You've probably heard of B2B event marketing when you were putting together your marketing strategy. But what does it mean exactly? In this text we explain what is meant by this term, how it works and why it is important for your business.
What is B2B Event Marketing?
Simply put Event Marketing an event held for the purpose of promoting a product, service or company. This can take the form of a conference, virtual event, sponsorship or even a simple breakfast presentation.
Which event you choose depends on your business objectives. Some of the most common types are:
- Personal events such as trade fairs, conferences, seminars, networking events or product launches. A report by the Content Marketing Institute found that 75% of content marketers considered face-to-face events to be the most effective way of Content marketing strategy
- Online events such as webinars and live streaming events. This can be a more cost-effective option, often preferred by brands with tighter budgets.
We will go into the individual types more thoroughly later 😉
How does B2B event marketing work?
Event marketing can work in different ways. The organisation of an event by a company is the most obvious way. This can help you build stronger relationships with clients and prospects, find new partners, gain leads and much more.
Another strategy is to attend events as a guest. In this case, company representatives can promote products or services or enhance brand reputation by demonstrating their expertise in the field. In the process, you can sponsor events and increase your brand awareness.
Regardless of which strategy a brand adheres to, consider 95 % of marketers:inside consider event marketing as the most important way to achieve business goals. Let's find out why this opinion prevails.
Why is B2B event marketing important?
B2B event marketing aims to increase your credibility as a company. Partners and customers get the opportunity to interact personally with your brand and perceive you as a trustworthy partner. This makes events a golden networking opportunity. 75 % of business owners say that the opportunity to make useful contacts is their main reason for attending events.
Here are four arguments why you should include B2B event marketing in your marketing plans:
Create brand awareness
Events, virtual or live, are a great way to get customers and prospects to discover you. In fact, one study showed that 93 % of consumers think live events have a greater impact on them than TV advertising.
Events give businesses the opportunity to engage potential customers with their products and services. Once you have won over an audience, events can help you make sure they know who you are, what you sell and why you sell it. Then you want people to fall in love with your brand and your products/services.
Social media is a great way to build brand awareness: Invite influential speakers to give the event visibility on their own platforms, or create a hashtag and encourage participants to tag and mention the company.
Strengthen brand ambassadors
84 % of the event participants state the followingThe result is that they see a brand, product or service in a more positive light after attending an event. Events create brand ambassadors by exceeding their expectations.
If your event offers participants a memorable and enjoyable experience, they will have only positive associations with your brand. An event can show a more human side to a company and help customers build a lasting affinity with your brand - giving you a competitive advantage.
If you have a stand at a virtual trade fair, you have the perfect opportunity to generate leads.g. Collect email addresses from people who visit your stand by giving them an incentive such as a raffle or prize draw.
If you are organising a conference, you should also make sure that all participants register with their email address. This is the best chance to reach several members of your target group in one place. Research has shown that 64% of trade fair and event visitors use events for new prospects and business opportunities, while 3 % see them as an opportunity for lead acquisition..
Build and develop relationships
As Seth Godin, author, marketer and entrepreneur, once said, "People don't buy goods and services. They buy relationships, stories and magic." Building valuable relationships is therefore important for any organisation.
Events provide an interpersonal connection that can help build relationships with past and potential customers. To build and develop relationships, host special events that focus on clients and prospects and let them know that you recognise and value their business.
B2B event marketing offers companies the opportunity to raise awareness, turnover and positioning through appealing Virtual, live or hybrid events increase. They can also play a big role in promotion, so think about event marketing when planning your next event. Consider your goals carefully and the decision regarding a specific type of event will be much easier!
What types of events are there?
There are a variety of event formats that can be held both offline and online. It's time to look at the most popular types of events according to the Harvard Business Review to illuminate:
Conferences are large-scale events that focus on educational speeches from industry leaders and experts. They often include workshops and networking sessions to double the benefit for participants. 40 % of companies believe that conferences are the most effective type of event for their business objectives.
The main objective of this type of event is to educate the visitors. Therefore, seminars are often held in smaller rooms and require a limited number of participants. 8 % of companies consider seminars to be crucial to achieve their business goals, and at the same time this format contributes the most to increasing the knowledge of the participants.
These events aim to accelerate sales and increase the loyalty of key customers. VIP events can achieve these goals by gathering a room full of influential shareholders, key customers and other honoured guests. 7 % of company representatives indicated that VIP events have the greatest impact on their company's KPIs.
Thought leadership events
The ultimate goal of these events is networking: a bunch of professionals with the same interests meet to exchange ideas face-to-face. Thought leadership events enable organisers to strengthen their authority in a specific area and achieve amazing business results - 14 % of business leaders believe that this event format is most beneficial for their company's results.
Companies use this type of event to present their upcoming products to potential or existing customers. The aim is to get prospects and buyers excited about the features and benefits of a new product.
B2B event marketing is a potentially powerful tool. It allows you to build and maintain strong relationships, attract new customers, build stable partnerships and nail down business KPIs. If you want to get all the benefits from this channel, you should take care of your event promotion.
 (EMI & Mosaic, 2016)