Skip to main content



30 Mar 2023

Building Brand Trust Through Face-to-Face

Building Brand Trust Through Face-to-Face

This week, ELX partner Freeman released the Freeman Trust Report, a comprehensive research study in the power of live events as a driver of brand loyalty and trust.

We asked Mickey Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer at Freeman to discuss the reports findings and what its results mean for senior event leaders. 


“A brand is simply trust.” – Steve Jobs   


As Steve Job's famous quote makes clear, the aspiration to build trust for brands is nothing new. Every successful company knows that trust is a crucial factor to success, driving customer engagement, purchases and loyalty.    

However, many brands and marketers struggle with the question of how to achieve it; what marketing channels and tactics to prioritize; where to focus to best develop trust. In today's highly diffused media landscape, with more marketing channels than ever before, the question of channel prioritization has become more urgent and challenging than ever.   

Many corporate marketers intuitively grasp the power that live events and activations have with customers. You see first-hand the impact that real customer interactions have on winning customers over to a brand. Still, live events are often not considered a traditional marketing channel. This can cause events to be overlooked within the traditional marketing framework, and can cause to be sidelined in the fierce competition for limited budgets. For brands to drive success, this must change.   

This week, we released new research in the Freeman Trust Report 2023, which is required reading for brand marketers that are looking to build and strengthen customer trust. This new report conducted by Edelman Data and Intelligence, the research firm behind the Edelman Trust Barometer and decades of trust perception research globally, demonstrates the strong correlation between in-person interaction at live events and brand trust.   

According to the Freeman Trust Report, 77% of all respondents – and more than 8 out of 10 millennials – say they trusted brands more after interacting face-to-face with them at live events. These interactions offer a unique opportunity to make a personal connection with your audience, engage them in conversation, and provide them with a memorable experience. Unlike other marketing channels, events allow brands to create a more immersive and interactive experience, which helps to build trust and foster lasting relationships, as the data shows.   

The research also shows that 77% of respondents who interacted with a brand at a live event left with greater trust that the brand would do what is right. That’s powerful for our next generation of decision makers.   

Additionally, events provide a lasting halo effect on its attendees. These interactions lasted at least a month for 64% of people surveyed, resulting in long-term brand trust, recognition, and most importantly sales. Happy customers buy more and are more likely to share their positive experiences.   

“At ELX, our mission is to educate organizers and brands to understand how events change hearts and minds,” said Chloe Richardson, managing director of ELX. “And you can’t do this without trust. Trust is a crucial component for both when making an impact with attendees.  The Freeman Trust Report is the proof that both quantifies and demonstrates the importance of building this trust with your audience.” 


For brands their most valuable asset is the trust they build with their customers. By leveraging the power of face-to-face live events, brands can build lasting relationships with their audience and establish trust that can differentiate them from competitors.  Event marketers can and should leverage the findings of this report to understand the value of events and how they build trust which leads to long lasting business success. You can download the full Freeman Trust Report here.