Welcome to our initial post to EDI’s blog, “Brand Builder”. We hope this page will stimulate thought and discussion regarding the building of your brand through inspiring meetings and events, (i.e. event marketing). According to “EventView 2008″, a survey of 1,000 senior marketing and sales executives from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, Event Marketing provides the greatest return on investment among the various marketing elements (i.e. print advertising, broadcast advertising, sales promotions, public relations, web marketing, direct mail). In her book, The Event Marketing Handbook, Allison Saget states …”event marketing provides the forum to continue to build and deepen relationships with customers, prospects, partners, analysts, press, and fellow employees from around the world. This one-on-one forum allows your company to penetrate the market, build consistent brand recognition, solicit input and feedback, demo products, as well as educate and build awareness among your desired target audience.” In the coming weeks Brand Builder will introduce a variety of branded meeting and event topics including being green, virtual, and experiential, the latter being an evolved form of event marketing. We will share with you our experiences and how the brand benefited from the event or meeting strategy adopted. Hopefully this dialogue will be a benefit in your next brand building application.
Our immediate focus is green events and how “going green” can not only establish a platform for environmental responsibility but create significant economic benefits and, from an event marketing perspective, create a competitive advantage for your brand. Producing green meetings and events creates good public relations. Green events raise satisfaction levels among attendees. Minimizing the event’s ecological footprint gets people excited about your brand. Corporations around the world are adopting new green initiatives as evidenced by General Electric’s Chair and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt who stated “It is no longer a zero sum game – things that are good for the environment are also good for business. General Electric is embarking on this initiative not because it is trendy or moral, but because it will accelerate economic growth.”
The economic benefits can be significant. For example, in the case of meetings and events, use electronic technology to reduce paper use. Create a website to disseminate event information and facilitate registration. Utilize email to promote the event. Distribute handout information using USB flash drives. If you feel it necessary to distribute printed material utilize double sided sheets to cut waste. These steps can potentially represent savings in the thousands of dollars. You don’t have to start with a 100% conservation program but instead start small and build on each success. Every effort toward sustainability has an impact.
As a member of the Green Meetings Industry Council and it’s 2009 Annual Conference planning committee I will share with you in the coming weeks innovative green meeting and event practices that will assist you in establishing a sustainability program that will reap long range environmental, economic and competitive benefits.