Fast forward a few years (and landing page platforms) later, event marketers have now taken B2B events a step further to generate and capture top of funnel leads. Today, events for demand generation have secured a foothold as a core tactic in every go-to-market playbook.
But if events were just about collecting email addresses, you could purchase leads like anyone else.
The real, unshakeable, underlying value of B2B events still lies in the human-to-human interactions that eventually lead to a signed deal.
Using events to generate demand and capture net new leads.
Now that event marketing for lead generation has established itself as a viable pipeline lever, demand gen experts and field marketing pros are under pressure to accelerate those leads through the funnel.
Community & Events Manager,
B2B events have become more people-focused than business-focused in today’s landscape. In the past, we would focus on casting the widest net. Now, we focus on the individual connection and personal experience. More than ever, building trust through your events is the goal rather than getting as many people there as possible. In my opinion, this change has redefined what hosting a successful B2B event looks like.
How can field marketers align demand gen with ABM for more conversions?
First, field marketers need to build a common understanding of what field marketing actually is (and does). Then, they’ll have to align with sales to determine the right goals, KPIs and follow up tactics to transform events into revenue.
Mini-CMOs who go beyond awareness-building to take ownership of the pipeline and arm the sales team with account-specific opportunities.
Account based marketing(ABM)
Identifying and prioritizing key accounts by monitoring their unique needs and engagement, then passing on these insights to personalize sales touch-points and close deals faster.
To be clear, field marketing isn’t ABM, but ABM is critical for its success. When field marketers can identify and prioritize key accounts by monitoring their unique needs and engagement with the brand, they can use these insights to make sure that every brand interaction — from direct mail and digital ads to account-specific ebooks and chatbots — actually moves prospects forward in the pipeline.
Director of Marketing, Americas & EMEA, Liftoff Mobile
Now, there are so many tools that allow us to collect and act on so much more data. For each event we host, I can collect and share real-time registrant data across many platforms for my sales team and external vendors. We can use data like industry/vertical, account status, location, spend, etc. to segment and provide customized experiences for an e-commerce prospect that is different from a gaming customer.
We can also use the data to track our event ROI on a much more granular level and inform our decisions on event strategy and budget for the next year. For example, we were able to see that our participation in a German conference/tradeshow was very successful in allowing us to close deals with prospects that were already in the pipeline but the new leads from our booth turned out to be largely unsuccessful. We made the decision to divest from our booth the next year and instead host a high-end dinner party for those prospects already in the pipeline. We saw the same level of success with a much lower investment in terms of dollars.
For B2B marketers using events at the top of the funnel, the following metrics are a great way to measure your success.
Number of qualified registrations
Actual attendance numbers
Average attendee time spent on event
Most viewed sessions
Least viewed sessions
Time spent at event
Overall time spent in breakout rooms
New press contacts
Social press mentions
Cost per contact/attendee
Cost per lead/opportunity
Number of attendees
Number of attendees from target accounts
Ratio of net-new to existing contacts
Net-new leads generated
Demos/meetings held at or after event
Net-new qualified leads (or MQLs)
Pipeline generated from event
Newly generated qualified opportunities
Target accounts engaged
Average number of attendees by account
Average time spent in the event
Time spent in breakout rooms
Sessions attended for each attendee
Average time spent in each session
Content/resources downloaded during each session
Number of chat messages
Community & Events Manager,
ABM is huge for field marketers because it’s all about personalization with direct mail, digital ads, using chatbots like Drift, etc. We need to crack our must win accounts and if you aren’t personalizing to their pain points today then you won’t succeed. People buy from people at the end of the day. Not just a person sitting behind some fancy tech.