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Events Are the Ultimate WoM Machine

While I am often known in my small echo chamber as a blogger, my best online moments have come from events, from BlogPotomac and Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington to the Emergency Social Data Summit and of course, Demand Success. I don’t think that’s a coincidence…

Word of Mouth Marketing - Events

Events are about the people who attend them, and their experience. They build relationships, learn, and hopefully have fun.

Consequently, events done right become huge word of mouth marketing moments, that trigger that creates earned social buzz, content, and in the best cases, media coverage. From a pure marketing perspective, third party coverage is so much more powerful than anything a brand can publish on its site or on a social network. Further, events are great for lead generation, nurturing and conversion.

Perhaps of all the old tactics, television and events are the ones that are surviving best in this new digital world. Avinash Kaushik noted in his Demand Success keynote that people are actually watching more television now than they did 10 years ago, largely because of the proliferation of mobile devices and new distribution mechanisms.

Similarly, events have grown in popularity, and there are some very good reasons for that. From a strategic perspective, I like events more than a traditional online piece of content like a report, infographic or blog. Events offer something that online content could never hope to possess: a sense of urgency, a moment in time that is passing and is experienced live by select community members.

One of the reasons sports broadcasts are commanding incredible dollars from TV networks is their sense of live urgency. You can’t experience a game with your peers online or in person unless you watch it live. Conferences, networking events, and live product launches capture that same live tension on an industry by industry basis.

Events Marketing Attendees 2

CES remains as the highest, longest-standing pillar in this sense. Decade after decade, the holidays pass and the geeks of the world gather in Las Vegas to see what toys they will be playing with in the new year. Coverage ensues in an incredible series of channels, from mainstream media to the smallest tech blogger. Videos, photos, and traditional news stories and blogs are published.

Perhaps that third party coverage and the impact on sales is worth the effort alone, but events don’t stop working there for brands… They are fantastic content wheels! Here are some examples:

    • You can cover them online via Twitter, blog and other means.
    • There are tons of photos to be had and shared.
    • The sessions themselves make for fantastic video content.
    • Events attract influencers. Yes, you hope that they will write your event up and mention it online, but why not interview them while they are on site? More blogs and videos.
    • All of those speaker presentations are just made for Slideshare, aren’t they?

When it’s all added together, you can see why events are so notable. What do you think? Are events one of the most powerful tools available to today’s communicator?

Missed Demand Success or want to relive the fun? Check out our recap here!

Image courtesy of  Vocus and Geoff Livingston.

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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