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City Matters 109

Page 6 | 16 - 29 October

Page 6 | 16 - 29 October 2019 Business Matters CITYMATTERS.LONDON RUNNING EVENTS COULD BOOST BUSINESS: HERE’S HOW TO DO IT WELL GUEST COLUMN: Sally Pigott, head of business events UK at Eventbrite, discusses how some of the world’s biggest brands are taking their corporate events to the next level. LATEST stats from the Eventbrite Pulse Report reveal the UK events industry is currently worth an estimated £42.3bn. Of this, the conferences and meetings sector generates more direct spend than both sporting and music events combined – so it’s no surprise that ambitious companies across the globe are tapping into this multi-billion dollar industry to help fuel their own growth and success. Indeed, data shows that 1.3million business events are held each year in the UK, attracting over 85 million attendees and London ranks as the number one EMEA city for events. Experience From a global viewpoint, according to the Events Industry Council, B2B events in 2017 generated more than .07trillion of direct spending, with over 1.5billion individuals getting involved in these events, spanning more than 180 countries. It seems that the B2B events sector is booming, emulating the rapidly growing ‘experience economy’ that is playing out in wider popular culture, as more and more consumers shift to favouring real-time experiences over faceless digital interactions. And interestingly, many notable brand names are moving beyond the more traditional corporate event formats we’re used to seeing, and are instead turning to alternative, more creative events – not only as a way to engage their own employees, Take it up a notch but the wider industry and their customers as well. Take WeWork for example. In 2012, the co-working brand kickstarted its annual Summer Camp event. An all inclusive three-day weekend getaway, designed for worldwide WeWork members and employees to come together to connect, learn and unwind in the outdoors. Over the past seven years, the Summer Camp has grown astronomically and what started as a free event today resembles more of a music festival – drawing in not only 8,000 entrepreneurs, but also big music acts from WuTang Clan to Bastille. Dreamforce, the US cloud-based software company’s annual conference, is another example of the ‘festivalisation’ of corporate events. Aptly named, it really is the stuff of dreams – and each year sees the entire city of San Francisco flooded city_matters with tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, techies and salespeople. Entertainment ranges from late-night concerts and hackathons to visionary announcements, and even keynote speeches from the likes of The Beach Boys and will.i.am. While using events in the B2B sector is by no means a new concept, what we are starting to see more and more of is organisations using these events on a much greater scale. Events are forming a core part of many business’s wider marketing matrix and acting as a unique tool for promotion, recruiting new customers, upselling to current customers, data gathering and market research. However, understandably, not every business has the power or the funding to launch an event with WuTang Clan or will.i.am as the headline act… but regardless of the size and scale of an operation, there are plenty of things companies can do to maximise the success – and ultimately the business value– of the events they put on. Here are three reasons why you should consider using events to form your next big catalyst for growth: Lead generation Events are a great way to fill your sales pipeline full of qualified leads as they allow you to physically prove the value of your product or service to your desired audience. If you’re going to run events primarily for lead generation purposes, then it’s important to get your sales or business development team involved. This is so you have a long list of prospects to invite, and a really specific understanding of the types of people who should be there. Brand building If you want to reinforce or land a message to help your brand grow, then events can be a key tool for doing so. They allow you to share information with your target audiences that showcases everything you stand for and what you’re all about. There’s a reason why fashion and lifestyle brands are huge proponents of launch parties and similar events that speak to the value of their brand or product – done well, a live experience can leave a strong and lasting impression of the brand that helps create an affinity with your target audience, ultimately helping to fuel growth. Content creation Using an event to create and produce great, shareable content that you can use across a multitude of platforms to promote your business, is a no brainer. It’s the perfect place to build up an arsenal of high-impact assets. WORLD-CLASS RUGBY HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCES AT TWICKENHAM STADIUM v NEW ZEALAND 7 NOV v ARGENTINA 14 NOV v AUSTRALIA 28 NOV CALL 020 3944 2527

CITYMATTERS.LONDON 16 - 29 October 2019 | Page 7 citymatters

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