For the first time the Academy of Marketing will include an ‘Events and Experiential Marketing’ track within the July 2009 conference to be held in Leeds. Dr Emma Wood will chair the track and is also Chair of the Event Marketing special interest group within the Academy.
Event marketing encompasses a wide range of event types from exhibitions and trade shows to publicity stunts, themed and created events and corporate entertainment. In fact there are very few events which could not be used for a marketing purpose as all communicate something to a target audience. Events can be used to perform a number of marketing functions (for example communications, relationship and loyalty building, database compilation, targeting, brand enhancement and personal selling). Event marketing is not, therefore, merely another form of promotion but a new way of marketing which fits well with society’s demands in this new millennium. It has the ability to deal with small groups or individuals, to be customised, to create interactivity, involvement and interest and to cut though the clutter of competing brands. Events can be and often are related to worthy causes and social responsibility and take an audience through from initial attention and interest to purchase, use and post experience evaluation, reward and loyalty. Event marketing is experience marketing in its practical form.
As marketing events range from product launches to trade shows, from mega-event sponsorship to charity fundraisers the marketing implications are wide ranging and varied. Examples of the areas to be included within the track are given below, although this list is far from exhaustive.
- The effectiveness of events as communication tools
- Experiential marketing through events
- Relationship marketing and business to business events
- Cause related events and social marketing
- Brand building through themed events
- Leveraging the benefits of event sponsorship
- Corporate entertainment and key account management
- Public relations, publicity events and press conferences
Dr Emma H Wood
Reader in Festivals and Events Marketing
UK Centre for Events Management
Leeds Metropolitan University