A Red-Bull Flugtag event is very different than an SAP user conference. A Michael Kors fashion show is very different than a Salesforce roadshow. While all of these companies are trying to bring customers and prospects closer to their brand, the way B2B and B2C companies approach their marketing and events strategy is quite different.
And it makes sense: their goals aren't the same, the attendees are there for different reasons and the budgets are usually different.
But no matter who your customers are, or what their goals are, when they attend an event they are all hoping for one thing, a memorable experience. And the aspects of an event that make it memorable and leave lasting impressions on attendees are actually quite similar no matter what type of event you are hosting, but consumer brands often do them much better.
So, we have compiled three consumer brand event tactics that you can use at your B2B event that will keep attendees coming back:
1. Get People Talking
Why do consumer brands often perform "stunts" at their events? To get people talking about it. That doesn't mean you have to do something wild and crazy, but it does mean you should think about a central activity or experience at your event that gives people something to talk about.
Sometimes this can be a massive product launch, but not all companies have that luxury at every event. Try organizing shared experiences to get people talking — like a tour of a local landmark, a unique meal or a karaoke outing.
2. Evoke Emotions
Another universal strategy at consumer brand events is to stir the emotions of the attendees. But you can't just tell attendees to feel a certain way, you have to create an authentic experience that evokes the emotion you desire. Consumer brands do this through music, media, guest appearances, storytelling, and more.
As B2B event marketers, I think we can all remember a session or keynote we have been in where we literally felt numb, which is the complete opposite of what we're going for. Unfortunately, eliminating all boring speakers is not always in our control. But what is in our control is ensuring there is an activity or experience during the event that makes people feel excited about the event and the brand. This is why companies started hosting concerts at their events or including exclusive experiences.
3. Make your brand the focus
Sponsorships are a great way to feature partners, show your company's ecosystem and recoup event costs. At the same time, you want to make sure your brand remains front and center. While it's nice to have a partner sponsor a happy hour, for example, you want to make sure your own brand doesn't fade into the background. Consumer brands are laser focused on promoting their own brand at their events. B2B companies don't need to take it quite as far as they do, but it is important to maintain your brand visibility at all times during your event..
Here's the bottom line: people generally want a few simple things from their event experiences, and it's up to you to make sure they happen: they want to learn something, they want to feel something, they want to meet people and they probably want some good food (and drinks) too. Consumer brands are vey focused on making these things happen, so there's a lot we can learn about how to incorporate them in our B2B events.
See how DoubleDutch makes their events memorable and get great tips on how to do the same for yours!