We’re living in unprecedented times – recently, you’ve likely heard this message time and time again. By now, there’s no doubt that you’ll be well aware of the devastating events unfolding across the globe.
You’ve also probably noticed that, thus far, it’s the organisations that are flexible and agile that have managed to thrive in this incredibly volatile market. If you’re looking to maintain continued success in the months and years ahead, you’ll need to be both proactive and responsive, tackling challenges head-on.
While there’s no concrete indication of how long restrictions will last, it’s well understood that things will likely be this way for some time. Thus, adjusting your business’ practices to ensure they’re suitable for and sufficient in the current climate is imperative – as is reassessing, updating and regularly monitoring the effectiveness of your B2B marketing strategy.
The Changing Face of Events
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, physical distancing has disrupted and, subsequently, reinvented the way businesses approach B2B marketing events. Whether you were gearing up to manage or attend an event this coming year, your plans have likely taken an entirely new trajectory.
This can be not only disappointing for you and your organisation but also costly, especially if you’re operating within an industry that relies heavily on events for networking, sales efforts or the like. However, luckily, there are ways to make the best of a bad situation, one of which is moving your event online and, in doing this, leveraging the modern technology that’s available to your B2B business.
By being productive and thoughtful in how you go about event management, you can demonstrate your business’ ability to evolve, all the while reaping the benefits of running brilliant events your audience will love. In the following article, we’ll be discussing various strategies you can implement to do just that, so you can continue to achieve great outcomes – even in times like these that prove to be particularly challenging.
Transforming Your Approach to Events
While the current circumstances are by no means ideal, they do nonetheless give your B2B business the opportunity to revitalise and reimagine the way you approach events. You’re essentially being thrust into considering any upcoming events from a completely different angle, encouraging you to look into new avenues that could, in fact, assist you in further refining your future events.
For instance, while it may be a less ‘traditional’ approach, by moving your B2B business’ physical events to the online realm, you can experience the advantages of getting on board with virtual venues firsthand. These include:
- A broader reach;
- Better attendee data acquisition;
- The extension of value beyond the physical date;
- Cost savings, such as those associated with venue hire and catering;
- Attendees are likely actually attending for the reasons you intended, rather than just stopping by for freebies or the like;
- B2B organisations can make their online event(s) accessible to a national and global market.
Getting the Most out of Your Online Events
Before launching your next online event, it is imperative to take the time to thoroughly analyse your buyer’s intent and how their preferences and priorities have changed amid the pandemic. Coronavirus has completely redefined the way in which many businesses across Australia and beyond conduct their day-to-day operations and, with the market changing so drastically, generally speaking, your audience’s priorities have shifted as well.
But what does this mean for your B2B organisation?
For starters, you may be investing an exuberant amount of time, money and resources in hopes of achieving goals that aren’t necessarily realistically attainable in current times. Your prospects may have more pressing issues to address before they can practically start seeking out new products or services that you may be looking to promote with online events. Thus, understanding your audience’s evolving needs, buyer journey and purchase intent has become all the more important in helping your business set viable objectives for your online events.
That being said, even if your target audience members aren’t going to convert right away, don’t write off online events as a potentially feasible avenue for your B2B business.
The buyer journey in B2B marketing is often long and complex and, because of this, it can take numerous interactions before your prospects transform into valuable leads. With online events, you can not only attract new potential clients but also nurture your existing leads so that, when things do start returning to ‘normal’, you’ll have already started building a strong relationship with prospects.
On the other hand, certain industries are booming – it all comes down to understanding your sector and desired audience, so you can hold successful online events that get you one step closer to achieving your organisational goals.
Looking forward, in the B2B sphere, digital interactions are anticipated to become two to three times more important to customers than more traditional approaches. Thus, continuing to build your B2B business’ online presence and capabilities across different avenues will likely help you set a strong foundation for the months and years to come.
Planning For Your Next Online Event
If you’ve decided to give online events a try, you’ll likely need to navigate a fair amount of unfamiliar territory. In planning for your online event, you’ll need to start by answering a range of questions, including:
- What are your key objectives for the event or, in other words, what do you ultimately aim to achieve from it?
- Specifically, who will your online event target?
- How do you intend to promote your online event?
- Which platforms will your B2B business use for marketing activities, interacting with your target audience and delivering relevant updates?
- What is your organisation’s budget for the event?
- How does your online event offer unique value to users, and what sets it apart from the plethora of other events available to them? For example, you may consider offering additional resources such as guides, activities or the like, all of which are exclusively available to attendees.
- Which types of technology, tools and software will you need to run your event online?
- How will your online event be structured? For instance, will you have multiple speakers and how interactive will it be?
For addressing these questions and more, a great starting point is, of course, looking at what your competitors are doing – you might even want to attend some of their events, so you can get a better hold of what works and what you could do differently. In addition to this, you can get insights directly from customers, asking them about the types of topics they’d be interested in and the like.
Moreover, after your online event, by gaining feedback from attendees, you can continue to refine future endeavours of this nature, and improve and optimise the overall effectiveness of your events to follow.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re interested in revitalising your business’ B2B marketing strategy with online events, get in touch with our team. With extensive experience with B2B digital marketing, we can help you organise and promote targeted events, so your B2B organisation can thrive in an ever-changing business environment.