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The Freeman Trust Report 2023 Finds In-Person Events Increase Brand Loyalty

cover of the Freeman Trust Report 2023

CHICAGO — Freeman partnered with Edelman DXI to host a study about the effects of live events and the value they bring to brands and audiences. The result, the Freeman Trust Report 2023, reveals that in-person events increase brand loyalty. 

Following an interaction with a brand at a live event, 77% of consumers reported their trust in the brand increased, according to the report, with 33% reporting their trust level improved a lot and 44% reporting they improved somewhat. 

Along with in-person events increasing trust, 64% of consumers reported having positive perceptions after attending a brand’s event for at least a month afterwards. According to the report, consumers that attended events in the last six months are more likely to have positive perceptions of the brands they have purchased from prior to the event. 

When comparing event decision makers’ assumptions and consumer responses, the report found that while only 45% of decision makers believe attendees will buy products or services after an event, more than 50% of consumers said they’re more likely to make a purchase afterwards. 

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“The report shows that trust is a crucial factor to success, driving customer engagement, purchases and loyalty – the data also shows that 68% want to interact with a brand online, 67% visit a website and 68% are more likely to make a purchase following a live event interaction,” Freeman Chief Marketing Officer Mickey Wilson said. “That means there is an opportunity for brands and organizers to think bigger about how they can leverage events to connect more closely with customers within that one-month window. Extending the message from the live event throughout an integrated marketing program will reinforce your key message and help drive purchase consideration as well as extend and maintain the positive increase in trust – as much as 80% for return customers and 72% for prospective customers, as reported in our study.” 

The report also found that attending live events leaves people with a generally good feeling, with 70% saying they feel more knowledgeable, 63% felt inspired, 63% felt more connected to their colleagues and industry and 62% reported feeling excited. 

“The best way to reward loyal customers who are returning to in-person is to give them an experience and programming that is new, fresh and relevant,” Wilson said. “According to the Freeman Trends Report, the next generation of attendees are looking for greater connection to their colleagues and industry, more hands-on learning experiences, and a clear value proposition that aligns with their work/life priorities. Also, trade show attendees want balanced programming with plenty of breaks and free time to be able to meet and connect with new people. They are coming for exposure to new ideas and experiences so it’s important to consider these needs while planning.” 

The survey for this report was conducted from Nov. 1-16, 2022, and the sample included 1,800 consumers and business professionals who attended an in-person event and 250 event decision makers. 

Reach Mickey Wilson at 

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