5 Types of Marketing Events for Small Businesses

Updated on 28 May 2024

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Hosting an event is a good marketing strategy. When targeting the right audience, you can engage them and ensure they understand your business. Whether it be a conference, auction, launch party or expo, your business can benefit from using events as another marketing tool.

Events are excellent marketing strategies because they increase brand awareness, promote networking and even enhance your content marketing. This is possible because attendees generate large amounts of content that they share on their social media. Within the company, an event also boosts company culture.

However, the event you will be hosting depends on what you want to achieve with the event. This article dives into the different types of marketing events that small businesses can consider hosting, and why you should it.

1. Conferences, Seminars and Webinars

All three of these events are ideal for information sharing. Your business can benefit from hosting a conference or seminar if the goal is to position it as a thought leader on a particular topic.

With this platform, your audience can be informed and educated about one or more topics. Depending on the format, you can either have one or multiple speakers who each address a particular topic. Typically, these events can be sponsored by a main sponsor as well as smaller sponsors.

Although conferences usually cater to larger groups and seminars to smaller groups, webinars break this mould because it is similar to seminars, but have a larger audience.

2. Marketing Events such as Tradeshows and Expos

Tradeshows and expositions (expos) are platforms for a number of companies to showcase their products, services and latest innovations. It is an opportunity for brands to create awareness and network with other individuals in the industry.

Tradeshows and expos are often seen as the same thing. Yet, they differ slightly. Expos cover a broader range of themes whereas tradeshows are focused on one industry or a section thereof.

Businesses can use it as a marketing tool by sponsoring the event, or they can use it as an additional stream of revenue by hosting the event, selling vendor stalls and marketing the event on behalf of these clients.

3. Auctions, Fundraisers and Charity Events

Hosting an auction and a charity event can have two opposing motivations: Are you aiming to raise funds for your business, or on behalf of a non-profit organisation?

There is nothing wrong with generating a profit for your organisation with these events, but should you choose to host an event intending to donate the proceeds to charity, you can position your business as one that cares about its community.

A charity event or fundraiser raises money by asking for donations from attendees. Small businesses can use an auction to generate capital or to donate to charity.

4. Award Shows or Appreciation Dinners as Marketing Events

An award show is a great way to shed light on the achievements of your customers. This might not work for every small business, but for medium-sized businesses, it can hold many benefits.

Celebrating the achievements of your clients showcases how your services, for instance, can be used. Furthermore, it also shows that you value the relationship with your customers as they are a key element to your business’s success.

Building client relationships can be done by awarding the biggest clients, celebrating the clients who have grown the most over the past year, boasting with clients who were a driving force behind new products or services, or even those who have been loyal to your business from day one.

5. Launch Parties

Whether it is an improved or product, or even a new service, a launch party is a must for any small business. A launch party helps generate interest in the new product or service, and thanks the hardworking team for the effort put into making the new product possible.

To the public and members of the media invited to the launch party, the product, how it works and how it will solve the customer’s problem can be demonstrated. Potential customers can engage with the product and the exclusivity of the event creates buzz around the product.

For employees showing how everything has culminated in the final product recognises the milestone reached and improves company culture.

Once you have an idea of what business event you would like to host, you can start planning it. Make marketing events a cornerstone of your marketing strategy and engage your target audience in a personal, interactive way.

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