Let’s look at the difference between B2B event marketing definition and b2c event marketing. In B2B you sell products or services directly to other businesses or their decision makers through your events. In the b2c model, you provide the same, but to the customers for their personal use only. To create a compelling event marketing strategy for a business, mind the difference and use appropriate promotion channels.
What is B2B event marketing?
B2B event marketing is an offline marketing channel to engage clients, convert the target businesses to clients, build strong relationships between companies through events. Event marketing in B2B is an instrument, a set of special events and actions that you organize to affect the behavior and opinion of the audience, engage it through events.
For running B2B event marketing, you should always remember about your business goals and your target audience. 360 marketing mix will be different for B2B event. There is no way you can promote a music festival and then use the same set of marketing activities to invite B2B clients to a gala concert.
Who uses event marketing and how does it work?
What kind of businesses are looking for B2B event marketing? Corporate & Enterprise, MICE and governmental companies, nonprofit associations, education organizations, and other event companies have their objectives to use B2B marketing to run events.
- Enterprises and corporate prefer to engage the clients, launch new products, build brand awareness, increase sales and build strong partnership relations via such event types seminars, virtual events, webinars, and conferences.
- MICE strive for large scale meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions successfully organized and promoted to extend their contact base and geography.
- Event/marketing/pr agencies resort to B2B when making events for their corporate clients. Event marketing becomes a part of the marketing strategy and meets the same objectives as for enterprises.
- Professional associations and educators seek professional awards marketing to gather and award the members, seek for judges and endorsers, to build, develop and control the industry, make a profit.
- Government organizations realize that top-notch solutions for diverse events from small, in-house to large scale conferences and mega conventions take place with the appropriate promotion. It helps to secure data and develop a premium level of communication.
With the help of B2B marketing, you actualize business goals. You improve customer retention, increase event revenue, accelerate sales, develop great investor relations and form brand awareness and provide an event product or services on a win-win basis to corporate or small companies.
Now check what you should focus on promoting B2B events and making event success happen.
Reasons and benefits of event marketing
Event marketing and strategies for B2B event marketing bring obvious benefits. For companies, it’s not just a tool to remind about themselves, but also a chance to introduce a new service or product and other useful offers. When showing up at a planned event, it is necessary to take into account the fact that interest in something new causes a more significant response. That is why event marketers introduce more unique ideas and trends to boost the event with the help of various types of event marketing.
Types of event marketing
To correctly operate with all advertising means and get the most from the event marketing, event planners should learn about common marketing types. Your B2B event strategy may include events of two types: online events and physical events.
Online events include webinars, virtual events, and live streaming events. They are less costly in comparison with live events and help to cover even distant geographical regions. Online event better connects participants through web apps for events and communication.
Virtual events enable individuals from different locations to participate in events via the virtual environment. They combine education, networking, and interactive features. You may offer participants to visit a virtual booth where they meet, ask questions, collect and share materials, or even pick up some virtual swags!
Live streaming events
You can stream to your viewers at such events. You may arrange them in Google+ Hangouts, via apps like Livestream and Ustream, conduct them with a webcam or hire a full production team for serious broadcasting.
Webinars are very popular events with presentations, discussions, or workshops conducted on the web. Use real-time interactive webinars and allow participants ask direct questions to presenters.
Offline or onsite events need physical presence of participants and interpersonal interactions in real time. They require more investments and special services. In B2B handshaking, business card exchange and personal communication are very important. That is why do not underestimate physical events for dwelling on effective business relations.
These are events for customers, partners, vendors, etc. These events include various exhibitions, presentations, forums, networking, etc. The purpose is to demonstrate the new product line, search for potential partners, exchange experience, etc.
Conferences, social receptions, etc. serve as an effective marketing tool in B2B. You invite not only company employees, but also regular customers or partners. Many modern companies arrange corporate leisure/training for the staff at conferences.
- Seminars and trainings
A series of seminars, summits or similar events are a good B2B event strategy. They educate the company staff and encourage personal growths through sharing experience. They produce a beneficial effect not only on marketing but also on the company’s image, reputation and brand awareness.
Corporate Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners
Business Breakfasts, Lunches, or Dinners are smaller, but more targeted events with leadership presentations, networking or education as part of the event.
Events as marketing tools
According to a new report on event marketing by Certain and Heinz Marketing, “Today’s most successful companies leverage events to drive brand awareness, demand generation, pipeline acceleration and customer engagement, allowing their sales and marketing teams to meaningfully impact every stage of the buyer’s journey.” Needless to say, B2B event marketing strategy impacts event success in a major way and thus boosts the company profit.
