Trade shows and exhibitions are a lucrative environment, for the exhibitors, the organisers, and indeed the attendees. They provide the perfect opportunity to reach key decision makers, grab a moment of their precious time and assess on the spot how qualified they might be as a lead. But how fruitful are these meetings in reality? There are several steps you must take prior to, during, and after the exhibition to guarantee maximum value from such events. Here’s my guide on how to make the most of your expo opportunities:Read More
As an experienced marketer, you’re no doubt aware of the power of LinkedIn as a B2B marketing tool. But are you making the most of it for your events? If used correctly, social media (and LinkedIn specifically) can aid your event marketing strategy enormously, building the credibility of your conference portfolio, and you as an individual event industry leader.
Here are our top ten LinkedIn to-do's to help you raise your profile, engage with your community and ultimately generate leads for your B2B event.
1. Participate in relevant discussions with your community and industry insidersRead More
Event marketers are wising up to the fact you need to think about optimising for mobile. Usablenet have revealed that 52% of B2B customers now use smartphones to research products for their business, and mobile users now account for 16% of B2B website traffic. Those numbers are only going to increase.Read More
I recently took part in a panel at Event Tech Live in Shoreditch. My fellow panelists and I were talking all things social media – the current landscape for events, how to effectively market events using it, and what the future holds. You can watch the video here, or if you’d like a quick summary, here are my top takeaways from the session:
Big Data, big fuss
Big Data is somewhat overhyped (and really many event companies are simply dealing with data, rather than Big Data) – my view is: what’s the point of having a huge amount of data if you don’t know what to do with it? The focus needs to switch from harvesting and analysing all of this data, to actually generating results with it. Twitter offers the most amount of data so the challenge is to get some sort of value out of it
We need to be able to translate followers into delegates. There’s little use in having 100,000 followers if they have no interest in attending your event. Better to have a smaller following, with greater relevance than a huge following (and amount of data) when in reality only a small percentage will attend your events
Event companies must also identify who the most influential and active members of their social media communities are and turn them into brand ambassadors
Exhibitors are a huge untapped resource for trade shows in particular. Typically they all have their own social media accounts with their own followers, fans and ambassadors. You could be missing out on millions of followers by not engaging them
Email marketing is a tricky business. It seems to be most event companies' go-to tactic for spreading the word about their events. They love it. Ironically, they also happen to be rubbish at it. No offence B2B event marketers, but take a look at your conversion rates and tell me I’m wrong!
There are several simple dos and don’ts for increasing your email conversions, and the sales guys will probably buy you a round if you not only find out what they are, but put them into action.
Growing your list
Make your subscription sign up super easy. This opt-in box should be prominent on your web pages, particularly your blog
Consider partnerships. A non-competitor, say an industry publication, or organisation, may have the same buyer personas and target audience. Try partnering for an event or webinar – something that’s mutually beneficial and exposes both of you to new contacts
Minimise unsubscribes. Give recipients the option to unsubscribe from a certain channel of your email marketing (as well as all communications of course) – you’ll keep people who aren’t entirely uninterested in your events this way
Target buyer personas. Irrelevance will lose you more contacts than anything else (unless your content is truly terrible). Send the right content to your personas and they’ll be far more likely to remain engaged
Buy lists. This will lower your deliverability rate, and could increase your chances of falling into a spam trap, or even getting blacklisted (if you hadn’t guessed from the names, both of these things are really, really bad)
Forget how it feels to be interrupted. You might think you’re gaining access to people who haven’t experienced the joy of hearing about your events yet, but consider how likely you’d be to respond positively to such an email yourself?
Annoy the sales team. Your click-through rates will suffer dramatically if you engage with unknown recipients, and if you do manage to generate any leads, they’re likely to be of a very poor quality. Take it from us – good leads are generated, not bought
The term "event producer" is old, tired and needs to be retired. Aside from being outdated, it has so many meanings now that it’s not really a position you can effectively recruit for. What one company deems an event producer is another event organisation’s content officer, project manager, planner... the list goes on and on!
You need to seek the kind of individual that lives and breathes the industry your event is based around, and is very active within it. These are the people who will truly know what our prospects want, and how to package and deliver it. To get these high quality experts on board you’ll need to discover them at work. The best way to source an industry expert is to think like one – so these are the places you’ll find them:
No surprise; events (maybe even yours!)
Consider an industry event the expert’s natural habitat. They’ll be the ones confidently networking, engaging with speakers and demonstrating a thirst for industry insights. This is where you’ll need to unleash your own networking skills, and approach people you know. You may have come across their name before or recognised them from their social media profile. Get chatting, swap details and if appropriate, let them know you’re looking for someone to drive your events, build a community and truly embody your brand.Read More
Your event homepage is a really important platform for promoting your B2B event, and getting it spot on will make you stand out from the competition. There’s some cool stuff you can do, and some really innovative approaches to tackling both the layout and the functionality – but first you must perfect the content, and the elements and steps that are absolutely imperative.
We’ve compiled this list of essentials for you to compare your own homepage against; if anything is missing, then rectify it today!
1. Launch or update your event website as soon as you have a date confirmedRead More
twitter can be a hugely useful tool in the run up to your B2B event. You can use it to shout about any ‘VIP’ speakers, get your delegates involved before the day, and generally create a real buzz around your conference. For old school event marketers, the way twitter, and other social media outlets have revolutionised the events sphere, and B2B marketing generally, is a daunting prospect. But if you want to keep up with the ever quickening pace of the event industry, you need to get on board.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen quite a few examples of event companies jumping on the social bandwagon, just to have a presence. They’re not using it to add value, engage with their audience or even post interesting things about their events – they just populate it with links to their registration pages, standard event information which could be easily sourced online, and repeat tweets of their updates. How likely do you think it is you’ll be trending with this approach? Here are our absolute worst practices for event marketing on twitter – avoid at all costs!
1. Not creating an event hashtag or using relevant industry onesRead More
Email marketing is still the majority of event marketers’ go-to tool for promoting their events, and with good reason. When done right the results can be astounding, but in the hands of an old school marketer , email can be an overused (and even harmful) tool.
We’ve observed that the pattern is pretty much always the same: 12 weeks out from the event, marketers start blasting. They don’t segment their lists, meaning they end up sending a blanket email which attempts to provide something for everyone and as a result is pretty lengthy and vague, and try to cram in as much information as possible. The cycle is then repeated until the event takes place, causing recipients to disengage and in some cases even unsubscribe completely.Read More
It's great to see that events specifically talking about "events and conference marketing" are on the up and the newly launched Event Marketing Summit by the Global Conference Network took place just recently. Over 150 people attended - from event marketers to senior management, old friends as well as new faces.Read More