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How Can B2B Publishers Make the Most of Events?

How Can B2B Publishers Make the Most of Events?

Event marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon — so how will you make the most of it?

Last week, we looked at why events are so important to B2B marketers. This week, we shift the frame slightly to look at how B2B publishers can make the most of event marketing to drive revenue, grow their audience and engage with advertisers. 

By way of example, Bizzabo points to the Under 30 events they coordinated with Forbes. The business magazine now has an entire team dedicated to managing two types of events: tentpole events that can draw up to 2,000 attendees and smaller, custom events focused on a specific brand. 

“What we find is that, especially for the Under 30 community, they want to connect and they want to engage with the brand,” Marketing Director at Forbes told Bizzabo. “Finding our most authentic voice has been a big win for us.” 

According to Bizzabo, Forbes is diversifying revenue streams by focusing on events. As a result, they saw an increase in 2018 revenue of 18 percent. 

They key is to make it measurable. Translate event marketing into the growth of your subscription base or your ad sales pipeline. 

“Publishers are in a unique position,” Bizzabo co-founder Alon Alroy told the audience during a webinar co-hosted with MediaRadar earlier this week. “They hold the reach and thought leadership needed to develop successful events.”

In operational terms, event marketers at B2B publications should look at how to get every last dollar possible from the revenue their events bring in. One specific way to do that is to get the booth size just right.

It may sound like a small detail, but the booth is the entire foundation of your event, no matter your vertical or niche. It’s what exhibitors pay for, it’s what sponsors pay more for, and often it’s where attendees find a large amount of value. 

For starters, know which booth sizes do well. MediaRadar identified the most popular booth sizes at retail events for 2018. The 100 sq ft (10×10) booth was by far the most popular option, accounting for 50 percent of booths at retail events. Around a quarter of the exhibitors were willing to pay for a 200 sq ft booth, and just 5 percent paid for a 1,000+ sq ft booth. Take stock of your potential exhibitors and offer booth sizes accordingly. 

MediaRadar research shows that it’s a bad idea to discount booths based on size. For 2018, the cost per square foot was almost flat, despite a major increase booth size. That shows exhibitors and sponsors are willing to pay the premium for more visibility at your event. 

In the same vein, carefully consider how you position your sponsorship packages. Silver (or Level 2) sponsorships saw the most growth in event marketing last year, as well as the most popular option among new event sponsors.

However, Bronze is still by far the largest source of sponsorship revenue. At the same time, Bronze (Level 1) sponsorships account for most sponsorships across the board. 

Pricing for sponsorship packages should reflect the popularity of these levels. Think about why people prefer the middle option and go from there.