May 26, 2021 |

The dominant buyer in B2B markets has begun to shift slowly. A recent report from Forrester highlighted that Millennials are now responsible for 73 per cent of B2B buying decisions. Historically, professionals of preceding generations looked to make connections and learn about new products or services at trade shows or industry events. Now, however, Millennial buyers in the workforce prefer to turn to what they know, favouring online connections and content when searching for and qualifying suitable products and services.

B2B Event PR

Pre-pandemic, this shift was already signalling a host of changes to the shape of the events industry. Changes that the events of the past year have accelerated at a pace unanticipated by anyone. As a result, the in-person events landscape has changed. According to research conducted by LinkedIn, 45 per cent of future B2B events are expected to become completely virtual, with 32 per cent remaining physical and 23 per cent moving to a hybrid model.

So does this post-pandemic generational shift signal the end of the trade show for your B2B brand? We don’t think so. That being said, it should be your signal to revisit your sales strategy and diversify the channels through which you have traditionally relied upon to generate leads.

To make planning your approach a breeze, we have set out some key considerations to supercharge your events strategy to generate stratospheric results.

Plan for PR.

Events provide great opportunities to tell large audiences of engaged professionals about your business. After all, when we attend shows, we learn about our industries and seek ways to add value to our organisations when we return. With that in mind, offer something the audience at these shows cannot ignore. Whether it is a new product or solution your organisation has been developing or a special offer you have crafted. Leverage the captive audience and define a proposition they cannot ignore.

Our client, OW Robotics, did just this when it recently launched its new automated warehouse system at Intralogistex—taking the opportunity of the press attention and audience at the show to shout about its latest offer.

Cut through the noise.

While traditional PR is a critical consideration to make a splash at events, you must consider how to stand out in a convention centre full of businesses vying for audience attention. To ensure you make an impact with the right people, you need to be rigorous in planning your pre-show approach.

This strategy should incorporate two crucial steps. First, define a value proposition that will resonate with the audience that will be there on the day. Depending on where you are in the world and the competitor set you are up against, this may differ slightly show-to-show. Secondly, create a content delivery mechanism that enables you to identify, engage, and stay in touch with those interested in what you have to offer.

Bolster your resources.

Complimenting traditional in-person networking provides an opportunity to learn much more about your audience and provides a touchpoint that younger B2B buyers will be more inclined to engage with. Consider developing a platform for your content that you can navigate interested individuals to.

Generating these engaged leads can be done via your company blog or by developing more complicated microsites that deliver a breadth of thought leadership, interactive content, or videos/webinars. By investing in creating multiple pieces of high-quality content, you increase the likelihood of striking a chord with your target audience and generating leads that have a strong probability of converting into sales.

As well as engaging potential leads ahead of events, this strategy retains value post-event too and can serve as a brilliant mechanism for keeping leads within your brand’s ecosystem. With the average buyer needing to interact with around thirteen pieces of content before interacting with a vendor, bolstering your presence at events with a strong pre-show pipeline will set your sales teams up for success when they hit the tradeshow floor.

Retail Analytics specialists Ipsos Retail Performance recently demonstrated how it achieves this with the launch of an interactive shopper trend piece that looked at the changing interest in vegan food products over time in the US. The content offered audiences the chance to learn more about the brand’s insight-led retail-technology products within the context of an engaging experience that introduces potential customers to its breadth of shopper insight products.

As it begins to look like we can start to look forward to shaking one another’s hands at events again, now is a great time to start planning your B2B event PR strategies. If that is something you want to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of content marketing and communications specialists. Heck, we might even be able to welcome you back to the Tank Arms, our purpose-built pub, sometime soon!