Events are a powerful tool to connect with customers and prospects to drive revenue and growth. When crafting an event strategy, there are two primary options: third-party events (trade shows) and proprietary events. Most companies leverage a mix of both event types. Let’s compare.
Trade Shows: A Hub of Opportunity
Trade shows are industry-focused events where multiple businesses gather to exhibit their products and services. Trade shows are third-party events (meaning your company is not producing the overall event). These events offer a marketplace-like environment with numerous networking opportunities. Here’s a look at some industry statistics and insights regarding trade shows:
- According to American Express, trade shows are an integral part of many businesses’ marketing strategies. A staggering 74% of trade show attendees say they have a more favorable opinion of a company after attending a trade show.
- Gartner reports that 89% of businesses attend trade shows for lead generation. This statistic underscores the importance of trade shows as a platform for gathering potential leads and customers.
Proprietary Events: Tailored for Your Audience
Proprietary events are exclusive gatherings your company organizes, customized for specific audiences such as customers, partners, or select individuals. These events allow for personalized experiences. Here are some industry statistics and insights supporting proprietary events:
- American Express reports that 63% of brands consider proprietary events as the most effective method for reaching potential clients and customers. This statistic highlights the unique impact of curated experiences.
- Forrester Research indicates that 77% of marketers say proprietary events are the best tactic for brand awareness and customer engagement. These exclusive events provide a direct platform to convey your brand’s identity. Proprietary events facilitate in-depth interactions that foster strong customer loyalty.
Choosing the Right Mix for Your Strategy
Crafting the right strategy depends on your business goals, budget, and target audience. Many of our clients find success in creating a strategy that leverages proprietary and third-party events. Consider the following factors:
- Define your primary objectives. If your goal is lead generation and broad exposure, trade shows may be your best choice. For cultivating deep relationships and tailored experiences, proprietary events are a more effective tactic.
- Consider who you want to reach. Trade shows attract a diverse audience, while proprietary events are ideal for connecting with a select group of individuals.
- Analyze your budget and resources to determine which approach aligns with your financial capacity.
Trade shows and proprietary events have their merits, and the ideal event strategy for your business likely involves a mix of both. The industry statistics from American Express, Gartner, and Forrester Research reinforce the value of these strategies and their role in achieving various business objectives. Careful planning based on your specific needs and goals will help you make the most of your event strategy. Event Marketing Partners can help you develop your event marketing strategy for 2024 and beyond. We assist companies in selecting the optimal event mix to host, exhibit at, or sponsor to reach their target audience.