Event marketing is a promotional strategy linking a firm to an event, sponsorship of a sports competition, festival, etc. It is an attempt to coordinate communications around a self-created or sponsored event. The event is an activity that gathers the target group in time in a room, a meeting where a message is communicated and a happening is created. Thus, we can say that event marketing plays a major role in the promotional strategy of firms. With the ever rising promotional costs associated with the traditional channels of corporate communications, with customers’ attention being diverted by many channels and modes of communication, the rising importance of experiential marketing and the ability of events to have a better face-to-face interaction with the target group of customers are promoting many firms to increasingly depend on event marketing for better results.
Events like tradeshows, exhibitions, executive meets, road-shows, corporate-customer meets, dealer meets, etc., derive their main strength from their ability to interact directly with target groups. Apart from corporate events, philanthropic events like charity shows are also being used effectively by many firms. Corporates by making use of these events are marketing their products and services to their targeted groups quite effectively. The resulting scenario calls for better prudence on the part of practicing executives to fully exploit the potential of event marketing.
Event management, like direct marketing, is an important marketing tool, especially in the realm of Customer Relationship Marketing, to identify and to retain customers. Events could be conducted in-house or externally. In-house events are mostly to train, motivate and retain the employee clients. External events are those, which are managed by consultants or agencies, on behalf of their clients. In order to execute and deliver a good event, it calls for proper planning, budgeting and advertising. A well executed event will help in augmenting either the relationship with the client or the enhancement of the business.
There are several ways and options to identify a customer. But, one sure way of identifying, as also retaining, a customer is through events. Nowadays, the importance of event management has only accentuated, with many consultancies/agencies doing a fairly good business in the industry, across the globe. Events could range from Launch Parties to Conferences / Seminars to Exhibitions to Team Building Activities to Incentive Travel and Creative Practices, etc.
Events could be broadly classified into:
- Internal Events: Internal Events are those activities that are undertaken by an individual or an entity, as a point of motivation for business clients or employee clients, but entirely organized in-house. Product launches, salesmen meets/conferences, training programs/seminars for building capacity, motivation programs, internal sports meets, holiday events, annual general meetings of shareholders, etc., could be classified as Internal Events.
- External Events: External events are those activities, undertaken by an event management consultancy/agency on behalf of another corporate client, like organizing exhibitions, premier shows, fashion shows, vehicle financing road shows, etc. In today’s world, although events such as wedding parties and birthday parties are personal and important in-house events, they are sometimes considered as external events, when the services are outsourced, through an agency. External events management could again mean organizing a thematic exhibition and marketing exhibition space to the related business or like organizing a film/fashion/music show and source sponsorship or extend consultancy to organize an event as desired by a client.
Thus we can say that while external events management requires marketing skills coupled with execution skills, internal events management requires more of execution skills.