We’re building our new Dream Team—now accepting nominations for our fourth-annual recognition initiative focused on b-to-b event marketers
In our conversations with the 2018 Dream Team members, we identified several priorities that leading b-to-b marketers share in creating attractive and dynamic event experiences for their respective audiences. Among them: Being laser-focused on customers, innovating in the way content is presented at shows, and not being afraid to take risks. Our 2018 roster of Dream Team marketers is succeeding in the competitive b-to-b events business, and we’ve started our search for the next team, which will be revealed this March. We invite you to nominate someone (or yourself) today.
To start the new year off fresh, we collected the top soundbites and insights from the Dream Team on engaging event audiences successfully to help get your Q1 off to a solid and strategic start.
Be ‘Obsessed’ with Customers.
Create new offerings at your events each year based on intelligence you gather on engagement and the audience the prior year. Amazon Web Services for its annual re:Invent conference hosts on-site focus groups during the event and throughout the year, as well as dialogues with sales teams and in-person discussions with customers, asking what they liked and what they would like to see added to the event.
Says Rachel Thornton, 2018 Dream Team captain and director of global field and partner marketing and global events at Amazon Web Services: “Make sure you’re building a robust community, that you’re checking in with them, that you’re engaged with them, and then asking, ‘How does taking that feedback from your customers really change the way you’re presenting learning opportunities.’”
Try new things. Upgrade. Go live. In the conference world, experimenting like a consumer event marketer would will go a long way with today’s b-to-b attendees. “With so much information out there, you have to be dynamic, you have to give a good experience, you have to give your customers a reason to stay with you and come back,” says Erin McElroy, program director-innovation at IBM.
Create an Event Brand.
Make your attendees feel as though they are “coming home” each year, that there is something familiar and on-brand about your event each year, despite new offerings and innovations. “We strive very hard to make sure that when they walk into a Google event, activation or conference, it is something that only Google could produce. There is a level of magic and information that permeates the entire experience,” says Amanda Matuk, head of hardware experiences and executive producer for Google I/O at Google.
Change the Way You Educate.
The b-to-b event of the future will be about “flipping the classroom” and allowing customers to educate each other and talk with each other. “It’s not about content anymore. It’s all about the collaboration and who you meet, who you connect with, and who’s going to help you on your journey,” says Annie Yuzzi, senior director-event marketing, GE Power Digital.
Always Add Value.
Event marketers know the importance of social media amplification, but the b-to-b world is beginning to truly embrace all that social media has to offer in the way of engaging content. “We love exploring ways to bring VR, GIFs or live streaming into the platforms that we share on, and we’re on all of them. What is key is making sure technology connects back to our message and brings a benefit to the experience without being too distracting,” says Natalie Knopp, associate brand manager at Kashi.