The Best B2B Event Marketing Ideas [+Tips for Going Virtual]

March 22, 2021
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What takes an event to next-level greatness? What elements make it a truly memorable experience that stays in people’s minds long after it’s over? When creating your B2B event marketing strategy, these types of questions should be at the top of your mind — and we want to help provide the answers.

The best B2B event marketing ideas can’t succeed without being aligned with event objectives. No matter how creative and groundbreaking your ideas may be, you must ask yourself how it connects to the bigger picture and how it will help you achieve your ultimate goals.

From product demonstrations and constant engagement to digital swag, we’ve whipped up the most innovative marketing ideas that will help attendees remember your event long after it’s over. Plus, we know the best platform to execute those ideas if you’re keeping it virtual or going hybrid.

First Things First: Set Objectives as Part of Your B2B Event Marketing Strategy

Great events aren’t a fluke. They were executed after thoughtful, thorough planning. It can be difficult to know where to begin, especially if you’re new to the virtual world. But truthfully, sticking to your event objectives is more important than how you present your event to your audience.

When brainstorming your objectives, keep these questions in mind:

  • Who are your customers and what do they need?
  • What are your marketing goals vs. event goals?
  • What data are you tracking?
  • What do you need this event to do for your company and your customers?
  • What type of event best suits the needs of your customer base?
  • How are you planning to engage with your customers before, during, and after the event?
  • What types of content will help you achieve your goals?

Establishing your objectives before you start planning will actually make the planning a lot simpler and straightforward. You’ll understand why you need what you need, and how it will directly contribute to your goals.

If you’re more established and have held several events in the past, you probably have acquired a lot of data on your customers and what they need from you. But if your event’s purpose is to gather data on your customers, that can be a whole other objective. That’s why it’s important to take time to consider the purpose, and how you’re going to use all available resources to help.

Looking for more tips on cultivating objectives for virtual events? Check out the 14 Best Practices for Hosting Virtual Events.

b2b event marketing strategy for online events

8 Innovative B2B Event Marketing Ideas to Knock Your Event Out of the Park

Now that you’ve thoughtfully chosen your event goals and objectives, find ways to immerse your audience by incorporating innovative B2B event marketing ideas. There’s tons of inspiration available to you, which is why establishing those goals is so important to keep everyone on track. 

But don’t worry about digging through all the resources to find help — we’ve gathered eight ideas to boost your event and help you hit all those objectives.

B2B Event Marketing Idea #1) Look for Big Name Sponsors to Partner With

It may not be a new B2B event marketing idea, but one that needs repeating. A sponsorship with a big-name partner can make your event explode. Think about the list of events you’re planning to attend this year: What drew you in? Did you see a speaker attending that you love? Did the list of sponsors establish credibility for a newer or smaller company you’ve never heard of? 

It can be a comfort to see a brand partner with one that you love. Historically, huge partnerships like Starbucks and Spotify, or Apple and Nike, are smart combinations that boost experiences for customers and help both partners flex their strengths for success.

For example, the tech conference Collision’s partner list this year includes AWS, Microsoft, and Slack, and speakers from Facebook and Twitter. Consider what companies or speakers you could reach out to and pitch your goals.

B2B Event Marketing Idea #2) “Do It Live” With Product Demonstrations

Product demos are common at events these days, so it can help to reference big unveilings for inspiration. Remember when Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone? Or when the first Kindle came out? Seeing products in action helps attendees visualize how it works — and be sure to offer plenty of examples, uses, and scenarios to inspire them.

While some of the most classic product demos took place on a stage, if you’re thinking virtual, there are so many ways to walk through a demonstration using video and event platform software. This gives you the creative freedom to really get into the logistics and show off all the great features of your product. 

Whether you’re in-person, hybrid, or virtual, brainstorm ways to make it interactive, too — put the product in your attendees’ hands or allow ways for them to ask questions or prompt you to use the product in a certain way with live video or chat.

B2B Event Marketing Idea #3) Use an Event App for Constant Engagement

A B2B event marketing idea you may not have considered, but absolutely can not sleep on. When it comes to keeping your attendees informed, engaged, and involved, an event app is unmatched. These apps allow you to create a custom, branded experience with schedules, information, bios, exclusive content, videos, networking, and more. And, of course, it can all be accessed anytime from their smartphone. 

With some marketing events management software, every part of their event app can be branded and personalized. You can send timely notifications to attendees regarding travel times or sessions. Using tags and themes, you can help users find particular sessions or exclusive content.

Seeking more strategies for promoting your event? Take a look at our 12 Event Promotion Strategies To Attract The Right Audience And Grow Your Business

B2B Event Marketing Idea #4) Let Your Clients and Customers Do the Talking

When we say let your clients and customers do the talking, we don’t just mean on your event platform or via networking — although this is equally as important. What about actually giving them a platform to speak and share their expertise or experiences?

You could apply for a speaking slot or exhibition booth at Terrapin’s Accounting & Finance Show for example. Giving your guests a forum to speak on topics they know best takes interaction and engagement to a whole new level. You might get the attendance of their associates and customers, too, while introducing them to yours. Both of you will gain knowledge and a new platform.

If you want to take a different approach, what if you let your customers apply to speak at your event about how they use your product or service? Their stories or unique ways they use the product will make the event feel more real and relatable, with long-lasting takeaways.

B2B Event Marketing Idea #5) Give VIPs Something Extra

Who is a VIP? You decide! Consider offering special VIP tickets with exclusive access to speakers, content, or opportunities. Perhaps your VIPs can access virtual content much longer than a regular ticket, have one-on-one opportunities, or participate in curated small group activities. 

