From expos and product launches to user conferences and VIP dinners, B2B events can play a significant role in a company’s marketing strategy. Done right, these events can drive sales and boost your clients’ bottom line.

While return on investment (ROI) is essential for all events in the B2B marketplace, not only do you want your event to stay top-of-mind long after it’s over, but you’ll also need to show that it was fully aligned with your client’s objectives. The following marketing and lead generation strategies will help make your event a success so you can easily deliver the ROI your clients are looking for.

1. Optimize Your Pre-Event Strategy

Great events with a killer ROI don’t just happen. They’re the result of thoughtful, thorough planning and execution. Before you begin planning your event, make sure you’re crystal clear about precisely what the client is trying to achieve. Then, consider how you’ll leverage each aspect of the event to maximize ROI and meet other stated objectives.

You’ll want to incorporate social media and email promotion early in the planning stage. Consider working with other complementary organizations to promote the event. Also, send a press kit to each presenter so they can promote the event in their circles. 

Use event hashtags as early as possible. This will allow attendees and other interested parties to follow them and see relevant posts from the event host, sponsors, and speakers. This is an excellent way to encourage engagement and build excitement well before the event begins.

2. Incorporate Immersive “Live” Product Displays

Live product presentations are nothing new. After all, who could forget seeing Steve Jobs unveil the first iPhone live on stage? While they’re popular in the B2C world, they shouldn’t be overlooked when planning B2B events. In fact, since  B2B customers tend to put much more thought into product purchases, this can be a key driver of event ROI.

As events move to the virtual and hybrid world, you’ll need to get creative. For virtual events, plan to leverage the power of live video. You can also play shorter demo videos at optimal times throughout the event. Remember that these videos should not be a pitch. Instead, it’s all about showing the audience what it’s like to use the product and allowing them to visualize how they’ll benefit from it. 

For hybrid events, you may also incorporate virtual reality demonstrations. This will give in-person attendees an up-close, interactive encounter while also adding the “Wow” factor that comes with the virtual reality experience.

3. Enhance Your Virtual Event Platform

A top-notch virtual event management platform will include features designed to help maximize engagement and boost your event’s ROI. This may consist of interactive pages, exhibitor webcasts, video chats, and other features that allow businesses to create meaningful connections with attendees.

Your platform can also help the event host learn more about their customer. They can do this directly by using features like attendee polls or indirectly by analyzing behaviors through RFID tracking or leveraging reporting features within the platform’s software.

4. Leverage Your Event App for Consistent Engagement

A mobile event app is one of the best ways to keep event attendees engaged and informed. The capabilities can allow attendees to learn more about speakers, take notes during presentations, view interactive floor plans, and more.

When attendees can plan ahead to optimize their experience, they’ll get more out of the event. This will make conversions much easier. 

5. Focus on One-to-One Meetings

While group sessions will give your host or sponsors maximum exposure, one-to-one meetings are where deals get closed. The ultimate goal of every product or solution provider at an event is to actually talk to the attendees – even if only for a few minutes.

To ensure maximum ROI, you’ll want to create opportunities for one-to-one sessions. Using a networking and appointment management solution will help you match attendees with exhibitors or sponsors based on their industry or interests. When an attendee finds something they’re interested in, they can request a one-to-one meeting right from your event platform. This will improve the attendee experience while also creating real opportunities for businesses to profit from the event. 

6. Assist with Follow-Up After the Event

As you collect attendee data, it’s important to think about what you’ll do with it after the event is done. To maximize ROI, it’s important to give hosts and sponsors a way to connect with attendees beyond the few days surrounding the event. This may include lead generation strategies such as adding gated content to your event website. 

As an event planner, the bulk of the hard work is over after the event ends. However, there’s still a lot more to do for hosts, vendors, and sponsors. They’ll need to follow up with all the leads they collected. They may also want to share materials with attendees or send out a survey about the event along with an offer to schedule a follow-up meeting.

You can help with this by ensuring your platform collects all the necessary data and allows you to provide it to them in a format that’s easy to use. It’s best to reach out to leads within a day or two after the event is done, so it’s critical to provide this information as quickly as possible. 

Cutting Edge Tools Designed to Drive ROI

Companies spend a lot of money on B2B events, and they want to make sure they get a sufficient return on their investment. Taking the steps above will put you in a position to support their objectives while also setting you apart from the competition. Having the right tools in place makes everything easier. eShow offers you the ability to pick and choose the tools you need to create show-stopping events that deliver maximum ROI. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free demonstration.

By now, doing things virtually has become a way of life. For event planners, this often means working with clients that you rarely or never see in person. While things are slowly starting to return to “normal,” many people are still working from home and attending events virtually. Living life behind the laptop is now commonplace.

