The Power of Events: The most trusted form of marketing and communications in a digital age

By MEA Director, Thomas Staunton 

As event professionals, we understand the invisible threads woven through a well-crafted gathering. It's the spark of connection that ignites a conversation between strangers, the shared laughter that ripples through a room captivated by a speaker, the energy of excitement as attendees exchange ideas and forge new bonds. So, in today's crowded digital landscape, where information bombards us from every screen, it's no wonder that the unique value propositions of live events resonate with a world seeking connection. Let's face it, there's a reason why events boast an 80% trust score – the highest of any marketing or communications channel.

The ability to directly engage and establish trust with consumers is paramount with the increasing influence of AI in advertising, social media, and marketing. In a world where you can’t believe what you see anymore, events offer a refreshing counterpoint and a tangible source of truth in an AI world, plus, events shift audiences from passive content consumers to active participants. It's the human touch, the ability to read body language, to engage in a back-and-forth dialogue, to delight in a shared experience – these elements build lasting relationships, not just fleeting online impressions.

Consumers crave connections and experiences, and events deliver just that. Whether it's a product demonstration that allows attendees to get their hands on the latest innovation, an interactive workshop that fosters creative problem-solving, or a captivating keynote speech that sparks inspiration, events create a multi-sensory experience that leaves a lasting impression. Events allow brands to showcase their values, personality, and passion in a way that transcends traditional marketing messages, and even company websites which register just a 62% trust score, 18% below live events.

The impact of events extends far beyond the basic metrics of likes, impressions, views and shares. Businesses often underestimate the ripple effect that events create within communities. Events can be a catalyst for economic growth, attracting visitors, boosting local businesses, and creating jobs. They can also serve as platforms for social good, raising awareness for important causes or facilitating dialogue on critical issues, building strong and resilient communities, and relieving pressure on government services. A sustainability conference might inspire local businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices. A cultural festival might celebrate the diversity of a community and create new, diverse friendships.

Events have the power to connect people, foster understanding, and drive positive change, unlike digital or other types of marketing and communications channels.

In a digital age that prioritizes data and measurables, let's not forget the power of the human experience. Let's continue to champion the power of events and remind businesses, brands, governments, and communities that genuine engagement thrives in the shared space of a live experience. The connections forged, the ideas sparked, and the impact created – these are the hallmarks of a successful event, and the enduring legacy of our industry.