Unexpected - Issue 9 - Events in B2B Marketing
Unexpected - how to optimise events in your B2B marketing strategies
BBN NEWSLETTER - ISSUE 9
Events in B2B Marketing
Ed Davis, BBN USA
STAND OUT vs. SHOW UP
Guest Editor: Ed Davis, BBN USA (Houston)
You've just spent months preparing a dazzling and successful campaign for what you think is an important trade show. The booth was pristine. A video played during scheduled presentations. The brochures were succinct and visual. Attendees flocked to the booth. The sales team collected a lot of business cards and shook a lot of hands. Some stories were shared. A few pints where purchased and you think you have done a bang-up job managing an important event?
But, if you sometimes struggle to articulate the benefits or justify the investment, then you should keep reading this issue of our newsletter.
According to Forrester Research, on average, more than 20 percent of marketing budgets are earmarked for live events (trade shows, conferences and exhibitions). It is by far the single largest carve-out of the typical marketing budget and yet more planning and discussion goes into an ad, press release or tchotchke than does articulating sales objectives for a particular event.
Events should all start with a deliberate strategy and planning session (BBN's Navigator model can be adapted to a number of situations including planning an event). The days of building a booth, printing some brochures and scanning a few badges are long gone. Nowadays you must have a multisensory experience to get attention, and hold it for a fleeting minute, just so you can have an opportunity to make an impression. It is incredibly difficult and it is compounded if you are not ruthless in your planning and setting of a proper event strategy with achievable goals. Worse, by not planning, you run the risk of hindering sales growth and that leads to a disastrous outcome. In the following pages you will read a lot about what it takes to make an investment truly an investment that has a return. From discussing how to get granular on your understanding of your customers needs, from our partner Turtl, to some pretty creative case studies of agencies successfully blending sales outcomes with marketing and promotional efforts.
The bottom line is in fact the bottom line.
In an economy where businesses want to stretch every dollar, euro, pound and dinar, events are an opportunity to unleash every tool in a marketer’s kit and actually affect the sales process in a very real way. In order to do that though agencies are able to help clients stand out, not just show up.
What's new at BBN
Catch up on what's new at BBN
BBN Academy 2015
In late September, 45 delegates from across the globe gathered to engage at BBN’s annual Academy, held at Forteresse de la Mello just outside Paris. Some would say, for the most significant Academy in BBN's history. Read about the event later in this newsletter.
We are very are pleased to announce our new BBN agency in Norway.
Iteo, based in Oslo, is a marketing communications agency offering a range of communications services. While their key strengths are in public relations and digital services, they also offer strategy, crisis communications, branding, events, social media & creative services.
BBN - A new era
It’s a big multi-channel, globally connected, on-demand world. From brand strategy to integrated media to creative, from measurement to optimisation, business-to-business agencies and marketers require best-of-breed methodologies and expertise to survive and thrive. They need what BBN uniquely offers. That’s why BBN has re-branded as The World’s B2B Agency, with a new logo and brand identity.
With a new era comes a new website
Our new website is fresh, bold and gets right to the point. It highlights our expanding footprint in over 18 countries and showcases some of the best international work we’ve produced for our clients. Take me there
The Golden Bees
The Golden Bees annual awards have been designed to recognise all that’s great about being part of BBN. On the evening of 25 September 2015 in Paris, the awards and their winners celebrated during a gala dinner worthy of the Oscars! You can view the list of winners later in this newsletter.
BBN on B2B: The Blog
We upload a new blog post nearly every week and most of the content is generated by our members and partners. In the last few months we’ve written on topics like marketing automation, social media, content marketing and marketing technology
Read the BBN blog!
...in event marketing
What's trending in the events scene...
Contributors from M&a events team:
Hybrid events are where you combine virtual and live elements and are becoming increasingly popular in the age of modern technology. This mixture is used to reach out to a wider target audience and in addition extend event legacy through online-hosted content.
Hybrid events can be treated in several ways, some companies use them for environmentally conscious reasons as others purely want to save costs or make use of interactive videos.
Some key reasons to hosting a hybrid event would be to connect main events with remote offsite locations, broadcast an event to any audience or being able to feature speakers you normally wouldn’t be able to get your hands on as well as connect multiple platforms.
Event applications have never been more popular between industry insiders and for some are the must have of 2015.
