With internet marketing becoming the priority of most entrepreneurs today, it is interesting to discuss why running local community events still remains an effective platform to grow a business. Community events are undoubtedly much smaller in terms of coverage, yet they still offer significant benefits for a business owner.
Because of these benefits, you’d want things to go smoothly and accordingly. Common mistakes when planning your event should be avoided as much as possible. Even something that’s seemingly simple as getting the right event equipment rental requires careful planning as it can make or break your event. That said, here are ten business advantages of holding a local community event.
Increase Brand Awareness
Studies have shown that people buy products or services that they recognise and they like.
Many entrepreneurs do not have the financial capability to run above-the-line advertising campaigns and holding an event is an excellent way to fill that gap. TV and newspaper ads may be very effective but events give a business a personalised touch. Studies have shown that people buy products or services that they recognise and they like. This makes an event an opportunity to further introduce a business offering. This is especially true for home based business owners who do not have the brick and mortar location or the strong social media presence to create a loyal customer base.
Being able to have face to face connections with the people in the community is one of the reasons why traditional marketing still has an edge. It’s a great way for entrepreneurs to meet new people and understand their thoughts and opinions. This may be an old-fashioned way of building relationships but it provides an authentic experience that is usually lacking in online interactions. According to business coach Michael Goldberg, networking during events is an effective way to create new business leads as long as common networking mistakes are avoided, such as not socialising enough and not having a follow-up strategy.
Build a customer database
Local events give entrepreneurs the chance to build a strong customer database. However, if a business owner does not have massive manpower, it can be difficult to ensure that he is able to gather all the attendees’ data, scan and encode business cards and compile all of this information manually in a timely manner. A great solution to ensure that this will not happen is by using tech tools like mobile event apps which is one way to automate your business. This can make certain that the host will have every attendee’s contact information without the added manual work that follows.
Being the main event sponsor or organiser of a local event gives a brand a different level of authority and credibility. Especially for a home-based business, this differentiates the company from all others that customers just see on the internet. A brand’s reputation is said to be one of the drivers for purchase decisions. The better the credibility, the better the sales as customers become more comfortable with the product. But having credibility cannot be achieved overnight.
Events provide a big step towards presenting the company as a thought leader in the field. A company can use events as a venue to present a deeper brand story that is usually difficult to project in the oversaturated marketing environment. Depending on the nature of the event, positive values can also be associated with the company.
Stir Media Interest
A local community event can also generate media interest and this can be very valuable to a business. Local TV stations and newspapers are always on the lookout for community-focused initiatives. Business owners must be proactive and invite press people to attend the event. This becomes an opportunity for a business owner to take advantage of the free media mileage and talk about his brand further.
Although community events are not usually venues to sell products or services, entrepreneurs can still choose to introduce a limited-time promotion and offer freebies exclusive to the event attendees. This can be seen as a generous gesture rather than a shameless sales pitch. Events are also a great way for product sampling so customers can try out or test the products which can lead to potential sales in the near future.
It may not be one of the obvious advantages but local events also open up opportunities to find new employees. A lot of times, a business owner may not realize that there are outstanding home-grown talents that can benefit his business. Running a well-organised event is a great way to attract job seekers, showcase the company culture, and interact in a more relaxed environment.
Connect With Other Local Businesses
Running a local event is also a brilliant approach to connect with other entrepreneurs within the community. This can foster new partnerships and business to business prospects among decision makers. Events that allow other local companies to rent event booths can have added marketing advantages as the organiser can also attract different types of customers.
Boost Local Economy
According to community builder Doug Griffiths, successful communities make families stronger and make nations more prosperous. Events such as fairs and festivals bring substantial economic impact to their communities. A festival can increase internal spending and also attract visitor spending from out of town. Events can also showcase other local businesses through booths, as well as provide additional work to community residents and suppliers.
Encourage Innovation & Entrepreneurship
An event that highlights a company’s success can serve as an inspiration for other members of the community. Starting a business can be a tough undertaking and most wannabe entrepreneurs are hesitant to take the plunge due to fear of failure or not knowing where to start. Community events give these people a chance to network and learn more about the other businesses, encouraging them to start their own companies which can be a source of jobs to the locals.
Lift Community Pride
Having a local event is an ideal platform to bring the community together and foster a collective sense of belongingness. Having an established event in the community gives members an opportunity to identify with a successful brand.
The time to go local
While everything is now all about globalisation, business owners must still remember that old-fashioned marketing initiatives like local community events still hold valuable advantages that can give their business a much-needed leg-up.