Learning Event Marketing Tactics from Multinational Companies

Are you curious to discover how multinational companies are approaching event marketing? If so, keep reading! Studying multinational companies’ event marketing tactics can provide valuable insights into successful strategies for promoting and hosting events on a global scale. Below are some key tactics employed by multinational companies and examples.

       1 . Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Multinational companies often integrate event marketing into broader marketing campaigns. This includes aligning event messaging with other promotional activities across various channels, like social media, email, and traditional advertising.


  • Apple’s Product Launch Events: Apple is known for its highly integrated product launch events. They combine live presentations with live streaming on their website, social media promotions, and simultaneous retail store events. The synchronized release generates global anticipation and excitement for their new products.


Apple Launch Event, Tony Avelar/AP


  • Coca-Cola’s FIFA World Cup Campaigns: Coca-Cola often sponsors the FIFA World Cup and runs integrated marketing campaigns around the event. They use TV commercials, print ads, social media, on-site activations, and even special edition packaging to create a cohesive brand message during the tournament.


Coca-Cola’s “The World’s Cup” Campaign


  • IBM’s Think Conference: IBM’s annual Think conference is a prime example of an integrated marketing campaign. They use a combination of social media, email marketing, content marketing, influencer partnerships, and event-specific websites to engage attendees and promote the event’s thought leadership and tech solutions.


IBM Think Conference 2023


2. Localized Content

Recognizing cultural differences and tailoring event content accordingly is crucial. Multinational companies create content that resonates with local audiences, ensuring that the messaging is relevant and culturally sensitive.


  • McDonald’s in Japan: McDonald’s is known for adapting its menu to local tastes. In Japan, they have introduced items like the “Teriyaki Burger” and “Ebi Filet-O” (shrimp burger) to cater to local preferences.


McDonald’s Japan Menu


  • IKEA’s Catalogs: IKEA customizes its catalogs to suit different markets. For instance, the content and design of the IKEA catalog in Saudi Arabia will reflect the local culture, family structures, and preferences, which may differ significantly from catalogs in other countries. This approach ensures that the marketing content is relatable to the target audience.


IKEA Catalogs in different countries


  • Pepsi’s “Pepsi Challenge” in India: PepsiCo conducted the “Pepsi Challenge” in India with a focus on cricket, the country’s most popular sport. They launched a campaign featuring Bollywood celebrities and cricketers, leveraging the local passion for both entertainment and cricket. This strategy aligned with the cultural interests of the Indian market.


“Pepsi Challenge” in India


3. Strategic Partnerships

Forming strategic partnerships with local businesses, influencers, or organizations is a common tactic. This helps in leveraging existing networks and gaining credibility within specific regions.


  • Amazon and Local Retailers: During major sales events like Amazon Prime Day, Amazon partners with local retailers and brands in different countries. For instance, in India, Amazon collaborates with local fashion brands to offer exclusive deals and promotions, helping both Amazon and the local brands increase their visibility and sales.


Amazon Prime Day in India


  • Red Bull and Local Extreme Sports Communities: Red Bull collaborates with local extreme sports communities and organizations to promote events like skateboarding competitions, motocross races, and surfing championships. They provide support, sponsorships, and event hosting, which helps them connect with passionate local sports enthusiasts.


RedBull’s collaboration with F1


  • Samsung and Local Universities: Samsung partners with local universities to organize tech seminars, coding competitions, and innovation challenges. These partnerships allow Samsung to engage with students, identify local talent, and promote its brand as an innovation leader in the tech industry.


Samsung Innovation Program


4. Use of Technology

Employing technology for virtual or hybrid events is common among multinational companies. This allows them to reach a global audience without the need for a physical presence. Live streaming, webinars, and virtual event platforms are popular choices.

  • Microsoft’s Events: Microsoft employs technology for virtual events, utilizing live streaming and virtual platforms for product launches, allowing a global audience to participate without physical presence.


Microsoft Build 2023


  • IBM’s Events: IBM utilizes webinars and virtual event platforms for conferences, maximizing reach and engagement globally without the need for participants to be physically present.


IBM TechXchange 2023


  • Salesforce’s Events: Salesforce uses virtual events and webinars to connect with its global audience, leveraging technology to provide an immersive and accessible experience for attendees worldwide.


Dreamforce 2023


5. Data-Driven Decision Making

Multinational companies use data analytics to understand the preferences and behaviors of their target audiences. This data is then used to refine event strategies, personalize experiences, and maximize engagement.


  • Amazon: Amazon uses data analytics to understand customer preferences, applying insights to refine event strategies and personalize the user experience during events like Prime Day.


  • Google: Google utilizes data-driven insights to refine its event strategies, understanding the behaviors of developers and attendees to enhance the overall experience at events like Google I/O.