Brainstorm what types of content you can take to a higher level, because VIP guests can provide you with a revenue boost. They can also give you a social media boost, if you plan to provide VIP access to any particular influencers or attendees.

While not a B2B event, many would say popular music festival Coachella does VIP right, offering shady spots that are out of the sun, bathroom access, and parking for VIP attendees. Often, conference-type events provide VIP access to special guest speakers as well.

B2B Event Marketing Idea #6) Give Networking a Face Lift With Innovative Initiatives

Networking could use an upgrade. With creative ways to encourage meetups and discussions, provide a built-in icebreaker for attendees and more meaningful connections. Casual networking opportunities — like the happy hour and trivia night hosted by Young Professionals of Seattle — can create a fun, stress-free way to get to know your peers and other businesses.

You also can coordinate volunteer opportunities, games, physical activities, or events centered on food as unique ways to bring people together and allow them to achieve a level of comfort and familiarity before bringing business into the mix.

If your event is virtual, create breakout rooms where smaller groups in similar industries can chat and interact with each other. 

With some platforms, participants can actually be matched by similar interests and skills to create a more specific networking experience and unlock new business opportunities.

B2B Event Marketing Idea #7) Be Sure to Give Your Attendees Some Swag

Swag is an essential part of any successful event. Usable, long-lasting items can continually make an impression on guests, but so can out-of-the-box, memorable experiences. This Twitter user showed off her neatly organized sock drawer to followers, made up of swag from Microsoft, DocuSign, and more.

Swag gifts also can include branded coffee mugs and reusable water bottles, sweatshirts, laptop stickers, or candy. Think of all the ways you can imagine your attendees sharing their swag experience with others on social media.

Virtual events can definitely offer swag too — digital swag! Give your attendees gift cards, featured webinars, guides, or other exclusive content and insider info. This way, you can simultaneously nurture leads and track conversions.

B2B Event Marketing #8) Create Trendy, Taggable Moments

What makes your event yours? Popular tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple, or Adobe often use their annual events for product launches or other exclusive, trending moments. What sort of activity, event, or fun moment can you create that people will look forward to year after year?

For the best success, create a hashtag for this moment and use it across social media platforms. Encourage your attendees and participants to use it too.

Establishing your own trend and embracing it gives guests something to look forward to, and something that makes your event stand out. Over time, attendees will forge their own relationship with this trend and it will continue to grow. Bonus points for photo-worthy, newsworthy ideas that make headlines in your community.

B2B Event Marketing tips

Tips to Take Your B2B Event Marketing Strategy Virtual

Have big event dreams that you feel might get squashed by adapting them virtually? Fortunately, virtual event software today is sophisticated enough to help you translate your big goals to the screens of your attendees in unique and exciting ways. You might even be able to make more of an impact virtually, with the right tools.

Choose the Right Virtual Event Platform

You need a robust virtual event platform to bring your most creative ideas to light. What does the “right” platform look like? It’s one that allows you to create personalized experiences with your brand. It lets you integrate other video software and tools for a smooth experience. It’s packed with engagement tools like Q&As, polling, and instant feedback.

Identify Ways to Connect With Attendees 1:1

Many people misunderstand virtual events because they feel they’ll miss this key element: connections with others. That’s why you need a virtual event platform that offers many tools to give your events a personal feel, where you’re engaging directly with your audience, forming connections, and networking.

What are some tools you want for more intimate experiences?

  • Breakout sessions for workshops or brainstorming
  • Exchange contact details with nearby users
  • Connect on discussion boards
  • One-on-one chat or group chats
  • Initiate conversations with your attendees, with options for messaging, ratings, questions, and more

Provide Access to a Resource Center

With virtual events, you don’t have printed brochures, maps, or agendas for attendees to follow. That’s why creating a resource center within your event app is essential to providing them all the information they need in one place.

How can you go about creating this resource center? With certain event management tools, you can build:

When you create your sessions and breakouts, you can include all details such as times, locations, links, speaker bios and photos. Then, as you make everything available to attendees, they can opt to sign up and attend. By creating themes and tags, you help attendees search for the right sessions and recommend related sessions to them.

Finally, relevant notifications can be sent to individuals, groups, or everyone, detailing flights and reminding them of major sessions.

Lean Into the Virtual Element

There’s definitely a real “virtual advantage” that should be addressed: the ability to reach more people, potentially from all over the world. While some virtual events benefit from trying to get as close as possible to an in-person experience, fully embracing the virtual benefits can be exciting. 

Using all the unique tools a robust virtual event platform has — including the ability to integrate with your CMS or easily connect to all the familiar video live streams and apps your speakers may prefer — you can create an incredible, immersive experience for attendees that they won’t soon forget. It will also allow you to track attendee engagement in a way not previously possible at in-person events.

Find Every Opportunity for Audience Interaction

What makes an experience truly “immersive”? Taking every opportunity for audience interaction. Pack your event with chat options, polls, reactions, and activity challenges

With every element or session you build, ask yourself how you can incorporate audience involvement and explore the tools that make this easy during a virtual event.

Make Your B2B Event a Success with a Robust Virtual Event Platform

With a platform as vibrant and expansive as SpotMe, you can expect your virtual or hybrid event to turn out the same way. Let your creativity run wild with your B2B event marketing ideas, because you can trust your event platform to deliver them seamlessly, allowing you to clearly track your goals and objectives.

Start a free trial today so you can dig into the features and see for yourself how SpotMe will support all your event goals — and give them a boost.

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