Apps not only eliminate printed materials but also serve as a tool to serve content and integrate all sorts of social media platforms. One of the biggest challenges remaining is to ensure that attendees actually download the application. Because no matter how much money and work you put into customising your application, one must incentivise the actual download of the application to ensure it is used!
In turn apps should be very user friendly, easy to use, meet the expectations and needs of your attendees and generate an easy and measurable ROI.
Tools like tweet polling and crowd campaigning have proven to be very successful ways to ensure participants download your application, as it makes them feel like their voice is being heard and they can suggest and contribute content to the event.
Here are seven good reasons to invest in an app for your next event:
- Enhance the outcomes of an event
- Used for practical rather than egotistical reasons
- Fit within the budget
- Improve the exhibitor/sponsor experience
- Affordably improve the reporting / intelligence we receive from an event
- Improve the delegate experience
- Minimal resource needed to launch and support.
Beyond the Buffet
Everybody loves canapés, but how about a table overflowing with an assortment of flavours and aromas for your next cocktail party or networking event?
With options from antipasto, breads, cheese, fresh from the BBQ or even mixing and matching cuisines, your guests are sure to be impressed. The smorgasbord of food provides a casual way for guests to interact without the need for immediate introductions and can also provide a new level of theming.
Pairing cocktails and canapés
Miniature has been popular for a long time, but how about pairing a miniature burger with a miniature beer?
This is a new twist on a classic, taking the traditional matching of wine with your meal to a whole new level. Whether it is tacos and tequila, burgers and beer or quiche and wine, the options are endless and relatively simple to pull together.
Customisable food and beverage bars
In 2015 customisation is king, we all love when we feel like the event was made just for us. Well a customisable food bar gives each and every attendee the chance to create their own delicious concoction.
Events around the world have had doughnut decoration bars, cocktail creation bars, baked potato-filling bars…the list really does go on. What’s exciting about this is you get to create your own experience for your guests…get creative and get your guests interacting.
What makes an engaging event?
What makes an engaging event?
Article by: Mark Sallows, Turtl
Conferences and events are where networks come to life. Existing relationships are cemented, and new discoveries made. The best events generate buzz. And a large part of that buzz is generated by speaker/audience engagement.
Let’s be honest, many of us have endured death by PowerPoint, or been made seasick by Prezi so its definitely time for a re-think. Turtl’s cloud-based Surf & Immerse experience reflects how we prefer to read, making it easier to hold an audience’s attention.
So you can now use Turtl to complete pre-event delegate marketing and share keynote speaker topics to warm up your audience prior to the day. Then on the day, keynote speakers can ask their audience to sign into the keynote they are presenting, and follow the presentation on mobile, laptop or tablet.
What’s more, the audience can participate in live polls with real time results feeding into the content as the keynote presenter speaks. This is real engagement that people enjoy and it stimulates discussion and valuable insight into the preferences of existing and future customers.
If one of your objectives is to gain a much more granular understanding of your customer’s needs and preferences, using social polls and Turtl’s individualised analytics is a great way find out what they really think!
And because Turtl makes it easy to socially share, the reach extends far beyond the room. Our CEO recently shared this Story at a B2B Marketing Conference to an audience of 200 people. We know, from the analytics that social sharing led to over 500 individual reads and 32 new leads.
Then after the event, the campaign was able to naturally extend by way of an event take-outs Story.
Shouldn’t all event marketing be engaging, seamless and measurable?
Attend the event. Or be the event.
Be the event
These two examples of creative event participation demonstrate the power of a great idea to engage your event audience.
Cases supplied by BBN UK (Scotland).
We get frequent calls from clients who are about to invest substantial dollars in attending international oil & gas trade shows. Their single biggest challenge? Standing out from the crowd. The annual cycle of shows provides a vital shop window for companies to showcase their new technologies or reworked service offerings in response to the industry challenges of the day. Typically there are close to 2000 companies at these events, all with one objective. Attracting attention.
With all these brands clamouring for visibility they resort to all manner of tactics to attract visitors to their stands, gain valuable coverage in the media and ultimately make the right connections to secure that million dollar contract.
Unfortunately the majority of attendees do not invest in the creative thinking to deliver these results. The big players may be able to raffle Harley Davidsons or create stand spaces that outshine a designer apartment but for most it’s a real challenge. Attending these events is a significant investment and companies with smaller budgets need to think smart if they want to make an impact.
