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April 4, 2008
By: Anon

IT WORKS: Simon Burton

“Of course we have what it takes. Face-to-Face, in its myriad forms, is the future. I personally think the measurement issue is a red herring. Live marketing is no more challenging to measure than any other type of marketing.

“Clearly we all understand what ‘live marketing’ means in general terms, but I think it is essential that we are clearer on what makes the different types of live opportunity distinct and what kind of marketing objectives suit each. Otherwise we are in danger of classing everything we do under a banner of ‘event’, which is so broad as to be effectively meaningless and as a consequence unmeasurable.

“Firstly, we need to understand what the different live disciplines have in common and then agree to respect the differences. We should be more confident and assertive about what we do and play to our strengths and be less intimidated about the numbers game other media rely on. The MICE Group survey highlights a drawback as being ‘strong commitment in terms of resources, time, logistics and management’ – in short, events are hard work. We’ve got to reduce the hard work and promote the creative opportunity. Finally, we must be utterly professional about our delivery.

“As regards presenting a united front, I’m never quite sure who we’re presenting this ‘united front’ to. Everyone in live events should be an evangelist for ‘the industry’. If you don’t think events work, why are you working in them? Should we be collectively more assertive? Yes, probably."

What is experiential marketing?
"It is any piece of marketing activity that allows the consumer to meaningfully interact with the brand. It includes, but is not limited to, exhibitions, sports and cultural events, product launches, conferences, user-groups, field marketing, parties and even retail.

“The reason it isn’t just limited to these areas is that experiential marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It uses other media and has consequences for other media – every party has invitations and thank-you notes. In this sense most live/ experiential marketing is truly integrated and impacts on other media.”

Simon Burton is MD of Exposure Event Creation

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