Tag Archives: virtual events

One Way Smart B2B Marketers Work Backwards

B2B Marketing Needs Impressive Stuff Like This

Companies invest considerable time and effort in securing and preparing for public events, industry seminars, keynote addresses, webinars and roundtable discussions. But contrary to The B2B Marketer’s Bible, and regardless of the upfront investment, the intrinsic value and opportunities related to participation in in-person and virtual public forums do not lie within the event itself.

Consider this:

  • A public platform represents an implied endorsement from the sponsoring organization because of its vested interest in showcasing knowledgeable speakers. No organization will knowingly showcase a speaker who has no credibility or expertise in his or her respective field.
  • The audience attending the event represents a small fraction of those you are attempting to influence, and key decision makers often are not present at public events.
  • What’s done to promote the firm’s endorsement from the sponsoring organization—in advance of and following the event—can be more important than what occurs at the event itself. Simply issuing a press release, or posting the event’s slide presentation on a website, will not adequately address the opportunity.

Here’s how one professional services firm gained a tangible ROI from a single speaking opportunity:

The managing partner of a New York-based, eight-person CPA firm—following his presentation at a regional bar association’s seminar on law-practice-related tax, compliance and compensation issues—sent highlights of his remarks, with a brief cover note, to all the members of that regional bar association, whether they had attended the seminar or not.

This CPA firm’s follow-up marketing effort, which combined the bar association’s implied third-party endorsement with its managing partner’s thought leadership in practice management, resulted in new relationships with three law firms that had not attended the seminar.

Smart marketers work backwards. They have a specific plan to merchandise the credibility and thought leadership related to the marketplace exposure directly to target audiences in advance of seeking the speaking opportunity. That way, their ability to convert a public platform into bona fide business results is significantly enhanced.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Survey of 550 Ferrari-Driving Marketers

Would you please re-paint mine to match my tartan?

According to research released by Unisfair, which calls itself a “leading global provider of virtual events and business environments,” 60 percent of the 550 US marketers who participated in its online survey “plan to increase spending on virtual events and environments this year… and if budgets were not an issue, 67 percent would host 10 or more virtual events in the next 12 months.”

If “budgets were not an issue,” I suspect those 550 marketers would likely all be driving Ferrari Testatrossas. Whatever.

The survey also noted that “42 percent of marketers plan to decrease spending on physical conferences and trade shows over the next year.” Although I don’t dispute the veracity of Unisfair’s survey results, this does not square with the first-hand reports from folks at World Congress and other sponsors of live events, who claim companies are increasing spending on conferences, seminars and trade shows.

Survey results notwithstanding, whether it’s conducted live or virtually, the most significant shortcoming of event sponsorship is the failure of companies to conduct adequate pre- and post-event merchandising of the related content. An event is an opportunity to communicate with target audiences for a legitimate purpose; a way to showcase thought leadership; and (if the forum is prestigious) to leverage the inherent 3rd party endorsement of the program sponsor.

Most importantly, pre- and post-event merchandising is a great way to reach a significantly larger audience than those sitting in seats or listening in over their laptops. In fact, many events can be viewed simply as a necessary excuse to communicate with important decision makers who don’t waste time attending events of any kind.

If you’re looking for business results-driven ROI on event sponsorship, you’ll need to focus more on the content and less on the venue.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized