely going to join your program. You can do this easily, e.g. You can encourage them to ask questions through comments or chat boxes. This allows them to participate in the conversation. You can also encourage your audience to live-tweet, participate in polls and quizzes so you can focus on the main event. You can hire anyone to handle this activity.
In order to measure the success of event marketing, the brand impact has to be verified. Based on an analysis made by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) in March 2006, engagement is "turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context". There was also a function created to show the impact on a brand: Engagement + Trust x Targeted Group = Brand Impact.
- As described in: Petrucci, Anthony (20 November 2017). "Storytelling Takes Corporate Communications To The Next Level". Forbes.
- Jaworowicz, Piotr; Jaworowicz, Magdalena (2016). Event marketing w Zintegrowanej Komunikacji Marketingowej (in Polish). Difin. p. 108. ISBN 978-83-8085-256-3.
- Targosz, Andrzej. "Event marketing - the misunderstanding". eventory.cc. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Smith, Kerry (25 April 2016). Experiential Marketing: Secrets, Strategies, and Success Stories from the World's Greatest Brands. John Wiley & Sons. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-119-14587-5.
- "Emotion And Memory". psychologistworld.com. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Jaworowicz, Piotr (2 April 2014). "Event marketing znany i nieznany". Marketing przy Kawie. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Eriksson, Jessica; Hjälmsson, Anna (24 January 2000). "Event marketing as a promotional tool" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 July 2018.
- Kotler, Philip; Keller, Kevin Lane (2012). Marketing. Poznań: Rebis.
- Ferrell, David (2013-08-04). "The Conference Industry is Booming, And It Is Only Getting Bigger". Skift. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Rafalson, Brandon (2 November 2017). "10 Jaw-Dropping Event Marketing Stats That Point to the Future of the Industry". helloendless.com. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
- Becker, Braden (13 September 2018). "11 Examples of Experiential Marketing Campaigns That Will Give You Serious Event Envy". HubSpot Blog. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- Brenner, Michael (6 September 2017). "5 Event Marketing Examples We're Still Talking About". Marketing Insider Group. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Gordon, Kim T. (1 June 2010). "Make Live Events Part of Your Marketing". Entrepreneur.
- "Experiential Marketing Content Benchmarking Report" (PDF). 2016.
- Creamer, Matthew (21 March 2006). "ARF Reveals Working Definition of Engagement". Advertising Age.
- Jaworowicz P., Jaworowicz M., Event marketing w Zintegrowanej Komunikacji Marketingowej, Warszawa 2016.
- Event Marketing jako nowa forma organizacji procesów komunikacyjnych, pod red. A. Grzegorczyka, Warszawa 2009.
- ERIKSSON Jessica, HJÄLMSSON Anna. Event marketing as a promotional tool: a case study of four companies. University essay from Luleå/Industriell ekonomi och samhällsvetenskap. 2000.
- Volker Hillme, Event-Marketing: Definition, Konzepte, Ausblick, GRIN Verlag GmbH, Norderstedt 2005.
- Catherwood D.W., R.L. Van Kirk, The Complete Guide To Event Management, Ernst&Young Publication, New York, 1992.
- C. A. Preston, Event Marketing: How To Successfully Promote Events, Festivals, Conventions, And Expositions (The Wiley Event Management Series), New Jersey 2012.
- Ph. Kotler, K. L. Keller, Marketing ISBN 9788375106169.
- Petr Šindler, Event marketing. Jak využít emoce v marketingové komunikakaci, Grada, 2003.
- Gerritsen, R. van Olderen, Events as a strategic marketing tool, CAB International, London 2014.
- D. Getz, Event studies. Theory, Research and Policy for Planned Events, Routledge, London – New York, 2012.
- HESKOVÁ, M., ŠTARCHOŇ, P.Marketingová komunikace a moderní trendy v marketingu. 1. vydání. Praha: Vysoká škola ekonomická v Praze, Nakladatelství Oeconomica, 2009. ISBN 978-80-245-1520-5.
- ERBER, S. Eventmarketing: Erlebnisstrategien für Marken. Landsbergam Lech: miFachverlag, RedlineGmbH, 2005. ISBN 3-636-03051-5.
- KARLÍČEK M., KRÁL P., Marketingová komunikace: Jak komunikovat na našem trhu. 1.vydání. Praha: Grada Publishing, a.s., 2011. ISBN 978-80-247-3541-2.
- K. Gordon, Make Live Events Part of Your Marketing. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- Eventbook24 (in German)