Discover How You Can Take Your Events Strategy To New Heights With Forum Group’s Innovative B2B Event Marketing Ideas

Here at Forum Group we understand that an overwhelming majority of C-suite executives (87%) believe live events will become increasingly important to their organisations and are planning on investing in them more in the future. What are the options to effectively market your brand in a business to business environment via effective event campaigns?

This month on the Forum Group blog, we have compiled our tried and tested list of innovative B2B event marketing ideas to inspire your event strategy.

1. Organise a Hackathon

Host a Hackathon for your customers rather than a traditional summit. Your clients team up with your employees for a 24-hour hackathon to create brand new tools or feature enhancements. This type of event helps corporations engage their customers and serves as an intimate networking event for your participants.

2. Pick an Interesting Venue

Imagine organising an event on an island off Sydney Harbour! That would be memorable! There are so many options for unique, special venues on our doorstep. Think sunset cruises, museums, rooftop bars, private dining experiences, casinos, the zoo and you can’t go past purpose built convention centres for that architectural wow factor and convenience.

3. Design an Interesting Venue

Following the last point on selecting interesting venues, if you can’t hire or find a suitable venue, design the space that works best. Forum Group has worked with many clients to brand, design and style venues that start out as a blank canvas and finish as a customised space equipped with all the requirements for your event scope.

4. Invest in Exciting Event Goody Bags

Surely you’d want your attendees to leave your event with amazing memories and experiences. But a little take away bag can help create a lasting impression. Consider offering attendees the latest device that hasn’t hit the market shelves yet or a wonderful, eco friendly tote is bound to leave a lasting impression. While you might not be able to hand out a piece of technology before it hits the shelves, interesting freebies can generate buzz and positive feelings towards your event and brand.

5. Host a Talent Show

How incredibly engaging and memorable would your event be if your employees or stakeholders deliver a stand-up comedy set or perform a song with their band? This fosters a connection with the attendees by allowing them to be part of the event.

6. Customised Event Branding

By investing in the overall event branding, organisers stand to create something truly unique and targeted. Do not restrict yourself to marketing an event solely through your own company brand engage a designer to create a brand for your event to stand alone. Set up a hashtag online for your event to track the event on social media.

7. Engage Partners for Collaboration

This includes sponsorships, speakers and exhibits. Work together with those at the top of your industry to engage them and their knowledge. Finding appropriate sponsors lets you tap into their customer base as well as their brand to entice new attendees at your event.

8. Use Event Management Software

Nobody said running an event was easy. But it could be easier if you used event management software to help you manage your contacts and data generated from your event.

From networking to keeping track of the agenda to lead generation functionalities, these tools can set your event apart from the rest. Forum Group offers clients access to our in-house event management professionals and tools to keep your event on track.

9. Immerse them in technology

With recent advances in technology, augmented reality and virtual reality have become valid options for keeping attendees engaged at an event. Consider using VR headsets, holograms to showcase your brand, event apps and wearable tech as part of the event experience. Use these technologies at your exhibition booth or reception to leave a lasting impression on your attendees.

10. Plan a Live Demonstration

When it comes to B2B product and services, it’s difficult to get your target audience to listen to your demonstrations or try your product out. In-person events can help you get your product in front of prospects and clients.

11. Host an After-Party

Events are often packed from start to end with keynote speeches, live demos and learning sessions. An event after-party for exhibitors, attendees and speakers of your event is a great way of ending your event on a high note and can also provide a networking opportunity for attendees.

12. Organise an event Kick-Off

You can begin your event with an ice breaker or a kick off party. Similar to an after-party, the aim of a kick-off party is to give attendees the opportunity to connect with people prior to the actual event.

13. Event Live Stream

There are many people out there who might not be able to physically attend your event but would still love to learn and be a part of what your event has to offer. Consider live streaming your event, or at least the keynotes or highlights of it.

14. Set up an Event App

Attendees can use an event app for one-on-one messaging, learning about event sessions, sponsors and speaker and engaging in live polls and surveys.

15. Experiential Activities

Experiential marketing is all about giving your attendees an experience that they’ll never forget and associate that with your brand. Why not set up face painting, creative workshops, games and innovative technologies for attendees to experience and play with or set up a photo booth. Consider what the attendees can see, hear, touch, eat and play with as they move through the event space.

16. Social Media Tags

Social media is an effective channel for promoting an event and facilitating discussion among event attendees. One method commonly used is the hashtag to create a virtual “library” of outsourced media and comments from attendees.

17. Organise Live Music

Include different musical performances planned throughout your event campaigns. Why not entertain guests with R&B, acoustic jams, pop or a DJ set performances throughout the day? Karaoke for attendees to participate in is a memorable, fun and engaging way to incorporate music!

In closing…
Explore your options and let your creativity flow in allowing your event to enhance and showcase your brand, business model and influences. Think outside the square where possible. For professional event management services, contact Forum Group to discuss your event brief.

