Published July 12, 2021
Best Practices for B2B Event Marketing Success
So, you’re planning a B2B event. How do you make sure you get the best out of it? An event won’t simply “sell itself”, therefore you need to put practises in place to ensure ample return on investment. From setting the achievable goals, to creating the right pre and post event strategy, here are our best practices for B2B event marketing success.
Have SMART goals
You want to source leads and create brand awareness through event marketing but having S.M.A.R.T goals in place means you can put plans in place to get exactly what you need for business growth. This handy little acronym stands for…
Specific – Avoid broad, blanket goals and set yourself specific aims you would like to achieve. This could be having a meeting with a target account, closing deals with a specific number of clients or increasing brand awareness in a particular region.
Measurable – Ensure the success from your goals can be quantified. This is the best way to know whether your efforts were successful. This could be the amount of meetings you have, the amount of followers you gain on social media, the amount of ROI you get from hosting an event etc.
Achievable – Be realistic. If you’re a small start up chances are you’re not going to get a meeting with the CEO of a giant corporation at your first event. Smart small and work your way up.
Results Orientated – Goals should be focused on the results they can achieve rather than the volume of the activity. For example, you can aim to send out 500 invites to business professionals for your event but a more results orientated goal would be to secure 10 meetings with business leaders from a specific region/ industry etc.
Time focused – Think about how long it will take you to achieve your goals. Create a timeline for your goals and map out action points along the way.
This practice may be going back to basics but it’s surprising how often these elements are forgotten when creating any kind of marketing strategy. Focus on the goal but take the time to figure out how you’re going to get there.
Create an event marketing strategy
A key element of successful B2B event marketing is having a clear strategy for success. This means having plans in place for the run up to the event, that day of the event and after the event.
Pre-Event – Think about the speakers and the delegates you want at your event and the best ways to approach them. You’ll also need to research attendees to find out their pain points and challenges in order to approach them in the best way to showcase your product or service. Content for your website and social media is also important to create a buzz around the event and attract more attendees.
Day of the event – Create a plan for creating content during the event. This will showcase your event while it’s happening and attract attendees to future ventures also. Ensure you set up meetings and networking times for the accounts you want your sales team to talk to.
Post-Event – It’s all well and good talking to your target accounts during your event but it’s vital you have a follow up plan in place after the event to secure further meetings. Think about how you want to connect with these individuals further in order to do business with them.
Choose the right event format for your business goals
Gone are the days of a one size fits all approach to B2B events. There are now a range of event formats that can help you reach your specific goals so it’s important to choose the right approach. All formats can help you reach a target audience and generate leads, just in different ways. If you want to create an immersive experience with multiple thought leadership workshops and talks you could opt to sponsor a conference. If you want to create an intimate, luxury experience with target accounts you may opt for a networking dinner. If you want to facilitate a private, thought leadership session with target accounts that is accessible and flexible, a Virtual Roundtable could be the format for you. You can find out more about the B2B event format that Inspired Business Media offers here.
Track your KPIs for event success
Much like having S.M.A.R.T goals for your event, your KPIs will allow you to track how successful your efforts have been. While these can vary depending on the kind of event you’re organising, here are a few examples
Registrations and attendees – This number will give you a indication for how successful your promotional efforts, pre event have been
Meetings/ follow up meetings facilitated – Meetings get you closer to closing deals, meaning by measuring how many meetings you have facilitated you can get an idea of how well your team positioned your brand, product or service.
Your ROI and the amount of deals closed – Keep track of your budget and how much business you get as a result of the event.
Social media mentions and shares – This will allow you to see how successful not only your social media content marketing has been but also how share worthy your event was ( what were attendees sharing, where were they sharing it, how were they sharing etc.)