Well-made B2B event marketing makes a brand or an offer more well-known or more popular. And this can be achieved in a way that is more sustainable than conventional advertising measures. For success, a certain amount of strategic preparation makes sense. This guide shows what decision-makers and planners should keep in mind.
Aim of event marketing
Advertising is everywhere. The Marketing departments of companies broadcast and publish any number of ads and clips every day across all analogue and digital channels. This makes it difficult to stand out from the crowd. But it’s not impossible. An effective means of grabbing more attention is event marketing. When it is realised well, it achieves a significant goal: making the B2B target group interested in a brand, a product or a service.
Generally speaking, event marketing consists of an event that has been tailored to its respective intended use. Companies could either realise such events on their own or use the services of a third party. Potential venues include:
- Trade shows
- Industry meet-ups
It doesn’t matter if these are offline, online or hybrid events.
Success factors in B2B event marketing
The challenge: event marketing is advertising, but it cannot give the participants the impression of being advertising. Which is why a concept is needed that addresses the B2B target group in a straightforward and entertaining way. At the same time, it must satisfy the following requirements:
- Trigger emotions
- Communicate information
- Encourage personal contact
- Generate leads
- Bind regular customers
Whether the event is a success or not always depends on the company organising the event, its concrete purpose and its clientele. However, event marketing continuously needs a logical connection to the products or services which are at the heart of the B2B event. Creative, overly ambitious projects can quickly lose focus of the purpose and thus miss their intended point.
These are the most important factors of success in B2B event marketing:
- The message: Behind each event should be a clear statement which is formulated as a key thought and transported from the inside out at each project phase. As the main message, it has to visibly and clearly highlight what is exceptional about the event. And do this first and foremost with the participants in mind. The purpose of the company organising the event may not play an obvious role and should remain behind the scenes.
- The communication: To achieve the highest amount of engagement possible, it’s important to tease the event in advance. This is possible via social media marketing, email marketing, the company’s website or a dedicated event landing page. Targeted content marketing can serve as strong support in this case. For example, in the form of programmes and agendas, of partner, sponsor and speaker lists, of surveys on topics and of white papers and blog articles – all of which have been published for public viewing. Once the event is running, it makes sense to offer supporting videos (live streams) and a summary afterwards or follow-up activities such as webinars.
- The event monitoring: How did the event go? Offline and online events generate a huge amount of data, whose analysis can provide important information. This requires strategic preparation in advance. It’s about defining measurable goals and determining the benchmark values before the event for a comparison later on. This can be achieved via surveys or figures on the number of invitations, registrations and actual visits to the event.
Event marketing: examples of success
Coca-Cola’s Christmas events have achieved cult status. The US beverage manufacturer sends out elaborately decorated trucks throughout the country every year in the run-up to Christmas. At every stop, the company’s Marketing team sets up a kind of Christmas market and offers public-luring promotions. These include free beverages, virtual sled rides, photos of visitors in an over-sized snow globe, and a visit with Santa Claus. At the same time, positive emotions are passed onto the guests, which they (subconsciously) associate with the brand.
Coca-Cola supports its event marketing with TV ads and email marketing as well as via social media. The result is a series of events which emotionally charges the product in an ideal way and is accompanied by the media, which entertain (the entire family) and communicate a clear, positive message. This makes it the perfect role model for B2B marketing too.