Companies of all sizes need to enhance and nurture relationships with existing and future customers. Building those relationships is not rocket science – it is as simple as realising that all customers thrive on personal recognition and appreciation.

However, people are getting harder to reach. They are putting up walls around themselves and it is increasingly difficult to meet face to face. Events provide an ideal tool to break down these walls.

While marketers will seek expert advice on all aspects of media expenditure, they are often less diligent with their investment in events. Ideally you are aiming to create events where you completely control the environment. The events should be unique, ‘high touch’ and provide you with ample opportunity to really get to know your guests.

If you consider your event strategy carefully and develop a calendar of events which meet your geographic and timing criteria and which deliver the types of experiences that ignite the passions of your customers, you can create a very powerful and sustainable marketing tool.

For those who have successfully established events for the purposes of relationship marketing, the ROI is not only good, it becomes ‘priceless’. Setting long and short term objectives is naturally essential, and rigorously setting and recording benchmarks will help demonstrate if the program is going in the right direction and is working for you.

If you adequately resource your events program (both financially and intellectually) and have the event experiences professionally delivered, you will have a series of new assets that your clients and prospects will want. On the negative side, if you don’t do it right you will see the impact immediately. Do it well or don’t do it at all!