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17 December 2018

Ever considered using your marketing automation tool for organizing (B2B) events?

You are planning on throwing a B2B event, and you want it to be the ultimate experience for your audience. Clients, leads, influencers, whoever is invited, they have to be wowed. Well, that’s great, because experience is key for the marketing future and you are on the right track. But what could be a good as well as efficient approach for setting up this event behind the scenes? That’s right, start leveraging your marketing automation tool for events as well.

MA for the organization of B2B events

1. Get inspired

Start by looking for inspiration. Don’t allow yourself and your team to be held back by your company or tool restraints. Dream big. Also, don’t be afraid to steal with pride. Think about events you loved: what exactly made them so great? Was it that personalized goodie bag or those amazing decorations? Getting inspiration for event ideas is key for throwing an amazing event and it is the starting point for leveraging your tool.

2. Get inside their heads

Get into the mind of the attendee and what he would encounter and expect. For example: ‘I’m arriving at the event, where do I park my car now?’, ‘How do I get there?’… You can always use our customer journey mapping template as a guideline, but use it creatively and adapt it to your event. Change your sales funnel steps into event steps that someone will walk through (Getting invited – Going to the event – I’m at the event – I went to the event). If you feel you need to add a row like ‘required data’, do not hesitate. Do you want to differentiate your event journey for different types of visitors (C-suite)? In that case, create more than one journey. Using this template will help you to be more complete in the customer’s event journey and help you see how you can map your inspiration ideas.

Example: At the event I want to make deals, so I want to set up an app that will make it easier for my attendee to schedule a meeting with sales reps prior to and at the event.

Get into the heads of your event attendees

3. Use the force

It’s time to transform the journey(s) you have created into flows. Try to transform your wishes into flows on paper and keep shifting things around until you’re pleased with the result. See which phases you can link together into one flow (see below): If you notice you’re unable to access certain data in different tools, this could be a good starting point for functional requirements towards your IT department or implementation partner. After you have created flows on paper, you can turn towards your tool. Translate the flow into the right features and test, test, test.

How to use the force of marketing automation

4. Use the force, really

Most importantly, once you have your flows, don’t forget to leverage the power of your tool.

  • Let invitees flow automatically from stage to stage.
  • You can create different flows for people who did or did not open the reminder email.
  • A/B test subject lines, CTA buttons of your invitations. It will help you to be more impactful.
  • Be cross-channel. If you are thinking of an event app, make sure it adopts the same tone of voice as your emails. Use social media as well. Perhaps enable users to register through their LinkedIn profile?
  • Gather data. Build audiences for reporting, but also try to obtain relevant information when people need to register. This will help you with segmentation and targeting. Worried about GDPR? Check out the view of The House of Marketing.
  • Report. Use your tool to report back to the business about KPIs.
  • Personalize A lot of marketing automation tools will allow you to do this quite easily, definitely the basics like ‘Hi [First name]’.

I hope this has helped you first and foremost to start dreaming of your upcoming event and secondly to find a great tool in marketing automation to accomplish your event dreams. Do not forget to consider what is relevant to your audience and start building your flows in your tool.  Good luck!

Want to tackle more marketing automation challenges?

Which profiles should you gather for marketing automation? What if you're only using marketing automation to send out emails? Which approach helps you to avoid sending too many emails to the same recipients? How can you improve the use of your tool by prioritizing features

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