Events in the Engagement Equation

Bonnie Hansen, CMP | February 10, 2017

As the newbie at MG, I come to the table with quite a few years of experience on the event marketing and production side. Working across many industries including Health Care, Manufacturing and Technology, I got called in do some pretty impressive events. Often they were developed in tandem with a product launch or trade show.

Over the years, my role as the “event planner” moved further and further away from just being an operational component or just being a creative component into being a truly essential and strategic part of the marketing mix. As such, I always struggled with why so much of the really engaging content developed on the marketing or trade show side was not always carried through to the event side.

Why weren’t these competencies better woven together? Why was it such a challenge to build the story across a longer period of time or a deeper schedule of engagements?

Time, talent, and a well-designed approach certainly come into play. How should events play into the overall mix? Certainly this aspect of the planning shouldn’t be considered as an afterthought -- oops, we need to get some people time to throw out the crab dip and see what happens? Count that as a missed opportunity.

So…what is the best equation? It’s different for every company and every project. The best balance of layers of creative design, digital presentation, exhibits and displays, online engagement and live events should be examined together. Saving money (and time and aggravation…) comes in all different packages and perhaps the smartest way to get more bang for the buck is to integrate these conversations and various expertise into the right mix. This applies to both consumer or business directed engagement and to internal as well as agency-led initiatives.

My favorite definition of “event” is “an occurrence of importance.” This purposeful “occurrence,” despite the crazy, fast-paced digital world we live in, happens to have one of the best rates of influencing a person to take action. This helps an organization make a sale, create awareness, build partnerships, motivate employees, and so on.

It can come in all sorts of packages from a smallish networking reception to a major road show, from a more intricate product sampling to an educational exchange. It can be designed to lead people to take that next step. So, I like crab dip…but an event, however it is wrapped, can really go so much farther in delivering impact.

Bonnie Hansen is a seasoned events professional who continues to create compelling experiences that educate, entertain and create lasting positive relationships between brands and their audiences. As Director of Events at MG, Bonnie brings her trademark strategy, drive and creativity to serve clients with offerings that span many diverse needs, from product launches and promotions to sales meetings, conferences, road shows, incentive programs and more. Bonnie’s expertise and industry connections ensure that every event goes off as planned, reflecting well on clients’ brands and corporate personalities.