What is B2B event marketing?
The results are in.
When it comes to B2B marketing strategies, event marketing reigns supreme.
In fact, 75% of marketers believe it is the #1 most effective marketing channel for achieving overall business goals.
Want the full lowdown on B2B event marketing? Then get scrolling.
B2B event marketing definition
B2B event marketing is a strategy that uses in-person or real-time interactions with customers and prospects to promote a product or service.
A company’s involvement in an event might be as a host, a sponsor, a speaker or an attendee. But it’s important to note: B2B event marketing isn’t just about the event itself. Rather, it spans the whole process - from creating the concept to running the event and everything in between.
Because in order to guarantee success at your event (and beyond), you’ll need a well-devised B2B event marketing strategy.
Why should you do B2B event marketing?
Sounds like quite the task, huh? So why bother?
Well, event marketing is a vital component of your overall marketing efforts if you want to achieve business growth. Not to mention that 44% of marketers experience a 3:1 ROI when it comes to events.
But there’s a whole host of advantages to B2B event marketing. Namely:
This is big. Like 👇
If you can get your brand’s identity out there amongst your target audience in a positive and memorable way, you’re golden.
Events, both virtually and face-to-face, offer the opportunity to connect directly with customers in real time.
This interaction will no doubt lead to happier, more engaged and loyal clients in the long run.
Remember, anyone attending your event already has an interest in the product or service you’re offering.
So, make sure you maximise this.
You can easily capture prospect data at things like demo stations.
Just don’t forget to nurture these leads after the event to ensure communication continues.
Education and information
Live events are a great way to educate consumers about your product or service and how to make the most of it.
It’s an invaluable opportunity to interact directly with prospects, answer their questions and address specific pain points.
A personal conversation like this will make them feel talked to rather than sold to, which will lead to higher levels of trust in your brand.
You might also be able to upsell to existing customers about new features or add-ons.
What are the different types of B2B marketing events?
B2B event marketing covers all sorts of events, from the half-hour webinar to the international trade show.
Let’s dive in 👇
Perhaps the most popular of B2B marketing events, conferences usually comprise a schedule of industry speakers, workshops and networking sessions.
Live webinars are virtual presentations, discussions or demonstrations which usually run at around 30-60 minutes.
Trade shows focus on a particular field, industry or theme.
They're a great way to bring together related brands, companies and individuals who share common interests and areas of expertise.
Seminars are smaller-scale events, consisting of in-depth discussions with a select group.
These are events which showcase new products and create a buzz around them.
These are a great opportunity for like-minded businesses and individuals to connect.
Thought leadership events
Thought leadership events present a brand as an authority in a specific field.
These are swish events that mark a special occasion and serve to entertain and impress loyal customers and VIPs.
Top 5 tactics to get signups to your B2B event
You need people to actually attend the event in order for it to be a success.
So how do you make sure people turn up?
Here are our top 5 tips for getting signups to your B2B event:
Create a pre-event page
Don’t have all the specifics hashed out yet?
A pre-event page providing key info is a great way to increase registrations and capture leads that can be contacted further down the line if needs be.
Make the most of your email signature
Your email signature isn’t just useful for dishing out your details.
It’s also a great marketing tool.
You can add in clickable banners which direct people straight to your event page. This is called email signature marketing.
So why not maximise the marketing potential of every email you send out?
You won’t regret it.
Nail your social media presence
Using social media to promote your event is a must.
It’s the best way to access your target audience and build momentum in the lead-up to the big day.
But it’s not one-size-fits-all.
Your event type, and the personas you’re hoping to attract, will determine the platform you use and the type of content you create.
You can use paid reach, organic, or a mixture of the two.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to create a dedicated hashtag for your event and use it from the get-go.
Use a multi-channel promotional strategy
OK, so social media is important.
But if you really want to up your attendance figures, you’ve got to think multi-channel.
B2B email marketing is great, but one email can easily get lost in the ever-crowded inbox.
Devise a drip email campaign for your event that goes out at key times.
And don’t stop there:
You could send out event invites by direct mail.
Or why not pick up the phone to some unconverted leads?
It might just get you a few extra signups.
Partner your events
Collaborating with partners who complement your brand is a great way to boost signups.
By promoting your event to their networks, you can broaden its reach and scope.
And why not partner up on other company’s events too?