As a startup business, it can be hard to gain exposure from potential customers and investors. Truth is, two of the biggest problems every startup encounters are sustaining cash flow and acquiring customers.
If your business wants to separate itself from the rest of the competition, you’ll need to think outside the box. While most startups focus on digital marketing, you can achieve similar or even better results by focusing on expanding your network.
What’s one of the most effective ways you can do that? Event marketing.
What is event marketing?
Event marketing is a strategy that involves building relationships with customers and acquiring potential leads. It can be in the form of product launches, exhibits, seminars, trade shows, or even virtual events. In fact, 52% of marketers have said that event marketing generates the biggest ROI.
“The face-to-face interactions that take place at events are incredibly powerful,” said Julie Hogan, global face-to-face marketing director at Facebook and Instagram.
For Abby Schwarz, regional marketing director for Yelp, hosting events has helped them triple their revenue in five years!
Quoted in the Harvard Business Review/Splash Event Marketing Evolution report, she said: “Events definitely work. I don’t imagine we would do anything but accelerate the number of events we’re hosting as the company continues to grow.”
While it sounds straightforward enough, hosting a successful event is easier said than done. It takes careful planning, organizing, and execution for it to be successful. However, the challenges posed by getting everything right are well worth the trade-off.
How hosting events can boost your startup
It builds brand awareness
One of the biggest reasons companies host events is to increase brand awareness. One report estimates that 64% of event marketers organize events for the sole reason of getting customers to notice their brand.
Simply put, the more events you host, the more your brand gets exposed to the right customers. And as a startup, exposure is critical. When you give the public a glimpse of what you have to offer, it increases trust and credibility. What’s more, hosting a successful event will get people to talk about you and your business in a positive light.
It helps you interact with customers
When you host an event, you get to meet your customers and form a genuine relationship with them. This will help you learn more about them and convert them into loyal customers. What do they like and dislike about your business? What problems do they have that your business can solve?
Most customers just want to feel heard and valued. And as you already know, customer retention is VITAL. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can skyrocket your business profits by 25% to 125%.
One study by global architecture, design, and planning firm Gensler found that customers buy from brands with whom they have a personal connection.
“Customers with a high level of emotional connection to their favorite brand were significantly more likely to make frequent purchases and own a lot of that brand’s products.”
It improves revenue
The goal of every business is to generate income. Hosting events can also be a way for you to market your business. Here are some of the ways you can make money from hosting an event:
- Charge your attendees a small fee for a premium or ‘VIP’ experience
- Showcase your products and services in different areas of the event venue
- Facilitate commerce between parties
- Sell ad space
It expands your network
Hosting events doesn’t only connect you to customers, but also allows you to meet future business partners. This can be a great opportunity for you to mingle with them, giving you more opportunities to grow your business.
It builds trust
Trust is the benefit commonly missed when hosting events. As a startup, hosting events will immediately build credibility with your customers and investors.
Truth is, it takes time to build trust and loyalty with your customers. However, once you create positive relationships, your business becomes sustainable. A report from customer experience platform Inmoment showed that 77% of customers maintain relationships with their preferred brands for more than ten years.
Hosting events demonstrates that you’re confident in what you offer and that you prioritize providing a positive experience to your customers. Furthermore, hosting multiple events will make people perceive you as an industry leader in your niche.
Any startup can turn into a legitimate business with the right strategies. Now that you’ve finally started your dream business, it is time to identify ways to make it sustainable.
Hosting events is an effective marketing tool that can generate high ROI. Once you’re able to set goals you want to achieve for your business, it’s time to start planning your events. It doesn’t have to always be in a lavish venue . What’s important is you get positive feedback from your customers and investors.
Derick Quinanola is a content specialist who regularly writes for leading Manhattan coworking space operator The Farm SoHo, which also provides meeting rooms and event venues in NYC . He continuously strives to find innovative ways to help businesses thrive in an increasingly digitized economy.
This is a Sponsored Post – the author has requested this post be shared on WE magazine for Women and WE were compensated for sharing.