This week we continue the tradition of recapping the most notable brands spending on advertising across ad tech platforms, consumer media and B2B industries. And, of course, this is all styled after the most involved carol out there: the 12 Days of Christmas.
Up today: instead of ten lords a-leaping, it’s ten brands a-sponsoring.
This year we’ve given you a veritable (and virtual) treasure trove of resources related to event marketing within the B2B space. From why events are so important to B2B marketers to how B2B publishers can make the most of events, we’ve answered your questions on event marketing and made a case for event marketing ROI along the way.
If we haven’t convinced you that event marketing is critical to B2B by now, well — let’s take a look at the big guys taking this channel seriously.
These are the top ten brands sponsoring B2B events in 2019. The majority are tech companies, with a handful of financial services and professional services brands in the mix.
As one of the biggest providers of computing power for enterprises, it makes sense that IBM would invest in event marketing. The tech company both sponsors major conferences and hosts hundreds of meetings, webinars and conferences itself. It can get quite granular — IBM was a lunch sponsor at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference in Portugal.
As the PC counterpart to IBM’s computing power, Microsoft also recognizes the importance of event sponsorships. Bizzabo even published a post earlier this year highlighting event marketing examples from Microsoft. “Even though their products are mostly digital, Microsoft’s live events show just how dedicated the brand is to connecting with customers and partners face-to-face,” writes Maria Waida at Bizzabo.
Google excels as a thought leader in all things consumer tech, digital advertising and now cloud computing. The search giant highlights all of the events it is present at on its Build Your Future With Google site — even those that aren’t specifically focused on recruitment. Going beyond B2B, Google has partnered with GOODfest in the past.
American Express is one of many financial service brands investing in event sponsorships — but the company is doing it in a big way. This year, Amex has sponsored everything from Social Media Week as the marquee sponsor in New York (presumably to reach vendors expanding both their social media presence and their payment portals) and the PGA Tour, where it trialed its new contactless payment wristband, the Amex Band.
The international software company has fully embraced new B2B channels like native advertising and the renewed interest in more traditional venues, like event sponsorship. Along with its sponsorships, SAP hosted E’ffect, a huge one-day event highlighting its role in software innovation.
This eCommerce giant launched Amazon Web Services over a decade ago, and has since grown it to over $25 billion in revenue. Like other major tech companies, AWS both engages heavily in event sponsorships and leads its own events as a thought leader (or the thought leader?) in the cloud computing space.
The CRM king provides customers all kinds of resources for learning its systems and staying up-to-date on changes to the cloud-based software. Trailhead is a digital learning platform focused on Salesforce, while the recently completed Dreamforce is its annual PR, networking and expo event all wrapped into one.
Vista Equity “specializes in investments in the software, data, & technology industries, working with companies who have a long-term perspective.” It makes sense, then, that the VC would focus on building long-term relationships through events and thought leadership. Vista even acquired Cvent back in 2016, which in turn acquired event app DoubleDutch this year.
Adobe hosts its own summit every year, complete with a prospectus for potential sponsors of the event. But it also sponsors the events of noncompetitor tech companies, like Smartsheet’s Engage 2019, which it cosponsored along with AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Salesforce.
The consulting firm uses events as a chance to both build brand awareness (through sports sponsorships) and build up conversations. PwC even has a kind of mission statement associated with its sponsoring activities: “PwC supports and promotes a range of events and activities at national and international levels in various ways. PwC’s goal here is to make a valuable contribution to the community. In addition, sponsoring is one of the building blocks of good, long-term relationships with our clients, partners and employees.”