B2B event marketing is all about how you can organize events to promote your brand or business.
And just to clear out any confusion, this article won’t be about marketing your events. (But EventTube family knows we’ll link resources for that as well)
From what B2B event marketing is and how experts actually do it, we’ve covered it all for you.
This is definitely a good read for you if you’re affiliated to a B2B company looking to grow.
Events are an excellent way to do so!
It doesn’t just yield short-term results with sales but also drives long-lasting impact. You’ll learn all of that here.
Let’s start with the basics first.
A. What is event marketing?
Event marketing is a way to market your product, service, or brand using events. It offers a unique opportunity to interact with your target audience meaningfully in real-time.
It’s strategy in nature as it may seem like you’re marketing an event, but that’s just a means to the end. The result is to have better brand awareness.
Long-term results of effective event marketing include better sales and customer loyalty.
Event marketing comes in many different forms. It could take shape as a conference, trade show, fest, or webinar. There are many more forms which are covered later in the article.
B. What is B2B event marketing?
B2B stands for business-to-business. Here one business has a target audience that includes other businesses.
To make it simpler, not all businesses reach out to the average customer. For example, an online store wanting to sell to customers takes the help of a shipping company. There shipping company here works as a B2B company that’s helping another business succeed.
Now, you can understand that B2B event marketing refers to one business promoting their product/service to other businesses using events.
Other businesses usually attend B2B events to solve some of their business problems or share/gain knowledge.
The ultimate goal of this exchange of knowledge through events is to drive sales.
C. How is B2B marketing different from B2C marketing?
So far in the article, we have understood that B2B refers to businesses catering to other businesses as manufacturers, wholesalers, etc.
B2C on the other hand, stands for business-to-consumer. Here, businesses sell directly to individual customers.
In B2C event marketing, the aim is to get new customers or please existing customers. An example of this could be Zomaland, and how it caters to this consumer-base of foodies on Zomato.
B2B event marketing focuses solely on relationships with other companies and organizations. They facilitate in-person interactions for better business relationships and sales promotion.
However, both of them end up building brand awareness. The difference lies in the target audience and types of events.
D. Types of B2B event marketing?
We promised you that we would tell you what are the ways in which you can perform B2B event marketing. EventTube is known to keep its promises, so here we go:
Webinars are pre-recorded or live presentations, workshops, and discussions that can be shared over the Internet.
Here, you can engage with other businesses and professionals digitally. To know the best platform and techniques for hosting digital events, head to the linked article.
Remember that it’s always better to live-stream such events to facilitate real-time interactions. Allow people to ask questions and discuss instead. This differentiates your event and prevents it from becoming a long infomercial.
In exhibitions, companies showcase products and services. The face-to-face demonstration allows for direct engagement and feedback.
For example, the Dubai Expo is a really popular exhibition.
3. VIP dinners
If you want to do more personalized B2B event marketing, VIP dinners are the way to go.
Here, you’ve to host exclusive dinners with clients/prospects. This offers a relaxed environment but at the same time, a space for business conversations.
Such events are fruitful for fostering long-term relationships with your target audience.
It’s also a good idea to add this small event as an after-party to corporate events or other B2B events.
4. Trade shows
By definition, this event brings together members of a particular industry together to display products/services in an event.
This offers networking and branding opportunities to multiple businesses.
This form of B2B event marketing combines a series of events held in different locations. This helps expand reach to different geographies.
However, it is more resource-intensive than most other formats.
6. User group event
This B2B event marketing format is up and coming in the market. It brings together selected consumers to test a specific product or service.
The obvious benefit of this event is to gather feedback and network with experts.
However, recently we’ve also seen the trend where such event marketing is also used to create hype in the market.
For example, this mattress company was giving INR 1 lakh just to sleep and test out mattresses. It got everyone talking about the brand and product.
7. Experiential marketing event
This is similar to the previous format, but this event is open to the public. Here, people from the target audience are invited to experience the product/service.
It helps in word-of-mouth marketing and also gives you a chance to get more content about your product in action.
8. Charity events
Here, events pick up a social cause and raise money/spread awareness about it.
This form of B2B event marketing may be a little cost-intensive but it helps associate a positive image with your company.
It’s not only great for helping those in need, but also binds you and your target audience with shared morals.
This is the most preferred form of B2B event marketing. Organizations organize these events with elaborate program schedules.
You’re expected to share valuable information but also generate leads while you’re at it.
E. Why should you host B2B events?
After learning various ways to do B2B event marketing, you must be wondering why companies go to such lengths. Here’s why:
- B2C relationships are quick to forge as the average consumer can be impressed with marketing. B2B marketing requires more long-term investments and partnerships. Thus, B2B event marketing helps forge better long-term relationships
- It is a good way to reach high-level executives in other companies. They are the decision-makers in other companies, so it’s a wise idea to reach them
- Events leave lasting impressions on those who attend. Creating pleasant experiences for your target audience will help you generate more brand awareness
- Attendees are also your future prospective clients. Don’t forget to gather leads wherever possible
- Face-to-face interaction during such events can shorten the decision-making process for your prospects. Thus, such events can also help shorten the sales cycle for you
- It also opens the door to future partnerships, collaborations, and deals
- With so many people present, it’s also an opportunity to take feedback from people about your product
- Giving a physical presence to your product/service builds more credibility for your brand
- Your event management skills also reflect your values and work ethic while offering products/services to customers
F. How to plan B2B events?
If you’re reading this article if you want to plan a B2B event in the future, you’ll need to know all the steps.
That’s a process that will make this article seem like a book.
But, we solved it for you. Here’s your event planning guide for corporate and B2B events. Following the steps will help bring your vision into reality.
G. Key elements of B2B event planning
You’ll learn the steps to event planning in the article linked above. But, here are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind specifically for B2B event marketing:
- You must know exactly “why” you’re organizing the event. Don’t try to achieve everything at once as you’ll end up doing none of it perfectly. Keep it specific. For example—increase website traffic
- Find the right partners for your events. They could be speakers or sponsors, but they must align with your company’s vision. Find a way to build symbiotic relationships with them
- Promote your event on multiple channels. Don’t restrict yourself to just email marketing. You can use event listing websites, social media, and offline marketing
- Stay updated with industry trends in your domain. Try to ride on the latest developments and theme your event around it. For example, talk about AI tools useful for your industry
- Explore all available technology to curate a better event experience. Businesses do appreciate technology integration in all domains. For example, look at this personalized secure event ticketing system
- You mustn’t just take feedback during the event but also make changes based on it. Make your clients feel like they’re heard
- Pay heavy emphasis on the networking aspect of your event. You’re there for networking and so are most of the attendees. So make sure there are ample interaction opportunities
- Attend other such events in the industry as well and establish a brand presence in others’ events
- Create customized pitches to collaborators or high-profile attendees
- Do your research and understand what your target audience needs. Give them that to maximize the benefits of conducting such events
- Promote as much in advance as possible
H. Things to remember in B2B event marketing
So far into the article, you know what kind of effort you need to put in to create memorable experiences for attendees.
However, one thing that’s missing, and also something you should be questioning is how do I get enough returns on my investment.
See you in the next article!