Conferences and Events in 2018+: Trends

The team at Forum Group presents the trends for corporate events and conferences for 2018 and beyond. By reviewing research collated by industry associations, we reveal the latest strategies to get the most out of your upcoming event.

HOT EVENT TRENDS

#1 – Host more events with fewer resources

#2 – Marketing and promotion will account for the bulk share of event budgets

#3 – Top social media strategies for corporate event planners

#4 – Artificial intelligence will lend brands and planners a helping hand

#5 – Gamification and engagement with your brand onsite creates memorable experiences

#6 – Wellness is featuring more readily in events programs

Events Trend #1

Hosting more events with fewer resources – Creative event planners work around budget restrictions

Conferences and corporate event planners have found ways to deal with their budget constraints. We are expecting event budgets will remain stable until the close of 2018. Despite flattening budgets, the events industry shows no signs of stopping with most research reporting that business is best conducted face-to-face and locally. We expect a majority of corporate event hosts to stage even more events next year.

From a review of industry research, most respondents said their team will remain the same size, while others look to hire more staff in 2019. Agencies like Forum Group Events & Marketing offers event planners a proven solution for managing event budgets of any size and a way to instantly scale project teams with professional, experienced events and marketing personnel. Creative event managers will identify ways to reach objectives without adding pressure on budgets; e.g. strong benchmarking practices, in-house capabilities and leveraging broad networks to produce value adds for corporate event hosts.

Events Trend #2

Marketing and promotion will take majority share of event budgets again
When asked what they’ll increase budgets for in 2018-2019, a majority of those surveyed in the industry research said marketing and promotion. A high percentage of respondents reported that event promotion was their largest expense in 2017. When it comes to event promotion, conferences and corporate events have a lot of tools available in their toolbox. Although the number of marketing tools may seem endless, we have found that the internet’s oldest technology isn’t just the marketing tactic most used to reach attendees — it’s also the most effective.

What makes email so effective for conferences and corporate events? Compared to most promotional tools, it’s the least expensive and most effective. Since it costs 7x more to acquire new attendees than to retain past ones, email invites to past attendees — whose email you captured from previous events produce a higher return on investment (ROI).

However, events see the most success when they avoid sending generic invitations. Research shows that relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails. The team at Forum Group can help you with the design, copywriting, strategic calls to action, scheduling, database segmenting and targeted email campaigns to best promote your event.

Events Trend #3

Social media and Facebook ads drive the most attendance

Social media has become the ultimate event promotion channel. More than two billion people from around the world — including most Australians (79%) regularly use social media. And a quarter of traffic to ticketing and registration pages come from social media. But out of the various social media engagement strategies to choose from, which of them drive the most registrations? From recent research, the most used and most effective social media tactics were contests and Facebook advertising. Social media algorithms surface only the most relevant content for their users. And because contests can incentivise likes and other engagement, conference and corporate event marketers are effectively getting their events in front of more potential attendees. Forum Group’s events marketing managers also recommend Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for events marketing campaigns that provide a measurable ROI.

If you use Facebook event ads to promote your event, you need to include your registration link to use their event-specific advertising features. Talk to FG’s team about the best way to advertise your event based on the demographic of your attendees.

Events Trend #4

Artificial intelligence is here to help

For years, Forum Group has predicted that AR and VR will become the next big thing for conferences and corporate events. But according to recent research, AR and VR are poised for mass application in 2018and beyond. AI is probably a part of your life already. If you have a smartphone with a virtual assistant, like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, then you’ve already experienced a form of AI. Forum Group’s team can guide you through the maze of how to use AI and VR for progressive conferences and corporate events.

Take advantage of robots at your event
Almost 90% of conference and corporate event creators said that reaching new attendees will be an obstacle to their success in 2018. If this is a concern for you talk to Forum Group about automating your event operation and promotions to work more efficiently.

Events Trend #5

Gamification increases engagement for attendees

In 2018 gamification is set to peak in the world of events! Attendee engagement, both before, during and after the event, in addition to gamification activities incorporated into the event experience drives richer insights into attendee behaviours and allows event organisers to make more informed decisions about their business.
Forum Group’s event and marketing managers recommend setting up a gaming corner, networking / ice breaker games, event app games and incentivising engagement through games.

Events Trend #6

Wellness features in event programs

Wellness is an emerging trend to watch as we move towards 2019. Enhancing the attendee experience is not limited to the business program content. It now includes planning elements that increase attendee wellness. Increasing numbers of companies and their meeting owners are looking to appeal to attendee wellbeing throughout meetings and events. Corporate planners are recognising the value of employee and attendee wellbeing and this will shape meetings and events programs. Think about the program, catering, event styling and infrastructure implications this trend will have on your planning.

Don’t let your event be left behind…
Whether you’re hosting a conference or a road show across multiple cities, Forum Group can provide you with the right team to manage your event requirements and quantifiable metrics to gauge your event success. Find out how the right partner can help you future-proof your conference or event, reach more attendees and streamline your operation.
Contact Forum Group on (02) 8302 5523 or email: [email protected].