Why events should focus on consumers and not brands

If your company is planning an event, whether it’s an in-house promotion or exhibiting at a tradeshow on a national scale, one of the key elements that you’ll likely be focusing on is brand awareness.

Getting the word out about your brand, company or product is naturally a huge incentive for events, but should it be your main focus?

A great way to ensure a successful event is to put the people who actually attend them at the centre of your event marketing strategy. By understanding who they are and what they want, you can better provide a useful and memorable experience for consumers.

Why do people go to events?

First and foremost, it’s worth considering why consumers actually go to events.

Some reasons include:

  • Being passionate about the event topic

  • Wanting to support the local community or industry

  • Looking to make purchases or find suppliers

  • Looking for inspiration

  • Recreation and entertainment

It’s important to consider the reasons that people are actually attending the event in order to better leverage their needs and desires. Nobody really goes to an event or exhibition looking to be sold to, so it can be off putting if you spend the whole time shouting about your brand.


What do your customers want?

When planning your event strategy and exhibition stand design, focus on what your customers actually want, and design everything around that.

Who are your customers? What are their pain points? What are they looking to get from you? How can you help them? Make these the key elements of your event offering.

Consumers should be the main focus of your event, not your own brand. By providing an experience that supports your customers and provides them with solutions to problems, brand awareness will follow naturally.

Don’t forget that visitors have often paid an entrance fee to be there, so make sure that you provide them with something worthwhile and not just a marketing pitch.

Connect with customers and get interactive

Events are a great way to actually meet your customers face-to-face and to learn more about them.

By creating a personal connection with consumers and offering something that they can’t get from your website, or even from a store, you will stand a better chance of making a worthwhile impression and building brand awareness.

You can also get real opinions and insights from your customers that you might not be able to get through existing research.

For example, if you’re about to release a new product, you could set up an event that allows customers to try it before its release and make suggestions about what they like or what they think should be changed. Provide two flavours of drink and get visitors to taste test them and ultimately choose which one goes on sale, or offer headphones in different colourways and ask people to choose their favourite.

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Listen, don’t sell

Ultimately, your business relies on your consumers, so you need to put them at the forefront of your events.

While it’s tempting to think of events as an opportunity to sell your wares, by taking an approach that favours your customers and their needs, you are better able to build a strong brand awareness based on trust, communication and positive experiences.