In its crude form, marketing can be defined as,
Creating a need in the minds of your prospects for your ideas, products, services or relationship.
It is simply convincing them that some of their needs can be fulfilled by what you have to sell.
Quick question! How do you do that?
Living in the digital century, we have all been targets for the marketing of many different companies. Regardless of the intentions and the efforts of the marketers, these techniques and gimmicks come off as exasperating.
The same goes for events. Every now and then, I see event attendees complaining about the reckless number of event invitations and emails they get.
But as an event organizer, it is your paramount duty to market your event as much as possible.
So, how to do it in a way that is not frustrating for your prospects?
Before going about this question, let us take a little detour and talk about B2B events.
B2B or business-to-business events are the events where various organizations and companies gather. These businesses belong to the same or related industries.
Apart from the event activities like conferences, discussions, speeches, etc. such events help businesses to have in-person meetings. They can meet and discuss the ways in which they can benefit each other’s organization.
Since this is the place for interaction of businesses, it is necessary that you have an ample audience. You need various companies to be at your event in order to ensure that it is a success. Depending on the size of your event, you need everybody from startups to multinational conglomerates.
Now connecting the two dots, let us frame our previous question differently.
How do you market B2B events in an interesting and ‘not-so-irritating’ way?
How do you make people click the register button for your event, or better, fulfill the registration process?
Let us discuss a few ways in which that can be done.
1. Make your event a necessity for your potential attendees.
As we saw in the marketing definition, it is all about creating a need. Your potential attendees should understand that attending your B2B event is a significant part of their professional life. Most event organizers take this point for granted and feel that this is equivalent to boasting. But it is not!
Don’t presume that all your potential attendees know the importance of B2B events. Find various ways to tell them how such an event can help them out.
Pro Tip — A month or two before launching the event, you can publish a blog titled ‘importance of B2B events’ on your own blog or on some other as a guest blogger.
Secondly, tell them how your event is the best B2B event that they can attend currently. List out your speakers and guests, tell them about your networking platform! Be transparent with your prospects and provide them with the detailed benefits of your event.
2. Create a website for your B2B events.
Amidst the hundred advantages that an event website can provide you with is the advantage of marketing as well. Creating an event website is one of the most significant ways of showcasing your B2B event in the virtual realm. It will help you to reach out to a much broader audience front.
An event website can become your ‘official online salesperson’. From highlighting the event details and marketing it to serving as a registration platform, there is nothing that a well-crafted event website cannot do.
Your event website can communicate your brand ideologies, detail the conferences and seminars that are a part of your event, list out your event sponsors! It can do everything to make your event appear better.
Pro Tip — Don’t forget the SEO part when creating your event website. This will ensure that various search engines also help you find some attendees.
3. Have your visuals in place.
When it comes to marketing, a study suggests that more than 65% of the information retained is through visuals. The pre-event marketing of your B2B event begins with your event logo. Logos are the first visual cues for your event. Thus, it is very crucial for your event logo to be simply perfect.
Give your logo some detailing and some time. Make sure that your logo is the perfect reflection of your event.
4. Seek out some help from your event sponsors.
The smartest of the marketers now agree that an event sponsorship can help you with much more than just money. Apart from providing you with the required capital resources, the sponsors can also become your B2B event’s propagators. They can help you reach out to their clientele and provide you with a broader audience outreach.
If some prominent companies are amongst your sponsors, their popularity and reputation can boost the market value of your event. It can provide you with more media coverage, which again works as a brilliant marketing tool.
Pro tip — Use their social media outlets or blogs to promote your event. Make optimum use of their brand value to get more attendees of your event.
5. Work on the email marketing.
Email marketing comes as one of the primary elements of the digital marketing of any event, including B2B events. Emails are the one of the easiest and the most efficient ways to reach out to an ensemble audience. Though an email might not convince a prospect to attend your event, it can surely drive them to your event website.
However, there is a minor loophole in this process. According to The Radicati Group, a technology research market group, by 2019 an average person would receive about 120+ emails a day. With this enormous growth of e-mail marketing, a lot of promotional emails often go unopened. That is why it is crucial for you to practice smart e-mail marketing in order to ensure that your mail doesn’t go to the trash directly.
Pro-Tip — Make sure your subject line is simply outstanding. It is your subject line which will drive the recipient to open your e-mail. Work on it rigorously.
According to Hubspot, 33% of email recipients open email based on the subject line only. Subject lines with 49 or fewer characters had open rates 12.5 percent higher than those with 50 or more characters.
6. Use the power of Social Media.
Social media has now become an unavoidable part of the marketing of every type. If you are trying to promote your B2B event, you need to use the power of social media as well. In this second decade of the 21st century, social media has become one of the most prominent communication channels. Be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you simply cannot ignore the audience outreach that social media has to offer.
Plus, social media not only helps you reach out to people, it also helps you keep them engaged and convincing them completely to attend your event.
Pro Tip — Use the basics for social media marketing. From creating an interesting Twitter hashtag to posting event details on Facebook (including venue partners, sponsors, speakers, etc.), don’t miss out on anything. The power lies in the basics.
7. Even your speakers can help!
If you are organizing a sizeable B2B event, you are sure to invite a lot of influential speakers and experts to make the event more informative and interactive. These speakers can substantially help the marketing of your event.
Highlight their name wherever possible during your event’s promotion. Their presence can drive a lot of attendees. I mean, which company or organization won’t be interested in attending your event if you have Karan Bilimoria or Dipinder Goyal as your speaker.
Pro Tip — If possible, ask your speakers to write a guest blog post for your company’s blog or use their social media to promote your event.
The Importance of ‘During the event’ and ‘Post Event’ Marketing
One of the most crucial marketing aspects that organizers often forget is,
The start of your event does not mean the end of marketing.
Every organizer must understand that an event is not a one-time transaction. Marketing your event during the event and post event as well would benefit you in two ways:
* It will help you build long-term relationships with your attendees and you can be sure to find some familiar faces the next time you host an event.
* It will showcase the grandeur and success of your event to other prospects and prompt them to attend the next edition, you host.
In order to secure these two tremendous benefits, ensure to market your B2B event after it starts using tools like audience response technology, event networking platform, event technology, social media, etc.
The ultimate key to market your B2B event is to use every single tool at your disposal to spread the word of your event.