Event marketing – what is it, examples, types, tools

Event or event marketing is a set of marketing activities aimed at promoting a product or company in relation to a specific event. Most often these are world-famous events or events created specifically for the company: for example, thematic flash mobs.

The main idea of ​​event marketing was voiced thousands of years ago: Roman rulers said that the people needed “bread and circuses.” It turned into an independent industry about 30 years ago, and the competition from Procter & Gamble, a soap manufacturer, is considered to be the very first modern event marketing event.

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Event marketing is used when the target audience the upcoming famous event and the target audience of the product intersect. It makes no sense to advertise agricultural equipment as part of the Olympic campaign, but you can perfectly sell sportswear.

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Types of event marketing

Corporate events. This is corporate event marketing. Its main task is to increase labor efficiency and improve the image in the labor market. Such events include corporate anniversaries, including company anniversaries, games, picnics, and various festive parties. It is appropriate to invite both partners and regular customers to such events. The theme of corporate events can be different, but most often they are timed to coincide with some kind of anniversary, holiday or other significant date.

Trade events… These are events and activities for dealers, partners and customers. These include various summits, conferences, rallies, seminars, presentations, various receptions and other themed events. Usually they are tied to the product or type of activity of the company – for example, a pharmaceutical company conducts a seminar for medical professionals, and a car factory conducts a conference on the automotive industry. Such events significantly increase the company’s image in the eyes of the end consumer, because they show expertise.

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Special events… This type of event marketing includes all third-party events – advertising tours, festivals, concerts and other entertainment events. And not necessarily organized by the company itself. This type of event marketing increases the reach of the target audience, has a positive effect on consumer loyalty and allows, in combination, to increase the number of sales. Particular attention can be paid to sponsorship – the company sponsors a well-known event and advertises with a mention of it. Or simply sponsoring a world famous event like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games.

Event marketing features

Event marketing has several specific features that deserve special attention. The main feature is that the audience of the company and the event must match. It will be impossible to sell a refrigerator at an event related to household appliances, and professional dog handlers are unlikely to be interested in neural networks. More precisely, some of them may be interested in the product, but as a result the conversion will be low – lower than if the company held an event among webmasters, editors, marketers.

The second feature of event marketing is that the event itself must promote the product. Sometimes mentioning sponsorship alone isn’t enough. Events that are associated with the company itself or its product work much better. Therefore, it is better to use the brand name in the title of the event and also provide visitors with the opportunity to test the product. For example, at the festival “Klinskoe. Promotion ”visitors could not only test themselves on the Sky dive attraction, but also taste beer. And the name indicates the brand, which also had a good influence on the reputation and loyalty of consumers to the company.

Event marketing has other features, and most importantly – advantages:

  • At the event, you can organize direct sales of the product, thereby obtaining a quick result in the form of sales growth;
  • Event marketing can be used in industries in which advertising is impossible or has a large number of restrictions;
  • One event lasts for a long time, because mentions of the company appear in announcements before the event and in the media after;
  • One product line of a company can be associated with a specific event and thereby gain a competitive advantage;
  • Event marketing dramatically increases audience responsiveness because it tends to be closely associated with emotion and provides an element of entertainment.

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Event Marketing Tools

The main tools of event marketing are thematic events that allow you to promote a company or its product, or their PR methods. For example, these include:

  • Shock promotion… These are original and unusual PR methods that attract attention and create intrigue around a product or an upcoming event. For example, posters with text upside down are the most innocuous embodiment of shock promotion.
  • Competition… They can be conducted for the target audience, regular customers and partners, or for employees, but in this case the goals and objectives of marketing will be aimed at improving the company’s image in the labor market.
  • Conferences… They are usually created for competing companies or companies with a similar type of activity in order to increase the level of expertise in the eyes of consumers.
  • Lottery… This event has a playful element, so it can be used for a wide target audience. For example, you can create your own lottery and advertise it to all customers and buyers to attract participants.
  • Festivals… They are organized for the target audience – for example, a music festival for those who sing and enjoy listening to music, or a beer festival for those who drink a foamy drink.

Event marketing tools are often limited only by the imagination of the marketer. But at the same time, it does not use standard indicators for assessing effectiveness, because conversion it is very difficult to calculate from a thematic event, and sometimes impossible.

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Event Marketing Examples

One of the most striking recent examples of event marketing is the drawing of a ticket to the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the ability to accompany the referee on the playing field. The well-known brand not only sponsors the championship, but also holds an interesting lottery tied to the upcoming event. To get a chance to win the main prize, it is enough to buy a Coca-Cola can with a special design, take a creative photo with it and post it on Vkontakte. The conditions for participation in the drawing of tickets are similar.

Another good example of event marketing is competition from the Nokia brand. In September 2001, a snowboarding competition organized by BrandNew-Momentum and commissioned by Nokia was held on Vorobyovy Gory. The event gathered over 30,000 people in one place. A special “Nokia zone” was created, in which it was possible to vote for the participants in the competition, get acquainted with the company’s model range or get advice on mobile phone issues. By the way, the event was repeated several times later, because it had a good effect.

And here is a good foreign example from the Nesquik brand. Nestle has organized several mobile attractions around the world. They come to different cities to please the children. Each child can interact with the brand’s symbol – Roger Rabbit – and have a cup of drink. This greatly increases the reach of the target audience and improves the loyalty of consumers, including the smallest buyers.

By the way, in the field of event marketing, joint collaboration of several brands is common. A good example is the great music festival Atlas Weekend, which took place in Kiev in 2016. It gathered 157 participants – collectives and solo performers – and more than 10 brands. For example, Pepsi opened their Pepsi Stage with electronic music and also held a graffiti battle among the participants. And the ticket agency Karabas organized its own autograph zone, where anyone could get an autograph of the festival participants. Johnnie Walker opened a bar near the Central Stage, Dirol created its own lounge area, other brands also actively interacted with visitors.

Books about the event industry

Despite the fact that event marketing is a relatively young marketing industry, many books have already been written about it. To improve your skill, you can read the following works:


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Author and co-author – Natalia Frankel – creators of the largest blog in social networks about event marketing. In the book, they talked about the intricacies of holding and organizing events, how to make everyone happy, about attracting people to events in a highly competitive environment.

Alexander Shumovich. “Great events: technologies and practice of event-management”

This is one of the first books written by a practitioner. It describes the process of organizing an event, thought out to the smallest detail. There are even examples of documents, invoices and other important papers.

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Alexey Nazimko. “Event Marketing. Guide for customers and contractors “

This book is the first experience of practical analysis of events related to event marketing in Russia. The author examined event-events from different positions, spoke about the competent choice and control of the contractor, as well as about how such events can be useful for business.

Read books, level up skills, practice and test. We will be grateful for reposting articles on social networks or useful comments.

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