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Event marketing – the misunderstanding

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Event marketing is often wrongly explained as all the actions promoting the event. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the term itself indicates, these are all the actions somehow connected to events. Actions done in order to promote the brand and grow a company’s marketing.

What on Earth is that?

Let’s start with the basics. I mean the first thing most of us do when hear some new word: they check it on Google or other search tool. So we did. After typing ,,Event marketing” in official Cambridge Dictionary we get two definitions:

1) the job of advertising products by selling or providing them at events in order to gain new customers.

2) the job of advertising different events so that people will go to them.

But yeah…none of them is entirely accurate. So I guess we’ve got to fix that, especially that event marketing is becoming more and more popular these days. Even if people have no idea that their actions should be called liked that. Surprising, right?

The easiest thing to do is to start from the beginning. This phrase first appeared in West Europe and USA. Actually, it’s the Germans who understand this whole concept the best. They were studying it since the 80s. Even so, the term became popular after Philip Kotlera’s book, entitled simply ,,Marketing”, came out. American professor described event marketing a tool in the process of communication between the seller and the customer.

And that’s it. Or at least, this is how should it be understood. For years and years the whole marketing community wrongly believed that the term meant promoting an event in order to sell more tickets. But event marketing has so much more potential! Possibilities are endless. We would like to help to publicize a different understanding, a different definition.
Event marketing means promoting/advertising your brand or product by using events. Sounds crazy? Not so much, right? Actually, if you think it through you’ll notice that people have been doing that since the Ancient times.

The ones to finally notice all this misunderstanding were the Polish. In 2000 Orlen’s Head of the Event Design and Social Media Department – Piotr Jaworowicz – released a book “Event marketing w zintegrowanej komunikacji marketingowej” (“Event marketing in integrated marketing communication“). This was the very first step. Slowly, the world started to realize its mistakes. After all, why would companies invest a quarter of their marketing budget on events if they didn’t work out.

Did you know that Event Marketing was used already in the Ancient Rome?

Well, at least sort of. Think about it. Every single time someone used an event to promote something – that was it. It’s not only enormous 21st century corporations. It’s kings, queens, organizations, all sorts of people who benefit from gaining attention. What did you think Gladiator fights were for in the Ancient Rome? Or thousands of soldiers parades during World War II? Even nowadays – why would British monarchy organize huge weddings and let TV stream it? It’s all about reaching as big audience as possible and ensuring that they remember about you.

It’s easier to realize all that after you wrap your mind around how many different types of events exist. There are educational ones: conferences, seminars etc., as well as strictly business-related ones like team building events, trade shows, business dinners and so on. Even the events created in order to entertain can still promote a brand: just think of music festivals, award ceremonies and any other things alike. One of more famous event marketing campaigns was conducted by TNT and it was called “Your daily dose of drama“. After seeing it nobody could forget about this brand, believe me.

What to expect while you’re planning an event?

While doing something for the first time you always meet completely new challenges and difficulties. Suddenly it’s a whole new world.

If you decide that you’d like to include event marketing in your company’s strategy for the next year – first of all – good for you! You’re keeping up with the latest trends, and you’re not letting your competition to be first in this case. However, there are many things you need to be careful about. The most important is: we still confuse the real meaning of the term. If you sit down and try to plan an event strategy, remember – you’re planning an event in order to promote something. Do not forget about the latter part. It’s easy to get all worked up and simply focus on the event itself and not what’s really important.

Basically, event marketing within the proper understanding is still quite a new thing for many. That’s why we plan to continue this series of articles and explain to you why you need events and what you should remember about when planning an event marketing strategy. Even so, there is one more thing we need to talk about right now. How do you know that your event was successful? That you generated a lot of new leads? You need to measure it somehow. Otherwise you’ll be investing loads of money with no knowledge of how they are being used. Unfortunately, many forget about this. So remember: always collect data after the event! Our platform may become quite useful when it comes to that.

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