Ask any marketer what the most important marketing objective they need to deliver for their organisation, and up on top of the majority of lists would be effective Lead Generation. There is a multitude of marketing tactics we can use for lead generation (at Peazie we should know, we created a platform to deliver the most innovative and effective conversion campaigns). However sometimes in marketing, especially for those us in the B2B space, you just can’t beat the personal effect you get from Event Marketing.
What is Event Marketing?
Event Marketing is the process of developing an exhibit or display (eg. trade show), or presentation/speaking event, or a combination of both as a way for a business to promote their service, product or organisation. Event Marketing is super powerful as it allows a business to leverage in-person engagement.
How Does Event Marketing Work?
Events usually have participants, a host, and sponsors. As explained below each play an essential role in the execution of the event:
- Participants or attendees are ideally the final consumers of the product or service that is being promoted through the event. Attendees to an event can be:
- Individuals making a purchase for themselves (B2C), or
- Representatives of a company making a purchase on behalf of the business (B2B).
- Hosts can be defined as the owner of the organiser of the venue. You can host or attend an industry event with a third party host.
- Sponsors can vary depending on the type of business event you are attending:
- Trades Shows Sponsors are the companies that bring a product to sell and help to pay the expenses of the event.
- Presentation/Speaking Event Sponsors pay to be featured in the promotional material, event banners and are usually mentioned by the organisers to the attendees sometime during the event.
If you are hosting the event, you will likely be a sponsor, but you can also solicit other sponsors and limit attendance only to companies who choose to help with your budget. We actually did this ourselves last year when we sponsored and presented at ‘Perfecting your Promotion’, a fantastic event held by our friends at Plexus.
Why is Event Marketing Such a Powerful Tactic for B2B Lead Generation?
Event Marketing is the is the bread and butter of the startup or growing B2B-based company. The more that you get in the field, the better your sales will be. Most B2B reps like to create a personal connection to ensure the longevity of a relationship before committing.
Each type of event has different strengths as to why they are so powerful for lead generation:
- At Trades Shows businesses send representatives to events for the express purpose of meeting good partners – there is usually no such thing as a window shopper at events that cost money to attend.
- You also have a chance to really spread your message far and wide. Big banners, loud displays and expansive promo efforts work well at trade shows.
- At Presentation/Speaking Events if you happen to be one of the presenters you have the amazing opportunity to have the whole room of people attention focused on you. (Make sure to provide lots of value with your time on stage, and NOT be too salesy)
- If you are not a presenter there are still plenty of lead generation opportunities open to you at these types of events. You can sponsor the event which is a great way to get your brand’s name out.
- Make sure to take advantage of the networking opportunities. Networking is key, make sure to talk to the person sitting next to you, talk to people between breaks, and also make sure to mingle at the after event drinks.
At these events make sure you have a plan of how you are going to collect your leads contact information. Are you going to give away a free trial or sample of your product or service? Maybe you can give away a small gift, or give people the opportunity to win a major prize. Remember in order to receive a leads contact details like a name, phone or email you need to offer value in return.
What Goals Should Your Event Marketing Strategy Have?
You are likely spending money when you engage in event marketing. Your number one priority should be extracting a return from the experience. Set a budget and an expected return, and stick to your plan so that you will have the best chance of meeting your ROI.
ROI does not have to be revenue generation; as a matter of fact, redefining ROI as a certain level of lead generation is usually a better strategy. Bigger sales usually have a longer sales funnel.
In summary, event marketing is great for lead generation as it allows you to gain clients more quickly, and you create a more personalised relationship. Not only that, but you end up spending less money generating leads because you can focus on business reps who are showing real interest instead of waiting on clickthroughs. Nurtured right these leads can turn into long-lasting relationships.