CES 2016 was an extraordinary event in more ways than one. More than 170,000 people flocked to Las Vegas to witness an expansive display of the latest consumer gadgetry. However, unlike previous years, large-scale industry events are no more used as mere launch pads for next generation technologies. They are increasingly used for marketing networking and more specifically as a means to build the business pipeline. “At CES,16, the focus has shifted from gadgets debuts to marketing meetup”, notes a Forbes contributor article.
Between the two of us, we have been at CES the last 3 years and every year it seems to be growing exponentially, making it more challenging to meet one’s customers and prospects. Event marketers are faced with the challenge of scaling their event planning efforts at an equal pace. This leaves them running around the vast expanse of the event venue with nothing but Excel sheets to manage meetings, making calls inefficiently and diluting customer experience in the process.Based on our conversations, here are the
Based on our conversations, here are the top 5 takeaways that Events marketers and planners will find useful for their future B2B meeting scheduling at events.
1) Bid adieu to Excel and Outlook for error-free meeting scheduling
Managing meetings with different teams and clients / prospects on Outlook and Excel sheets is a tedious and error-prone process. Event Marketers who used Jifflenow at CES 2016 scheduled and managed all their meetings from one single platform. While scheduling a meeting, they were able to view the overlay calendar for participants and rooms to see available slots before sending out a meeting invite. Meeting attendance at CES 2016 increased 2x for such companies as executives received error-free invites that were also updated correctly in their respective time zones.
2) Don’t let last minute cancellations and rescheduling ruin your event
Rescheduling meetings is cumbersome and more often than not leads to miscommunication between internal teams during events. Using Jifflenow, Meeting managers and Event marketers updated last-minute changes and cancellations right from their mobiles. Attendees receive automatic notifications of these changes to their calendar.
3) Manage off-site meetings efficiently
Event marketers are especially taxed while handling meetings scheduled outside the venue. With multiple stakeholders to engage with, they keep running around the floor coordinating on their mobiles or using instant messaging apps. They revealed that managing different types of meetings such as off-sites, dinners, ad hoc requests was a nightmare at a large scale event as CES. People would be located at different floors across a large venue and mostly out of reach on their cellphones. This trend we believe is going to escalate with every passing year as events become larger in scale and audience. Using Jifflenow, companies were able to record data about multiple kinds of meetings happening at a wide variety of venues during the CES week.
4) Begin well in advance
All Jifflenow customers reported that they went live with their meeting microsites about 4-6 months in advance of CES dates. This allowed Sales enough time to secure meeting slots with customers as well as company executives and leadership. It also allowed time for the event team to do a mid-course analysis of the logistics and space availability and make any course corrections they deemed necessary (such as purchasing extra space or reducing rented space depending on actual meeting volumes)
5) Utilise CRM data to drive more B2B sales meetings during the event
While preparing for an event, Sales teams often spend a large amount of time coordinating with Meeting managers and Executive assistants. Also, meeting managers have no way to evaluate how these meetings impact the revenue pipeline. Jifflenow customers at CES scheduled meetings right from their CRM interface and also viewed the revenue potential against each chosen attendee. This helped people make a more informed decision about which meetings to attend. (Did anyone see Intel’s in-booth live display of the sales pipeline being built at the event?)
CES is one of the greatest trade shows across the world. One can often find startling inventions parading through the event floor and yet in many ways meeting management and event planning still uses archaic and ineffective methods like spreadsheets and Outlook calendars. We had a great time talking to bright event marketers from some of the world’s largest companies and telling them more about Jifflenow. To talk either of us about our CES experience and how Jifflenow customers changed the way they scheduled and managed meetings, please reach out to us at our emails.
Sales Development Rep, Jifflenow
Account Manager, Jifflenow