Event marketing is a crucial piece of the B2B marketing puzzle. Event participation, production, and follow-up can drive lead generation, opportunity creation, and customer engagement. Why? There’s nothing better than talking face-to-face with a potential buyer to create a lead, opportunity, or close (or expand) a deal.
But events are one of the most expensive line items in the marketing budget. Because of the cost to produce, sponsor, or exhibit at events, B2B marketers need to do all that they can to ensure they see a return on their investment.
Event Marketing is About More Than Pushing Registrations
How you approach your event marketing strategy will depend on the type of event and your company’s involvement. Are you hosting the event or sponsoring? Are you speaking at the event or exhibiting? The event type will dictate your goals, and your goals will drive how you approach your event marketing.
Here’s an overview:
|An event your company produces||User conference
Thought leadership conference
|An event you sponsor||Dinner Party / Reception||Registrations
|An event you exhibit or speak at||Education conference
As you can see, different events and your corresponding involvement have different goals (and will ultimately require a different strategy).
Examples of How to Use Uberflip for Event Marketing
In every case, you’ll want to create an experience that’s engaging to keep their attention, interest, and get them to that next step. Let’s take a look at some real-life examples of how our own marketing team has used content experiences to supercharge their event marketing.
1. If the goal is to... boost registrations.
You can only say so much in an email… so why not send them to a content experience! For our annual thought-leadership conference, Conex: The Content Experience, we created a stream of content that contained the would-be attendees’ very own conference kit. In it, there's a personalized note, discount code, reasons to attend, justification letter, frequently asked questions, testimonials from past attendees—basically an arsenal of content to put them on the path to purchase (a ticket).
What’s more, as marketers, we can see engagement with the stream and using UTM tracking links, we can identify whether this content experience is converting into ticket sales. Yes, please.
2. If the goal is to… turn (free) registrants into attendees.
What’s a marketers’ biggest fear when hosting road shows, lunches, or any type of complimentary event? No shows! If you’re hosting a free or inexpensive event, you need to ensure that those who register actually attend.
For our recent road show, The Conex Tour, we wanted to not only ensure registrants showed up to the venue but also get them excited for our arrival in their city. That’s why we created this content experience with a custom banner, as well as "Know Before You Go" information, highlights from other stops on the tour, and a Twitter moment (aka a collection of what people were saying about the event on the social network).
For us, the number of unique views of the "Know Before You Go" article in this stream was a good indicator of intent to attend, as the views almost always corresponded with actual attendance numbers.
Finally, we included a CTA to bring a colleague to 1) boost registrations, and 2) ensure those who registered came. You’re less likely to bail if you have company also committed to attending so why not try in your pre-event content experience.
3. If the goal is to… generate booth traffic.
Exhibiting at a trade show? Speaking at a conference? And want to drive people to come see you? You can, with an email. But you can do so much more with a content experience.
Check out this content experience created for Dreamforce in San Francisco.
We used the event’s branding to locate the experience in the context of the event. And then provided information as well as incentives to stop by the booth or attend a session delivered by our CMO.
As an added bonus we chose content that showed the value of using Uberflip and Pardot together and that might appeal to those in attendance based on persona and job role. Finally, our call-to-action was to book some time to chat with our CMO who would be on-site at the event.
4. If the goal is to… engage booth attendees post-event.
Following up with people who were scanned at the booth post-event is a must-do for any marketing and sales team. And while you’ll want to pass those hot leads directly to sales, you may want to take a softer approach for everyone else.
Our team includes event branding in our event follow-up experiences as well as the event’s logo. The idea here is to provide any booth materials that the attendee may or may not have picked up at the booth in a digital format, as well as some more info about your brand. Here, we’ve included a hard and soft CTA to engage them with our brand.
Based on their activity in this post-event content experience, we can determine their engagement level and voila, a better follow-up strategy than simply sending an email with content.
5. If the goal is to… engage session attendees post-event.
How you follow-up with booth attendees will differ from how you follow-up with conference session attendees. They’re there for education rather than a demo, so your follow-up should ease into the hard sell since they’re likely not as warm as booth attendees.
Our team uses content experiences like the one below to provide event materials after the fact. Instead of simply sending the presentation slides linked in an email, we provide all presentation slides from the event as well as other relevant content to satisfy their appetite. Knowing what content they engage within this experience will help you personalize your follow-up even further.
For us, the goal was to get them to our annual conference so we provided a CTA tile that linked to a discounted ticket just for roadshow attendees.
6. If the goal is to… engage non-attending registrants.
Despite your best efforts as a marketer, there will always be people who register for your events but then don’t actually attend. And that’s okay. So why not engage them with an experience that shows them not only what they missed, but provides additional context on your brand and encourages them to attend another event.
We call this one our “Sorry we missed you” post-event experience because life happens, things come up, but that doesn’t mean you should treat these people the same as attendees, or ignore them completely. Everyone deserves an engaging experience.
BONUS! Post-event sales outreach
So that's what marketing does, but your sales team may also want to use a content experience in their personalized follow-up. Sales Streams are a great way to engage prospects with personalized content in all of their outreach, including post-event. (We have a whole article on that here).
Here's an actual example Kevin on our sales team used following one of our roadshow events.
It includes the prospect's logo, the rep's photo and personalized video, content and collateral to pique the prospect's interest and a CTA to book a call in the rep's calendar. Woop woop!
Explore More Ways to Use Content Experiences
By now you can see there are numerous ways to engage attendees with content experiences before and after your events. The key is to go beyond email to create a standout experience that gives the recipient multiple ways to engage depending on their stage, interests, and intent.
Creating these kinds of experiences is easy with the right tools and content at your disposal.
If these six ways weren’t enough, check out even more ways to drive your demand generation efforts with content experiences.
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