Who doesn’t love getting invited to an event? If that event is tied to one’s career, with a timely topic and interesting speakers, there’s an added incentive to attend. Events are powerful for B2B lead generation. For businesses, hosting events is a great way to increase brand awareness, reach out to potential clients and generate qualified B2B sales leads, both inbound and outbound. There’s no better way to present your brand and establish face-to-face relationships with potential buyers – at a time and place of your own choosing.
In-person events have been rated the most effective B2B tactic by the Content Marketing Institute for six years running, with 81% of marketers using them. And that should come as no surprise, since a well-organized event will inspire conversation and discussion – exactly the kind of things that build relationships.
Plan your own event
Creating an opportunity for personal contact has never been as important as it is today. In the digital world we now live in, people crave interactions that are up-close-and-personal. That said, B2B events can take many different shapes and formats. It could be a small breakfast for 10 key industry leaders or a more casual after-work gathering for 50 or more people. These customized, bespoke events can be highly targeted, and just as highly targeted content works better than broad, catchall copy, smaller, ‘in-person’ events can bring greater results and potential sales leads for the bottom line.
Capitalize on someone else’s event
A tradeshow can offer the perfect opportunity to make a big impact on as many decision makers as possible in a limited time frame. From a sales lead generation standpoint, remember to put any new technology or products with a wow factor in the spotlight to attract attention and help you stand out in a crowd.
Remember that tradeshows offer an opportunity to stage an event within an event. You have a captive audience at a show or conference that you can invite to your own event, which can complement the overall tradeshow by showcasing the specifics of your products or services for a select audience.
Conferences also offer opportunities to sit on panels or be a speaker. Always accept these; they bring brand awareness and exposure to the right audience.
Pointers for organizing an event for B2B lead generation:
- Make sure events are convivial, entertaining and relaxing and ensure your invitation sets that expectation so prospective customers will be more inclined to attend.
- Events should be held in convenient locations and offer refreshments or a meal, i.e. breakfast sandwiches for morning meetings.
- Personalize your invitations and treat every invitee like a VIP.
- Events should have a main drawing card: a speaker who’s an in-demand major player in your industry, or a current topic that is of great importance to you and your peers. This could be new government regulations that will have an outsize impact, or a major trend that’s just starting to appear in your line of business.
- Events should allow for time to mingle over drinks or coffee, to create an atmosphere conducive to connecting with others in an easy-going, casual way.
- Make sure your event organizers are organized, goal-oriented people who have the same objectives in mind as you do.
- If you have speakers from your company participating, choose good storytellers with a deep knowledge of your company and business, and a knack for leaving an impression with an audience.
- Remember to keep it as short and relevant as possible. Avoid long speeches or too many speakers, and no hard sells. Always keep your audience in mind.
- For networking, send out a team of your best people. Set them up with the attendee list and have them pre-schedule some conversations with prospects.
- Be sure to gather all attendee contact information.
- Have an after-event plan: who will compile the insights you’ve gathered, who will follow-up with emails, phone calls and meetings to continue the conversations you’ve started.
Remember, whether you organize your own targeted event, or participate in a tradeshow or conference, you’ll have the opportunity to meet people potentially interested in your offer. They might not immediately fall into your lead generation sales pipeline at that event, but you’ll be better placed to approach them afterwards.
It’s because of the highly personal nature of these types of micro events that they are so successful. Face to face communication is always going to be the most effective marketing channel you can use. These events will require an investment of time and resources but if done well, you’ll make a great impression and will reap the rewards for a long time afterwards.
Find out how 360 Leads can help your business with a lead generation campaign. Contact us today!