It’s no secret that we love to party at ThreeSixtyEight. We also love hosting events that help improve the creative class of Louisiana. These events include Book and Brew, Louisiana’s exclusive screening of Invision’s Design Disruptors, and our own conference series Assembly Required. These events have not only proven great brand boosters for ThreeSixtyEight, but we’ve seen real connections among Louisiana’s creative class, including new businesses and business relationships forming.
We’re frequently asked how we’re able to create events despite such a busy work schedule, and in the spirit of helping our creative community, we decided to create this blog series to outline the process of how we create and execute successful events.
Before we start: understand your why.
Before anything else, we have to talk about why companies should consider events as part of their marketing strategy.
Events influence your brand in extraordinary ways, but you should always have an inner reflection of why this is happening. When you internalize the purpose, the outcome will always be better.
So let’s jump in!
Five Reasons Your Brand Should Have an Event Marketing Strategy:
1: Events are a great way to meet new and grow current audiences.
In one of our recent events, Assembly Required: Masters of the Story, Jon Youshaei, Head of Creator Marketing of YouTube, spoke to attendees about how things go viral. He listed four simple steps: content, consistency, collaboration, and community.
As a company, you provide the content and consistency in your work. But, through events, you reach those last two: collaboration and community.
Collaboration is where you gain new audiences. By working together with other creators and brands, you expand your reach and visibility. But even more important is maintaining your connections with your current audience. Events provide opportunities for you to strengthen your community outreach and interact with your current audience firsthand.
2: Hosting events exposes your team to new skills.
In agency work, we often find ourselves sticking to what we know. Designers design, the sales team sells, and we all know the process that works. However, branching out into event planning is a great way to get your team out of the same old routine and into a new perspective within their field.
Developing, executing, and promoting events provides a range of opportunities for growth within the office that can’t be found in day-to-day client work. Instead of representing someone else, your team is able to represent your brand in a productive, fulfilling way.
3: Events give you a platform to establish thought leadership in your field.
As a society, we depend on innovation to move us. The same is true for your brand. Today, very few fields of work utilize events to make their brand stand out. So we urge you to be the brand to make that stand.
To start, community events get your brand’s name and image into the public’s eye in a creative and productive manner. But further, your brand then gains a competitive advantage as you improve your skills creating events that foster the atmosphere of innovation.
4: Events are a great way to build community.
As we mentioned, community is crucial in our society.People love brands that can connect them to other people. Another speaker at Assembly Required: Masters of the Story, Bob Allen, Founder of IDEAS, described the world we’re living in as “World 4.0”. In World 4.0, consumers no longer accept subpar marketing. Instead, the average consumer listens to brands that tell relevant stories.
As a brand, the most relevant story you can tell is the one of your consumer’s own community. When you include the community in your work process, newfound trust and relationships build. And, when your brand can actively work together with your community, you can pave the road to success for everyone.
5: Events provide valuable feedback and data for testing new products or service lines.
Working in a creative industry, we constantly form new ideas about anything and everything. If your brand creates products, events are an excellent way to showcase prototypes to the general public, as a sort of focus group.
But events can act as focus groups for more than just tangible products. Event attendees make note of everything they see. This can include graphics you create, how successful your marketing was, even how your team interacts with one another. Having “fresh eyes” on your process will allow for valuable feedback that you can’t get inside the office.
These points above should easily sell you on why producing events can be a positive addition to your marketing plan. If you’re not sold on implementing an events strategy due to time constraints or budget, keep in mind that simple cocktail hours or networking breakfasts can work. You don’t have to produce a large-scale conference to reach your audience. Your fans just want a way to talk to you. Find what works to bring people you wish to serve together.
Now that we’ve discussed why a marketing strategy is beneficial to your brand, we’ll jump into how to create a persona to reach your target attendees and how to create an event that empowers your audience.
Make sure to subscribe to our blog and social media for updates on this series!