Event marketing

Event marketing is making a comeback

After a year of digital only, physical events are on the rise.

New data from a survey of retailers and brands conducted by Modern Retail and Glossy revealed that 30% of respondents had already started investing in event marketing campaigns in the last six months. This follows a trend that started at the very start of 2021 – more brands and retailers were planning to increase their overall marketing budgets.

But the focus on events is particularly noteworthy. Before the pandemic, many brands started doubling down on non-digital marketing channels. As Modern Retail reported in 2019, local events have become a way for brands to capture attention without relying on increasingly expensive digital acquisition channels. Lingerie brand Lively, for example, has begun hosting joint events with New York outlet The Sill, aiming both to spread its name in urban areas and attract new brand ambassadors. the brand.

“We needed to [ambassadors] connect in real life because, by definition, we wanted them to be a community,” Michelle Cordeiro Grant, CEO of Lively, told Modern Retail in 2019.

This more localized strategy all disappeared once the pandemic hit. But recent movements suggest events are likely to return. Beyond the 30% of survey respondents who said they have already invested in event marketing, 58% said they also plan to invest in events in the next six months.

According to Melissa Gonzalez, CEO of experiential retail company Lionesque Group, the brand’s interest in in-person programming has steadily grown. “In May we were so busy,” she said. “People who were sitting on the sidelines saying, ‘Are we doing something, and when?’ started to change their tone,” she said. “It became more a when than an if.”

In 2020, she explained, most in-store events and programming had a more clinical approach. According to Gonzalez, “people are [now] superimpose the experiential aspects. She continued, “People are really trying to figure out how to layer these fun times.” Gonzalez said it used to be that most brands looked for suburban locations for any physical event, and now urban areas are starting to pick up.

Events aren’t the only campaigns seeing new signs of life. More and more brands and retailers are investing in influencer marketing, as well as TV and out-of-home campaigns. Although many are not fully leaping into these more expensive channels, the growth illustrates how brands are trying to respond to a possible post-pandemic world.