Author: Heidi Bullock
As marketers, we’re always looking for new and creative ways to engage people in a meaningful and personal way. Most of you reading this would not disagree that creating relationships that are personal and continuous are the best kind – but executing that vision can feel overwhelming.
Today, digital marketing solutions and marketing automation make it easier to be timely and ensure your customers are receiving relevant, meaningful information. Another area that complements and amplifies your digital and automated approach is event marketing. Consumers across the board may learn about your product or service online but an in-person interaction- allowing them to get a feel for your brand personality – is hard to beat.
So, consider complementing your digital strategies with event marketing — and one very cool idea is the concept of a hosting a lounge.
What is it?
A lounge space can be just about anywhere — a hotel, restaurant, or museum – that allows you to create a dedicated and branded environment to network, showcase your personality, and provide a place for people to connect outside of a busy tradeshow or event environment.
Why should I consider one?
1. Generate even more demand. Why stop at a booth? Having an additional space provides you with additional coverage to speak to interested parties.
2. Reinforce your brand. A sponsored lounge is a great opportunity to stand out, especially at a large or oversubscribed event.
3. Ensure the experience for your audience is unique. Offer your attendees something special and personal – you are in control of the experience, so get creative.
Who should I invite?
This is an awesome opportunity for you to create a special space for a targeted group of people (ex: customers, top influencers, champions). You can talk to everyone and anyone at your booth, and be selective about who is invited to your lounge. It can be a unique space to do a product sneak peak, offer a gift, or solicit input.
How can I make it successful?
1. Have a clear vision and determine your objectives/goals ahead of time: Think about this in terms of pre-event, during the event, post event, and opportunities. How do you want to build buzz and interest? How many people do you want to invite? What’s the goal attendance? Determining these things ahead of time helps you plan a lounge event that will meet your objectives.
2. Location, location: Conference attendees can be tired, overwhelmed with information and worried about keeping up with their day-to-day tasks. Find a place that changes the pace for them and alleviates some of their “conference-symptoms”. In addition to finding a location that’s geographically close to the conference, you’ll create a more memorable experience for your guests if the location is really unique.
3. Book end strategy – pre- and post-event marketing for success: Know your plan at each stage: pre-event, during, and post. A common mistake is to focus too much energy on the day of the actual event, which often means they miss all of the great traffic driving activities that precede and then fail to incorporate the critical follow-up that should come post-event.
4. Incorporate partners: Tradeshows are a busy time for a corporate events team. Incorporating partners into your lounge event has a few benefits, including: helping promote the lounge and create buzz, additional person-power, and offsetting some of the costs. Adding partners can make a lounge a richer, more fun experience for your guests.
Want to see a lounge in action? Join us at Dreamforce and check out our Marketo Engagement Lounge!
Create an Event Oasis: The Top Reasons to Host a Lounge was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com