What’s going to draw a crowd to your next B2B event?

8 November 2018

 As a B2B lead generation agency, we have witnessed the growing popularity of executive events over the last few years. So much so, we believe it an imperative part of a comprehensive demand generation strategy. Research indicates that executive events are amongst the highest yield in terms of ROI in marketing activities. This is the reason why we have extended our service offerings on purpose to include all aspects of events and B2B event marketing.


What draws crowds to events?


Well let’s just start with the why shall we? That’s what your prospective attendees will be thinking. Why should I attend? What’s in it for me/my business? On the flipside for event planners, Simon Sinek’s work ‘Start with the why’ perfectly highlights the key question you need to be asking before you begin.

In a study that surveyed 7,000 people, the top 3 reasons that people attended events included:

Education: What content will attendees be exposed to? Does the event theme align with business, industry or personal interests? Investing in an engaging and ‘on-trend’ keynote speaker can play a huge role in the success of your event.

Networking opportunities: Will there be an opportunity to connect with industry relevant people, or business opportunities at the right level?

Location, location, location: Is it accessible? Are there any special and unique features about the location?


So from the outset it’s fair to say that you need to provide an educational opportunity with some great opportunities to network, and hold the event in a unique, accessible and desirable location.

See also: Getting to the heart of B2B event marketing for lead generation


So who to invite to your B2B event?


There are a number of things to consider when thinking about who to invite to your event. First of all – what is the desired outcome? Again this will lead you back to your why. Is it an annual conference to update stakeholders, is it geared at brand awareness or a chance to demonstrate thought leadership in your industry? Your budget will play into this also. Regardless of whether your event is big or smaller and intimate, success will depend of how much you can align the expectations of attendees with the content and program you deliver.


Qualify your attendee list


And here’s why you’ll need to qualify your invite list. Qualify each attendee, especially if your event is on the smaller and more intimate side. Building your invitation list on data that is robust, clean and up-to-date avoids wasting time and resources targeting the wrong contacts – and enables you to focus your efforts on the people most likely to attend.

We have seen huge ROI for this smaller style of intimate event (usually 7-15 attendees). With an event marketing strategy that includes email and telemarketing you can definitely ensure all spots are filled with quality attendees.


To charge or not to charge? … this is a question


Deciding to charge for a ticketed event is absolutely an option. Connected to the point above, it can help ease any potential gaps for ROI. It’s also handy to encourage people to attend, as with most complimentary B2B events, there are strategies to minimise ‘no shows’, however it can’t always be avoided.

Priced and ticketed structures tend to work for larger scale events – particularly if your event is showcasing inspiring and interesting content and your guest speakers are very high quality.

You’ll also need to ensure you have a clear event content strategy to encourage invitees to become attendees… stay tuned for our follow up post on how to design a content strategy that works.

For advice on how we can help improve your events return on investment, dont hesitate to get in touch!

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