  • Facebook: Facebook employs data analytics for event planning, understanding user engagement and preferences, and optimizing the virtual event experience on its platform.


6. Consistent Branding

Maintaining a consistent brand image across diverse markets is crucial. Multinational companies ensure that their event marketing materials, branding, and messaging align with the overall brand identity.


  • McDonald’s: McDonald’s maintains consistent branding globally, ensuring that its event marketing materials align with the overall brand identity, creating a unified brand experience.


  • Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s event branding remains consistent across diverse markets, with recognizable visuals and messaging that reinforce the brand’s identity during major events.


  • Microsoft: Microsoft ensures consistent branding in its global events, with unified visual elements and messaging that align with the overall brand identity.


7. Customized Experiences

Offering personalized and unique experiences for attendees is a priority. This could involve tailoring event agendas, networking opportunities, and even promotional giveaways to cater to the preferences of diverse audiences.


  • BMW: BMW offers personalized experiences at global auto shows, allowing attendees to customize and visualize their ideal vehicles, creating a tailored and engaging experience.


  • Airbnb: Airbnb customizes its events for hosts and guests, offering personalized workshops and networking opportunities, enhancing the overall experience for diverse participants.


  • Adobe: Adobe tailors its events with customized agendas and sessions, providing personalized learning experiences for diverse attendees with varying interests.


8. Influencer Marketing

Leveraging influencers who have a strong presence in specific regions or markets is an effective strategy. These influencers can help in promoting events and reaching a wider audience.


  • Sephora’s Sephoria Event: Sephora, the multinational beauty retailer, hosted its annual event called “Sephoria.” To promote the event, Sephora partnered with beauty influencers and makeup artists who were popular on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. These influencers created content featuring Sephora products, shared event details, and offered exclusive discounts to their followers.


Sephora’s Sephoria Event


  • H&M x Coachella Collection: H&M, a multinational fashion retailer, partnered with the Coachella Music Festival to create a clothing collection inspired by the festival’s bohemian style. They enlisted fashion influencers and models to showcase the collection on social media platforms. This influencer-driven marketing campaign helped H&M tap into the festival’s audience and boost sales of the special Coachella-themed clothing line.


H&M x Coachella Collection
H&M x Coachella Collection


  • Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” Campaign: Toyota launched its Sienna minivan campaign, “Swagger Wagon,” with a humorous video featuring a family rapping about their minivan. The video featured popular YouTube influencers and musicians, The Rhett and Link duo. Their involvement added credibility and humor to the campaign, making it go viral and attracting attention to Toyota’s event.


Swagger Wagon Campaign


9. Sustainability Initiatives

Many multinational companies incorporate sustainability into their event marketing. This includes promoting eco-friendly virtual events and showcasing the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.


  • Green Event Practices: Multinational corporations often implement green event practices to reduce the environmental impact of their gatherings. This includes using eco-friendly materials for event signage, providing recycling and composting bins, and minimizing single-use plastics. For example, Google has committed to making its events zero-waste by 2022, and they prioritize sustainability in their event planning.


  • Carbon Offsetting: Some companies calculate the carbon footprint of their events and offset it by investing in renewable energy projects or reforestation efforts. Microsoft, for instance, has pledged to be carbon-negative by 2030 and is working to offset the emissions from its events and conferences.


  • Virtual and Hybrid Events: To reduce travel-related emissions, many multinationals are incorporating virtual or hybrid components into their events. This allows participants to attend remotely, reducing the need for long-distance travel. IBM, for instance, hosted its annual Think conference as a virtual event to minimize its environmental impact.


10. Engagement through Social Media

Active use of social media platforms for event promotion and engagement is common. Multinational companies leverage the global reach of social media to create buzz, share updates, and interact with their audience before, during, and after events.


  • Twitter Hashtags: Multinational companies create event-specific hashtags on Twitter to encourage attendees and followers to participate in conversations and share updates. For instance, Cisco uses hashtags like #CiscoLive to drive engagement and conversation around its annual Cisco Live conference, allowing attendees to connect and share insights.


  • Live Streaming on Facebook and Instagram: Companies often use Facebook Live and Instagram Live to stream key event moments, such as keynote speeches, panel discussions, and product launches. IBM, for instance, live-streams sessions from its Think conference, enabling a global audience to participate virtually and engage in real-time discussions.


  • Influencer Takeovers: Brands collaborate with influencers in their industry to take over their social media accounts during events. Influencers share their unique perspectives and provide valuable insights, which can attract a broader audience. SAP, for example, has invited industry influencers to take over its social media accounts during events.


By examining how successful multinational companies implement these tactics, companies can gain inspiration and adapt these strategies to suit the goals and scale of their own event marketing efforts.

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