Event sponsors can be hard to keep when the going gets tough for a company. But take it from Torrye Metoyer, senior marketing strategist of events at P2 Energy Solutions: “In tough times, you don’t [want to] cut back where customers see it,” she says.
Metoyer knows more about pitfalls than people in most industries right now. She’s been with Denver-based P2, a worldwide developer of oil and gas upstream software, since 2004 and recently handled ASCEND, P2’s annual users conference for more than 500 oil and gas industry professionals. The globe-trotting Southerner shares why marketing is a crucial part of an event’s bottom line.
What is your biggest struggle right now?
Oil is less than $50 a barrel, which is down from more than $100. People are hesitant to spend money in marketing. One sponsor planned to drop from gold level to bronze. I said, “Now is not the time to cut your marketing spend. You want to show you’re still viable. If you’ve built that brand equity for years and cut back now, you’ve opened the doors for your competitors.” Nobody wants to think they’re going backward. [In the end, that sponsor] stayed at gold.
You’ve been with P2 since 2004. What’s led you to spend 12 years in a world where it’s becoming more common to jump around every few?
The customers [keep me here]. In event marketing, you have to create an experience that will encourage customers to come back for more. In the survey for my 2016 annual customer conference, more than 85 percent said they will attend in 2017. Those numbers were 89 percent and 81 percent in 2015 and 2014, respectively, so I’m challenged to make the next an even more memorable experience than before.