Thomas Heiser, co-founder of MEET South West, shares his thoughts on the value of events as a marketing tool. 

Events have often been considered as a “nice to have”, supplemental activity – budget dependent – to support more traditional marketing activities. But as companies battle it out to communicate in an increasingly noisy market-place, those that are embracing events are reaping the rewards.

Digital Gaggle event by Noisy Little Monnkey

Image - Digital Gaggle

And I’m not just talking about the experimental activations we see in town centres up and down the country. I’m talking about companies running meet-ups, workshops and conferences as platforms to showcase what they do, develop leads and strengthen brand loyalty.

Events are unique as a marketing tool. What other medium lets your customers see, hear, touch, smell and taste (if you’re clever!) what you do? With event marketing you don’t need to hope a great photo will capture what your business does. You don’t need to commission a film to communicate how you’re different. With events you can develop a powerful shared experience that your customers will want to engage with and (when done right) will leave them with a rich understanding of your offering and a deep connection to your brand.

For an example of how to do this well, look no further than Bristol-based digital marketing agency Noisy Little Monkey. In just three years the team has developed their monthly meet-ups into the biannual Digital Gaggle conference attracting a sell-out crowd of over 200. As well as providing an unparalleled platform to demonstrate their sector leadership and brand personality the Digital Gaggle audience is full of buyers and brand advocates. What’s more – and this is the best bit – the event is cost-neutral.

Speaker at MEET South West

Image - MEET South West

Of course, you can’t just invite people to an event and expect it to pay off. The value of events comes through the communication around them, how attendees are engaged on the day, the messages they leave with and the insights gained by the organiser. Post-event, savvy businesses are then amplifying their messaging (and further increasing event ROI) by using content developed through the event activity to keep the story going across their marketing channels. None of this should be left to chance.

To learn more about the role events can play in your marketing mix register for your free place at MEET South West 2020, the region’s only conference dedicated to the event industry. As well as a presentation from the Noisy Little Monkey team, the event will also feature a programme of talks on event sustainability, VR and AI in events, event sponsorship and much more. The show also features an exhibition of over 60 South West event suppliers, venues and agencies.

See you at Meet South West on 31 January 2020 at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel.

Read next: Top reasons to MEET in the South West

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