My legs are 🔥BURNING🔥 right now. And it's been six entire days since I stopped dancing at the FFAwards. SIX. Thank god I wore my comfy heels.
I've just returned from London's epic party season. And omg. It delivered. The AltFi Awards and the FFAwards were LUSH. I had an absolute WHALE of a time. (Such a random expression, right? 🐳 ). And it cemented something to me that everyone already knows... there is power in partying. Surely, this has to be one of the best forms of marketing. And brands should SERIOUSLY think twice before slashing their party budgets.
Here's why ...
1. Networking, not networking
Ok, first point. Networking. You gotta do it. I gotta do it. From time to time, everyone needs to schmooze up to each other to get business done. It's painful.
Literally, research from the University of Toronto found that networking makes us feel pyschologically dirty. It's awkward. And if you don't dive in quickly, it gets more difficult every second you leave it.
(Top tip: Sometimes I find it easier to walk out of the room and come back in again for a second attempt, rather than loiter like a fruit fly).
But when you are euphorically gambling your heart away on a roulette table (lookin' at you Altfiiiii), bouncing like you're not surrounded by finance people on the dance floor or screaming at TopLoader... networking doesn't feel so bad. A study by Oxford University found that the endorphins from dancing increase your
pain threshold, so networking feels more chill. And the adrenaline from gambling is a pain killer like no other! 🃏
There is some serious science behind a good party that makes business better. The adrenaline and endorphins that come with an epic evening reduce the dirty feeling of netwoking. Until basically...it doesn't feel like networking at all.
2. Brand association
How do you want your brand to be remembered? An office that smells of corporate carpet, with someone meekly handing out screw-top white wine? Or an absolutely BANGING night with all the best people losing their actual shit on the dance floor? It's up to you! Parties give you that opportunity to express yourself authenitcally.
Take AltFi. Those guys are CLASSY. Sophisticated. Demure. The party was in Mayfair, darling. Grosvenor Square. (Pronounced "Grow-vna" to any non-Londoners. Or "Grooooooooouuuuuuuuuuvvvvvvnnnar" if you're really posh, which I am not). Heavenly violinists complimented the beautiful tinkling of champagne glasses. The menu was delicate and ornate, while the lighting was like a bedtime production of Peter Pan. We bathed in serene blues and violets, while we chatted interlectually. To give you an idea, I whispered about embedded finance, the best sushi restaurants and the perils of big oil corruption (classic). I felt like a fintech princess debutant. A casino cinderella for the evening.
Fintech Finance on the other hand, they went for the hardcore party vibe. OHMYDAYS. Ok, so ... The moment you totter through the doors it was like 🎉PARTY CITY 🎉. The red carpets, flashing cameras, cocktails, sequins, film sets, music, celebrities, comedians, chart toppers... I even heard a rumour that the venue had shut down Bulters in the Buff just moments before. 🍑
Both parties were perfectly emblematic of the brands they represent. You are completely immersed in their message, like a spoon in honey. THAT'S marketing.
Nielsen found that if people pay attention to an advert (which is already a big ask), 50% will have forgotten it 24 hours. How much does an ad cost? I remember when my team worked on an advert on the London Underground, I think we paid £25,000 for one week. Now, how much does an epic party cost? Maybe the same. Maybe less. But the memories last much longer.
Most of us remember our favourite childhood parties right? (My eleventh party, kindly organised by my grandma was one of the best days of my entire life. Even now, 21 years later, it's in my top 10 memories).
So... If you have a limited budget... And you want to stand out... I would say to invite your potenital clients and make it a night to remember! 🎉 (Plus, you know.... invite a few bloggers 😜).
3. Goodwill 🙏
There is something to be said about the amazing goodwill you have after an epic party. Like honestly, I feel so buzzed to be working with these two publications. Both of them let me bring a plus-one, and I honestly couldn't have been prouder to show my friends the awesome world of fintech.
For the FFAwards , I brought some of my best friends from pre-finance, which was so nice. The year before, I actually brought my boyfriend, brother and sister! You can read my write-up here.
I have goodwill bursting out of my ears for these two publications. (I better not write any more about friendship, or I'll get soppy like I did with the Money2020 post!).
So, what's the take away message of this post...? The top marketing trick to get journalists writing about you, FOR FREE, on thier own blog in thier spare time...? Uhhh.....