How The Marketing Shift Has Changed Event Management

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

It should be clear to anyone who’s been paying even the least amount of attention that the world of marketing has changed. With the birth of social media, consumers demand more than a sizzling sales pitch or clever advertisement. The drastic shift in communication brought about by social networks such as Facebook has altered how consumers look at their brands. To be involved in marketing today isn’t just about telling customers why they should value a brand; it’s about establishing a relationship with those consumers.

Not surprisingly, this shift has also resulted in a significant change to the events industry.  Events today – with their ability to bring people together – play a role more important than ever in the corporate world, granting an organization invaluable face-to-face time with both consumers and industry partners. I’m certain I draw too much on the world of video games in my writing here, but in this case, it could be said to represent a perfect example of this new trend.

Conferences such as The Penny Arcade Expo and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (known as E3) are some of the largest, most significant, and most news-worthy occasions in the games industry. Independent developers all but need to attend and win over potential fans at such events if they’ve any hope of being discovered. Larger publishers and developers, meanwhile, face just as significant a challenge – if they don’t manage to win their customers over, it can be just as bad as if they never showed up in the first place.

It’s not just in brand relations that events are becoming more important, either. They’ve begun to play as large a role within organizations as they do without. As an event manager, you’re just as likely to find yourself organizing parties, corporate trips, or charity drives as you are exhibitions or seminars. 

Through it all, you’re going to need to manage more than just budgeting and logistics. You’re going to need to become an expert in human relationships. Just as marketing professionals need to establish a relationship with a brand’s customers; event management professionals needs to develop a relationship with clients, suppliers, partners, and attendees.  Just as marketing professionals need to be able to motivate consumers, event managers must be capable of motivating volunteers and event staff.

Surely you see the parallel between the two roles. Like marketing professionals, event planners need to be expert communicators and leaders. They need to have a knack for forming and maintaining connections, and the desire to deliver top-notch service to their audience.

This isn’t something that came about as a result of the shift. Event management has always been about managing relationships, as has marketing. The primary difference lay in the type of relationship managed by the two; a dichotomy which grows smaller with every passing day as each role sees a significant overlap with the other. Modern event planners need to be every bit as savvy in the field of marketing as a public relations lead, while there’s not a marketer in the world who couldn’t benefit from a bit of event management experience. 

The birth of social media caused a paradigm shift in the world of marketing. This shift has changed virtually everything about the job, which has increasingly become about forming relationships with consumers. Because of this change, event management has also evolved in kind; event planners are becoming increasingly public figures, men and women who need to be just as capable of connecting with their audience as with clientele and suppliers.