Do you know a data breach unleashed on your business’s network in the year 2020 may cost around $150 million? With cyber security threats on the rise – and their hefty expenses – it seems a B2B marketing event focused on the topic would garner a grand audience. Yet, this wasn’t the case for one London event marketer who managed to fill only 18 of 200 seats at her clients’ educational event. She admits it was her fault due to its poor promotion. And, her peers report their own mishaps related to weather, refreshments, and more.
Their stories show that B2B marketing events require great attention-to-detail at every stage. And, with companies allocating 20-30% of annual marketing budgets to events, there is little room for error.
Why B2B Marketers Are Spending More on Events
Recent research in the Harvard Business Review further confirms the power of getting in front of business targets. It reported that an experiment proved “face-to-face” requests are “34 times more effective than emailed ones.” And, the reason comes down to the fact there is more trust when speaking in person. It’s about being able to see the requestor’s body language, expressions, and other “non-verbal cues” to validate his or her authenticity.
This approach is increasingly necessary with Millennials taking over the American workforce. In fact, by 2020, more than one-third of adult workers will be of Millennial age. By 2025, that number will increase to 75%. Gaining their trust will be necessary to earn their business. This is in contrast to buyers aged 50 and above who are instead “more focused on business benefits and deliverables.”
Yet, no matter your buyers’ ages, event marketing provides opportunities to be more successful when making requests. At trade shows, customer appreciation events or educational seminars, businesses can get face-to-face with their targets, ask questions and prove authenticity. Better yet, they can stand out from competitors, build relationships, and close sales in the process. When B2B marketing events don’t produce these results, event marketers must start at the beginning to find where problems exist.
4 Ways Your B2B Marketing Events May Be Missing the Mark
Possible issues with B2B marketing events and their missed goals may lie in one of the following.
1. Event staff don’t have enough knowledge.
One of the quickest ways to lose a potential buyer’s trust is to not have the details they need. B2B marketers must provide event staff with proper training to best address attendees’ questions.
Material for instruction should include a solution or service overview and competitive advantages. Tips for overcoming obstacles related to competitive disadvantages should be covered, too. The trick is to stay a step ahead of your attendees in conversations to win their trust and their business.
2. Messages speak to the business, not the individual.
It is important that your brand messages be consistent to prevent confusion in the market. Yet, you must also consider that your solution or service offering will ultimately go to benefit a particular person or group of people within a company. This is especially true when dealing with older buyers, as mentioned before. So, individual conversations should focus on attendees and their needs versus an elevator pitch. And, to be effective, you must have the right event staff.
Capable event staff will have in-depth knowledge on your products and services, which shows authenticity and earn trust. They’ll know and understand your messages to best represent your brand. Yet, they’ll be personable and flexible to address the unique needs of your attendees. One solution is to engage an event staffing company. An expert provider can ensure you have the right individuals to fulfill your goals and will offer training services, too.
3. Lead generation and/or follow-up are overlooked.
Forrester reports B2B buyers “expect fluidity between digital and physical experiences.” Yet, marketers “fail to take full advantage” of technology “to enhance attendees’ experience and increase marketing ROI.” This is disconcerting with the added benefit to improve the marketer’s role.
For example, a comprehensive event technology platform can automate processes to save time. These are before, during, and after a B2B marketing event. It begins by sending event invitations and reminders, and it hosts registration, too. On the day of activation, it allows attendees to check in; provides information, such as agenda and maps; and facilitates games and contests. Yet, its most important functions may be those for lead generation and post-event follow up.
During the event, the technology can seamlessly collect data related to buyer preferences and plans. Then, after the event, it can send surveys to capture other feedback. These details determine interest and also measure your effectiveness when planning future events. More important, they allow you to personalize follow up to build stronger relationships and increase your ROI.
4. The invaluable opportunity to get content is not taken.
Entrepreneur discloses only 22% of B2B marketers find their content marketing strategies successful. And, it seems 60% of buyers agree. Fortunately, B2B marketing events provide opportunities to generate effective content for use year round.
The content produced at these events, like at consumer events, should include images and videos. It should be the kind of content individuals want to see and share. This means opportunities to generate this content must exist at the event.
Specialized event staff can capture video testimonials. Or, you may simply set up a photo booth with props. Just remember to include your branding and messages, wherever applicable. Then, use this event marketing content to showcase your company’s authenticity. This may be on social media, in presentations or in print. Either way, you’ll extend the reach of your B2B marketing events and build trust with targets, even those not in attendance.
Since 1999, EPS has supplied B2B marketing events with capable event staff and comprehensive event technology. These two critical resources have helped them to ensure great attention to detail at every stage to win over buyers and their business.