Right now, more than three-quarters (76%) of B2B marketers surveyed find significant value in the role of strategic events—those business-building productions including sales kickoff meetings, global and user conferences, expos, product launches and press events—within their organizations.
Which is good, because events are proving to be effective in both the early and late stages of B2B demand generation. In fact, in-person events lead the pack among demand generation tactics for B2B marketers.
According to Endless Events, most marketers (31%) believe that event marketing is the single-most effective marketing channel. More interesting than that, an overwhelming majority of C-Suite executives (87%) believe in the power of live events and plan on investing in them more in the future.
Strategic events afford marketers the benefit of invaluable in-person face time when factors like the digital transformation and an increasing focus on cyber security top their list of growing challenges.
What’s more, they deliver potential for big results for consumer and B2B marketers alike. Here’s how.
Strategic Events Help Tackle Top Business Issues
Businesses need to differentiate themselves now more than ever. No surprise there.
Strategic events provide that edge. Take brand awareness and, accordingly, brand image.
According to research by Event Marketer Institute and Mosaic, 91% of event attendees say they have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted after the event.
Furthermore, according to a study by The Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic, 98% of consumers create digital or social content at events and experiences, and 100% share the content. Not only can a brand generate amazing content for social amplification, but you can count on attendees to create and share content too—and that’s a hard edge to pass up.
They Cut Through the Clutter
For over five straight years, face-to-face events have topped the list of most effective B2B marketing tactics.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America report, they’re deemed more impactful than strategic elements like interactive content, podcasts, webinars, videos and white papers.
And it makes sense, as consumers today increasingly seek immersive experiences over things.
It’s a shift driven largely by millennials—who now make up more than a third of today’s workforce—and event marketers are aligning themselves accordingly.
Related: And don’t forget Gen Z. Even though they are the first fully digital generation, they want human elements at work—72% preferring to communicate face-to-face.
Experiential events provide attendees face-to-face opportunities to touch, feel and experience a product or brand. They offer marketers an invaluable platform to emotionally impress an image and tactically influence an opinion.
Strategic events also create an opportunity for those attending to establish a more meaningful relationship nearly impossible to create in the digital space.
They Help to Build Stronger Relationships
Planning for your event is all about ensuring you give yourself the resources to effectively reach and build lasting, meaningful relationships between your brand and your customers.
Live events help us form connections, look into one another’s eyes, listen to body language, build relationships, develop trust, conduct business and learn from one another. Businesses often accomplish more in a day’s work when people meet than they do with months of emailing or messaging.
Event marketing is continuing to grow not only as a marketing channel but as its own industry. According to Forrester Research, events make up for 24% of the B2B marketing budget. And this year, 3.2M global professional events are expected to be taking place on an annual basis.
Companies are believing in the power of live events and this trend will only continue to grow in the coming years.
They Drive Results
When done right, strategic events drive hard-dollar returns.
Those returns can be astounding, as nearly half of all brands realize an ROI of 300%–500% with their events and experiences, according to Event Marketer's EventTrack report.
En route to hard dollar returns, strategic events also drive standalone results that ultimately impact the bottom line—things like an organization’s sales lead database, its digital media presence and more.
Therefore, it’s critical to get strategic events right. Hence, strategic.
Get Your Event Strategy Right Today
So, think you’re ready to tackle strategic B2B event planning? If not, we can give you the guidance to enhance your event strategy, no matter your experience.
Whether you’re just beginning to delve into the world of strategic events or you’ve been operating them for years—even decades—this ebook is a how-to resource that will guide you through designing and operating your event from start to finish. The content walks B2B event marketers and planners through each of the fundamental event stages to help you build and enhance your strategy every step of the way.
Throughout, it offers insights related to key considerations like how event objectives should align with your big-picture corporate objectives, and how data should drive event design.
The free downloadable ebook 7 Ways to Make Your Event More Strategic by ITA Group outlines:
- Seven defined strategies for making your event more strategic
- Why events are a critical piece of any successful marketer’s plan
- How events can be leveraged to impact your organization’s bottom line
Download the ebook today and start leveraging the power of strategic events to enhance your overall B2B marketing strategy.