Since time immemorial, B2B events marketing has been an invaluable part of business development. This is chiefly because it connects entrepreneurs in a face- face environment – a great endeavor for the fledgling business owner looking to find their feet, make a splash, and carve their brand into the fabric of their niche. But what is B2B events marketing? And how does it benefit business owners? And considering all of its mechanics as a whole, does it work effectively in a virtual environment? This article will discuss all of this and more.
Defining B2B Events Marketing
B2B events are environments where businesses come together at an event and conduct business face to face. Its acronym stands for ‘business to business’, and differs greatly from B2C (business to consumer) and B2G (business to government) marketing. B2B corporate events are great ways to encourage lead generation and nurturing and brand awareness through the conduit of other businesses and attendees. In general, it spreads the word of your existence, which is good for gaining customers, and sending your vision, mission and brand out into the stratosphere.
Why Do It?
Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of B2B events marketing. Firstly, if you are the one organizing the event, then that is a longhand way of letting all the business attendees who you invite/make it to the event know who you are. If you are the one who brought the entire B2B event strategy together, you become the person of the hour. There is no greater promotion than that.
1: Knowledge Sharing
Then there is knowledge sharing. This is perhaps the greatest benefit that businesses find through such events – finding out information from other people in your industry. It goes back to the old adage that everybody you don’t know knows something that you don’t. Get all of those industry professionals into one room and there you have it – reams of knowledge waiting to be hoovered up by your business mind, and it can benefit you in numerous ways.
2: Sales Acceleration
Another mechanic of note in this environment is that of sales acceleration. B2B events give your audience ample opportunity to make quick sales. This is a stark contrast compared with the slow burn of the day-to-day sales. The in person event atmosphere gives you potentially hundreds of customers in one afternoon.
3: Relationship Building
When you are face to face with your peers, it is easier to form relationships with them. Sharing drinks and a few stories helps lubricate the situation. Also, the memories all compound together to give your peers a strong impression of your presence and business forays. The same is true in terms of your perspective of your peers. You learn so much about them, which can help with personal relationships as well as business strategies.
4: Raising Brand Awareness
“Brand” and “awareness” have got to be the two most overused words in the corporate language, and they are just as relevant in the B2B event strategy world. Out of all of the corporate environments, B2B event companies often find this to be one of the best perks of the experience. Why? Because it brings many of the decision-makers together under one roof. So to speak, especially if you are venturing virtually. Word travels fast in a niche, and the world is small. One good word from a thought leader about your endeavors goes a long way to giving you the recognition that you deserve.
5: Competitor Awareness
Information is power. One of the most important areas of your market research is your competitor research. Google searches and plentiful reading of your competitors’ websites, social media platforms and customer testimonials will get you places in this regard, but when you are able to converse with them in the flesh, this tells you so much more about them, their company and their individual goals. This can inspire you for the future and give you some fresh ideas. Conversely, you might disagree with a peer’s strategy, and use this when designing your own.
How Important Is Live B2B Events Marketing
Since the pandemic, there has been a lot of debate about in person events vs virtual events and which is better for B2B business purposes. Based upon the research done by sources such as Aventri, there is a strong sense that in person events are better suited and carry more benefits than virtual. But you, the entrepreneur, have the choice. Because while this is a popular opinion, it doesn’t mean that virtual events are an impractical alternative. In person events will affect your budget, whereas virtual events have less of a hit in this regard. Let’s look at both scenarios and assess them in detail.
It is true that in person events have irreplaceable benefits when it comes to the design and actioning of your B2B event marketing strategy. FIrstly, it is easier to start one on one conversations with any attendee in the room. Secondly, in person events are generally more memorable. And thirdly, attendees have an immersive experience – as opposed to experiencing it in their office, or at home. It is impossible to sum up all of the intrinsic value one finds in an in person event, because many of the perks are part and parcel of being out and about. But it is incontrovertible that B2B marketing thrives in this environment.
But it is an expensive venture for marketers. Worthwhile, but expensive. It costs a lot more money to invite many different businesses to the event, for one thing. Then, there is the price of catering, paying industry professionals for their services and renting out space.
In Person Events Ideas
In exhibitions, business owners showcase their products, services and network with one another. It is an ideal place for product demonstrations where business owners can get feedback from other business peers, and engage potential customers on the floor.
This is more of a live presentational event where industry professionals speak directly to the audience. Topics vary from life experience, to business ventures, and product development. Then often, networking happens afterwards with delicious nutritious food and drinks catering,
Roadshows are similar events that take place across multiple locations. This expands on the reach and allows companies to spread their message more widely and gain a national, or even international customer base. Now, in terms of reach and event marketing, this requires a lot more of it, for obvious reasons. In a capacity like this, you are essentially touring, and each show needs a special promotional push. A localized one, too. There is an argument to be made that you can reach the same level of audience, and more, through a virtual event.
Can It Be Done Virtually?
Now, onto virtual B2B event promotion. The answer to the query is yes, it can be done. The question is how, and what challenge this has in store for B2B event companies? Of course, you need to take different tools out of your toolbox, and employ a different B2B marketing strategy. But it creates a lot of the same gains.
It would be false to claim that virtual events are more effective as a whole than in person ones. The value of the in person setting is irreplaceable, especially when it comes to B2B endeavors. Yes, in terms of budget-saving, virtual settings are effective. But there are a few other areas where they useful:
Due to the interactive mediums that virtual platforms provide, product demonstration becomes a lot more accessible for business-people to test products and attain their purpose and quality on their own terms.
Maximized Global Reach
As opposed to in person events which are constricted by seating space, and the four walls, virtual events can be broadcast to business people all over the globe. Or at least it has the potential to do so.
Virtual mediums provide businesses with the ability to capture and immortalize their events and promote them through their social channels and use them to paint themselves as thought leaders in their industry. When you take good material such as this and promote it from business to business, you can spread your recorded message across your niche.
Virtual Events Ideas
These feature business gurus coming together. Generally to listen to one person at the helm of the discussion. They are easy to set up and can be in-house, or broad reaching.
Whatever your event is, with the right equipment you can steam it to the world. If you target other businesses, and promote it right, you can gain a significant audience for your purpose.
Interactive Virtual Events
These are virtual events with interactive elements. As stated earlier, they are great for product demonstrations, and showcasing online services to other entrepreneurs who may either promote or use your product. At the least, they become aware of it. An increased brand awareness at work.
If this has won you over, and you are considering using the virtual setting, check out Everytale for the purpose of streaming/broadcasting your corporate event. It provides a seamless process as easy as uploading a video to YouTube, with some useful mechanics for maintenance to boot. Moreover, due to its accessibility, it is great for event marketing and promotion.
B2B events marketing is a common practice amongst entrepreneurs that solidifies trust with other partners, and gives your company the recognition it deserves. If you are new to it, or have never ventured down this road before, it is worth considering. Start by seeking out events run by others and see if you can find inspiration. If it excites and inspires you, and you believe that it can do your business some great favors in terms of promotion, or just to give you that push to land some business, then think about setting up your own event. Above all, do it for the intrinsic values as well as the extrinsic ones – it all starts with you, your ideas and drive, and can lead to amazing things.