Between social media, paid online adverts and SEO strategies, it can be easy to forget about the power of the people. But you shouldn’t underestimate what getting yourself (and your brand) in front of people can do. And a great way of doing that is with events. Which type do you go for? Well, that’s entirely down to you.
Exhibitions can massively differ in size but the great thing about them is that there are ones being hosted in every sector. The positives are that it’s a chance to get yourself in front of a large number of people, it’s usually quite a relaxed setting so you can have as much or as little time with consumers as is appropriate and you really get a chance at that interaction. The downside is that they can be so big that getting noticed among the masses can be tricky. And depending on what capacity you go in, they can be rather pricey.
The great thing is though, they work for so many different kinds of companies. If you’re an investor, a service provider or a B2B marketing company then you could attend as a delegate (so, no exhibition space), because all the businesses will be there right in front of you, available to explore at your own pace. Whereas if you’re a business with a new product, then investing in some event space will be a draw on getting your product seen.
Roundtable events are a much more intimate affair and can provide you with an opportunity to have some really valuable conversations. Again, they’re targeted by sector and are usually aimed at experts to engage in discussions and debates about current topics.
Not only do they afford you the chance to provide your own expertise on matters, but also to learn from others in your field. As well as this, roundtable events can be great for making important contacts and networking. However, they’re usually be invitation only and you usually have to be quite established to be considered an expert in your field, so they’re not the best opportunities for startups.
Usually centred around food or drink of some kind (a drinks reception, a breakfast buffet, a sit-down meal, a tea and coffee station), networking events are all about making connections. Forget your sales pitch for the day and instead, focus on learning from other people, on sizing up the competition and forming bonds with people that may be able to help you further down the line.
Networking events are extremely popular because they toe the line between business and pleasure, and allow professionals to engage in a much more relaxed environment. Not only should you consider networking events from an attendee point of view, but also from a hosting one. Hosting an event like this will increase your brand visibility, gain brownie points on your brand perception and allow you to get in with the most valuable of attendees without a formal introduction.
Conferences are pretty much a catch-all term for business events but they mostly involve speaker sessions from either industry experts or chosen businesses, with breaks in between for networking.
Because they combine the two different aspects of events (in its most basic sense; talking and listening), they’re useful for learning new things but also getting the word about your business out there. They’re especially good for startups because speakers can offer tips and expert advise, while the networking sessions allow you to engage with potential consumers, investors or supporters of your business.
They also provide the opportunity to be a speaker (to usually more established companies) which can be great for brand visibility and showcasing your knowledge and talent.
Events such as seminars, webinars and workshops may, at first glance, seem to be purely about knowledge transferal. But don’t underestimate the power of cleverly cloaked marketing.
Hosting an educational event will not only provide the opportunity to get your name and branding seen by attendees and potential consumers, but proving that you’re in expert in your field (rather than just claiming to be), is a sales tactic that you can’t argue with. Show people what you’re capable of and they’re bound to be back for more.