Event marketing & Engagement

Event sponsorship, or more broadly event marketing, is increasingly used and implemented in corporate strategies. For companies, events should be seen as marketing tools in their own right, requiring precise planning to achieve specific communication objectives. It is a mistake to consider them, as years ago, as a simple provision of funds to promote entertainment and the playful character of the event itself.

What is important above all is the coherence between the image of the event and that of the company/product/service, which is associated above all through the features of the event itself on the consumer’s perceptual map. An event can be successful because of the exclusivity of its content, the leisure associated with it, the luxury it exudes or the idea of family cohesion that it triggers. It can therefore be assumed that the more accentuated these features are in the event, the greater the competitive advantage derived from sponsorship.

The characteristic of uniqueness (and, therefore, of unrepeatability) of each project is particularly interesting, since it can be achieved by combining the brand with a particular type of event or a specific event, which other companies in the sector have never been interested in, thus creating the conditions for unique mental associations that differentiate the brand from its competitors.

Keep in mind that the essential service an event must offer is the visitor experience. The consumer is attracted by emotion, entertainment and aesthetic pleasure. In this way it is possible to establish what is known as event engagement, i.e. through the degree of attractiveness and the spontaneous involvement of participation, a ‘relationship’ is established with the participant. It is thus easier to interact with the public by ensuring a direct and immediate feedback: the greater the experience, the shorter the buying or consuming decision-making process.

When it comes to sponsoring events, the level of requirements and expectations of companies is always higher. This is not a hindrance, but an incentive to creativity and ideation. In order to build, you have to develop the ability to invent, let yourself be carried away by the context, try to capture emotions, which you then have to bring to life: you remove, add, move, with the aim of ensuring that everything is harmonious.

Designing the best customer experience is essential to ensure the most effective engagement possible., i.e. the overall experience of the relationship that customers live throughout the event with the sponsoring company: from the first contact, the invitation, to the conclusion of the event and follow-up actions. For a good customer experience it is necessary to take care in every detail of the correct effectiveness of each touchpoint of relationship with the user:

– physical touchpoints: parking, public transport, ticketing, services available at the venue/sports facility, stands, store, museum, food courts, hostess and steward service, etc;

– digital touchpoints: website, customer care activities on social networks, mobile apps,  on -site wi-fi coverage, etc.

The stronger the bond with the participant becomes in the context of the event, the more value is thus created in the relationship that brings that trust, that orientation and then the purchase/consumption.

‘Close, cooperative, and interdependent relationships are seen to be of greater value than purely transaction-based relationships’ (1995 Manohar U. Kalwani and Narakesari Narayandas).

So, in conclusion, just as a fisherman checks all the nodes in his net because if he unhooks one of them, a chain will unhook the others and a hole will form, a network of relationships needs continuous monitoring to hold, nurture, consolidate and acquire them.

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