In-person events have been found to be an effective B2B marketing channel across all stages of the buyer’s journey. B2B tech organizations, especially, are seeing the benefits that in-person events bring, with more than two-thirds (69%) planning to increase their events budgets this year, per a report [download page] from Bizzabo.
In a survey of 1,000 mid-to senior-level marketers across sectors, in-person events was considered the single most effective marketing channel by a 41% share of respondents from all sectors. When broken down by sector, the same percentage of B2B tech organizations find in-person events to be the most effective channel.
The effectiveness of in-person events is reflected in other research, with a survey from Demand Gen Report having found that three-quarters (76%) of the B2B marketers surveyed named in-person events as the most successful top-of-the-funnel demand generation tactics.
For the B2B tech organizations surveyed in this recent report, the only channel that even came close, as far as effectiveness, was content marketing. This was considered the most effective by a 35% share of the B2B tech sector. However, while marketing professionals have noted that content is very important in prompting the buying process, those same professionals also say that much content targeted at them is either “fluffy and jargony” or simply irrelevant.
Of the in-person event types available, a 42% share of B2B tech companies cite conferences as being the most effective in driving business outcomes. This is followed by thought leadership and networking events (18% share) and trade shows/expos (12%).
Proving ROI Leads To Support
While previous research has found that the majority of event marketers are using event data to inform their event strategy and measure the success of their events, just less than half (48%) say they are using event data to calculate ROI. That being said, Bizzabo found that being able to prove ROI is a deciding factor when it comes to gaining support for events from B2B tech organization leadership, as these leaders are ten times less likely to support events when ROI cannot be demonstrated.
Those B2B tech organizations which are overperforming in their business goals were found to be 34% more likely than organizations performing at par to be able to measure event ROI. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that two-thirds (67%) of these overperforming B2B tech organizations are also producing more than 10 events per year.
Event Technology Helping B2B Tech Events
When it comes to proving ROI for events, technology is a key component, with Bizzabo finding that B2B tech companies that adopt event technology are 12% better able to demonstrate event ROI than those companies that do not.
It’s not just demonstrating ROI that is aided by event technology. A full 91% of respondents who use event technology say it is a critical element of their event strategy. The data also shows that those who are using event software are saving about 205 hours per year because of it. Separate data also found that 85% of event marketers expect the value of technology as a tool to increase this year.
Of the 59% of B2B tech organizations using event technologies, 8 in 10 (83%) are opting to use a holistic software solution. There is a good reason for this, as the research found that those remaining respondents (17%) who were using multiple solutions were more likely to have trouble proving event ROI.
Want to read more? You can download the report here.
About the Data: The report examined responses from 1,000 mid- to senior-level marketers. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents were key decision-makers (managers, directors, VPs, C-suite) within their organizations. A total of 73% of respondents are located in North America.