Not sure exactly why this is so, but as Seth goes on to explain, the fallacy behind this, a kind of magical thinking, is that one big, splashy, fancy event is going to bring clients in by the dozens. The fact that this never, ever happens escapes everyone. These things also chew up a tremendous amount of time and money, and all too often, force your marketing staff to spend ridiculous amounts of time doing ridiculous things. One I remember in particular is an event in Tampa called the Cattle Baron's Ball. To prepare for this, one of my clients ended up spending fantastic amounts of time online searching for, if I remember correctly, stuffed horsies to give away as favors. This kind of baloney is demoralizing, kind of degrading, and often, just plain silly.
Marketing takes patience, and it takes a rational, stone-cold level of objectivity. Marketing professionals know this, and at the end of the day, if they're any good, the only question they ask is "Will it work? Is it effective?" Okay, that's two questions.
My point, though, is that one-off events are popular because clients have a lot of fun, get to feel like a big deal for a night, and see all their friends. Over the long haul, however, this kind of thing is typically far less effective than steady, patient presence in the marketplace. My favorite example of this is Apple Computer. They're known, of course, for their big, splashy, pay-a-million-dollars-and-show-it-once 1984 commercial. However, what really got them where they are is a slow, steady process of spending $100 million a year on developing their brand over twenty years.
Sometimes, a one-off is inescapable. But if it's not, strive to escape. Slow and steady really does win the race.