media update’s Nakedi Phala takes you through four reasons why you should divert your marketing efforts to include live events.

While putting together a live event can come across as a bit costly versus a virtual event, they are far more engaging and can offer numerous other benefits.

Audiences are eager to go out, have fun and experience the outdoor life again. Why not be the reason your loyal consumers are able to spare a day to attend your event?

Waste no more time, get your pen and paper ... Or just type the following tips on your fancy gadget.

Here are four reasons why brands need to put together traditional live events:

1. Live events reconnect your audiences with the brand

Not everyone enjoys attending online events, and some people actually prefer live ones. The reasons for this are plenty, including wanting to engage the five senses when interacting with your products, but many people also simply don’t have smart gadgets that would have granted them the opportunity to be part of your webinars and online conferences.

That’s why, as a marketer, it’s time to reconnect with your audience. While online events are mostly based on one-on-one communication where audiences only get to listen and watch the speaker, and sometimes, not even have some of their comments answered, live events allow attendees that little bit of extra time before, during and after the event. This is time that can be used by marketers and attendees to have a chat about your offerings.

Events are a win-win for both the brand and consumers, as you need to capture the attention of your audience, who are keen to try something different or something they haven’t done in a while — attending live events.

2. Live events give greater exposure to your brand

Brand publicity has been a challenge of late, with a number of publications shutting down. This means that there’s been a reduction in agencies gaining any exposure to the media.

Publishers, journalists and media houses are hungry to attend and cover live events, which, for the past few months, have been completely missing from the repertoire of things to experience in the world of entertainment. Now, it’s time to have your brand reoccupy that space.

The benefits vary, and include:
  • attracting earned media coverage
  • improving word-of-mouth marketing
  • possibly trending on social media platforms, depending on your brand’s presence, and
  • enhanced brand recognition.
Live events are also not limited to the presence of the attendees; with these events, you get the best of both, by having people attend traditionally as well as online. And, by the power of the Internet and social media, attendees can share the activities from the occasion on their social media pages, which will foster more brand engagement for you (how great is that?).

3. Live events help create reassurance with audiences

Face-to-face marketing has the power to remind consumers why they should continue supporting your brand.

It’s at traditional events where consumers get to engage with brand ambassadors, the brand and itself and other loyal affiliates in person. Interacting with these entities remind your customers that your brand is indeed human and that there are real faces behind the logo.

Audiences attending these occasions aim to gain knowledge or simply enjoy what you would have promised to deliver on the day. By staying true to your word and giving your consumers an experience they could never have had online, you’re reminding them why they fell in love with your offerings in the first place, as well as showing them that you’re a brand that can be trusted.

Your brand could also bring samples or a new line of your products for your audiences to try out. This asserts to them that you still care, and that you are willing to go above and beyond for their loyalty. An assured consumer feels safe staying with your brand, especially knowing that you’re always trying to improve on your services or products.

And for those products you’ve been holding back on? Now is the time to create brand expos, workshops and samples that will offer audiences the real-life experience of your offerings. It’s also a great time to work on those live campaigns that will play a role in persuading consumers that were starting to forget about your brand.

4. Live events are more engaging than virtual ones

There’s only so much an audience can do at an online event. And, power outages are unplanned sabotage (load shedding is a real concern).

Live events are engaging because there’s food — essentially the best part of any event. Events also facilitate personal, small group discussions. And, most importantly, they offer a two-way communication platform where audiences can engage with the speakers, ask questions, applaud and cheer, which reciprocates positive energies between speaker and audience.

Live events, essentially, offer a platform for networking, which can be an opportunity to strengthen business connections, exchange insights and, overall, hear what audiences would like from the brand going forward.

Do you think that live events should make a big comeback? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.

U lava mahungu aku hisa? Tsalela hina...

The marketing landscape in South Africa requires brands to be diverse, eager to learn and adjust with ease. Find out more about how to build A marketing strategy to capture the South African audience here.