Why Experiential Events should be part of your B2B marketing strategy in 2022
During the pandemic, experiential events were forced online, and the success had event coordinators concerned about the future of in-person events. However, zoom fatigue has set in, and data proves this, with 52.9% of event marketers admitting they find it challenging to create memorable and engaging experiences for virtual attendees compared to in-person events.-Bizzabo
Within this post, GottaBe! will be discussing why experiential marketing is essential for B2B in 2022 and will take a look at the benefits of experiential events for your brand. We will also look at the best ways to engage audiences in 2022.
Why is experiential marketing important for your brand in 2022?
Consumers want human connections following the pandemic; they are tired of online alternatives and are looking for a personalised feel. Experiential events allow your brand to connect with consumers on a deeper level by engaging the senses—something which is impossible online. As we know, consumers are more likely to buy when they feel an emotional connection. But with so many options available, they are overwhelmed by choice. Your brand must stand out from the crowd, and what better way to do this than to take your product or service to an audience.
To break through the crowd, you must find a way to connect with your audience emotionally. Especially when selling B2B as the bonds, you make with brands can see long-time loyalty. As B2B marketing moves towards a more B2B2C approach, more needs to be done to create a personalised sale as people buy from people. Not surprisingly, 85% of people said they are more likely to spend after participating in events or shows. This is due to the interaction and experience they gain when they are engaged in an activation.
Experiential events no longer must be held in person. Whilst this is the best way to engage large groups, there are ways your brand could engage audiences through online channels. A hybrid approach to experiential events is here to stay as it offers a broader audience the opportunity to experience your product or service from the comfort of their home.
Experiential event marketing is just one channel that should be included in a multi-channel marketing strategy that sees high levels of engagement.
How do experiential events benefit your B2B brand?
Attending events with your brand allows you to increase brand awareness. Taking your product or service to an audience and allowing them to engage with your brand will raise awareness and enhances purpose as your ambassadors deliver your message in person. Due to the overwhelming number of ads, we see a day, experiential events provide marketers with the perfect opportunity to break through the monotony of ads with a full sensory experience.
The bonds your brand can build with new and existing consumers at experiential events will enhance brand awareness as it boosts word of mouth marketing. Consumers who feel an emotional connection are more likely to recommend your products to their loved ones.
Now that your target audience is aware of your product, you can collect data to engage them in the marketing funnel. Experiential events provide many opportunities for brands to collect data from new leads. This information can then convert new consumers into long-term paying customers. With 85% of B2B marketers relying on lead generation for bringing in new business, experiential events should not be missed.
As the activation will be an interactive experience creating leads will be much easier as the audience will be more willing to sign up. Running competitions that require the consumer to share their contact details or sharing exclusive content directly would also mean the consumer is sharing their data which then can be used at a later date to engage the consumer post-event. Your brand must value the follow up as much as the activation as this is your opportunity to capitalise on the leads.
Especially in B2B, tradeshows and corporate events offer the perfect opportunity to reach your target audience. These events tend to have a specific theme that attracts audiences from various industries and allows your brand to interact with your target audience physically. Whilst attending a trade show, your brand can also discover brands with look-alike audiences and use this to understand consumer needs better.
Experiential events allow you to take a personalised approach as you make the human connection. The steps can be personalised to suit the needs of the consumers, and experiential can be wherever you choose to hold it. This could be at a large trade show or brand-specific event.
Having knowledgeable staff on hand to run the event will allow your brand to tailor the experience to suit the business or industry you are selling towards. This way, consumers can share their needs and challenges, and your brand ambassadors can show them solutions that, paired with a full sensory experience, will see high levels of interaction.
Face to the brand or product
Typically, with experiential marketing, brand ambassadors are employed to be the face of the brand and deliver the activation to consumers. But it may be worth considering choosing staff from within your organisation when reaching B2B on a more intimate scale. Your team will have longer-term expertise and will be equipped to answer any consumers’ questions regarding the business. Alternatively, your brand should ensure the brand ambassadors are equipped with all of the information they may need to deliver the activation to the highest of standards.
Experiential events put a face to the brand and allow consumers to build deeper bonds with your brand. A knowledgeable brand ambassador, whether outsourced or internal, will act as the buffer between product and consumer. Therefore, it is imperative to select the right people to represent your brand. Here at GottaBe! we have a pool of over 4,500 brand ambassadors across the country from various backgrounds and skill levels. Speak to the team today to find the right brand ambassador for your brand.
Memorable experiences will increase brand recall as the multi-sensory experience is something not to be forgotten. Not only will consumers continue to recall your brand, but they will share content from the event. As we have seen, user-generated content is more effective than branded as consumers trust organic reviews more. According to a recent study by tintup.com, brands whose pages feature UGC saw a 50% conversion rate compared to pages with branded content.
Experiential marketing allows brands to reach consumers through non-traditional marketing touchpoints that consumers have so often learnt to ignore. Whether your brand aims to raise brand loyalty by showing consumers the value your product will add to their business or want to gain signups, experiential event marketing is an excellent channel to increase brand recall and should be utilised in 2022.
What are the best ways to engage B2B consumers through experiential events?
A whopping 81% of brands believe their event and experiential budgets will match or exceed their pre-pandemic budget (HubSpot 2021). But where will they focus their efforts, and how do they engage consumers?
When the pandemic hit, there were concerns over the future of event marketing and, most importantly, its effect on the experiential side. However, since restrictions have been lifted, a surprisingly high number of consumers are looking to return to pre-pandemic life, as they miss human interaction.
While a hybrid approach is still favoured overall, there is a push for events to return in person without restrictions (something event marketers worried would not return). With sensible protections such as sanitising stations, consumers are thrilled to be back attending events and immersed in experiences. A hybrid approach to events gives the best of both worlds for brands. Those who are still wary of attending events can interact with the experience, and those who choose to attend are receiving the whole sensory experience.
Hybrid events widen the overall reach of not only those attending events but also allows your brand to bring in international speakers taking the event globally.
GottaBe! have worked on several experiential events with big brands such as Domino’s, Southern Co-op, Norton and Rekorderlig. To become one of the many brands we support, contact the team today! As field and experiential marketing specialists, we have over 14 years of experience bringing products to life through experiential marketing.