The event industry experienced a paradigm shift with the pandemic putting the world on a standstill in 2020. Marketers across the world were forced to adapt to virtual events, but with more and more people getting vaccinated we are now seeing people taking baby steps towards a mix of ‘in-person’ and ‘virtual events’. So what is the future like for virtual events?
The numbers revealed by a Forrestor research indicate that while ‘in-person’ events are picking up, virtual events are here to stay. The same report suggests that a mix of ‘virtual’ and ‘in-person’ events will become the new normal for B2B marketing events in the next two years. Either way, the virtual aspect will be an important part of marketing strategies in 2022 and going forward. Don’t believe us, let these numbers do the talking:
- 63% of marketers are of the opinion that they will continue to conduct “the same number or more” virtual events in 2022.
- 58% of marketers agree with the statement that “most or all flagship B2B marketing events will have to be conducted the hybrid way in two years.”
- 67% of marketers are of the opinion that though networking opportunities are a challenge in the ‘virtual event’ environment, by harnessing AI technology they can overcome this. The use of AI could be a major focus in virtual events in 2022.
- 62% of marketers are of the opinion that bringing a virtual aspect to events has many long-term benefits and hence, events will be an integral part of the B2B marketing strategy in 2022.
Though we have said enough about how important B2B event marketing is, let’s understand what is B2B event marketing and why should it be a part of your marketing strategy in 2022.
Understanding B2B Event Marketing
Networking and building relationships are at the core of every sales and marketing plan. B2B event marketing is designed such that it facilitates in-person interaction that leads to:
- Relationship building
- Lead generation
- Sales pipeline generation and acceleration
- Brand awareness
- Customer retention
Getting insights on what your competition and peers are doing is important for a business. B2B events enable people of the same industry to come under one roof and exchange their thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. Vendors get to showcase products and services and offer solutions to help enterprises overcome any challenges they might be facing. The end goal of any B2B marketing event is to drive sales for a business.
Importance of B2B Event Marketing
Reaching the top-brass and decision-makers of any business enterprise is not an easy task. A B2B event brings these decision-makers together at one place, making these events a breeding ground to connect with the top-brass. Such events present the salesforce and marketers with a unique opportunity to hobnob and make meaningful connections with people who have the power to make decisions. Creating such relationships in a short span of time through any other channel is next to impossible.
Today’s digitized world too realizes the importance of personal connections and is a key driving force behind increased chat-functionality on websites. Digital marketing channels contribute in a big way to lead generation. Both events and digital channels bring some unique benefits to the table and hence having both elements as a part of your marketing strategy are important for success.
Virtual Events: The Future of B2B Marketing
Events being an integral part of a marketing strategy can make or break a company’s brand and reputation. 24% off the B2B marketing budget is towards events according to a report by Forrestor. However, the pandemic stalled any in-person events. B2B marketing agencies soon realized that virtual events are the way forward. In fact, virtual events were picking up even in the pre-covid era as in-person events were expensive and time-consuming at both ends of the spectrum (organizing and attending). Virtual events are the future of B2B marketing and here’s why:
- More and more companies have come to realize the many benefits of remote working and look forward to continuing the trend as it means more productivity, saving valuable time and costs.
- Companies across industries including B2B marketers now hire employees working from their home offices around the globe. However, this translates to these companies conducting virtual events for team building, engagement, and interaction.
- Virtual events track and store every single data point of attendees providing a gold mine of information for lead nurturing and subsequent conversion. The data also facilitates better and more relevant ‘event planning’ in the future.
- B2B marketing when clubbed with virtual events tracks metrics that matter such as, calculating ROI (return on investment), and helps develop a follow-up plan backed by real data.
- Virtual events have a better reach, they are convenient, cost-effective, yield high productivity and ROI, can be re-visited by participants and it’s time-saving.
To conclude, virtual events have the potential to engage an audience and bring a human touch to a digital space. It gives participants a platform to network and grow business. Virtual events enable a company to accelerate its ROI, reduce costs, broaden its reach and make your business a success in the long run.
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