This Blog has been written by Kevin Jackson for eventmanagerblog (Event MB)
Do you believe that events are the future? More importantly do your clients understand? This post considers why events will always be integral to the success of businesses, brands, and retaining the loyalty of those who believe in them.
Those that know me would tell you I’m a people person.
Those that don’t know me would probably believe them.
It is easy, in business, to overlook the fact that we deal with real human beings.
Real people can get lost between numbers, projections, ROI and profit margins, when really they are the most important thing keeping all of us afloat.
The importance of retaining a human connection externally with customers and clients and internally with staff and stakeholders, cannot be overstated.
And successful connection is all about conversation, mutual understanding, and appreciation which all equals, you guessed it: Engagement.
So What Do We Mean By ‘Engagement’?
Engagement is about adding value, building trust, and driving commitment. In doing so, brands and business are able to move their audiences from passive indifference to active participation.
It’s about creating authentic and meaningful interactions between people and the products and services with whom they choose to spend their valuable time.
It’s no surprise to learn that the deepest connections between audiences and brands are formed through a process that takes people from watching and thinking, to feeling and doing.
Active participation at a personal level with a brand is key to establishing value and a lasting bond. So we need to get personal, get real, and start an authentic dialogue.
Social Net Worth Over Social Networks
Businesses can spend millions on advertising, social networking and social media strategies, but although the web allows us to directly connect with our customers and target audiences, this relationship isn’t always reciprocal.
We can connect to customers digitally online, but this does not mean the customer is connected with us, because the human element is still missing. Social media just makes us a glorified pen-pal. Engagement isn’t just about clicking on ads and responding to sales promotions.
Instead, we need to move away from social networking and focus on being social net worth kings – championing genuine, real connections and relationships with customers over just sticking something before them and asking them to care. Reclaiming the people from the numbers, figures and follower counts.
Because the human element that is missing from social media is experience.
Real-life interaction and participation is comparable to none – and is the greatest marketing tool you could ever want or need.
That’s precisely what makes events so important. Events create the emotional energy behind the sale, the human experience element. And no-one at all, including those in procurement, really choose a logical sales choice.
They make emotional ones – buying ideas. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and the only way to truly engage people with that why, is to offer them a direct, human experience of your brand in real life.
Events: Power to the People
Of course, there are still those who might think that the live experience is the soft option. But to do so is to miss the bigger picture. It’s only when we visit a live event that we start to understand what a brand feels like, and how it behaves.
Every touchpoint or element has been designed to represent the brand, allowing for rich, immersive and powerful engagement from start to finish. And it all begins with an understanding of the consumer’s world. Rather than telling audiences that we’re interested in the same things they are, we’re proving it – like I said, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Events build emotional energy which is the most important facet of human connection, which therefore creates engagement and ultimately generates sales and ensures growth.
In today’s world, social media is as intrinsic to our lives as eating, drinking, breathing. We have become more connected than ever, and someone on the other side of the world is as good as our next door neighbour.
But arguably, the value of that connection has decreased. Online, no real thought or effort has to go into communicating any more, and it’s the same with the way brands operate online. With an increase in the ease of communication, there’s a decrease in what it actually means – making the individual feel important.
Humans are emotional beings and so the key to growth is generating an ethos and culture that is emotionally-driven that it allows consumers to become invested in why we do what we do. And that’s something that cannot be imitated, achieved only from real face-to-face human interaction. And what better way to connect with people than a bit of a party, right? That’s why events will always be integral to the success of businesses, brands, and retaining the loyalty of those who believe in them.
About the Author: Kevin Jackson for eventmanagerblog (Event MB). Voted the most influential person in the UK event industry over the last 3 years, Kevin Jackson has been making his influence felt for over twenty years. He’s been a significant player with some of the world’s most respected marketing services groups, now Vice President of George P Johnson, and President of ISES UK.