Although many companies poured significant resources into digital marketing efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events — like field marketing — still play a prominent role in the top strategies.
Humans are social creatures. Although purpose-built event technology can bring us together, it can’t replace the physical experience of engaging with others — particularly when seeing how new products and services work up close.
For these reasons, the most effective event professionals and experiential marketers incorporate field marketing events into their event strategy. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about field marketing events and how they can help you achieve business success.
What are field marketing events?
Field marketing events are a form of experiential marketing that leverage measurable, face-to-face brand development and customer relationship management strategies.
With the goal of raising brand awareness, nurturing customer relationships, accelerating lead generation, and driving favorable business outcomes, field marketing often takes the form of the following:
- Product demonstrations
- Street promotions
- Sampling and merchandising
- In-store promotions
- Guerilla marketing
In most cases, field marketing happens at conferences, trade shows, workshops, and other similar events. For example, we hosted Cafe Bizzabo at IMEX 2021, offering pedicab rides to our location and giving participants coffee and snacks to hear what we had to say.
You might also see field marketers at shopping malls, corporate campuses, festivals, and colleges and universities. In some instances, brands host standalone field marketing events to showcase a suite of products or to explore a particular topic (e.g., fintech).
Although field marketing is effective for most industries and companies, these events are most commonly seen in consumer-facing industries like the following:
- Food and beverage
- Retail businesses
- Health and beauty brands
- Personal electronics
- Home goods
Historically, these types of events have taken place in-person, but leading event management software solutions enable marketers to facilitate these events virtually or in a hybrid format, such as meetings taking place in the flesh and follow-ups occurring virtually.
Who goes to field marketing events?
Depending on the type of field marketing event and where it’s taking place, you’re bound to find all kinds of people engaging with field marketers. Here are some folks you can expect:
- Business buyers
- Event staff
What is the organizer’s objective for field marketing events?
At the highest level, field marketing event organizers have one overarching objective: to generate revenue and boost the bottom line. That objective is achievable by focusing on other field marketing event goals, which we’ll examine in this section.
1. Raising Brand Awareness
According to some estimates, we see anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day. Today, companies need to do everything they can to stand out. By capturing attendee attention and connecting with them on a personal level, field marketers help raise brand awareness, which makes it easier to drive sales.
2. Demonstrating Thought Leadership
Field marketing helps companies showcase their competitive advantages and convince would-be customers why they should do business with them. To illustrate that point, think about how Apple unveiled its inaugural iPhone in 2007. During that event, Steve Jobs demonstrated what set the iPhone apart from other smartphones. Fifteen years later, the product still dominates smartphone sales.
3. Generating Leads
When people stop by field marketing booths or kiosks, marketers can collect their personal information — if they’re willing to share it. Once the event wraps up, field marketers can begin engaging leads as they move through the marketing funnel.
4. Creating Personal Connections
Field marketing events help brands develop personal connections with prospects and customers alike. And those connections are the first step toward delivering personalized experiences and laying the groundwork for account-based marketing (ABM). When 80% of customers are more likely to do business with brands that offer personalized experiences, this is a big deal.
5. Retaining Existing Customers
Field marketing events can help brands remind existing customers of why they decided to do business with them in the first place. Although the origins of the numbers are dubious, most marketers and salespeople believe that the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70% while the probability of selling to a new customer is only 5% to 20%.
Thus, smart companies are always looking for ways to strengthen customer retention by upselling and cross-selling. Increasingly, event professionals view field marketing as a way to do precisely that.
What is the attendee’s objective at a field marketing event?
When attendees participate in these events, they’re generally interested in the following:
- Networking and meeting new people
- Learning about new products and services
- Seeing what their competitors are up to
- Sharing content with their social followers
Field Marketing Event Examples
The benefits of field marketing events speak for themselves. But what exactly do these kinds of experiential marketing events look like in practice? Let’s take a look.
Roadshows are small regional events that build excitement and awareness (in many cases, ahead of a larger flagship conference). For example, ForbesLive events, which bring together executives, leaders, entrepreneurs, and influencers, are held throughout the year virtually and in-person in cities worldwide.
If you want to generate buzz about an upcoming user conference or a new product launch, roadshows can be the perfect vehicle to make that happen. While organizers of these events are interested in selling tickets, engaging their audiences, and raising brand awareness, attendees go to learn new things and network.
2. Professional Development Events and Symposiums
Professional development events and symposiums are conference-type meetings where people gather to discuss professional and academic topics. As an example, the AWS Financial Service Cloud Symposium is an annual event that aims to help financial services professionals learn more about cloud computing and how it can improve the way they do business.
3. Product Launches
If you want to show off your latest products and services to an engaged audience of customers, investors, and market participants, you might want to organize a product launch. Perhaps the most famous example of this type of field marketing event is Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. This annual event highlights the latest and greatest of what’s coming out of Cupertino.
Get more ideas for field marketing events in our article, “Boost Event ROI: Modern, Immersive Examples of Experiential Marketing.”
How Bizzabo Can Help You Execute a Successful Field Marketing Event
No matter how strong your event game is today, you can always take it to the next level. A successful field marketing event requires the following:
- Knowing your audience — their wants, needs, challenges, and budget
- Having marketing collateral for every touchpoint (e.g., swag, videos, testimonials, battle cards)
- Creating personalized journeys and experiences for every touchpoint
- Having an awareness of the competition and the larger market
- Using mobile devices to meet participants where they are
- Creating a post-event engagement plans to keep the conversation going
But if you’re still running field marketing events the same way you did pre-COVID-19 pandemic, Bizzabo’s field marketing event software can transform your strategy and enhance your outcomes. Not only can Bizzabo help you measure event performance and engagement levels, but it can also accelerate your ABM efforts, engage and nurture leads, and drive field marketing ROI faster.
Request a demo today for more information on how Bizzabo can help you optimize your event strategy to make a bigger impact and deliver truly memorable event experiences.