Event Marketing

Event Marketing: 5 lessons we can learn from Shell

In today’s buyer-empowered world, companies need to seize every opportunity to start a relationship, generate goodwill, and earn the trust of prospective customers.

A solid marketing mix that incorporates event marketing is critical to connecting with as many potential customers as possible. Top leading companies spend a great amount of time and money to execute Event Marketing in addition to traditional marketing tactics.

People have an easier time remembering experiences that engage all of their senses, so by engaging customers in a physical presence at an event, you reach people in a very memorable way.

When you think about big worldwide events. What names come to your mind?

These are all well-known events that engage millions of spectators, participants and fans.

We have recently visited an annual event organized by Shell in Europe: Eco-Marathon.  While you can always question Shell’s role in the environment, the event’s organization was incredible and there are some important take-aways for all marketers.

Eco-marathon is a unique competition that challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. With three annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who goes further on the least amount of fuel. In 2015, Eco-marathon Europe took place from May 21-24 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Event Marketing Shell

The competition brought together around 200 teams and 3,000 students from across Europe to battle for ultra energy efficiency on the road.

Event Marketing Shell

The event also features the Shell Energy Lab, packed with attractions around innovation and the future of energy. Shell Energy Lab is an interactive experience for visitors to Shell Eco-marathon. With active challenges, learning experiences, and amazing technology, visitors (especially schoolchildren) explore the future of energy and see what the world of tomorrow might look like.

Here are 5 event marketing lessons for modern marketer.

1. Make your Event Well-Known to Public

When putting so much time and energy into planning your event, you want to make sure that you do the promotion right. To generate the highest amount of visitors, you need a mix of social, email, public relations, and other types of free and paid promotions to get the highest awareness about your event.

In addition to all traditional means of promotion, Shell built up a ferris wheel on the big square in front of the event location that is visible from the highway, big shopping mall and the railway. This makes the audience aware of the event long time in advance.

Event-Marketing-Shell

2. Engage Your Audience: Collect Customer Data

How do you plan to engage your audience at your events?

You can spend all the time and money in the world planning your strategy, but if you can’t engage consumers at a level that compels action on their part (whether that is filling out a contact form, completing a survey, etc.), then you have wasted both your time and your money.

A well-thought-out plan might potentially compel consumers into becoming customers and outspoken brand ambassadors. For instance, if using a photo or video feature, provide consumers with the option to share the branded media directly with their friends and family via social media platforms or email (the email option will increase the likelihood of accurate contact information).

If it’s fun and easy to use, you will be able to amplify your brand’s message and increase your marketing effort’s reach.

3. Lead Generation: Don’t Waste Your Investment

If lead generation is the main objective of your event strategy, keep in mind some important considerations. First and foremost, you should focus heavily on capturing accurate data.

For today’s event marketer, paper forms should be considered a thing of the past. You are most likely getting inaccurate or incomplete data with paper contact forms, negating any value that the activation might provide.

Furthermore, with paper forms, the data is rarely entered accurately or in a timely manner into your CRM. If you asked your audience how likely they are to be in the market for your product in the next six months, for example, you could miss the chance to follow up with them if you don’t have that data in your CRM immediately.

Find a modern survey and data-collection application that can verify content accuracy and auto-upload data directly into your CRM. If you have immediate access to accurate data, you are more likely to convert that new contact into a customer.

To get a free ticket to Shell Event visitors had to registratie on the website of Shell, giving general information including the email address. The reservation of tickets in advance ensured a fast track entry on the day with these colorful access passes.

Event-Marketing-Shell-Pass

4. Leveraging Social Media Networks

Being active on social networks before, during, and after your event is the bread and butter of your event social strategy. Since events are in real time, attendees often use social networks to get updates and to engage with other participants in a live environment. During an event, social networks offer a unique opportunity to interact directly with your audience and have them share your message.

Shell announced a contest where anyone can publish a photo from the event on Social Media Networks with a hashtag #SEM2015 and #Energy010. The best shot won a prize and the image was featured on Shell’s Instagram page.

Read also: The Road to Successful Hashtag Use on All Social Media Networks

Event-Marketing-Hashtag

5. Post-Event Analysis: Benchmark Your Data

Did you collect more leads than your competitors at the same event? Did your net promoter score have a bigger increase than the industry average after your test-drive event?

It can be hard to determine the overall success and health of your events if you don’t have a measuring stick.

You should also be benchmarking against your own events you held in the past. Maybe one specific consumer engagement strategy performed better than others, as well as other competitors at the same event; having such information can give you the chance to pivot to more successful tactics.

After careful planning, testing, analyzing, measuring, and refining, your event will be running like a well-oiled machine, driving leads and increasing your Event Marketing ROI.

Is Event Marketing a constant part of your marketing mix? Please share with us in the comments! What marketing events did you organize? How did it help your business?

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7 thoughts on “Event Marketing: 5 lessons we can learn from Shell”

  1. Great tips! Thank you for sharing! I’ve just checked all the posts with the hashtag #SEM2015. There are lots of them! So it really works!

  2. Hi, good read! I used to be a part of Fashion Week organizing team. We used to through parties (afterparties, opening parties). In the bar or at one of the venues of sponsors. The primary focus of those parties was to reach out to all of the bloggers who have been covering fashion week. And, of course, we invited the influencers.

  3. This is a great article with so many valid points. We organize events regularly, so I would add to this – make sure you hire staff that are appropriate to the event you’re holding. People who decorate, people who serve drinks, speakers – everybody should be professional.

  4. We always use Event marketing to generate new leads. You are right saying that potention customers remember you better after an event. Works much better then display advertising!

  5. Yes, for Shell it is easy to organize a big event -they have hunderds people working in marketing departement!
    But what would you advise to small business. I have one marketing person in my company.

  6. @Mike Dorsey Of course organizing an event is a hard work. The main tip we can give you’re here – aim for the size of the event you can handle and manage. It is better to have an event with 50 attendees that is good organized than an event with 200 visitors that is a mess.
    Tell your story — in as many ways, with as many good pictures as you can — before, during, and after your event. Invite people to share their stories and experiences with your brand, and you will create something excellent.

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