2020 was the crisis year for many sectors with many businesses turning to online events to replace live shows. Now we’re firmly into 2021, what happens now? It is one thing to accept virtual events when they are the only option, and another to rank them competitively with in-person alternatives. Zoom fatigue anyone? What worked during the height of the pandemic last year will not necessarily fit the needs of a new year, a time when many are starting to look ahead and plan positively towards the future.
The vaccine rollout programme combined with extensive testing means that the return of live meetings and events is on the horizon. This is reflected by Skift’s State of the Event Industry report which revealed that the majority of respondents (57.5 percent) anticipated that in-person events would begin to return either in the second or third quarter of 2021.
Meeting face to face is a very human need and there’s likely to be much pent-up demand for events to take place again in the near future. We’d encourage businesses to plan ahead confidently and kickstart their events programme this year. Why exactly? Well, here’s a reminder of why events are – and will remain – a fundamental part of the marketing mix:
1. Launch a new product
If you’re launching a new product, platform or service, an event is the ultimate way to do it. You can control the content and flow of the presentation, and share details about the products benefits – all in front of an engaged audience. Invite media, influencers and other VIPs to make sure they also hear the news first.
2. Engage with core audience
An event represents dedicated time with your key target audience. This time is incredibly valuable – not just for pitching services or selling products – but to also connect with them, discuss industry issues and gather feedback. With this crucial face-to-face event time, you can ask your audience what their problems are and determine how you can support them.
3. Content is king
Events and conferences are content marketing machines, and your social media, video and blog channels will all benefit. An event provides a great opportunity to generate related content – blogs from the speakers, live videos of the educational content, social media posts throughout the day – these are just a few examples. Likewise, attendees will share photos and updates from the event with their networks.
We’re all aware of the importance of professional training and development, particularly in a world that’s evolving so quickly. Hosting an event will give attendees the chance to learn from experts and will also then establish your company as a thought-leader in your sector.
5. Brand loyalty
An event is a core extension of your brand and plays a critical role in how people perceive your company, what they think of you, how they feel about you and why they support you. When managed well, events can create long lasting connections between you and your core audience. Events will do wonders for your PR – they help to instil trust and reinforce your reputation in the marketplace , and that’s vital for staying one step ahead of competitors.
Want to know more about creating successful live events? We have vast experience in creating and managing powerful, effective live events for a range of companies. Our PR team has many years under their belt delivering PR campaigns for exhibition organisers, venues and destinations. Get in touch to find out more.