There’s something about in-person events that trumps all other forms of marketing. It’s a commitment so much larger than reading a blog post or listening to a podcast – it’s a customer’s way of saying that they trust your brand and they want more than just a single sales transaction.
Just like your blogs, podcasts and videos can engage, inspire and educate your customers, so can your events. For businesses who don’t have a physical point of contact with their customers, these events, like many other forms of content marketing, are an opportunity to build and maintain a relationship with their customers. Lots of brands are doing this in the way of inspiring speaking events, conferences, research presentations and more.
Here’s just a few of the fantastic customer events happening around Brisbane.
Brisbane-based sustainability and lifestyle magazine Peppermint has a loyal customer base of avid readers and subscribers. For a local publication, it’s doing insanely well at competing on a national level, and has absolutely nailed a niche target audience.
For its PepTalks event, Peppermint curates three speakers from the social enterprise, sustainability or slow living space, to each present on a related topic. The events are held in beautifully decorated spaces with food and drinks catered.
It’s a few hours of absolute inspiration for the men and women in the room, connecting and conversing with the speakers and audience members about the topics they know and love.
Peppermint launched this event in 2016 and have since expanded to Byron Bay, Sydney and Melbourne, so they must be doing something right.
Key takeaway: Peppermint Magazine uses this event to bring its product to life. How can you create something that engages your customers in an area they’re passionate about?
Vision6’s Email Marketing Summit Australia
Vision6 is an email marketing service provider. Its software is designed for marketing and agency professionals wanting to send professional looking emails to large databases.
Its annual event, Email Marketing Summit Australia (EMSA), is a national industry event, attracting marketers from all over the country. For the event each year Vision6 brings out email marketing experts from around the globe to present on particular topics and trends in email marketing.
Lisa Renneisen has been a key part of the organising team for EMSA since its first year in 2007. She says that EMSA was always intended to be an industry event (not just for Vision6’s customers) that provides genuine thought leadership on email marketing.
“While there are a number of other events in the market that touch on email, there is no other event in Australia that purely focuses on email,” Lisa says.
EMSA was also an opportunity for Vision6 to meet its customers face-to-face.
“Being an online solution means the Vision6 team do not get many opportunities to meet customers face to face, and EMSA provides this opportunity,” Lisa says.
The event has grown and changed with the industry over the past 10 years, having first attracted early adopters and general marketers, it’s now the industry event for email marketing specialists, a title that did not exist at the creation of EMSA.
“Companies now have dedicated email marketers to ensure this channel is getting all the attention and focus it deserves, and so it feels like EMSA has swung back to being quite a targeted event with some truly outstanding content to satisfy these experts,” Lisa says.
EMSA has sold out the last two years in a row, further highlighting the quality of the event and the high level of engagement with its audience.
Key takeaway: Position yourself as the authority in your industry by taking the lead with educational events. How can you help your customers to be even better at their jobs?
Stellar Recruitment Meetups
Stellar Recruitment creates custom digital solutions and manages digital recruitment. Its clients are a mix of startups and SMEs through to large corporates.
To engage the startup audience, Stellar Recruitment runs monthly Meetup events, which cover topics from how to start a tech company to how to get your startup ready for investment. It’s found an opportunity in the market to engage the startup audience by providing them with useful, relevant information about the startup process, specifically related to technology.
Some of the meetups have up to 75 attendees, so it’s clearly resonating with the audience.
Key takeaway: Identify a problem that your audience has. How can you add value to your audience (even if it is not directly related to your products and services)?
Business Depot’s Depot Next events
Business Depot is a diversified accounting firm that offers business strategy, accounting, legal and marketing services for small businesses.
In an effort to add value for their clients, who are a mixture of small business owners and startup founders, they started Depot Next – a series of events that feature epic warts-and-all business growth stories by local owners and founders. The event is hosted by Business Depot’s own GM John Knight – a local success story himself, before three different business owners/founders get up and share their stories.
For the clients, it’s a relaxed setting with a bit of networking and inspirational #valuebombs or key takeaways throughout the night.
For Business Depot staff, they are able get face-to-face with their customers and get introduced to potential clients. They also get the sweet, sweet data from the customer registrations. It’s a great example of the loyalty/moment of inspiration point of the customer journey, which you can learn more about here.
Key takeaway: How can you reinvigorate your customer’s love for what they do? If you can inspire their business to do better, you will likely increase your own sales as a result.
All of these events, some free, some paid, are adding value to customers outside of the usual scope of service or core products that the brands provide. While the brands may break even or even profit from these events, the real payout comes from the lifetime value of a customer who is now deeply engaged with the brand.