What is B2B? What does it mean? Rather simple.
B2B refers to Business-to-Business as anything that involves two businesses, from transactions to events to marketing. etc. you get the gist.
B2B events come in the domain of marketing and are events that are meant to promote a product, service, brand, or item through personal interactions and engagements to achieve a result of retaining customers while expanding new ones, generating a boost in event revenue, encouraging greater sales, developing or strengthening a business relationship and increasing awareness about a brand.
B2B events are a necessary component in today’s world since as the corporate world has become more complex and dynamic, it often necessitates relationships with multiple other businesses instead of directly with customers.
We will now go through some of the major B2B event types.
B2B event types
Conferences are a staple of the B2B event world. One caveat, however, is that conferences by nature are events that can usually only be managed by large businesses that have achieved a particular level of growth and have a large enough customer base.
Conferences are massive undertakings that need a lot of elbow grease and money to successfully pull off but also present the greatest opportunities and gains.
Conferences are usually paid events where attendees have to purchase entry tickets, have a minimum of hundreds and up to thousands of conference attendees, systematic and in-depth daily schedules, and can run on for days if not weeks.
Needless to say, conferences are undertakings usually left for MNCs but were explained here to provide the epitome of what a B2B event can be.
Trade shows are exhibition events and the most common B2B event type frequented by small and large businesses alike because of their versatility and scalability.
Trade shows usually operate by collecting businesses in a particular industry together in a physical space where each business has specific booths and designated floor spaces with their products and services on display or offer.
Due to strength in numbers and unity, major trade shows also mostly are held in big conventions or conference centers and thus command great respect and prestige among their target audience.
Costs for setting up a trade show booth or display can often be high but are worth it since they provide exhibition space, presentations, workshops, chances to engage with the media, networking opportunities, and private exclusive demonstrations.
Trade shows are usually not open to the general public and thus present opportunities for B2B interactions and networking at their most focused level without distractions.
If you’re in the mind for something more particular and exclusive for your current or prospective clientele, look into VIP dinners.
People love to be pampered and buttered up, VIP dinners are the equivalent of taking your SO on a high-class date but for the corporate world. VIP dinners are invite-only events where a curated group of attendees is invited.
VIP dinners can greatly aid in strengthening relationships with existing clients and securing prospective clients, an even better option is to have them mingle with each other and provide networking opportunities which will allow organic marketing as your old clientele sings your praises to the new.
B2B events don’t necessarily have to be physical live events. Online events were already gaining vogue before and the events of the last two years and the Covid pandemic shot them up to almost becoming the industry norm.
Webinars are web-based seminars and the actual content can vary from discussions, lectures, workshops, or demonstrations.
Unlike in-person events which usually have audience interaction after a designated presentation is over, webinars incorporate real-time audience interaction to ensure their interest and retention.
Webinars break down many of the barriers posed by in-person events such as cost, venue, and manpower, and allow even small businesses to host successful events.
Unlike webinars which are usually pre-recorded events or live events with a designated structure and rhythm, live streaming offers impromptu interactive opportunities which can enable more authentic networking and relationship building.
Live streaming is also a popular method to reach your target audience in today’s world when smartphones or mobile devices are in everyone’s hands and trends, topics, and issues are judged by how quickly they can go viral and capture interest.
Why B2B events?
Here all this time we have been the type of B2B events when the more important question is, why B2B events?
Well if you have not gleaned from what we have been talking about so far, B2B events have some benefits and advantages to them, some of which we will look over but can easily merit an article of their own.
- Lead generation
Establishing and strengthening your rapport with existing clients is appreciable and indeed a key to success, but a business has to constantly be expanding and increasing its network of relationships with other businesses, whether as clients, customers, suppliers, or any number of required roles.
B2B events allow you to generate these sorts of leads and follow them later to establish a relationship. The process of generating a lead can itself be cumbersome normally but B2B events cut that difficulty out.
- Establishing a personal connection
Press releases and amazingly curated video packages are good and all, but at the end of the day, business boils down to human interaction. People love having a personal connection or a face at the very least they can talk to and establish rapport with.
B2B events allow personal interactions with your target audience which leads to customer retention and expansion. Leveraging all that, you can thus promote your products and increase your brand awareness as people trust a face more over a disassociated marketing post.
- Gaining feedback
Oftentimes, gaining and collecting feedback can itself be an expensive process with little gain as you don’t get the kind of feedback desired.
B2B events have a lot of opportunities to get specific and tailored feedback from your target audience which can concretely help you to locate and bring about needed changes.
There is a lot more that can be said about B2B events since they are only the first step to the world of B2B marketing but for your first taste, this should suffice to dive into the deep end of this world.