Sending an email the week before the show asking people to come and visit them won’t cut it. One of our values at Fifth Ring is ‘Daring to be different’ and we are fortunate to have some clients that trust us to do just that. In an industry averse to doing things differently, pitching these ideas can be risky. The secret is making sure the creative idea, no matter how crazy, ties in to the brand story.
Aberdeen plays host to Europe’s largest oil & gas exhibition, Offshore Europe. We had two of our clients ask for an idea that would get people talking. So we got thinking.
The first is Interwell, a specialist in downhole technologies used in high pressure, high temperature environments. These are tools that need to be reliable in extreme conditions where the cost of failure can be millions of dollars. They develop extreme technologies, in an extreme operating environment, ultimately delivering extreme performance.
At that same time, a young man from Skye in Western Scotland called Danny Macaskill had been making headlines for his skills as a stunt bike rider with some awe-inspiring videos released on YouTube. An idea was born. We would shoot a video of a stunt rider sneaking into Interwell’s facility in Aberdeen, before doing tricks on and around their equipment. We’d call it Extreme Performance.
We couldn’t compete with Red Bull and hire Danny but we got in touch with his close friend - Scottish Champion, Duncan Shaw. We spent a day planning the tricks on site and then shot the whole video the following day.
How does this help their attendance at the show you may ask? We uploaded the video the weekend before Offshore Europe and coupled with a lot of activity on various social channels it managed 3000 hits by the time day the show started. Not a lot by Kardashian standards but in the niche sector of an oil & gas exhibition this was a result. In fact, they had a 2500% increase in post show enquiries. That’s a major result. During the week of the show, we reinforced the theme by staging a live stunt bike show in Aberdeen’s city centre. We also created an exhibition stand in pure white featuring a large screen showing the video and a selection of their latest technologies on show. Simple. And effective.
As an added bonus we were able to capitalise on the intense focus on safety inherent in the oil & gas business. What we did was dangerous, not just creatively, but the message was simple. Let the experts do what they are expert in.
Check out the video here:
"In fact, we had a 2500% increase in post show enquiries. That’s a major result."
Our second foray into creative madness involves a chef, liquid nitrogen and a world record attempt. Louisiana company, Seal-Tite International, have a unique polymer technology that fixes leaks in oil wells. It looks like bubble gum and when injected into the well has the ability to change from a liquid to a solid when it finds a pressure differential.
We hear about a lot of new technologies in our industry, but we thought this one was pretty cool. In fact we called it ‘cool chemistry’. At the time, one of the many celebrity chefs on UK television was showing how to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen. It all started to gel. Our client knew someone who knew a chef who . . . you get the picture. The stand space was outside, with a lot of footfall passing from hall to hall. We needed something to make them pause and pay attention. Something like a world record to make ice cream in less than 10 seconds!
Free ice cream, on a hot day? Who could resist? The chef succeeded in breaking the record four days in a row and we handed out hundreds of tubs of delicious ice cream to a grateful audience.
The print, broadcast and online reach tipped 1.4 million people. The total number of visitors at the show was 90,000. That’s a result. The ROI worked out at $6:1.
Both these ideas relied on our client’s belief in our knowledge and expertise in B2B marketing communications. There will always be the fear that when you pitch the idea they will think you’ve gone insane. But make sure the idea is truly aligned to the brand story, and you’ve got the difference between attending an event, or being the event.
Meet BBN Australia
M&a joined BBN in 2014 and have already become a key agency and contributor. With offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, India, they deploy 118 different integrated services across 9 departments
and run on average over 600 programs a year. Together with our agencies in Singapore they provide BBN with a strong foothold in Asia Pacific.
Scott McCorkell is the Sydney based CEO and founder of M&a.
Considered a pioneer and an inspirational leader for IT&T Marketing in Australia, Scott brings 35 years of experience working in the Industry and has earned himself a reputation of dragging brands with little to no profile into the spotlight time and again.
Scott is a great motivator, mentor and always having a great laugh with his staff to encourage and develop the mantra that if you don’t enjoy it don’t do it! He has created a truly enviable workplace culture.
Scott has terrific problem solving skills and from a strategic point of view is quick to identify what will and won’t work in the marketplace. Scott’s experience ranges from the launch of IBM Thinkpads Systems 36/38, AS 400 to even Salesforce.com!
