Why Corporate Events Are Still King

Some will tell you that marketing, advertising, and selling are necessary evils in order to make money. Too many event professionals see those three as an afterthought to the event itself, thinking that higher quality events will automatically attract more people. Those people think about at least two of those three wrong.

John Jantsch says most event planners view marketing and selling in one of two ways:

1. Target a market, tell them what you have — work in a little solution selling — and hope they choose you.
2. Fill out RFPs from your target market and hope they pick your price.

John details a few solutions in the rest of his post, but we have a few tips on why our favorite client is still corporations. While the more progressive attendees and event planners likely bemoan the traditional stodginess of traditional corporate events, most of those concerns are from poorly-run happenings, not the tech-infused events we’ve helped create.

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Compared to your average free or almost-free community event (which are often backed by generous business donations), corporate events stand out for one reason above all: most of them have the budget to pull off the look they want. While restrictions, marketing rules, and brand guidelines will always apply, there’s no reason a big-budget corporate event has to be stodgy and boring. But it’s going to take a little imagination.

Microsoft In San Francisco
A few months ago, Microsoft asked us to run registration and check-in for an Azure event held in San Francisco’s MOMA district. Planned inside a part-time art gallery, Microsoft’s event planners need some serious manpower and money to transform a concrete display case into a tech funhouse. Thanks to plenty of lights, enough cables to fill a truck or two, and a host of live food, live music and live entertainment options, what would have been impossible on a small budget absolutely nailed its mark.

Microsoft In Seattle
Less than 90 days ago, Microsoft’s team again transformed an old, concrete structure (part-time cruise-ship marina) into a purple wonderland to introduce the latest Visual Studio. Thanks to a healthy budget, a large staff, and a small army of third-party contracts, the gray walls, gray floor, and baggage check stations here hidden behind an array of purple drapes, curtains, and well-placed seating and eating areas.

Because events like those above are usually customer facing, it makes sense for Microsoft to pull out all stops to impress the very people responsible for their company profits. Not only does this approach often equal a satisfying attendee experience, but staffers there to help attendees are able to do so without your typical, low-budget event problems, like a lack of basic supplies, manpower, or the need to pretend your event is under the sea when it’s really in a high school gymnasium.

Here’s to corporate events with event planners that know how to get the most out of their budgets!