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6 Tips for Executing Your B2B Event Strategy
It’s no secret that Percolate loves events. As the Head of Field Marketing, I’m particularly partial to in-person live experiences that espouse to colleagues the business impact of hosted events.
We’re not alone in making events a critical offline channel for our marketing mix. According to Forrester, the average CMO allocates 24% of their overall budget towards live events in order to connect with customers, educate attendees, and generate leads.
In the golden age of digital, people still want to learn about new technologies and make connections in-person. Attending and hosting conferences and events allows us to meet our customers out of the office, learn more about their pain points, and share ways Percolate can help.
After a year with dozens of events under our belt. Here’s a peek into our events magic and some of my favorite takeaways from this year’s events:
- Align with sales early and often. Articulate and align on KPIs early on to measure event success. Once objectives are set, make sure to align incentives between team members so that everyone is on the same page. If internal or external challenges come up, regular communication means everyone understands what they are responsible for.
- Customize your post-event communications. At nearly every conference we attended, the chorus of “sales-marketing alignment” and “ABM” was a consistent theme and coveted strategy for B2B marketers. For the uninitiated, ABM or Account-based marketing focuses on targeting a specific list of accounts who fit an ideal customer profile. Applying ABM strategy means personalizing outreach and follow-up to develop and nurture relationships with key customers and prospects. For events, this methodology helps our team prioritize who we should be spending time with.
- GDPR or the highway. Data protection regulation took a big step in Europe this year which affects nearly everything that touches marketing. Making sure email marketing efforts are GDPR compliant is critical when working within the EU.
- All hail the mighty business card. The classic business card exchange is still alive and well at conferences and events. I personally like taking photos and emailing them to myself so I can discard the paper and immediately follow up over LinkedIn or email.
- Find your shtick and lean into it. It should be no surprise to anyone that we love coffee here at Percolate. Aside from the obvious benefits of caffeination, the ritual of ordering a coffee is a great way to start a conversation. This past year we built two custom booths with a barista station. The espresso drinks were a great hit and offered our team a relaxed setting to meet conference attendees and encourage early stage folks to demo the product and schedule a meeting.
- Add a dinner to your event. In our business, we’re all about relationships. Buying and implementing B2B enterprise technology means changing hearts and minds in an organizations. Connecting with our customers and prospects in intimate settings like VIP meals allows us speak candidly and build community with our customers. Pro tip: pick venues that bring local flair and cuisine.