B2B marketing leaders drive hyper-growth by bridging the gap between the corporate office and the field.  If you are investing in field events, and not generating desired outcomes, consider thinking like a B2C marketer. To do this, you need to differentiate the experience.  Download the Field Event Checklist tool here.

 

Nothing replaces the value of a person-to-person interaction.  Motivate attendees to act and inspire buyers to advance the buying process.

 

What kind of experience will your team create to achieve this significant interaction?  This is where thinking like a B2C marketer enters the arena. It’s an opportunity for your field events to be differentiated and memorable.

 

Gasp — Think like a B2C marketer? But this is B2B!

 

Don’t panic!  You have already started the process by completing segmentation and targeting your buyer personas.  Take it a step further. Successful field events don’t view the event experience from a group perspective. They view the event at an individual persona level.  No two people are exactly alike, which means no team’s business challenges are exactly alike.  Therefore, the path leading to your solution is…not…alike.  One size does not fit all in terms of product, so carry that thread through into your field events. 

 

How?

 

Brand Experience

 

You know your brand better than anyone, so start there.  A field event is an opportunity to bring life to the inspiring story of your brand.  Consider every factor in the overall look and feel for any event, regardless if it’s in-person or virtual.  What is your brand’s look, sound, and feel?  How do you want the audience to experience your brand in a way that resonates with them individually?  People will tell others (their Buyer Decision Team) about a phenomenal brand experience, whether created by a toothpaste brand or an interaction with a SaaS company.

 

Don’t try to create something not representative of your brand.  Each visit to The Studio, SBI’s executive briefing center is a custom experience.  At The Studio one will see the design of rustic finishes and décor, a custom drink menu, and one of the best culinary experiences in Dallas.  At a recent SBI field event, we selected a venue with similar décor, carefully selected wines, and a family style menu.  This event served as a complimentary experience to our briefing center.  Two different cities and environments, but a Studio experience on the road, if you will. Akin to an oh-so-popular pop-up.

 

DO create a brand complimentary, custom experience.

 

DON’T create a generic experience.

 

Client Engagement 

 

Time is a person’s most precious resource.  If people spend time attending your event, they had better receive value.  Exchange value. For their time, ensure they receive valuable insights mixed with a level of entertainment.  While we are selling B2B, we still must approach people as human beings and consumers.  How do we make the experience engaging and create an impact?  How do we create an environment a safe-haven for learning, yet create an emotional experience that speaks to them on an individual level?  Make them laugh or make them cry, inspire them do something that connects your brand to emotion.

 

Get to know your attendees ahead of the event and be prepared to speak to their challenges. Individually, do your research.  Are there imminent trigger events?  What is the account management stage or point in their customer life-cycle?  Do you know something about them on a personal level?  Hosting an event addressing a common topic obviously highlights group interest, on the surface.  How do you dig deeper to find the intricacies of their individual issues as it pertains to the main topic?  Remember, these are people giving up their time.  Treat each person like a Rockstar.  This is a cross-functional effort across your company.

 

DO treat people as individual rock stars.

 

DON’T give a cookie-cutter experience for a group.

 

Crystal Clear Goals

 

Your goals for the event must be crystal clear. Recall the scene in the movie A Few Good Men, where Jack Nicholson’s character says to Tom Cruise “Are we clear?”  Cruise’s response: “Crystal.”  Your goals must be completely transparent and easily understood across all levels of the organization. Also, map the attendees back to the sales process. 

 

Define what success looks like, and be specific.  If the goal from each attendee is an appointment, then define a qualified appointment. What is the persona, company size (ideal customer profile), within a certain time frame, location, and the desired outcome?  There may likely be different goals for each attendee, depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey.  Internally, communicate the goals before, during and post event so that everyone is on the same page.  Develop a roadmap and metrics to get from point A to B.  Have your roadmap ready to execute at the event, and a design for post-event follow-up. 

 

DO have a clearly defined, well-communicated end goal for each attendee.

 

DON’T assume the event team is clear on the purpose and outcomes.

 

At the end of the day, you and your executive team want to see results justifying the spend for field events.  A sophisticated buyer is going to evaluate your product/service based on merit. In addition, their event engagement is an insight to the customer experience they can expect with your company.  A field event provides a prime opportunity to knock their socks off, and for marketing to drive revenue growth. 

 

Drive results from your field events by downloading the Field Event Checklist tool here.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Valdez

Works closely with clients to 10x their SBI experience to make your number.

As the Director of Client Experience, Melissa helps clients adopt and thrive from their SBI experience.  Melissa is based in Dallas Texas at The Studio, SBI’s executive briefing center. She specializes in helping clients make your number.

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