sustainable event marketing:

what there is to consider and how to encourage customers to sustainability

Sustainability is on everyone's lips. But what does sustainability actually mean? If you ask two companies about sustainable event marketing, you may get two completely different answers. Because sustainability is not clearly defined. What we understand by sustainability and why sustainable event marketing is more important than ever is the subject of this article.

What sustainability can mean

When it comes to sustainability, most people think first and foremost of the environment and environmental protection. According to the three-pillar model of sustainability, however, the term consists of much more: In addition to ecology, the model also encompasses economic and social aspects. Acting sustainably is particularly important for future generations. They should be able to live just as well as we do today. The conscious use of resources and energy is indispensable for this.

But sustainability can also be viewed from a completely different perspective. In marketing, sustainable event marketing probably has little to do with go green, save the planet & Co. at first. Here, the term sustainability refers to the long-term effect of a measure. Every marketing measure should be remembered by customers for as long as possible. This is why companies have to resort to unusual marketing strategies in order to stand out from the colourful, wild jungle of offers and remain in the consumer's memory.

Sustainable event marketing a la klardenker

We, clear thinkers, are convinced that the different meanings of sustainability are not mutually exclusive, quite the contrary. Sustainable action in the ecological sense often means that actions remain in the mind for the long term. In order for customers to remember something for a long time, the campaign must stand out from the crowd, arouse interest and convince. We adapt our projects to our customers, their wishes and expectations. The results are individual event concepts and exhibition stands that are not off the peg and therefore automatically attract attention. One example is the Aluca trade fair stand- a resource-saving and, above all, unique trade fair stand. Through sustainable event marketing, a company can stand out from its competitors and inspire its customers.

What needs to be considered in sustainable event marketing?

Through event marketing, an event should become a very special experience. This does not always succeed, because often the target groups are not taken into account. Therefore, it is important to know who is to be reached and to deal with the wishes, goals and values of the target group.

The sustainable orientation must begin well before an event. Well thought-out and foresighted planning makes it possible to organise events as resource-saving as possible. This starts with the logistics and delivery of materials for the event. Every event should be designed in such a way that as little CO2 as possible is produced. Therefore, it makes sense to work together with regional and local service providers. The topic of transport is also important. Wooden crates instead of huge quantities of plastic foil, which is disposed after unique use, are good alternatives. What must be kept in mind in any case: the material used for an event. Do many new items have to be purchased or is there a floor in the location, for example, that already matches the stand design? Then it wouldn't be necessary to think about buying a floor. However, if it is necessary to lay a new floor, it is important to ensure that the material can be reused.

Other important points that a company should bear in mind when it comes to sustainability are that many people may not know it, but flyers and print marketing cause the most CO2. But the environmental impact of electronic advertising channels should not be underestimated either. Because the electricity that is generated for this has to come from somewhere. If a company advertises with sustainability, but uses electricity from the lignite plant, this is anything but authentic. If local catering or snacks are offered, it is also a good idea to focus on regional and seasonal products.

All these points must not only be reconsidered for event marketing. Each enterprise should argue with it, how it wants to be noticed in the public and which philosophy is behind it.

How can an event become even more sustainable?

Personalised invitations

With a personalised invitation, the customer is addressed directly. The company creates a direct connection between itself and the customer.  Since print generates a lot of CO2, it is a good idea to send invitations digitally. This has the advantage of protecting the environment and at the same time opens up a wide range of creativity. Digital content can be presented in a visually and audibly appealing way and can be collected from customers even more emotionally. The first interactions can also be initiated in invitations. So that the customer is actively involved in what is happening, one could, for example, vote on which lectures will take place at the event. This gives the customer the opportunity to get involved and makes him feel valued.

Virtual Reality: Making the brand come alive

Events offer a great platform to inspire customers with an experience. If the customer's senses are addressed, the company or product will be remembered longer and more positively. New technologies offer a multitude of possibilities to let the customer act interactively with the company. An example: Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality. As a virtual companion or assistant, AR/VR can assist customers and animate them to interact with the environment and the company during event breaks.

Increase the reach of an event

Virtual events do not gain popularity without reason. That's why physical events are no less important. On the contrary, personal contacts remain indispensable. Virtual events, however, extend the lifespan of an event. If an event is additionally shared via Facebook Live or on the company website, for example, and is available at any time via On-Demand, it can be experienced sustainably and its reach increases immensely. Even people who are unable to participate in an event due to the geographical distance are given access to the event content in this way.

No unnecessary advertising gifts

Goodies and freebies belong to events like the chicken to the egg. But do you really need the 78th ballpoint pen? Gimmicks are used by companies to keep customers in mind and connect the brand with something positive. But to be remembered in the long run, a company doesn't have to give in to mass consumption. It is important to find meaningful gimmicks that the customer associates with the company and actually uses. If, for example, you set up a photo box that lets the customer become part of the story, you create an opportunity where the customer identifies with the company and takes home a useful promotional gift. An instant picture is emotionally charged and may even be hung on the pinboard at home.

Sustainable action: The company sets an example

If a company wants to encourage its customers to be sustainable, it must serve as a role model itself. Authenticity and credibility are the be-all and end-all. Only when employees put their heart and soul into sustainable action and exemplify sustainability do customers feel encouraged to do so. Transparency also goes down well with customers. A company can show what its CO2 footprint looks like. In this way, event visitors can understand how sustainable a company is and in which areas the company saves particularly many resources. If companies also offer a great sustainable campaign as part of event marketing, then the sustainable mission is on the right track. The customers are actively involved in the sustainable events and that will certainly remain in their minds. We would be happy to talk to you personally about what such campaigns could look like. Simply  contact us directly.