By Karina Fabian
Recently, Bergens Tidende, one of the largest papers in Norway, wrote in an INMA blog about how hosting events has helped them build brand loyalty, differentiate themselves in the market, and increase subscriptions and advertising profits.
The idea of hosting events is not a new one but isn’t often talked about. It can seem like a vanity play on the one hand and a community outreach on the other. Especially now, when budgets are tight, putting money toward something not directly news related can seem a risky venture, but a recent study by Citi shows that events can bring profits.
Citi surveyed 1000 people about events and discovered that consumers who interact with brands at events are more loyal and engage more frequently with the company producing them. For example, 85 percent of participants agreed with the statement, “I have a much more positive perception of companies after attending their events.” Further, 78 percent of Americans agreed that a company which invited them to be a VIP at an event would have a customer for life. That number was even higher for millennials answering the question.
Events connect readers and advertisers with like interests
Hugh Grantley said that events and exhibitions show readers that the publication understands their interests and shares in their passions. Grantley is VP of Market Development for Newscycle’s Media Services Group Sales. Newscycle offers an exhibition software for handling event booth sales, Élan Exhibition, and he said our customers have great success with events.
Looking from a purely moneymaking point of view, Grantley said events like exhibitions and trade shows, which Élan Exhibition can help organize, create excellent opportunities for advertisers to meet interested consumers. He gave the example of one publisher who specializes in hobby magazines and uses our software for smaller hobby-focused trade shows.
“The people who buy the magazine would be the sort that would attend the exhibition, and the advertisers are the ones who would be taking a booth. Whether you’re advertising in the event brochure or renting booth space, you are marketing to an interested audience There’s definitely a tie there,” he said.
Events reduce subscriber churn
Of course, the potential of events goes beyond simply connecting readers and advertisers. There’re benefits for the magazine themselves. Oni Chukwu, CEO of Aventri, said that the best events allow people to connect and build relationships. While he was speaking for the retail market, the fact is, news media and publishers already have a relationship started with their readers through the content they provide. Events strengthen those relationships, helping to increase brand loyalty.
Aftenposten, Norway’s largest printed newspaper, found that 84 percent of new digital subscribers remained loyal after participating in Aftenposten’s A-tech event, compared to 51 percent who did not attend.
“Events build community and do a service for the reader,” said Grantley.
Events publicize the publication
Finally, events done effectively provide advertising for the publication itself. This doesn’t have to be through traditional venues, either. Bergens Tidende created a Snap Chat filter for one of its events that resulted in 39,000 minutes of logo exposure and reached over 103,000 people. Even more, it showed the newspaper in a very favorable light, with happy, excited people glad to associate themselves with the brand.
We’ll be talking more about events in the coming months. If you have any questions you’d like us to address, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are already hosting events or are thinking about it, and are interested in seeing how our software can help ease the planning as far as gathering advertisers, connecting to readers and managing booth space, check out our Élan Exhibition software.
About the Author: Karina Fabian has been writing about business, leadership & management, and software applications for over a decade. Before joining Newscycle, she wrote reviews of business software and services for Top Ten Reviews and Tom’s Guide, and about business practices and leadership for Business News Daily and Business.com. In addition to writing for Newscycle, she is a freelance writer and author of 16 books.