Sarah Halfpenny Events

Successful event = Business growth?


by Sarah Halfpenny

Absolutely, and here are a few reasons why.

In my opinion an event should be, at the very least, considered as part of any communications, marketing and PR plan. It’s a tactic, and a good one at that!

A well-constructed and delivered event can stimulate real business growth and development. You see, an event presents an amazing opportunity for a business to curate and deliver its own messages in a managed environment. From the venue, event format, audience to the key messages presented. Every aspect can be planned, prepared and to some extent stage managed to ensure a successful outcome. Yes, events take time to plan, some budget and manpower, but produced and managed well, the results can make a real impact to a business in many ways.

In this blog I wanted to highlight just some of the key benefits holding your own event can bring.

1) Communicate key messages and position your brand
Product launch, breakfast briefing, networking session, talk or seminar, an event offers an opportunity to inform a select audience of your current projects, products, services and can reinforce your mission, vision and values. It can also help position your brand and business, whether that’s as a market leader, innovator, collaborator or experts in your filed. The messages you express, the visuals you show and how you interact with your audience will all contribute to enhancing your proposition.

2) Talk to a select audience
As a business, it’s so important to connect face to face with your community and what better opportunity is there than gathering an audience which will impact and influence your business growth and development. Whether that’s with existing or potential clients, customers, suppliers, influencers or industry experts, press, bloggers and commentators, you can select and invite an audience that matters to you.

3) Capture quotes, commentary and above all endorsements!
Attain instant reactions to your product, service, topic or content. Network with your audience at various touch points during your event to gain and record responses. There is no better way to sell a product or validate your business than positive quotes and commentary from peers, thought leaders, your customers, your community. And the best thing, it’s free!

4) Use the event as a photoshoot
Utilise the event environment and delegates in attendance to take pictures which will connect with your wider audience and which promotes your brand in a positive way. Ensue there is a mix of formal and informal pictures which can then be utilised across a number of communication and PR channels.

5) Create post event content to reinforce the messages.
Creating content needn’t be a robust piece of work. Content can be anything from a photo, video, short or long form piece of written commentary such as an interview, article, report or newsletter. The main thing is that the content is telling a story, validating your message, reinforcing your brand and is pushed to a larger audience post event. Scheduled carefully, your event content can complement other marketing efforts for weeks or months to come.

6) Be the collaborator and introducer
An event by definition brings people together who have a common interest. Networking, even in a coffee break can be a rewarding exercise for the host and provides an opportunity to seek partnerships and collaborations. I would urge any business hosting an event though that there is also a role to play to actively help others to find connections and make introductions too. If you can create this valuable experience to help others foster new business connections, this will mean they will leave feeling a part of your community which is something you can leverage in the future.

7) Make money
Events are more often than not seen as an expense and yes, whilst it’s unlikely that you could host an event for free there is certainly opportunities to cover costs or make some money. Ticket price and sponsorship are the obvious routes here. Whether you are aiming for a cost neutral experience or commercial venture there is opportunity to make the experience as cost effective as possible.

So, there you have it, just a few of the benefits an event can bring to your business. Yes, events, large or small, do require some thought, time, planning and organising, but done successfully it’s only going to enhance your business, your reputation and generate a pipeline of potential new business connections and opportunities.

If you are considering running an event and would benefit from a little advice, guidance and support, visit www.sarahhalfpennyevents.com and get in touch.