Whether you’re planning a virtual event to keep your employees connected or a safe and socially distanced in-person event to connect with your customers, hosting an event can be an effective way to bring people together and promote your business.
Before we get to the “whys” of hosting an event, though, let’s answer the first question that might be on your mind: Is planning an event right now a smart idea? We are, after all, still living the pandemic life, even as the vaccines roll out and we see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.
In a word, yes. An event can still be a smart, effective way to connect with your customers. A virtual event may work for your business, especially if who you are and what you do means that you’re very active in the online space. The majority (93%) of event marketers plan to invest in virtual events moving forward.
You can also host a hybrid event, like where you hold a scavenger hunt on your website or social media channels, then ask people to come in person (safely) to collect their prize. An astounding 97% of event marketers believe we will see more hybrid events in 2021.
Or you could host a series of small outdoor events where attendees are socially distanced and follow CDC protocols (mini hand sanitizers and branded face masks make for great swag). So many people are craving connection after almost a year of feeling disconnected or locked down; a COVID-safe event could indeed be effective for your business.
If you do decide to wait another six months or so before you pull something off, no worries—the benefits of hosting an event will remain the same.
Make new connections and strengthen established ones.
Events are a great way to interact with the customers you know and meet and greet those you don’t. According to a study performed by Gensler, customers are more likely to make purchases and work with companies that they feel a personal connection with.
Increase brand awareness.
Want your target audience to know who you are, what you offer and how your products or services can benefit them? Put your name, logo and website’s URL on promotional products and hand them out to your attendees. That’s going to help expand your reach and create more sales opportunities. You could even build an event-specific landing page where attendees can go to get a special promotion or offer.
Grow your revenue.
Simply put, the connections you make during your event will generate more revenue. How? Your event attendees will not only be making purchases, but they’ll also be sharing their experience with your brand on social media and in real life with family and friends, which will grow your customer base even more—which leads us to the next benefit.
Create buzz and capitalize on word of mouth.
Events can generate both word of mouth and media attention for your business. You could write a press release and send it out to your contacts well in advance, plus use social media to create some online buzz. If you want to ensure a great PR boost, consider donating any proceeds from your event to a local nonprofit.
Have fun and spread good vibes for your biz.
Everyone loves a brand that makes them feel good. Focus on the “fun” when you plan an event, and try to make attendees feel welcome, happy and included—they’ll be more likely to remember you, support your business and recommend you to others. Events can be fun for your employees too, boosting morale and retention, especially after the year we’ve all had.
Grab your free business event planning checklist.
Whenever you’re ready to get your next event penciled in and ready for prime time, we have something that will help: Download our free printable business events checklist + planner, designed to keep your to-do list in order and your brain from melting down over all the details.