To list a few clients: SAS, Oracle, Siebel, HDS, Google, Autodesk, BENQ, EMC, Salesforce.com, Acer, Samsung, PayPal, Vodafone, Telstra, Fuji Xerox, Dental Care/Bupa, Cisco, Motorola, Lexus and HP etc.
With Scott’s key premise of an integrated approach is to continuously nurture and build relationships with our clients.
He knows the market and our client's audiences to get results.
An interview with Karen Powell
Karen is managing director of M&a, based in Sydney.
1) Some personal background (career development) on you personally?
I started my career in Canada, originally in financial services, at the tender age of 13. While I was in financial services, I worked in another legal service role and learnt about various detailed processes and how to cooperate well in a workplace. In doing this I also learnt what is required to maintain a successful business and customer service skills, as I was employed in the personal trust department that was dealing with high-end services for high network individuals.
After enjoying the most electrifying time in Sydney’s history, I gained an unshakable passion for marketing and events, following my management of the Canadian Olympic team in 2000.
I graduated from Business Administration and Marketing from University of Western Sydney and my career path at M&a has seen me work in Events, Account Services, General Management and I’ve been the Managing Director since 2012.
2) Give us some background on Mccorkell & Associates’s journey since joining BBN?
We joined BBN 12 months ago, and since we joined we have collaborated on research projects and provided feedback and ideas on how BBN can evolve over the next 2-3 years. We've been working with one of BBN's recent international client acquisitions and have been delivering local projects on behalf of the client with their lead agency, BBN Germany. We look forward to working with BBN to become the world’s largest B2B agency.
3) How have you benefited from the BBN network and Vice Versa?
We’ve benefited from hearing about the philosophy and methodologies used within BBN and I believe others have benefited from learning and seeing the M&a methodology, the scale of our integrated capabilities and on our ability to assist with client engagements in Asia Pacific region.
4) What about BBN attracted you?
We decided to join BBN because of our desire to become a global agency and BBN's appetite for growing across the world appealed to us. We love the camaraderie, fellowship and collaborative nature of the BBN agencies. BBN offers M&a an opportunity to improve visibility and development at an international level.
To the heart
Multi-sensory events are best strategy
Whoever Smelt It, Dealt It.
How smell can help your client sell more
Article by: Ed Davis, BBN USA (Houston)
When executing an event for a client, there is invariably a list of things to pay particular attention to. Most of those things are designed to be appealing in the visual, tactile and aural sense. A sense of taste is also considered with food and beverages, but there is one thing that is often overlooked.
Smell is a chemical sense tied directly to the emotional center of the brain. This sense is immensely powerful and can cause our heart rate to change, our mouths to water or evoke memories of more pleasurable times.
Smell can also make us buy.
The power of scent is not fully understood, but can be successfully applied to the marketing of virtually any product.
In fact, Nike once paid for a study that concluded that most people will buy more shoes (and be willing to pay a higher price) if the room smelled like flowers. Ever noticed when you go look at a new house or apartment, someone seems to be baking cookies? That smell is used to make you feel like you are (safely) at home.
If smell can influence people to subconsciously react to a stimulus, why don’t we, as B2B communicators, pay more attention to it? The answer? We don’t have the experience to put it into practice, putting us one step behind our B2C counterparts. But we are all emotional creatures, even in B2B, so smell should be considered as a part of your marketing mix—especially at an event. Want to attract people? Appeal to their senses.
Our client, Seal-Tite, makes pressure-activated sealants that Oil and Gas companies use to plug leaks in their wells. It works by injecting liquid sealant into the well, remaining liquid until it encounters a change in pressure, i.e. a leak, then solidifies and plugs it up, similar to the platelets in our bloodstream. Seal-Tite sealants can save companies millions in lost revenue from well downtime.
For the Seal-Tite tradeshow experience, we devised a concept of ‘Cool Chemistry’. We contacted a particular UK chef, who was attempting to break the world record for making a litre of solid ice cream. He agreed to perform his record-breaking attempt at the Seal-Tite booth at the show. He used liquid nitrogen to solidify the ice cream in seconds, not unlike how Seal-Tite sealants work. We built up a crowd around the booth, and the record was broken — the chef made solid vanilla ice cream in 6.35 seconds, shaving 3.99 seconds off the existing record.
Read more and watch the movie in our 'Creative Pride' article.
