College students value in-person marketing; companies targeting Millennials should adopt more event marketing campaigns to encourage interaction and promote brand engagement.
Why is face-to-face marketing so important? According to a report from Meeting Professionals International (MPI), 40% of prospects converted to new customers via face-to-face meetings, and 28% of current business would be lost without face-to-face meetings. This shows the huge import event marketing has in attracting new business and expanding clientele. This is especially true among the college demographic, who are often characterized by their elusiveness and impulsive behavior.
College event marketing is increasingly important due to the growing value of person-to-person marketing by Millennials. A recent study conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) shows that Millennials value face-to-face marketing more than any other demographic. This research demonstrates the need for marketers to incorporate event marketing into their college marketing plan when targeting Millennials. College students value connections and through college event marketing your company has the chance to interact with students.
College event marketing is a multi-faceted marketing strategy, ranging in scope and complexity. It can be as simple as handing out promotional samples to passerby and as complex as hosting a concert utilizing QR code advertising and social media marketing. When engaging in event marketing, make sure you know your college marketing goals. What are you hoping to gain from this college marketing campaign? How will you track results? What message do you want to communicate with students? What image do you want to project? How will students be able to participate? What does this event allow the students to experience? Answering these questions will help you develop a strong college marketing plan.
Sometimes marketers use online advertising and social media marketing to replace more traditional forms of advertising. However, face-to-face marketing remains an essential component of college marketing and should be used in conjunction with social media marketing. Social media marketing can function as a promotional tool for upcoming events and encourage turnout. In fact, “survey results indicate that the younger the attendee, the more likely they are to say that online interactions lead to increased participation in face-to-face activities”. Social media marketing and event marketing have a symbiotic relationship, both benefit from the other’s presence. Event marketing is a form of marketing college students value; by utilizing it you maximize exposure and foster engagement.
 Murphy, Rob. “The Value of Face-to-Face Marketing in a Virtual Age”. Marketing Prof. 20 Sept, 2011.
 MarketingCharts Staff. “Millennials Recognize Growing Value of Face-to-Face Interactions”. MC Marketing Charts. 10 May 2013.