Modern Marketing for Events: Education, Training and Community to Help Advance Corporate Event Professionals
Corporate event professionals are often viewed as the people behind the scenes who are good at operations, but not taken into consideration where strategy is concerned. There usually is another marketing or sales group making the decisions on which events to host or participate in and what the strategy should be – then the program is handed off to the event manager to execute.
Event professionals can add a huge amount of value to programs by understanding the business goals and structuring events to measurably achieve those goals. But in order to be brought into the strategic discussions, you need to make your value as a marketer more visible.
For those new to the profession or to the corporate world, or for event professionals who have been purely focused on logistics, it can be hard to know how to make this transition. In order to be taken seriously by other marketers, you need to know not only how marketing within your organization works, but also the language that is used to describe it.
I recently spoke with Liz Lathan, a visionary with more than 15 years of corporate event marketing experience at leading corporations under her belt. Lathan currently is the program director for IBM’s Analytics & Hybrid Cloud marketing events and also a co-founder of Haute Dokimazo, a leading-edge conference for event marketers launched in May of 2017.
During her previous role at Dell and now at IBM, Lathan personally has trained her teams on these marketing concepts. But she’s found that education to be the exception rather than the rule.
“I’ve had many conversations with young professionals and none of them are getting this business-first marketing information in school or as entry-level event professionals,” Lathan explained. “I want to change other marketers’ perceptions of event professionals and get all of us more money, quicker promotions, and a seat at the leadership table!”
Rather than wait for someone else to develop relevant content, during her free time, Lathan currently is developing online training courses to educate corporate event professionals in what she is calling “modern marketing.” This will include live and online educational content designed to help corporate event professionals take the next step in their careers.
Planned content includes modules covering basic marketing concepts, full-funnel marketing, performance marketing, demand and lead generation, digital marketing, and strategic event marketing.
Lathan also has created an online Facebook community to provide peer-to-peer sharing, job postings, advice, and ideas.
Interested in learning more? Sign up to be notified when the course is ready and receive an invitation to join the Facebook group at www.corporateeventmarketer.com.