Most importantly for our client, the results were astounding. Seal-Tite drew an additional 50-100 attendees to their booth every day, above their average and the engagement was through the roof. In addition, in that one show alone, they obtained more qualified sales leads than all of their previous five shows.
Ice-cream stunts aren’t exactly the stuff of your average B2B tool kit at an Oil & Gas trade show. But people loved it. Seal-Tite made an emotional connection with customers by entertaining and educating them without being too gimmicky — we didn’t just slap brochures in one hand and ice cream in the other.
People were driven by their senses to the booth by a sound creative concept that appealed to the audience’s curious side and the human enjoyment of sensory experiences. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love ice cream? So next time you get tasked with a client event, if you want to attract customers think about the surroundings. The answer might be right in front of your nose.
from the experts
5 tips to succeed in B2B Events
Five Tips to succeed in B2B events
Article by: Clifford Fairbrass - Sponsorship & Event Manager, BBN Australia
1. Search for the right event
a. Are your demographic going to be there?
It may sound obvious but I am always surprised by the number of Marketing professionals who simply want to sign up as an event sponsor without checking who will be there. They have “heard” that the event is good but haven’t asked this simple question.
I will always ask a prospect…. who is your target market?
b. Are your competitors going to be there?
Just because your competitors are there doesn't mean you need to be there - following the herd very rarely gives you rewards. Perhaps you could do something different with the money you were going to invest.
2. Book early
a. To secure early bird rates
A ten percent discount can mean you have more money to spend on activating your sponsorship. You’ll also look good in the eyes of your financial controller!
b. To secure the best location
A corner near to an event feature or major industry player may give you an edge in the number of delegates which interact with your team and messaging.
3. Have a plan
a. Integrate your plan for the event days with pre-event and post event campaigns.
Running a campaign before the event with the same theme of your event activation means your prospects will be familiar with your brand before they get to the event. It’s all about keeping your brand and messaging top of mind for an extended period of time. This way you are more likely to have delegates see you and actually approach you!
b. Set KPIs for your booth staff
It really is the only way to measure your return on engagement and helps to motivate your team - they are in sales after all!
c. Train your booth staff how to engage
Avoiding common pitfalls can make the difference between success and failure. One example of “bad behaviour” we’ve all seen are groups of “sales” execs standing in a circle talking to each other while potential clients walk past without even a “hello.”
Many years ago in the early 1980’s (yes I’m that old) I was at my first B2B event as an exhibitor. We had one visitor (I kid you not) walk past our stand all day - Every booth he passed was either un manned or had circles of staff talking to each other. As he passed I struck up a conversation and a few months down the track he placed a not insubstantial order with us. The moral of the story… Stay Switched ON!
4. Follow up your leads quickly
Sounds obvious doesn’t it? - I can name several Blue Chip clients who failed to do this - no names for fear of legal action. Buy me a beer and I might tell you!
5. Evaluate success of the event
How else will you justify your investment. How else will you keep your job!
What it takes to be a good event manager
What it takes to be a good event manager
Article by: Isabelle Ohler, Event Producer, BBN Australia
1. Strong organisational skills and the ability to communicate them
Above all else, it is imperative that you are an insanely organised person. The ability to coordinate not only yourself, but the scheduling of the entire team helping with the event. It’s all about planning, and re-planning and scheduling. As a good event manager one needs to coordinate a number of responsibilities and manage many teams simultaneously.
2. Flexibility with respect to understanding your clients needs
With years of experience in events, there is always something that requires a creative fix. Whether it be a piece of artwork, or re-working a presentation or an overall concept. You have to be very resourceful and use what you have. Regardless of what goes right and what goes wrong, the success of an event, and all its coordinates, is the manager's responsibility.
3. Be Good Communicator and Multi-tasker
As a successful event manager one needs to be communicative, with the ability to listen and understand what the client is looking to achieve, as well as being able to convey the concept when selecting and negotiating with vendors. Be a good – no great – multi-tasker. At any given moment on any given day, an event manager is juggling a number of completely different projects. One must research hotels for a project happening in six months, finish the billing from the last project, be writing the content of the brochures for the event in two months, and be finalising the last-minute details for the trip one eaves on tomorrow. Your mind must be able to "switch gears" at any given time without notice, and remember to complete every detail of every task. All in all it takes great people skills, as an event manger one shares ideas and visions openly with the entire team. Communicate on a level that is respectful to everyone around you. Everyone has their part and it ultimately leads to your success as an event manager.
