In challenging economic times, the B2B events experience must consist of a whole lot more than a good excuse to escape the office. We know that delegate budgets are being squeezed and employees have little time to spare, and in the context of this environment, it is likely that mediocre events will fail.
For B2B events organisers and conference marketers looking to up their game, they should be aiming to create ‘sticky’ events. By that we mean events that delegates come back to again and again, events that get promoted by word of mouth, events that succeed. So, just for you, we’ve come up with a formula for event stickiness… drum roll… are you ready… here it is:
Uniqueness + Experience + Flexibility = Stickiness
Uniqueness is one of those words that marketers like to bandy about. But for good reason. If you want your event to stand out in the cluttered B2B market you must define your USP and of course have a strong B2B marketing strategy. Your event must offer something that cannot be found elsewhere. Your particular uniqueness could be in terms of content or it could take the form of networking opportunities. Use your event to make an important industry announcement or to launch an exciting new product or service. Give delegates unrivalled access to key players and industry bigwigs. Or, failing that, throw in some unusual form of entertainment which will be remembered and talked about long after the event.
Which leads nicely onto experience… B2B events organisers looking for stickiness must invest in onsite experience. This is a real opportunity for you to live your brand values whatever they are. Show your delegates what a fun ship you are running, the brand they are buying in to. Do not penny-pinch when it comes to event experience, think long term.
You may think you already cracked this experience lark at your last event but sadly you cannot afford to rest on your laurels. B2B events organisers must adopt a flexible approach and constantly review and revise their models. This means keeping up with B2B event technology and embracing digital distribution channels for promotion and delegate communications. Delegates these days expect you to engage with them on their own terms by using the social media networks they themselves have chosen to be part of.
The rewards of event stickiness
So there we have it. Combine these three elements to create a sticky event. And with this stickiness you should hopefully reap the rewards of attracting repeat delegates who enjoyed their event experience so much they will gladly come back for more and tell the world about it too! These delegates are your fans, your loyal customer base who will collectively become your community. They are the gold-dust customers who are likely to become advocates for your events and will inadvertently help with your lead generation via word-of-mouth and B2B social media. Apply the stickiness formula and your delegates should keep coming back for more!
‘Mediocre events will fail’ is one of our 11 event marketing predictions taken from our ebook, The Most Talked about Predictions for the Conference and Events Industry for the Near Future. Download the ebook to find out more.
Image credit: Sam Catch