We’re seeing glimpses of in-person reunions returning everywhere we look, and we are beyond excited. Coworkers who’ve never met before are finally meeting in person. Longtime colleagues who haven’t seen each other beyond a Zoom screen in over a year are getting together for group dinners. Sales teams are back on the road meeting with buyers in actual offices. And B2B marketers are in the budgeting and planning process to restart in-person events.
But before you start imagining that ultimate swag bag or planning those legendary after parties, we invite you take a pause. That’s because much has changed over the past 15 months, and marketers looking to leverage in-person B2B event marketing to drive pipeline and sales will need to pivot and adapt … yet again.
Welcome to the buyer-driven world
In 2020, as we all know, in-person events were abruptly put on hold and then cancelled. As it became clear this was far from a temporary situation, marketers around the world scrambled to step up their digital game with more webinars and virtual events than ever before, all designed with the hope of filling the physical event void.
At the same time, the pandemic dramatically accelerated a transformation that was already underway – that of the B2B buyer and their preferred journey to purchase.
Over this past year, the way our buyers work, consume content, engage with vendors, and research, evaluate, and make purchase decisions fundamentally changed. Digital-first became the new norm. The buyer’s journey became increasingly complex. And an ever-growing number of decision makers were involved at all different parts of the purchase process.
And if that weren’t enough, buyers quickly came to expect a qualitatively different kind of engagement than we’ve ever seen before.
The new B2B event landscape
Now, as the world opens again and we re-evaluate our in-person events strategies, we must navigate this buyer-driven, digital shift. Further, we will need to recognize that there will be varying levels of readiness for face-to-face interactions. And as a result, the range of event formats and options available to marketers has opened significantly, from short, on-demand webinar content and small, regional gatherings, to multi-day hybrid experiences and the return of major trade shows. Marketers will need to be ready for this new event landscape and to meet their target accounts and buyers in the ways they choose.
What’s clear is that there’s no “going back” to the status quo for in-person events. The days of planning and executing events as one-off occasions which end in a spreadsheet of bad data that gets dumped downstream must be over. Relying on rented badge scanners and fishbowls for business cards at trade shows and then waiting for the organizer to send the spreadsheet is behind us. Taking 2-3 weeks to follow up with our buyers after an event and then wondering why we can’t accurately measure event ROI should never have been acceptable and certainly won’t be in this new digital-first world.
Marketers need to be ready to meet buyers on their terms with a holistic event strategy that connects the in-person and digital channels, and overlays with our entire demand strategy. Events must be planned and executed as one touchpoint of many on our buyer’s journey to purchase. Now is the time to reimagine B2B events.
Up leveling our Precision Events solution for today’s buyer-driven market
Whether you’re planning an imminent return to in-person events or refining your virtual event strategy, preparation is key. With that in mind, we’re excited to share the exciting product developments we’ve launched to ensure you’re in the best possible shape to maximize every conversation and opportunity that takes place at your events.
Our Precision Events solution now brings together our award-winning Event Lead Management capabilities with the power of the Demand Acceleration Platform. Designed to create a more connected, buyer-driven Precision Demand Marketing strategy across your in-person, hybrid, virtual events, and webinars. The solution now enables marketers to connect their event interactions with buyers and accounts to their digital demand strategy, resulting in a comprehensive buyer-driven, omnichannel approach that drives more revenue at scale.
With Precision Events, B2B marketers can:
- Activate and capture customer and prospect data records anytime, anywhere from the universal Integrate mobile app and webforms before it is passed into marketing automation and CRM systems. Scan badges and business cards plus capture key qualifying information at trade shows, register and check-in attendees at small field events, and bring in real-time webinar data.
- Connect to event registration and virtual event providers to take control of their data across thousands of events, globally. Integrate with marketing automation or CRM systems in real-time for immediate event lead follow-up. Upload any additional data records via virtual booths or other event sources to ensure all event data records go through the same process for follow-up, workflows, and reporting purposes in Integrate’s platform.
- Target your most valuable people and accounts through personalized follow-up via our events solution and through other channels post-events.
- Measure event performance and optimize future event strategy and spend. View the status of customer and prospect data records as they pass through the Governance Engine and on to outbound integrations, providing better visibility into lead flow and an enhanced ability to track lead performance.
- Govern their customer and prospect data records before it is passed into marketing automation and CRM systems to ensure all event data records are 100% marketable, actionable, and compliant.
Integrate’s Precision Events also includes:
- New integrations to virtual and webinar platforms so that customers can route their webinar lead data through the Demand Acceleration Platform and ensure it is governed and routed appropriately to their marketing automation or CRM in real time for follow-up.
- Single Sign-On (SSO) on both the web and mobile app to ensure better security, manage users centrally, and reduce the need for users to remember a separate set of login credentials.
With you every step of the way
It’s an exciting time to be a B2B marketer. The world is changing. And that’s a good thing. When you can support what you do best with the tools and technology needed to execute a well-defined, buyer-driven strategy with precision, virtually anything is possible … especially when it’s in-person. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Precision Events.