4. Be passionate and have the ability to creatively solve problems
Without passion one cannot overcome the bumps and triumph when all seems lost. One can train time management, but no-one can teach passion. The world of events has become amazingly diverse, creative, and competitive. An event manager must have an internal passion and zeal to overcome simple failures and learn fast to be able to move on and see the bigger picture.
5. There is no problem but always a solution
One has to be able to carry out their vision and resolve road bumps and issues quickly. In addition one must be able to stand calm at zero hour when something doesn’t go as planned. One must be able to see a problem, work it through calmly in their head, and think through to find the most logical, economical, and all-around-best solution. This includes every day of the many months leading up to the event, and of course once you're on-site and the event "goes live."
6. Customer Service Oriented
Some people want to be an event manger because they think it's all about wining, dining, and relaxing at fun parties. Wrong! When it comes to meetings and events, it's all about the client and the attendees, not you. You need to do whatever it takes to get the job done; even if it means helping an under-staffed venue pick up dishes off the buffets. Seriously, you need to have a never-ending sense of customer service, or else your client will go elsewhere.
vForum 2014, BBN Australia
VMware’s annual partner ecosystem showcase in line with the global theme of “No Limits.”
BBN Golden Bees Award Winner- Best use of live event marketing
To celebrate VMware’s 10 years of innovation in Australia and New Zealand, M&a were given the task of delivering the company’s flagship event, vForum 2014, so it not only continued to be the premier IT event in the region, but also a huge celebration!
So we thought…what better venue to host this event than Sydney’s iconic Luna Park?
“No doubting the vForum is the most valuable of all vendor events…”
M&a was engaged to create and produce all aspects of the event under extremely tight timescales, while ensuring the seamless quality of aesthetic and logistic execution.
5 000 attendees over two days heard from a host of leading global IT professionals and were entertained at the 10th Anniversary cocktail party by Australian rock legends Wolfmother.
The VMware and M&a team then took the VForum Briefing Sessions on the road to 7 cities across 2 countries to over 2 200 attendees.
“Great event, unusual venue, somebody seriously thought outside the box”
M&a played a key role in promoting and supporting the events via paid campaigns and user generated posts on Twitter and LinkedIn. Our contact centre was also pivotal for registration acquisition and attendance confirmation.
The successful execution of these events is a testimony to the tenacity, dedication, professionalism and skill set of not only the M&a events team but the entire M&a organisation.
“Excellent location and all round great event. Better than TechEd and free too!”
Update! vForum 2015 just took place on 21 - 22 October at The Star Event Centre, which is part of Sydney’s major casino and entertainment complex. Another unique venue for the M&a events team to work with and create an outstanding experience for over 3 500 attendees. Keep your eye out on social for our next vForum case study.
Single resource for all energy events
A great single resource for all energy events across the world - there are almost 300 events on the site right now...and it's growing all the time! 'Watch' events and get suggested events to attend/follow, based on others you are watching. Get updates on new events in 'topic' areas and insider updates and advice for attending key global events in the industry.
Welcome to the most important energy resource in the world.
If you want to know where the energy industry is going, then this online resource is for you. Through VisitEnergy.com, you’ll know what’s going on at each conference from one handy resource. If it’s out there, it’s in there.
This is a very exciting project launched recently by BBN UK (Scotland) with a growing online audience and followers. To support this new venture and gain access to the resource, please follow these simple instructions:
1. Sign up (you can do this via your email or LinkedIn) and click to 'watch' events that you and your clients may be interested in.
2. If you're on twitter, please follow @visitenergy and if it's appropriate to your own twitter audience, share our posts
3. If you're on LinkedIn, please follow VisitEnergy.com and if it's appropriate to your own LinkedIn audience, share our posts
4. Talk about visitenergy.com. Tell anyone who may be interested about the new platform.
5. Send exhibition/event info to: email@example.com. If you get updates into your own inbox on exhibitions/conferences/events in this industry, please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can continue to build and refresh the content on the website.
6. And finally...Please remember that this website is a continually developing platform. We have plans for on-going updates not just the content but the functionality and features too. If you have any ideas, comments, suggestions etc, please send to email@example.com.
Hey big spender
Ensuring ROI for your events
Be a smarter spender
Trade shows and exhibitions are one of the biggest budget items in the B2B marketing mix. How can you ensure you make the most of them?
