MediaRadar Blog

Why Are Events So Important to B2B Marketers?

Why Are Events So Important to B2B Marketers?

There’s no question that events can boost revenue for nearly any B2B publication — not to mention foster advertising relationships, readership and more. 

Event marketing is growing in popularity for B2B marketers, as well. Forrester Research found that the average CMO commits 24 percent of their budget to live events. According to Stephen Kim over at Bizzabo, the large portion of budget is meant to “connect with customers, educate attendees, and generate leads. Given its versatility as a marketing tactic, live events can do a lot for B2B companies.” 

Follow the money, and this rings true. We place the value of trade show sponsorships at $63 billion. And we’ve found that the average retail event brings in $6.1 in additional revenue. 

Just look at some of the biggest B2B retail events from this year, and you’ll see the value that they drive for publishers, sponsors and exhibitors alike. The Ecommerce Operations Summit, for example, brings together reps from warehousing, workforce management, contact centers, inventory management, payment processing and more. Shoptalk bills itself as the fastest growing retail event, drawing 8,000 attendees in 2019 after just being launched in 2015. 

B2B events promise new content and virtually limitless connections. NRF — billed as ‘retail’s big show’ — attracted 38,000 attendees and 80 out of the top 100 US retailers. The event has also grown its Silver, Gold and Platinum sponsorships each of the last three years. 

MediaRadar also found that both sponsorship and exhibitor investments were up in 2018, with a 48 percent increase in sponsors from 2017 to 2018. Shopify — one of the biggest, Internet-native B2B brands — grew their event spending from $115k in 2017 to $300k in 2018. That’s an increase of 163 percent!

Marketers placing emphasis on events means it should continue to be profitable for B2B publishers. “Every event we put on, we expect to have about a 40 percent margin on it in year one,” Forbes CEO Mike Ferdele told Digiday. “As it matures, that goes up to 60 percent, 70 percent margins. It’s become very profitable for us.”

At the same time, there is still plenty of room for growth. Just 11 percent of advertisers in B2B retail print magazines also sponsored or exhibited at an event. The remainder have yet to realize the potential. 

How will you take advantage of this trend?