Should Events Be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy?
In the ever-evolving, complex world of modern business, companies are always trying to find new ways to stand out and get ahead – to build brand awareness, fill their sales funnels, create a predictable pipeline, and expand their reach. Many businesses are discovering the benefits of hosting strategic events. A recent report suggests that 80% of marketers indicate that events are critical to business success.
B2B marketing events – which include conferences, expos, press events, trade shows, workshops, webinars, award ceremonies, and networking events – can be very beneficial to businesses, but event management services can also monopolize a significant portion of their marketing budget – as much as 25% according to Hubspot (1).
Why is B2B Event Marketing Important?
Hosting an event has the potential for a big payoff – almost half of organizations who invest in them see an ROI of 300–500% (2). This is because events, when done correctly through skilled event management, can pay dividends in lead generation, brand recognition, customer engagement, strategic partnerships, networking, and thought leadership.
Your Event Marketing Plan: The Essentials
With their potential for both a big price tag and payoff, your event strategy is critical to business success. Here are the essential components:
- Set your goals. The key to seeing a positive ROI is to understand how and why you are doing it. An event marketing plan will help you establish your goals and how to achieve them. What are your overall organizational goals and how can this event help you achieve them? How do you define success? Having SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, reachable, and timebound) goals will help you establish metrics to assess performance. You can consider financial and operational metrics and measure cost per lead, return on marketing investment (ROMI), lead-to-conversion ratio, and customer lifetime value.
- Define and segment your audience. Who needs to be in the room, physically or virtually, for your event to be successful? How can you group them to communicate with them most effectively? If you want your event to resonate with your target audience, you must understand who they are.
- Craft your message. Once you know your target audience(s), you will need to tailor your messaging to resonate with them. What do they need to know about your event? What will entice them to attend? What barriers exist to their participation and how can you help overcome them? Data from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events reveals that 91% of attendees seek education through events to keep up with their profession and industry, and 75% attend events for networking opportunities. (3) Personalize your messages to your audience as much as possible, and use consistent branding, messaging, and voice throughout all outreach in your event marketing plan.
- Choose an effective format and build a compelling event. How is your audience going to best receive the information you have for them? How can you most effectively build your relationship with attendees? In our post-pandemic world, many organizations have returned to in-person events, but many attendees have come to expect a virtual or hybrid option. No matter the format you choose, infuse opportunities for attendees to connect.
- Focus on follow-up. Your follow-up should go beyond a simple “thanks for attending” email. Each of your attendees is a lead that has entered your sales funnel, and you should have a strategy in place for follow-up immediately after your event. Share resources from the event and, when possible, repurpose the content for additional marketing strategies. If your business has a lead-scoring system in place, your sales team should be personally following up with high-scoring leads.
Hosting a B2B event can deliver a triple-digit ROI. But, with the time, resources, and effort it takes to host a B2B event, and the potential it holds, you want to ensure you are getting all the value you can. And that means working with skilled professionals who understand marketing and event management.
At Paradigm Marketing and Design, our team of skilled event marketers provides customized strategic and hands-on support that encompasses everything from pre-event strategic planning through post-event lead nurturing and beyond. We offer end-to-end thought leadership and support to help you execute a successful event that resonates with your audience, fills your pipeline, and supports your marketing and organizational goals. Contact us today to get started.