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The Problem

Great Swag Doesn’t Move the Revenue Needle

The age of the revenue marketer is officially here. But despite the growing body of evidence proving its potential as a profit center, many still view field marketing through the lens of event marketing à la the early 2010s.
At that time, B2B events were more about gracing the attendee list, showcasing your logo and shaking hands with the right people.

Apart from having a good time, the goal of event marketing was brand visibility. But as the events space got more crowded, it became harder and harder to get seen.

Hosting events to boost brand visibility and (hopefully) shake hands with the right people.

Event Marketing 1.0
Adelle Rodriguez

Marketing Director, North America at RMS Cloud

When I started in events in 2009, trade show floors we're the hub of the event, and getting a flash drive was the biggest swag win. As the years progressed, it took more and more to get attendee mindshare. Budgets grew, tactics got more elaborate — everything had to be bigger and better. 

I remember in 2015 one of the biggest drivers of business and brand awareness at an event was a party we threw offsite — an event within an event. We had a 3 story brownstone mansion that had a different party theme on each floor — and this was for a software industry event! I think that events were getting out of hand and straying away from the main purpose — creating an environment for people to learn and network. Covid has been a harsh reset of the industry, and when we get back to in-person events, I think they will look very different.

With the champagne flowing and the swag bags filled to the brim, event marketing 1.0 was great for brand awareness but measurability was an afterthought. Brands held events as a way to connect and get to know prospects as people, but no one knew for sure if the massive event budgets were actually generating ROI.