Article by: Mike Cissne, BBN USA (Milwaukee)
Measuring the true success of a trade show or an event is one of the most challenging aspects in the marketing world. Most will simply evaluate success by the general mood of the exhibitors when the event is complete, which is normally clouded by relief. Of course, there are attendance numbers or a lead generation list you can evaluate, but to ensure that you make the most of your budget consider these tips:
1. Develop a strategy
Too often shows and events are planned like any other task on the to-do list. Accept the challenge, determine objectives and stay disciplined to develop a great strategy and execution plan. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and procrastinate and ultimately go rogue without a good plan that will usually cost you in the end.
2. Plan for more than one year at a time
Budgeting and planning for multiple years helps you prioritise your efforts and gives you much better odds for success. Consider a disciplined approach to evaluate your show budget into a 3-to 5-year plan. For example, perhaps invest heavier in year one for longer-term benefits and utilise those benefits for the following year and have a smaller budget that can be repurposed for sales leads.
3. Connect messaging to align with the brand messaging platform
Consider the damage you can cause if you get caught up in the event and forget to connect your messaging at the show to the position you intend for your brands. Create impactful and memorable messaging and displays that stay true to your brand.
4. Be smart with your vendor sourcing
It becomes easy to continue using the same sources for development of your displays and graphics, and logistics management. Don’t become complacent. Continue to negotiate and evaluate sources that can best accommodate your execution goals and deliver impactful events under budget.
What % of your marketing budget is spent on events?
- About 20%
- Less than 10%
- More than 20%
5. Commit to pre-show and post-show activity
To make the most of the face-to-face opportunities, you must do what you can to make sure you are looking at the right faces. Dedicate ample effort to encourage attendance that hits your target audience with year-round communication. And don’t miss any opportunity to conduct post-show follow-up to maintain engagement.
Of course, there are many aspects to managing your budget and making the most of it. Accepting the challenge and staying disciplined to plan a great strategy will go a long way to ensure you are getting the most out of your budget.
45 delegates from across the globe gathered to engage at BBN’s annual Academy, held at Forteresse de la Mello just outside Paris. Some would say, for the most significant Academy in BBN's history.
The theme ‘ENGAGE’ was partly inspired by Star Trek’s Jean Luc Picard’s adventures to ‘boldly go where no man has gone before’, but more seriously and more importantly it signifies the bold leap that BBN is about to take in it’s transition from a ‘network organisation of membership’ to a more ‘unified organisation of partnership’. With a growth in share ownership among its agencies, BBN can now truly claim to be the ‘The World’s B2B Agency’.
The Academy was a tremendous success and it was fantastic to see our agencies come together with one combined passion and objective. And it's that high level of engagement that makes being part of BBN so valuable, not just for the agency, but for their clients as well.
As well as providing information on key BBN updates, the program this year included presentations and workshops on a wide range of topics including new tools to support creative campaign development; a whole new revised toolbox to support contact strategy and channel planning and a new approach to sharing best practice around content, PR and social media. We also highlighted the importance of measurement and set out the key principals and ways to approach it, whether you are a large agency working on multi-million dollar accounts, an agency working locally on smaller campaigns or somewhere in-between.
On day 2 we offered a range of specialist workshops around Brand Asset Management (BAM), marketing automation, social media and PR. Two ‘Ideation Labs’ were also held, designed to provide a science-based approach to generating solutions that are 100-200% more unique and innovative than typical idea generation workshops. We used the labs and the talented minds it gathered to address some of BBN’s key business challenges, with some great successes.
The range of this year's presentations underlines the core value of BBN to bring thought-leading tools and processes to its agencies and to engage them in an international environment for 3 whole days.
On the final night everyone gathered for BBN’s long awaited Awards night. The Golden Bees have been designed to recognise all that’s great about being part of BBN. The Awards and their winners celebrated during a Gala evening worthy of the Oscars!
See the full photo gallery on Flickr
The Golden Bees 2015
BBN's Annual Awards
The Golden Bees
The BBN Awards have been created to recognise all the amazing talent and great work that BBN is proud of. With a new name and iconic trophy designed by Danielle Cameron from BBN USA, this year's gala dinner was worthy of any Oscar celeb! There was a lot to celebrate at the end of the night and here we announce our talented winners and runners up.
BEST IDEA NEVER EXECUTED
Winner: BBN UK (True) - What's a digital agency without the digital?
