Events: To do or Not to do
There was a time when letters ruled the roost in the word of business communication. Then came telephone and cold calling, after that slowly the internet crept in every phase of business and e-mail took over. Looking back at those times of classical style marketing and sales, we can see, much has changed in the way the owners choose to showcase a “brand”.
In the present age where Social Media is king and almost everybody is rooting for Social Selling, there remains a far more interesting and perhaps one of the most promising medium that can not only deliver increased brand visibility, but also ensure better lead generation. That medium that we are talking about here is B2B events.
The B2B events are one of the most effective ways of getting your message / brand across to your customers and the advantage it provides over the other marketing channels is the personal touch that an organization bring to these events. Using multiple strategies and creating a unique experience you can leave a lasting impression on the prospect / lead. This has a flip side to it as well, the cost of hosting and building these experiences is high and can leave a dent in your marketing budget if not executed efficiently. A survey conducted by IDC, points that more than 20 % of the marketing budget is spent by the organizations on events.
TYPE OF EVENTS
There are all sorts of B2B events out there but every one of them can be broadly classified under these 3 categories: –
- Exhibitions– An exhibition or called a trade fair is a B2B event where the organizer arranges a platform where the buyers and sellers of a similar industry can meet and interact under the same roof. The buyers attend the event and visit the booths of the sellers who showcase their products and services. The exhibitions are usually open to everyone. The prominent ones include Paris Aero Show, CES etc.
- Trade Shows– A trade show is quite like an exhibition. However, a trade show is only open to the people in trade in those areas and not to the public and only registered / invited participants can attend this event. Oracle OpenWorld, Paris Open Source Summit, Black Hat Europe etc. are some of the best-known trade shows all over the world.
- Conferences– The conferences are totally different from the above two types of B2B event. It is a platform where people of similar industry come together and discuss about a specific topic or subject line. The people who attend the conference are experts in their subject matter and they bring up a lot on the table. They are speakers who are pioneers in the industry and will usually speak about a subject that will benefit the audience.
- B2B conclaves & B2B buyers’ meet– These are special trade events where the organizers invite delegations from a partner country to visit and interact with some selected invitees of a particular industry. They arrange dedicated meetings between the decision makers of the seller and the visiting party so that both can add discuss how to add value to the buyer’s business and thereby generating a lead to be followed up by the sales. There are dedicated B2B meets arranged by organizers of events like A3 business Forum, TECHX, Km Asia, etc.
HOW TO DEFINE THE GOALS OF A SUCCESSFUL EVENT STRATEGY
B2B events paves the way for a direct interaction with the prospective buyers. However, it is not necessarily the easiest medium of branding, though it may sound straight forward. To run a successful B2B event campaign you need to work out a proper strategy and the first step of chalking out a successful event strategy is to set up a realistic goal. The goal should be measurable as well so that the post show assessment can be done properly. The goal should also be realistic and achievable so that the planning towards accomplishing the goal can be successfully done. Generally, in the B2B Services Industry the RoI on the event is measured through the deals / pipeline impact from that event.
In the following series of this blog we will discuss about the decision to sponsor and how to drive traffic to the event.