How to build an event marketing plan
Event marketing plan is an important part of the strategy. A detailed marketing plan means that half the job is already done! More than 6,200 respondents from B2B companies say that they are experiencing their biggest problems in attracting customers and paying back marketing events.No wonder, if they neglect a detailed planning.
We share a step-by-step guide on drawing up a good event marketing strategy plan for B2B and SaaS companies:
- Segment your market and then plan a separate marketing campaign for each segment.
The segments you define may demand quite different goals. If you pick incorrectly for a particular segment, you will not deliver on adequate event marketing goals. Highlight the most promising segments, and focus on these instead.
- Set your goals.
There are various tasks: to attract free users, to convert free users into paid ones, to retain existing customers, to expand the affiliate network, etc. However, all of this should ultimately lead to higher profits. You need to make your goals clear so that everyone understands who is responsible and for what.
- Allocate your budget.
Budget allocation is essential. If you haven’t allocated a marketing budget yet, determine what percentage of sales (or profit) you will reinvest each month in marketing right away!
- Define marketing zones.
These are groups of tasks that relate to the same type of activity: PR, product, etc. Define them according to your event goals.
- Highlight tasks.
Divide the list of tasks that are important based on certain periods of time (month, quarter, and year). We take global goals, divide them into time intervals, and describe different ways to achieve them.
- Highlight marketing campaigns.
For each marketing zone, we describe specific actions that must be performed, taking into account different resources and capabilities.
- Distribute areas of responsibility.
Discuss your goals, deadlines, budgets, and expected results with your staff. Make sure that marketers understand everything about the plan. If you work with partners, be sure to coordinate specific actions and deadlines.
- Choose KPI.
We decide on the indicators to evaluate the event marketing campaign’s effectiveness. It is easier to work with event marketing apps that make event measuring easier, saving time and effort in the calculation of results.
- Use North Star Metric (NSM).
In a SaaS environment, NSM is a single metric that best captures the core value that your product delivers to customers. This is the main goal the company focuses on for a certain period of time (number of registrations, percentage of repeated purchases, a conversion rate of free users into paid ones, etc.).
- Pick your marketing channels.
You need to determine the effectiveness of each channel as this will allow you to accurately predict how many sales they are able to generate.
- Pick the planning tools.
You can plan your event marketing in different ways. No matter which way you choose, the main thing is the result. Pick the tool that fits your event marketing strategy and goals the best, whether it is Trello, Google docs or Judgify.
B2B event marketing strategy: best practices
Social media and new technology improvements present a number of challenges to modern planners. The best B2B marketing strategy practices can prove that new level of difficult.Event marketers have to face them and introduce innovative B2B strategy ideas to stay at the top of their game.
Old school B2B marketers assume that business decisions are based only on rational motivations. Modern event marketers also appeal to feelings and consider this approach to be effective in the B2C industry and beyond. Emotions play an important role in B2B event promotion as well considering that today’s audience is more sophisticated and demanding. Entertainment and interactive elements, immersive technologies, and other appealing perks are what event attendees look for. They strive to feel rather than think.
The best organisations realise that event marketing starts well before an event, which is why they use multiple channels for event promotion. The best B2B event marketing examples do not limit your event platform to engaging attendees and encouraging participation in activities and breakouts. Quite the opposite, nowadays you can do all of that via social media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, or other channels. Using event hashtags to post quotes, photos, cases, and videos from an event will also help drive awareness. Even after the event, you can allow reports, suggest shares of content, and highlight key insights, allowing you to maintain valuable relationships.
To make your strategies of event marketing even more effective in the future, you should measure every event’s level of success. You should research who your competitors are, how they are progressing, and what mistakes they make. We recommend using the SimilarWeb, Ahrefs, or BuzzSumo services to measure your event marketing success. You will figure out where other companies get traffic from, what requests their users respond to, where they get backlinks from, and what content is the most popular. You will also focus on the most promising event marketing channels. It is also important to understand how competitors work with leads and turn them into customers; examine the tools used, sales techniques applied, strategies employed, etc.
Don’t forget that there is always an opportunity to measure your event marketing success in B2B with the help of GlobalSign.in products.
Do not underestimate the importance of event marketing planning. A good plan is one of the key elements in the strategy of any event company. A lack of planning often leads to inefficient and unprofitable marketing investments.
A marketing plan such as this allows you to intelligently plan sales, divide them by channel, set goals, and distribute your budget. Regularly working on the plan allows the company to invest in the most effective event marketing channels and thrive!
Contact us for event marketing help. You are welcome to leave your questions in the comments below!