BEST INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN
Winner: BBN Australia (M&a) - Navman Wireless Vertical Awareness Campaign
BEST PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN
Honourary Award : BBN USA (Bader Rutter) - Honoring Caregivers Re-launch
BEST USE OF BRAND DEFINITION
Winner: BBN UK (True) - Beautifully simple payments for Miura Systems
BEST USE OF CONTENT MARKETING
Winner: BBN Singapore (GetIT Comms) - Always-on Content Marketing to build Thought Leadership, Capture and Nurture Leads
BEST USE OF CREATIVE
Winner: BBN Germany (wob) - The evergreen of trade show communication
BEST USE OF DIGITAL TECHNIQUES & TECHNOLOGIES
Winner: BBN Finland (ID BBN) - PSB Campaign
BEST USE OF DIRECT MARKETING
Winner: BBN USA (Bader Rutter) - Just Add Water
BEST USE OF EVENT MARKETING
Winner: BBN Australia (M&a) - VMware vForum 2014
BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Winner: BBN USA (Bader Rutter)- Sauder Social Media Campaign
Winner: BBN USA (Bader Rutter) - 360 Yield Center Nitrogen Management Website
BEST TASK TEAM OF THE YEAR 2015 = C-Map
Last year's Task Team winner Curtis Gorrell (BAM leader) presents to Anol Bhattacharya & Rik van Bavel
Why they won: The team has really pulled together in the last 3-6 months, providing a mountain of content between them. Probably one of the most active teams on BaseCamp and being one of the most complex areas to develop, the team have just done an amazing job.
BEST COORDINATOR OF THE YEAR 2015 = Kelly van Waes (ARK)
Last year's Best Coordinator winner Miriam Spear presents to Kelly van Waes
Why Kelly won: after becoming coordinator a year ago, Kelly has been extremely proactive in her role as coordinator. She, along with Grace’s support launched our new Instagram account and produced a content plan for it. She committed herself with Ben to get ARK in the green by the end of the year, which she did. Ark made 4th in the ranking, topped only by the 3 partners. She led the charge on the BBN newsletter that Ben was editor and is regularly suggesting content and articles for BBN. ARK are extremely active on social and she is always commenting, sharing and liking on the BBN social channels… clearly very committed and serious about her BBN coordinator role.
‘RISING STAR’ AWARD = Laura Heino-laurila, BBN Finland (idBBN)
Last year's Rising Star winner Anol Bhattacharya presents to Julius Murtojärvi , who accepts the award in Laura's absence.
Why Laura won: Laura was one of four considered for this award. She took over the coordinator role at idBBN in May this year and since then has proven to be a truly 'rising star’. Committed to her role, she has also proven to be a great project manager on the new BBN website.
BEST AGENCY OF THE YEAR 2015 = BBN UK (True)
Last year's Agency of the Year winner wob presents to True's Cos Mingides and Tom Busby
Why they won: Although they ranked fifth in the traffic light report at the end of year 2014-15, they climbed the rankings at great speed, having been a member for less than a year. They were one of 5 that achieved ‘100% Green status’ by end of June 2015. They have shown remarkable commitment and support for such a new agency and have been instrumental in our thinking around BBN’s recent repositioning. They are clearly committed to their involvement in BBN and our vision to be the world's b2b agency.
BBN on B2B: The Blog
B2B marketing insights, ideas, views and BBN news. Keep your finger on the global pulse here.
We'll include some of our latest posts right here each month, but please visit the BBN blog for more great content, contributed by our agencies and partners.
15 September 2015
Usefulness. Quality. Relevance. Context. Preference. All of these attributes are highly sought in successful marketing programs. But they are elusive in terms of measurement.
By: Andrea Bolyard, Team Leader, PR Group, BBN USA (Milwaukee)
10 September 2015
Amy Saunders from BBN UK (Aberdeen) attended The Turing Festival, held recently in Edinburgh. The event brought together some of the best marketers from across the globe to a sold out audience of eager minds.
By: Amy Saunders Marketing Executive, Digital, BBN UK (Aberdeen)
30 August 2015
MarTech is many things and so defining it succinctly can be pretty challenging. Rachel Kerr from BBN Australia accepts the challenge and gives us her own definition.
By: Rachelle Kerr, BBN Australia- Marketing Technology Director – Asia Pacific
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