Faye Black, Group Marketing Director, talks about how referral marketing is helping to attract customers who are more loyal and profitable for their business
(November 23, 2016) - Our biggest event of the year kicked off yesterday and we know that of the more than 75,000 participants in The Big 5 who will walk through the doors over the next four days, many will do so because someone they trust suggested they should visit. It’s this act of suggestion - a referral in marketing parlance - that we’ve been working hard to deliberately encourage our visitors, exhibitors and speakers to actively engage with. Why? Well, research suggests 92 per cent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know and you just can’t buy that same quality of lead through banner ads or boosted searches. It’s as simple as that.
In the event industry it’s easy to equate footfall with success, but in reality it's the quality of participants that really matters. We believe referral marketing helps us to attract customers who are more loyal and more profitable for our business and those of our customers. Referral marketing is helping us to build an engaged audience who are more likely to stay at our events longer, engage with other professionals in a meaningful way and of course, refer other equally engaged participants to attend.
Building a virtuous cycle that grows our audience of participants, while driving quality, sounds amazing but is often difficult to achieve at scale. To help us take on the challenge we teamed up with InGo who, as they say, have added the ‘social’ to our social media marketing. They set out to amplify our attendee’s ability to co-market with us, drawing participants in by building trust, using its socially-smart search algorithm and creating an easy user experience that has made giving referrals a natural part of our participants’ online activity. The formula has proven successful across different events - including the Hotel Show and INDEX - and the different territories where we geo-clone our most successful brands from the UAE, including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and India. We’ll keep working with InGo to make referral business our most valuable source of customers and to find new ways to engage our expanding audience of participants. Tell your friends because we’re certainly telling ours.