Book Excerpt: 'The Event Marketing Handbook: Beyond Logistics and Planning'

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Event Marketing is all about facilitating, easing, opening, accelerating, and shortening the sales cycle. That's it! After you've decided what event(s) your company will sponsor, exhibit, attend, or host, you should begin to identify what it is your company really wants to say. Deciding on what the message is and what it is that you want your target audience to walk away remembering, are key ingredients within the event cycle. By starting with your sales initiatives and business objectives, you now know why your company is performing this process and what to measure your success against.

When you work in events, your job is to communicate your company's message in 25 words or less (and much less). I profess this concept over and over as an event marketer. Events represent a live presence environment and within those walls, the target audience is bombarded with so many stimuli, how do you as a company break through? That's why it's important to stay focused on just 25 words. These words become your message and how you conduct your efforts in the live presentation environment.

To be clear, I am not stating that your direct mail pieces or your sales collateral/literature, press announcements, or multimedia presentations are 25 words or less. I like to model event thinking after what I learned in principles of advertising. In the book "How to Advertise," by Kenneth Roman and Jane Maas, they write that creative strategies differ in form and terminology, but a good one must cover five key points: objective, audience, benefit, support, and tonality. I've taken their advertising framework and adopted it for events.

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