Why You Need Event Marketing as a Small Business

Event Marketing Industry

The event marketing industry is growing and it is growing rapidly. Organizing events providing a great experience is valuable for both your customers and your company. The US Bureau of Labor forecasts the event industry will increase with almost 45% in ten years time between 2010 – 2020.

One of the reasons in-person events are favorable is because people like people. Customers are people too. Interacting on a personal level with other human beings creates synergy and connections. Human interactions with a personal touch have a larger impact than other marketing activities. New business comes from sincere relationships and goodwill. Create authentic experiences.

Effectiveness Ratings B2B Tactics Event Marketing Small Business

Effectiveness Ratings B2B Tactics Event Marketing (Source: Event Marketing in Marketing Mix article).

What is an event?

We, at Small Business Events consider an event a real-life happening where people come together to share similar interests. An occurrence with at least ten people can be considered an event. In the event industry world there are broadly four main categories:

  • Educational events like meetings, seminars, fairs and conferences,
  • Promotional events  such as fashion shows, network events, tastings and product launches,
  • Commemorative events like civic events and memorials, and,
  • Celebration events as in weddings, birthdays, parades, reunions and anniversaries.

Most small businesses (also SME or SMB) will focus on any kind of Educational or Promotional event. Events with a commercial intention. There are several reasons to organize commercial incentivized events.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is the first level of marketing activities. If consumers are not aware of your brand, if they don’t know you they cannot buy from you. Sales are essential to survive so people need to know your brand. Awareness makes sure consumers have heard of your brand and knows where it stands for. If your business’ values are in line with consumer values and needs, it awakens interest in your brand. The brand becomes relevant. That interest needs to be converted into a burning desire to buy from you. Why do consumers need your product or service? When consumers are persuaded your product is the right choice they step into action and buy your product. An event goal can be to get your name out into the world. Creating exceptional experiences which inspires, engages and stimulates consumers to advocate for your brand.

Thought Leadership

Your business can create a competitive advantage by becoming an industry thought leader. An industry thought leader is considered a person or entity with severe knowledge and expertise of the industry. This status will serve as a platform where consumers and companies can turn to for questions, vision or talent about the business industry. Of course you can benefit from such a position within your market. It takes time to build up your reputation and status. Dream big and start small.

Customer Feedback

Another valuable asset of real life events is the possibility to talk to your audience and receive in-depth consumer insights. When you open up to them and start a conversation customers will open up to you as well. Engagement leads to company or product improvements. You may identify new issues with your products or services which explain why some customers left you. If you are able to fix those problems you are able to lower the churn rate. This is important since retaining customers is less expensive on average than acquiring new customers.

  • After visiting an event 87% of consumers shared they bought a services or product of the brand at a later date.
  • Close to 80% of marketers in the United States generate sales using event marketing.
  • More than 45% of the companies that holds an event generate a ROI between 300% to 500%.
  • 74% of event attendees share they perceive a more positive attitude about a brand and its product or service after experiencing an event. (Event marketing – Event Farm)

Cutting through the Clutter

Nowadays it is a big challenge to cut through the clutter and in particular for an SME with a smaller budget. To deliver a relevant message to customers without getting overwhelmed by other brands. On average people receive at least 3,000 brand impressions per day (Marketing Research Article). Of course this is too much to comprehend.

How to cut through the clutter? How to stand out? Planning an event can help you with just that. Instead of getting your customer’s attention via traditional media or social media you capture their attention at your life event. During a seminar, conference or network event your audience focuses more on your brand and is less distracted by other influences. As said before you are able to engage with attendees on a personal level.

Participate in events and experience brands that offer relevant value is becoming more and more important. Both in business to consumer as in business to business industries human connections are essential.

”make the customer the hero of your story” – Ann Handley

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If you are ready to Create, Organize and Market your own event check out our Small Business Event Course here.

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About the Author

Mike A.J.M. van Diesen MSc is an experienced marketer and designed this course to aid small businesses becoming more successful through Marketing & Events. He holds a Master’s degree in Marketing Management and has experience working at companies like AB InBev and Philips among others. Mike is the creator of this blueprint at Small Business Events and organized his first event back in 2011.

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