In the competitive world of event planning, it’s vital to cultivate solid client relationships – but how do you do this in a virtual environment? From improving your communications to taking steps to build trust, it’s essential to nurture your connections continually. Here are a few simple ideas that you can implement right away. 

1. Respect Communication Preferences

When it comes to nurturing relationships, communication is key. However, one size does not fit all. Before you reach out, take the time to learn how they prefer to communicate. While phone calls and emails may be standard practice, many people prefer to receive text messages or direct messages through social media.

Communicating in the virtual world has its own set of challenges. By leaving face-to-face interactions and phone calls behind, direct messaging can easily be taken out of context. This is why it is essential to approach your client with clear and transparent goals in mind, allowing little room for confusion or misinterpretation. Positioning ourselves in an assertive, authentic, and concise manner will likely boost response rates.

When you choose the method that makes your client the most comfortable, you’re showing that you respect their needs. Doing so also increases the chances that you’ll receive a positive response.

2. Find Valuable Reasons to Reach Out

Time crunches and constraints are standard now, so getting your clients’ attention can be challenging. When you reach out, make it a point to provide materials that demonstrate true value. Whether it’s a quick check-in with an update on a project or a creative new idea, make sure they know that your communication will be worth their time.

Make an effort to customize each message. It may seem like a time-saver to send out a bulk check-in email, but your clients will notice. Instead, craft your message so it’s entirely relevant for the client you’re reaching out to. Also, make sure your relationship-building communications don’t overlap with sales calls. It’s important to occasionally let clients know you’re thinking about them without trying to make a sale. 

3. Get Personal   

To develop a real relationship with your clients, you’ll need to remain open and welcoming. This means making time for personal chatting, even when you’re busy. Remember that clients want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Taking a minute to ask about their personal life will make you likable and will help build a firm relationship between the customer and seller. This is even more important in the virtual world, where many people are craving personal interaction. These small conversations will have long-lasting effects with potential to enhance productivity and customer retention.

4. Turn on the Camera

While you may not feel entirely comfortable seeing yourself on the screen, you’re doing yourself a disservice by holding meetings in “audio-only” mode. When your clients can see your smiling face, your home office, and your dog lying in the background, they’ll automatically feel more connected to you. So, make sure you clean up your office, run a brush through your hair, and turn that camera on.

5. Pay Attention to Body Language

Using video in your conference calls also gives you another advantage. When you can see the person you’re talking to, you’ll be able to pick up on the signals they’re subconsciously sending to you. If you’re 15-minutes into a call and you see the person constantly checking their phone or reading email on the second screen, you’ve lost them.

This is the time to either switch tactics and try to get them re-engaged or wrap up the call and suggest a follow-up in a few days. Remember that clients often aren’t intentionally trying to be rude, but they may be under pressure or distracted by something else going on in their life. Remain flexible and be willing to make adjustments based on their needs. 

Dr. Nick Morgan, the author of “14 tips for holding engaging video calls” offers specific examples and insight on how to keep energy and morale high during video calls in the workplace . Providing the person you’re talking to with an agenda for the meeting will help retain engagement throughout the call. Another helpful way to keep the meeting upbeat and conversational is to hold brainstorming and icebreaker sessions. Use these helpful tactics in your next conference call of 30 minutes or more.

6. Show Your Appreciation

One of the best ways to create a connection with your clients is to show them your appreciation. You can do this by periodically sending small gifts or branded promotional items. This simple gesture shows your clients that you’re there for them and that you value their business. This can lead to longer-term, more fulfilling relationships.

7. Take Notes and Follow Up

In the virtual world, it’s easy to jump from one meeting to the next with little follow-through. There’s a good chance that your client will forget about you and your discussion within a few minutes of hanging up.

You’ll show that you’re engaged and make things easier for your clients by taking detailed notes, sending meeting recaps, and helping to keep everyone involved accountable. Using an abstract and committee management tool to keep all your planning materials in one place will also keep things organized, adding even more value to your client relationship.

8. Offer Total Transparency

When you’re communicating from behind a screen, it’s important to build trust. To do this, adopt the practice of being an open book. If an issue comes up while you’re planning an event, never try to hide it. Instead, be upfront about it. Explain what’s going on while also showing that you’re in control by describing exactly how you plan to solve the problem.

Even when everything is going smoothly, you’ll want to communicate openly. Tell your clients about your personal mission and how it can help them grow their business. Be transparent about your goals and always look for ways to build credibility.  

Elevate Your Client Experience          

Keeping your clients and leads engaged is critical for those who want to compete in this ever changing landscape. To do this, it’s essential to elevate every aspect of the client experience. Having the right tools in place will help you with everything from communication and management to lead development and follow-up.eShow offers an all-in-one event management system to help take your in-person, virtual, and hybrid events to the next level. Our experts will help design a customized solution to meet your needs and show you exactly how to use our system to cultivate and strengthen your client relationships. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a personalized demo.