41% of marketers believe that the single most effective marketing channel is events. This data is a result of research conducted by Bizzabo in 2018.
Even though there are countless tactics and strategies that are available to the modern B2B marketer, event marketing remains the tried-and-true solution for B2B companies. But what differentiates B2B event marketing from B2C?
B2C event marketing is frequently focused around new customer activation, delighting current customers or even to build awareness. In contrast, B2B event marketing is centered on the relationships between organizations.
According to the Marketing Charts 2018 study, the average spend by B2B companies that are sponsoring an event is $20,000. This is over 21% of the marketing budget, as per a Bizzabo 2018 research.
B2B Event Marketing Implementation
Events can be included in an overall marketing strategy in a myriad of ways, the implementation of which will depend on the stage of your company along with the desired outcomes. Generally, there are 2 main ways you can practice event marketing – hosting or attending. These 2 broad categories include specific ways companies can get creative with their different B2B event marketing ideas, some of which are:
Exhibitions are probably the most common form of B2B event marketing as it is also a strong B2B lead generation strategy. Companies leverage this opportunity by creating a standout booth so as to connect with prospects that have a vested interest in their product.
2. VIP Dinner
Exhibitions are mainly for early-stage lead generation. In order to push later stage leads down the funnel, organize intimate dinners inviting prospects and giving them individualized attention. Existing customers can also be invited for these dinners so they could mingle with the prospects and give a face-to-face endorsement of your company to them.
Once a company has a large enough customer base, they can consider hosting their own large scale event which will establish their presence in the industry and even force others to perceive their company as a thought leader.
Multiple business goals can be achieved with the implementation of the roadshow which consists of one-day events at multiple locations so as to promote the product or service along with event brand building.
B2B Event Marketing Benefits
Beyond the cost of hosting and attending trade shows, an overwhelming majority of marketing executives (87%, Bizzabo) include them in their marketing strategy and rightfully so. Here are a few key benefits a B2B company can experience.
- Boost Company Visibility – Generate a buzz and create big impacts through trade shows which can aid your company in entering the market with more ease or in launching that new product or service.
- Strengthen Brand Recognition – No matter the size and maturity of the company, it is vital to present it at the relevant tradeshows in order to strengthen the brand and get recognition by association.
- Trust and Pipeline Building – Generate new leads, convert existing ones and build strong relationships by participation in B2B event marketing. Professionals with similar interests and needs get brought together in industry trade shows for a few days which give companies plenty of opportunities to network and connect with prospects.
- Increased Educational Awareness – Through trade show attendance, companies gain access to a surplus of educational sessions that discuss the latest industry trends, challenges, and changes.
Maximize B2B Event Marketing Effectiveness
As mentioned, B2B event marketing is highly beneficial but many organizations struggle to make optimum use of their significant investments post-event. When done right, in-person events can work as a brilliant launch pad to build a platform for all future marketing content and sales conversations. Here’s how you can maximize your event marketing spend.
1. Set objectives
However obvious this might seem, many marketers start planning events without having a full understanding of what they wish to achieve from it and without grasping how it aligns with their broader marketing and organization goals.
2. A consistent and compelling message
No matter whether it is an event you are hosting or a tradeshow you are sponsoring, realize that the attendees have come to learn and not to hear a sales pitch. For this purpose, study the agenda to determine how your company is adding value to them.
3. Value-added content plan
Have a content strategy that brings value to customers so as to ensure that they keep coming back. In order to do this, break down your content strategy in a step-by-step manner.
Before the event, promote attendance of the event through a compelling invite, a sample video of the featured speaker or even a sample presentation.
During the event provide relevant content that complements the sessions and establish your company as a thought leader.
After the event, implement your communication plan by keeping the conversation flowing and by providing more value-added content.
4. Digital platform
So as to make the most out of event spending, there is a whole gamut of technology available which is far more effective and cheaper than the traditional channels. To get the most benefits from this, the company would need a detailed digital strategy that will cover the pre, during and post-event communications.
5. Follow up
According to a study done by Salesforce, 80% trade show exhibitors don’t follow up with their leads which is startling when you consider the fact that marketers consider lead generation as their primary event objective. Map out the follow-up plan before the event gets on the floor so that all the emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings are designed in advance and ready to go.
When asking for feedback, marketers shouldn’t focus solely on attendance and revenue to measure success. Focus on the one main question of whether the objectives set out at the beginning were met in the duration of the event.
B2B event marketing benefits are irrefutable but many organizations end up failing to reap these benefits through mismanagement of event spending which results in failure at touching bottom lines and ROI milestones.
As explained, a good event requires the right recognition and this is exactly where Valasys Media comes into the picture! Though working with an elaborate event promotion marketing strategy along with our other advertising services; we constantly work on new ways and means to make your event a success. Event planning is a whole lot of work which includes finding vendors, planning activities and securing venues. This is where we at Valasys Media will assist you by taking the digital marketing stress off your shoulders and carrying out marketing campaigns that help you experience the success you desire. Contact us to know more.