With predictions of soaring inflation rates and a possible recession, some organisations might be thinking that now is simply the time to batten down the hatches, sit tight and weather the storm.

But can you afford not to run an event this year?

In this article we’ll be looking at some of the most important reasons to invest in events, both this year and beyond, so you’ll not only survive the coming season, but thrive. 

Audience engagement

Let’s start with something that we know: in-person marketing works.

Experience-seeking millennials are spending increasing amounts of time and money on experiences and it’s reported that over 90% of people are more likely to buy a particular product or service after having participated in a brand activation or experience. When you combine that with the fact that 91% of people feel that digital advertising can be intrusive, events position themselves as the perfect antidote—offering a personalised approach that doesn’t intrude on, but explores people’s interests.

But that’s not all. Here are 7 additional reasons, that are perhaps not as familiar, as to why we should be investing in events—especially at the moment.

Engage Conference registration desk attendee gift bag

#1: events give people a chance to try before they buy

Research suggests that over 80% of people have their purchase decisions significantly influenced by demonstrations and free samples. So, the more immersive and hands-on your brand experience is for the audience, the more likely it is that those experiences will convert into sales.

Workhuman main stage

#2: events humanise your brand experience

Events allow people to get up close and personal with the brands that they are interested in, and so enabling people to experience products or services at an event makes the experience a more personal and authentic one for customers. It also helps to humanise your brand, providing attendees with the opportunity to interact with your team, ask questions and learn more about your product offering in a memorable way. And when over 90% of customers value this type of experience, it’s definitely something to prioritise. 

Veecon special guest speaker

#3: events boost referrals and customer buy-in

People talk about their favourite products with friends and family every day. We do it, you do it, and when word-of-mouth recommendations drive, on average, $6 trillion in annual global spending and are responsible for 13% of all sales—your business should be encouraging it.

Putting on an event that provides an experience to remember, is a great way to do this. Positive experiences help attendees to move up the loyalty ladder and when you consider that word-of-mouth recommendations are even more effective than paid ads, resulting in five times more sales, the ROI is already there.

But when it comes to events, attendees are not just your best advocates, they are a marketing powerhouse. User-generated content is a natural occurrence at events, as people want to share that experience with others—and so nearly all attendees make digital or social content when at the event. Therefore, hosting an event with exciting elements that attendees can share with their own network is a win-win. Attendees have an experience they want to create content on, and the coverage of your event grows—with user-generated content often having a more powerful reach than what brands receive on their own channels.

Linkedin Ice Cave

#4: events help your business to stand out from the crowd

In today’s digital world, it can be hard to stand out and communicate how and why your product or service is worth the investment. However, an event is the perfect way to set yourself apart, showcase your identity and prowess, and gain the traction you’re looking for… If you have defined your purpose.

With macroeconomic uncertainty being very prevalent right now, having a clearly defined purpose for your event, is more important than ever before.  This can be achieved with workshops designed to align teams and strategic visions and can be the difference between just hosting an event, and hosting an event that delivers on your KPIs AND exceeds your attendee’s expectations.

It’s a particularly strategic move in the current climate, as many businesses are cutting back right now and so doubling down on events is a great way to set yourself apart from competitors whilst driving brand awareness, equity and, crucially, growth.

Linkedin Ice Cave attendee networking area

#5: events help to reward your customer’s loyalty

The Pareto Principle is a simple, yet well-known and important principle. Stating that 80% of results come from 20% of actions. It’s used in numerous situations and is often used in business to represent how most sales will come from a small number of customers. Whilst increasing your customer base and gaining market share is an important goal in business, it shouldn’t overtake the treatment of your existing customers.

Your customers are your lifeblood and an event can be a great way to thank them and connect with them in new ways, rewarding them for their brand loyalty. Events can also help with increasing and maintaining that customer loyalty: with one report suggesting that 40% of people who participate in a brand activation or experience feel more loyal to the brand as a result!

Drift hypergrowth audience

#6: events build new pipeline, whilst boosting brand awareness

As much as you love your current customers, we understand that of course there is a constant search for new customers—it’s how a business grows after all! Running an event helps you to achieve this, enabling you to show yourself as you want to be shown, to be seen as you want to be seen, and to capture the attention of new customers and boost your brand awareness in the process. Making events are the perfect forum for harnessing the power of your customer base—whether new, existing or prospective.

EMC3 creative events

#7: events increase those sweet, sweet sales

The bottom line is that the financial gains of running an event are undeniable. Most estimates suggest an ROI of 4:1 (The Drum) when attendees have had a good brand experience: so it seems evident that when you invest in your event, your business grows. 

Events really can be the catalyst you’re looking for for your business, extending your reach and amplifying your brand—and they don’t have to decimate your budget. There are so many ways to maximise the impact of even a small budget. For example: bringing partners and sponsors onboard; hosting events in destinations that give money back to planners; partnering with an agency that really understands your budget and is creative and skilled enough to work within your parameters; going virtual. The list goes on!

So, as we navigate the current season and anticipate the challenges that lie ahead, stay the course, run an event, and watch your business thrive. And if you need a little help in doing so—you know where we are!