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Events Still Matter for Marketers

We’re starting to prepare for Dreamforce 13 this year at Vocus. As usual it will be a big event, and we look forward to making strong connections there with our customers and the larger marketing sector. It just goes show you that in spite of the social era, events still mean quite a lot.

In reality, people still need events to solidify relationships, make new ones, and also to create outbound experiences to share online. Events create a fulcrum point for what is increasingly an intertwined universe of online and offline relationship development.

The Vocus swag table at our WTF event with Brian Solis at Inbound13

More than swag: our WTF event at Inbound13 was a great relationship-building forum

At an event you can do face to face meetings. While I do a lot of business electronically, I find that in the end that most of these deals are with people I’ve met, or their immediate friends. We often meet with clients and vendors at trade shows, providing a great opportunity to get some face time.

New business also happens at events, providing an opportunity for parties to get together and establish their needs

Events are great places to garner content including hard data, photos, videos and general intelligence. This is imminently useful information in the social context, and provides fun talking points to useful information. When you share that information in a valuable way with your stakeholders (like we did at INBOUND13), you create the perfect combination of citizen reporting and curation.

We all know that events are great places to meet and establish relationships with influencers. As thought leaders they are often speaking and attending so they can share information with their constituencies. With a good follow up program, you can use the events as a means to evangelize and establish a brand with the increasingly hybridized world of bloggers and reporters.

Finally, events are great places to simply listen and learn. My personal hobby is fiction writing. Last weekend, I attended the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention, and boy did I learn a ton about how to approach my next book. It was great to be around so many prolific writers and hear what works for them with their novels.

It’s not that you can’t do any of these things online with web sites and in social media forum. But business development, marketing, social communications and research are much more powerful when combined with the face-to-face connectivity provided at events.

What do you think? Are events still an important part of your marketing and communications strategies?

About Geoff Livingston

Geoff is president and founder of Tenacity5 Media, a digital marketing agency that provides content marketing and social media services. A former journalist, Geoff continues to write, and has authored five books. Follow him @geoffliving.

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