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5 Event Marketing Ideas for Your Business

A quick Google search for how to market your business will lead down a seemingly bottomless rabbit hole of social media tips and how to increase SEO. Those are certainly valid tips, but we’re here today to re-introduce the magic of good ol’ face-to-face customer interaction via event marketing.

Event marketing comes in many flavors, you could get a booth at a trade show or sponsor a festival, however this article will focus on ways you can host your own events to engage your own customers.

Community is the key to event marketing. You must be part of your community and present events that make sense to them. Plan events that are a natural extension of your business and that you are interested in personally as a business owner. One of the many benefits your business will reap from hosting events is show the human side of your organization. Customers love seeing the face behind the brand and develop immensely stronger loyalty to a company once they feel like they “know” the people behind it.

Okay, so we know events are an awesome way to build awareness for your organization, engage existing customers, and attract new ones; the hard part comes in determining exactly what sort of events you should host. Fret not, here are five ideas to get you started:

Fundraising Events

Fundraising events really showcase the human side of your business. Choose a cause near and dear to your heart and incorporate it into your business. Whether a percentage of sales go to a charitable organization or you’re hosting a community mixer with raffle opportunities, you’ll find that communities love supporting good causes, and you’ll feel great supporting a good cause too.

Educational Events

It doesn’t matter if you run a shoe-shine business or a web development agency, you have valuable knowledge you can share with the community. If you’re able to host an educational event for free, it works amazingly as a lead generation tool and brings super-targeted customers right into your business.

Community Events

These are great for brick-and-mortar businesses and could be as simple as renting a bounce house and having a balloon artist out front. Or perhaps a simple photo booth or offering free coffee. Whichever avenue you choose, hosting a small-scale community event is a low-cost way to attract extra attention to your business, and bring in many customers who may have passed by dozens of times before.

Virtual Events

Of course, not every event needs to be in-person. With live video tools available on just about every social media platform, it’s easier than ever to host a community Q&A right on your Facebook Page. Outside of Q&A sessions, you could also do educational demos, or open a new shipment of products that just arrived. All of these serve the purpose of putting a face to your brand and bringing customers together under the umbrella of your business.

Networking Events

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The old adage you’ve heard ever since you landed your first job. But it’s true, people love a good business networking event. Even better if you pick a specific niche to target to that matches a subset of your customers, like “Mom Entrepreneurs” or “Remote Workers.” A simple cocktail hour either at your business location if available, or event at a wine bar or craft brewery will more than suffice. The added benefit of hosting business mixers is the potential of influencers attending and posting on social media about your event and your business.

Hosting events as a small business can be challenging to pull off, but if done right, they are more than worth the extra effort. You can guarantee your customers will remember your event far longer than they would an Facebook ad or email campaign.

One word of warning, don’t host an event expecting immediate ROI that day. Sure, you may make some sales at the event, but the goal is making a lasting impression so the next time your customer thinks of a bookstore or hiring a copywriter or getting their shoes shined, they’ll think of you.

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