In-Person Events Uniquely Address Key Marketing Objectives
While virtual and hybrid events are making their mark, the dichotomous world of meetings and events hasn’t lost perhaps its most defining trait—the uncanny ability to bring people together, face-to-face, around a common set of interests and objectives. Traditional face-to-face meetings and events continue to drive the largest audiences. In fact, they’ve become even more important in this connected-yet-disconnected age. Live events provide organizations with unique ways of reaching customers, business partners, and prospects.
The Irreplaceable Role of Face-to-Face Meetings
According to a recent MPI Meetings Deliver whitepaper, “Organizations are now beginning to recognize the irreplaceable role of face-to-face meetings in solidifying relationships, closing business deals, consulting stakeholders, and deciding major policies or strategies.” Research shows that 40% of prospects are converted to new customers through face-to-face meetings and 28% of current business would be lost without those meetings. (See our recent infographic on Face-to-Face Meetings to learn more.)
A study conducted by Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, and the marketing firm, Maritz, found that virtual, hybrid, and in-person events are all viable options so the challenge often lies in determining which format is best for a given objective. The study, The Future of Meetings: The Case for Face-to-Face, found in-person events are most likely the best option in these three situations:
- To capture attention, particularly around a new or different idea
- To inspire a positive emotional climate as a way to catalyze collaboration, innovation and performance; and
- To build human networks and relationships, realizing that information can increasingly be shared virtually, whereas the greater value is in people networks and relationships.
Events Need to Deliver More Value
A discussion of in-person events wouldn’t be complete without addressing the increasing demands of attendees. For example, when we say that in-person events are well-suited for building networks and relationships, those goals still require great effort and involvement on the part of event organizers to facilitate deeper and more meaningful relationships among attendees. In response, appointment matching technology has come to the forefront to inject more value into every event by bringing qualified attendees together and allowing all event stakeholders to form meaningful connections that increase event ROI.
Live events aren’t going away but they are also never going to be a simple case of, “if you build it, they will come.” Instead, event organizers must continually look for ways to increase and prove the business value of each event.