In-person marketing events are a useful tactic for B2B marketers, as they allow your organization to interact with attendees and spread awareness of your products and services. With so many events occurring in the marketing world, it is important to stand out and create an event that caters to your audience. If you position your event as merely promotional – “come and see our demo” – not many people will be willing to spend the time and money to come. Instead, focus on giving attendees valuable content and insight through thought leadership.
In order to have a successful B2B event, there are four “P’s” that you should keep in mind: purpose, plan, promotion and post-event.
Before you begin planning an event, it is important to take a step back and think about your organization’s goals for the event. Are you looking to generate as many qualified leads as possible? Or maybe you want to use the event to better reach your existing customer base. Whatever your goals may be, it is important that they are set in place and are able to be measured once the event is complete.
With your organization’s goals in mind, the next step is to begin planning your event. First, determine the format of event that you wish to hold. It can take place as a large conference, a seminar, a user meetup group or a “lunch and learn.” Each of these formats have pros and cons depending on your specific goals.
In order to attract a larger number of attendees, it can be useful to host a guest speaker who is well-known in your industry. An industry expert will not only bring credibility to your event, but you can also leverage their influence to promote your event to their own audiences.
Also consider what you can do to entertain your attendees and create a unique experience for them. Perhaps you can have a social event the first night of your conference or maybe you invite prospects to attend a live performance hosted by your company.
Promotion of an event is essential for successful registrations. The earlier you can begin promoting it, the better, especially if it requires a large commitment of time or money. Additionally, schedules fill up quickly, so it is important to get your event on attendee’s calendars early.
There are many ways to promote your event. For the maximum impact, implement an integrated marketing approach utilizing multiple tactics such as email, social media, direct mail and phone calls from your sales team. Tip: Use a unique registration code for each marketing vehicle to track which performed best for future events.
While the activities before and during an event are important, the next steps after an event can help take your results from good to great. It is essential to follow up with any leads that were generated during the event (the sooner the better). Doing this soon after the event ensures that your company is still top of mind and that you are able to answer any questions that they may have.
Post-event activities can also extend the reach of your event. Utilize content that you gathered during your event such as photos, videos and presentation decks to further promote your event and attract more attention. Publishing this content online and promoting it through social media is a great way to extend the reach of your message. Additionally, this can encourage others to attend your next event.
To have a successful B2B event, it is important to be strategic before, during and after the event. There are many components that go into planning an event, so it is important to be well-organized and, if needed, consult an outside event planner. While hosting an event can take many hours of work, by focusing on the four P’s of event marketing, you are more likely to have your efforts pay off by reaching and even exceeding your event goals.