Think about the last time you attended or hosted a big, grand event. You probably don’t remember every person you met or every word from the presenters. You likely remember the personal connections you made and nuggets of helpful information you learned that have enhanced your personal or professional life. You likely made those meaningful connections during smaller, more informal encounters throughout the event, not during the large presentations — in other words, in a micro event setting. Micro events foster the potential for brands and target audiences to make mutually beneficial connections. Hosting or attending a micro event is a powerful tool to have in your marketing strategy toolbox. Here’s why.
What are micro events?
While there is no definitive definition of micro events, most event planners consider them short in duration (less than a day), focused on a limited or niche topic and carefully tailored. Micro events can happen during large, multi-day events (e.g., workshops or breakout sessions within conferences) or be stand-alone functions. They involve a smaller audience and fewer presenters but may be virtual, hybrid, or in-person. Examples include lunch-and-learn sessions, workshops, webinars, happy hours, VIP events, discussion panels, experiential events, guest speakers and expert Q&A sessions.
Micro events allow you to make meaningful connections with your target audience.
As marketers, we’re always trying to cut through the noise and differentiate ourselves from our competitors to attract and engage with our target consumers. If you’ve ever meandered around a big trade show or convention, you probably don’t remember most of the brands you encountered. Brands compete next to one another for your attention, and unless one offered you something highly beneficial or made a personal connection with you, you likely ignored or forgot them.
By hosting a micro event, you cut through the noise — and if done well, you connect with the right people at the right time with the right message. Instead of wasting your efforts on consumers who are not interested in your product or service (or are too distracted to pay attention), your micro event provides your target audience with relevant, meaningful information or experiences.
Micro events save you considerable money.
It should come as no surprise that a multi-day or even a single-day “wow” event comes with a hefty price tag. Renting event space, catering, presenters, marketing, audiovisual support, event staff, entertainment and transportation costs add up fast, and sometimes the ROI fails to deliver. Furthermore, the pandemic shut down big events for quite a while, and as a result, many people have realized that attending or participating in them isn’t always necessary. Even as mega-events ramp back up, attendance is down in some markets. Micro events are appealing for hosts and attendees because they require far less money to plan and attend.
Micro events can happen more frequently, showcasing your brand more often.
Complex events take several months or even years to plan (and, as noted earlier, are expensive), and most brands can only do them once every year or two. Micro events typically take far less time and effort to plan, so you can hold them as often as necessary. For example, instead of hosting a multi-day conference, consider splitting up the topics you were planning to cover into single micro events held over a series of weeks or months. Attendees can choose which ones to attend instead of having to commit to a time-consuming event. Another option is to take your event on the road and host small events in multiple cities. Keeping your brand in front of your target audience regularly and beneficially builds long-term connections — gold in marketing speak.
Micro events naturally allow for better networking.
One of the primary reasons people attend business events is for networking opportunities. Micro events often provide less formal, more social activities, so attendees have more opportunities to meet others and have memorable encounters. Additionally, small events have fewer people, so making connections with presenters and others is more manageable than at a large-scale meeting. Instead of meeting dozens of people for a few short moments, participants have time for lengthier, more in-depth conversations.
Micro events increase engagement and participation, especially for introverts.
Most of us have wanted to ask a question during a presentation but didn’t feel comfortable asking it in front of a room full of people, or perhaps many others were asking questions and time ran out. Micro events are often more relaxed, making presenters and attendees feel more comfortable engaging with one another. You may also attract new, valuable yet introverted members of your target audience who avoid stressful, high-energy events.
Micro events allow for more control over content and experiences.
When your brand participates in a large-scale event, you often have limited influence over topics, presenters, entertainment, venues, catering and overall feel. With a micro event, your team has significant control over the design and execution of all aspects. You can hyperfocus on specific objectives and create custom experiences. Additionally, micro events are nimbler, which means they can be timelier, especially in industries such as tech or fashion. Because large-scale functions take so long to plan, what’s new and hot may be different by the time the event occurs.
Micro events provide excellent experiential marketing opportunities.
Experiential marketing is all about creating memorable, meaningful experiences for target audiences. Due to the smaller number of participants, micro events can be fabulous places to allow consumers to touch, taste, feel, hear, see and interact with your brand’s products, services and brand ambassadors in memorable ways that aren’t possible at crowded functions.
Micro events are here to stay and on the rise.
Out of necessity, during the pandemic, marketers turned to micro events for safety. But now people are starting to realize their immense potential. The ROI can be worthwhile, and not just financially. Your staff and consumers are seeking more meaningful activities and opportunities to re-engage with others: micro events can fulfill those desires.