- On June 25, 2020
It’s no secret that face masks and 2-metre social distancing, whilst crucial, do not lend well to B2B events.
Annual events are integral when it comes to keeping the cogs of the B2B tech engine turning. So, with most already cancelled – or at least postponed – what will leading companies be replacing them with?
Virtual Trade Shows
Ever sunk hours into google street view, virtually re-visiting the street you grew up on, or even just nosing round some random boulevard in Bolivia?
Nevertheless, virtual trade shows take this concept and adapt it to the B2B events space. Virtual events (such as the Perenso Cloud Show or the Virtual Industry Expo) are a fun and innovative way to capture at least some of the novelty of actually being at a B2B event.
Virtual Industry Expo – like a whole convention centre to yourself
You’re able to explore at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home. Win-win, right?
Some companies are already seeing success here, however criticisms have been made that technical information and fine print can be awkward to find. It’s also much harder to make stalls as attractive and attention-grabbing as you can in reality.
Most importantly – or most disappointingly, this might be the only trade show you won’t leave with a freebie-filled swag-bag. I’m starting to run out of pens and lanyards…
This one is fairly obvious, as companies had a habit of doing them even before the whole global pandemic thing.
Why? For years, webinars have been a stellar method of lead generation in the B2B tech sector. On top of great attendance, they’re also relatively easy to set up – cheap, too.
Developing flawless B2B webinar content, however, is far from easy. It requires exceptional planning, strategizing and execution if you wish to capture and inspire your audience. Audiences simply won’t accept regurgitated old slideshows or bored, monotone speakers.
Never jump straight into your live webinar without practicing.
Record yourselves, gather feedback from your team. If it doesn’t captivate them, it won’t captivate your audience. Identify low-energy sections and replace/remove them to ensure you make the most impact.
The beauty of webinars is that they can be repurposed, as informative recordings. If done correctly, this is terrific marketing material which can be used by customers in your sales funnel.
Potential downsides with webinars stem from your content.
Keep in mind that many viewers will initially be giving you around 30-40% of their attention, whilst replying to emails or scrolling through LinkedIn with the rest. If you don’t charm them with your content, they’re unlikely to remain tuned-in for long.
Ramp Up Your Email Marketing
Ok, so this isn’t really a direct replacement for your B2B events. Despite this it’s so important right now that it’s absolutely worth mentioning.
Notice how EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER suddenly has your email address on their mailing list? Namely long forgotten companies of the past, their withered CEOs risen from the dead to tell you about ‘these unprecedented/trying/unusual times’.
Whilst the famed ‘trying times’ phase has finally died down somewhat (thank god), increased email marketing across the board has remained prevalent – and effective.
Little wonder. With remote working becoming the new normal, email engagement is skyrocketing. We’ve seen increased open and click rates since March, and there’s little sign email campaigns will be slowing down any time soon.
Despite this, please, please don’t take this as the green light to start spamming your audience.
Simply peppering your entire database with paragraph after paragraph of ‘look how great we are please buy our products’ is a surefire way to get blocked. Provide your audience with genuine content that will be of value to them – or face the wrath of the spam filter.
If you have the time and money, the best performing emails are the ones that hyper-segment their audience. Proving carefully personalized emails tailored to each potential customer interest will always be a winner here, so plan ahead.
Ultimately though, remember quality > quantity.
Whilst we may still be reeling from our lack of event freebies this year (seriously – I’m down to my last branded fidget spinner) it doesn’t mean your profits have to suffer, too. Get in touch for more info on our pandemic-proof marketing tools by clicking here.