Nearly 85% of leadership believe in-person events are essential to their company’s success. To accelerate their sales pipeline, companies spend around 18% of their marketing budget exhibiting or sponsoring at the world’s premier conferences and trade shows.
But make no mistake, it’s a significant investment of time and money.
With flights to book, hotel rooms to secure, meals to comp, expensive booth displays to set up, and swag to hand out, everyone involved knows the goal isn’t brand awareness or badge scans––it’s generating revenue pipeline.
Doing that in the context of in-person events comes with its share of challenges, particularly competition for meaningful engagement with prospects in attendance.
Recouping costs or demonstrating a positive ROI from an event marketing perspective is essential. Account-based marketing (ABM) tops our list of this year’s most impactful pipeline-generating event trends. Don’t believe us? According to a recent ITSMA study, 72% of companies agree that ABM delivers higher ROI than any other type of marketing.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategy––not a tool––to land and expand targeted accounts.
By tailoring marketing efforts to reach specific accounts, you can share information aimed at the right personas and the areas of interest of these high-value accounts.
That’s because B2B purchase decisions often involve the input of multiple stakeholders.
Employing an ABM strategy is an excellent addition to a variety of approaches on channels you already may be using, including direct mail, advertising, web personalization, and even old-fashioned human outreach.
But its value is undeniable at events. It’s an incredibly effective way to use resources more effectively at corporate conferences and industry tradeshows like CES, RSNA, MWC, or IBC.
Planning and executing an “Event ABM strategy.”
You have to engage your buyers with thoughtfulness and intention. That’s what helps your team find, engage, and land the accounts you targeted long before anyone sets off for Vegas, Barcelona, or wherever your team is headed.
Let’s go over some of the most important elements of your strategy.
Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams is Key
To bolster your Event ABM strategy, getting aligned with your sales counterparts is critical. Everyone has to be on the same page to reach high-value accounts in a purposeful way that actually closes deals.
In other words, it takes alignment to shift the collective mindset from “we’re here to generate leads” to “we’re here to generate revenue pipeline.”
Here are some quick-hitters to get synced up on prior to your next event:
- Create shared goals and metrics around the event to measure success
- Decide which technologies to use in order to execute your event strategy and measure the event’s success
- Identify the key accounts to target at each event
- Ensure sales has input on the hyper-personalized content needed to support personas, wherever they are in their buyer’s journey
These are just a handful of items sales and marketing need to work on, but there certainly are more.
The takeaway is that roles and expectations need to be clearly defined. Both teams have ample talent and knowledge to offer––i.e., event experience, customer relationships, insider information on high-value accounts, etc.
But all parties need to know what they are responsible for and how to evaluate success.
Understand Your Buyers Fully
While your marketing programs target a specific buyer, if ABM is going to serve you well, your team must have a solid understanding of multiple personas within an account, who they are and how to engage with each persona you can target at your event.
Armed with data and insights about your personas, you’ll be better equipped to create and deliver valuable content to influencers and decision-makers at your target accounts. That’s how messaging will generate a consequential impact for sales to follow and win accounts.
Develop an event strategy rich with content to help them achieve their unique goals.
Drive Qualified Accounts to your Booth
Research shows that 92% of trade show attendees come to see and learn about new products or services. With that in mind, it’s critical to have engaging in-booth demos ready to showcase your unique offerings.
To ensure you can engage others while a demo is happening, provide informative resources. This will help keep attendees at your booth and ultimately allow you to collect valuable customer information. Getting prospects to find you and meet you is half the battle.
Advancing the Deal Means Meetings
Of course, the value of event marketing is creating business opportunities that convert to deals, and you can’t create B2B opportunities without one thing––the meeting.
But efficiently scheduling meetings without staying up all night juggling multiple spreadsheets, back-and-forth emails, booking rooms, and other calendar tools is a nightmare.
Gone are the days of staying up all night slaving away on spreadsheets. Making the meeting scheduling seamless and error-free for your targeted accounts is how you secure meetings and advance the pipeline with professionalism and class.
After you’ve hooked a high-value account with targeted, personalized marketing outreach and engagement, there’s no quicker way to frustrate and alienate them than by butchering the scheduling of meeting with all the right internal and external participants.
Whether it’s a rescheduling notification mishap, a double-booking, or any other myriad ways booking meetings go wrong, don’t leave it up to chance.
Manage all the meeting booking variables with Jifflenow eEvent meeting scheduling platform for enterprises at conferences, trade shows, and global events. With its clean user interface, scheduling automation capabilities, CRM integration, easy reporting of meeting metrics, and other useful tools, it’s a must-have for any Event ABM strategy.
To get a fuller picture of how we, the event meetings experts at Jifflenow, recommend incorporating ABM ideas into your event strategy at upcoming conferences or trade shows, check out our webinar on 5 Powerful Ways to get the Best ROI at Events with ABM Campaigns.