The 3 Biggest Potholes of B2B Events (And How to Steer Clear)

July 10, 2017

Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Events

Events are a great tool to have in your marketing arsenal. In Australia last year, 72% of marketers used events to further their marketing goals. Done right, events are a powerful way to engage your target audience, accelerate the sales cycle and built brand equity. But hit a pothole (or three) and the results could be painful — it’s not just time and money down the drain, reputation and relationships could also be at risk. That’s why we’ve developed The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Events: Australia — now available for download!

It’s an all-in-one resource that you can use to navigate the bumpy road to event success and avoid the three biggest potholes of B2B events:

1. Underestimating the time needed

As marketers, we like to push ourselves to get more done, with less. So, it’s not that surprising to find that many of us underestimate the time needed to build a good event. Defining your objectives and audience, developing the big picture, perfecting the details, building buzz, driving sign-ups — these cannot be rushed without compromising on results.

A well-thought-out event plan can save the day and make your life easier. It takes time and effort to develop a robust one but it forces you to plot key milestones, line up your resources and divvy up responsibilities well ahead of time. This way, every member of your team also knows exactly what they need to get done, and when.

If you need help getting started, check out the event plan template that we use at LinkedIn!

2. Overcomplicating the message

The unique value that events provide over any other marketing channel is the opportunity for live interaction, and much of that interaction is centred on content. A good event content strategy should take its cue from the three tenets of content marketing—relevance, timeliness and consistency.

When we do go astray, it’s often because we’re trying to do too much; layering message over message in a bid to tick all the boxes or please every stakeholder. A much needed fourth tenet is: clarity.

Being able to articulate your message clearly will also be immensely helpful for your event speakers. Speakers need to know whom they’ll be addressing, what people want to learn, and how to tie this back to your key message. Developing an effective speaker’s brief is a great way to capture all this information in one place.

Here’s a sample briefing document that you can adapt for your next event. 

3. Failing to follow up

It’s an amazing feeling to see all your hard work take shape during event day. But just because the event is over, it doesn’t mean your opportunity to maximise event ROI is! At LinkedIn, we make it a point to pre-plan the post-event plan, so we can dive into this phase right after the event.

In your event planning process, you would have already determined what success looks like and which metrics matter most to you. For a good gauge of how well you’ve done, get your attendees talking. When you lead these conversations with the right questions, you’ll get tonnes of valuable information to help you measure the business impact of your event and identify follow-up areas for each attendee. 

What are the right questions, you ask? Check out this sample feedback form for ideas!

Events can be one of the more complicated programmes in your marketing mix but, when done right, they’re worth every late night. For more tips and insights at every stage of the event lifecycle, download your copy of The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Events: Australia now!