In the B2B (business-business) setting, events have consistently demonstrated their effectiveness in impressing your audience, networking with prospects, and boosting brand recognition.
Event marketing is a broad term that has two different meanings. First, it can be defined as a marketing strategy aimed at promoting events. It could also refer to the use of events to promote a business or a mission.
These events come in various types like trade fairs, virtual events, seminars, summits, conferences, and mixed forms of digital and traditional events. You can use these events to advertise your brand, company, or specific products and services.
Regardless of which way you utilize event marketing, either for promoting events or for incorporating events in your marketing strategy, its impact on the B2B industry shouldn’t be underestimated.
Why is event marketing important for B2B companies?
Building relationships, scaling your business, and generating more sales is crucial in the highly-competitive B2B sector, given the rule: “People buy from people.” To stay in the game, business owners need to master networking.
One effective way to sharpen this skill is by attending marketing events. These events offer opportunities for professionals from across the globe and different industries to exchange valuable insights into the global market while creating invaluable connections.
Events offer more than just the opportunity to establish personal connections; they bring together products and services that were previously unheard of and give them a human touch, leading to the effective creation of leads, the attraction of a new client base, and the preservation of current relationships.
Let’s see what the statistics reveal about the marketing aspect of events:
- Events help establish stronger relationships: 93% of executives consider face-to-face interactions as crucial for long-term business relationships, while 84% of them deem such events vital for their company’s success.
- Data-driven decision-making is the new norm: According to a recent survey, 88% of event professionals consider data as a critical factor in the success of their events. 71% of these professionals use data to shape their event strategies. Around 40% of them rely on data to measure their events’ success and return on investment (ROI).
- Event marketing maximizes sales and ROI: For 41% of event marketers, events serve as the top-performing channel for reaching business goals. Among them, 63% believe that in-person events primarily drive lead generation, while 52% consider events as the most effective way to engage with their target audience.
- Events positively impact brand perception: A report says that 74% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after engaging with a brand in person, while 98% feel more motivated to buy after attending a brand-hosted event.
Pre-Event and Post-Event Marketing: breaking down the parts
To ensure your event’s success and to maintain the interest and participation of your audience throughout its duration, it’s essential to have a proper event marketing plan prepared before, during, and after the event. Moreover, it’s also important to recognize that events don’t attract attendees on their own, so you’ll need to employ effective tactics.
Let’s say that the event you’ve been conceptualizing with your team for months is finally happening. You are aware that this is only the start, and the actual challenge lies in ensuring the event’s success, which means achieving a high return on investment. To accomplish this, a marketing strategy is essential.
Using social media and other platforms to promote and advertise your event is just the surface. The best strategy involves following a timeline and a logical sequence where the next step builds the previous step making the whole marketing campaign stronger. Although the ultimate marketing plan to capture every lead is just a myth, many tactics can give you big wins in every phase of your campaign.
Since every phase is different, as well as the lead time, your success rate increases if you create a plan for each stage. Here is a breakdown of each phase/section according to experts.
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. No matter how clichè it might sound, it’s excellent advice. When you plan, don’t forget to define what your goals and objectives are.
How do you do this? By asking the right questions!
- Why did you organize the event?
- Who is your target audience?
- Do you want people to learn, to sell, or to network?
- Where do you want to put up the event?
These questions will help you conceptualize the presentation and execution of the event.
Another factor that can help you define your goals and objectives is bringing as many people as possible into the planning stage.
Remember what they say – two heads are better than one. The more people take part in your planning, the more ideas you can get. With many people working and putting their ideas together, the more bases you cover, ensuring that you don’t leave anything to chance.
Related: Invite Success: The Pre-Event Marketing Checklist
Social Media is Your Friend
Utilizing social media has become part of every company’s marketing strategy. However, you should know which channel will work to your advantage. That’s because people have become increasingly touchy to spam and sales content.
Think about it as a date where you observe the other person first on the first day. You don’t look too eager or disinterested so as not to scare the other person. If you want to make it work, you need to invest by giving value to the other person while trying to win them.
Creating value means creating high-quality content that does not just entertain or inform but educates them. That means your content addresses the pain point to everyone who sees or reads it, even the non-attendees.
The logic is simple – if your content can attract everyone, it has the potential to go viral.
Related: Facebook and Twitter Metrics to Track in 2018 [INFOGRAPHIC]
When your event ends, it does not mean your marketing campaign ends either. You need to have last-push marketing using emails or blogs.
You can also reuse your event content and turn them into a podcast, YouTube videos, eBooks, or infographics and share them on your social media accounts. They will refresh and inspire the people who attended your event again and again.
Related: Planning Ahead to Maximize Your Post-Event Marketing Campaign
Don’t Be Afraid of Feedback
Gathering feedback after the event is vital so you can make an honest assessment of whether it was a success or not, or whether the performance was extraordinary or average.
Feedback can also give you more data and insight to help you communicate more effectively with your target audience and make your brand much stronger.
Go back to your goals and objectives during your pre-planning stage – assess and measure them. How can you integrate these goals and objectives into your company’s long-term goals?
Related: How To Use Your Customer’s Voice To Create Powerful Content That Converts
How About In-Between?
In between your pre and post-event marketing is the event itself, the most important element of your campaign. In fact, this is your marketing campaign in real-time where every moment counts.
It is the centerpiece of everything that you have planned. At this point, focus on your purpose to create an engaging and immersive experience for your audience.
- Use visuals – They can be videos, photos, displays, or product demonstrations that help your audience understand your product more.
- Interact – Create different activities that will make your product or service the star of the show. It could come through product testing and samples.
- Connect – How can they use their devices on-site and interact/connect with your product?
As you engage your on-site audience, don’t take your online audience for granted. Make sure that they, too, are as engaged and immersed digitally. Utilize social media, so your online audience gets an update on what’s happening in your event.
When in Doubt
During your planning, it is normal to feel like you might get confused about whether you are doing the right thing or not. Go back to the basics if that happens – What is your brand all about? What are your goals and objectives? Share your story in various ways, on different platforms, and to different kinds of audiences. You can never go wrong with your story.
Boost turnout and conversions for your live events with Callbox’s targeted, end-to-end event marketing solutions.
Are you hosting an event soon? We get it. The process can get quite daunting, from brainstorming, planning, and organizing, to choosing the right speakers, and the list goes on. And that’s even before the event starts.
While events have been strongly affected by the pandemic, it is now resurfacing and has been able to expand into online formats without displacing the importance of in-person events. Also, it hasn’t reduced in capabilities and importance in terms of lead generation and networking. This paves the way for more opportunities in the B2B industry.
If you’re worried about your event registrations and outcomes, we have some great news for you. You can outsource your event organization to a dependable lead generation company such as Callbox.
Boost your event registrations and revenue with our expert B2B services. Our event marketing services are designed to cater to various live events initiatives like tradeshows, webinars, seminars, product launches, and industry meetups. With our extensive sales and marketing experience, we offer a flexible and comprehensive package that combines multi-touch and multi-channel capabilities to help drive more attendees and revenue to your events.
We are here to engage your attendees and opportunities throughout the event cycle, while maintaining the high quality of invitees and prospects at every step of the event process, leveraging phone, email, and social media to maximize conversions and gather critical event and prospect information for more effective marketing strategies.
Reach your business goals by planning ahead, establishing connections, focusing on customer experience, and by outsourcing to a reputable lead generation services provider that has been a partner of many businesses since 2004.
Partner with Callbox now!