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Integrated Marketing Association

Event Marketing

Event marketing strategies are made up of activities that give prospective customers the ability to interact with a brand offering in real time. Brands may sponsor their own activities or market a product at a tradeshow, community event, or online. Event marketing gives businesses a way to interact with consumers in real-time and/or in-person.

Common forms of event marketing include:

  • Setting up an interactive booth at a trade show, concert, sporting event, or festival.
  • Hosting events including contests, celebrations, and activities.
  • Hosting a value-added webinar or user conference.
  • Setting up a demonstration table inside a store.

Red Bull’s iconic cars with giant cans of energy drinks on the back make their way to several events every year, where brand representatives hand out free cans of Red Bull. Vitamix, a premier blender brand, regularly sets up a demonstration table in Costco where brand representatives offer tips and tricks while handing out freshly-made recipes.

To develop an event marketing strategy, a brand must remember its personality, audience, and goals. For some companies, a t-shirt cannon at a local ballgame will generate brand excitement. For others, a free glass of champagne at an art show may work better.

Event marketing can play a big role in developing demand for your product or service. Similar to the success marketers experience using industry analyst reports, event marketing can leave a similar brand impression at an industry event. Used to attract leads, increase product visibility, and earn conversions, events can contribute to the bottom line in many ways. In addition to measuring sales associated with an event, marketers measure success using attendance/engagement metrics, follow-up activities, and social listening (tracking buzz about the event on social media). Some teams add other marketing tactics, such as Snapchatting, to boost engagement levels and attract local consumers.

Event marketing effectively brings a brand to life in a way consumers don’t often see in a digitally driven world. Branded events range from small product offerings to fully funded conferences designed to generate demand. Creating a compelling marketing event means stepping outside of the boundaries of keychains and brochures to give consumers a memorable brand experience.

IMA has comprised a list of event marketing tools and software solutions for both in-person events as well as virtual events on Martec Showcase.

Shawn Elledge founder of IMA has produced and co-produced over 100 in person and virtual events if you need any additional support.

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