B2B Events – Don’t ‘rinse and repeat’!

Do you attend the same trade exhibition every year? Do you feel you have a good partnership with them and a good deal on floor space? That’s fine – but what are you getting from it?

If you are spending a good percentage of your budget on a stand, gifts, giveaways, brochures and pens, you need to know that you are getting a return. Being visible is not a good enough reason to go.

Other ideas you may like to consider:

  • Speaking slots. Can you speak at a show instead of manning a stand? Share real expertise!
  • Sponsorship of a stage. You will pay 4 times as much, but your name will be on the website, brochures, stage layout and you will be far more visible. It also sends a message to your competitors that you aren’t messing around this year!
  • Smaller trade shows. Check out meetup for smaller events run by people in your sector or niche
  • Hold your own event. Hosting your own event, whether that is a family fun day or a meet and greet for existing customer and prospects can be highly profitable.
  • Face to face meetings with decision makers – can you reach out and host a pre-event breakfast? Many decision makers are in the city before an event anywhere – hosting with free baked pastries and a coffee at a central hotel could be a game changer for you.
  • Changing up your giveaways and promotional items. Lanyards in your distinctive colours are a key idea to get visibility –  or large bags that allow you to showcase your brand name. Something large will always end up being carried around the event.

Spruce up your B2B Social Media Approach

Are you still putting the same old content up and getting 2 or 3 likes? That seems like a waste of time, and hints that again ‘doing something’ seems better than nothing. Why not change up your strategy this year?

  • Scheduling – get a proper schedule and really fill out your calendar for annual events and your own internal news well in advance
  • Get better hashtags! Use Hashtigifyme – find out precisely which hashtags people are using on Twitter and Instagram. You just type in a relevant hashtag an see what’s happening with it.
  • Connect with your customers, not just your industry friends! Always be thinking about customers.
  • Get off the platforms that don’t work. See more here. 
  • Giveaways – In a time when data is scarce you are going to have to work hard to attract email sign ups. Schedule a budget for competitions and giveaways now, whatever your sector, even in B2B.
  • Sponsored posts. The days of organic reach are pretty much gone, so pre apportion some budget to push your biggest news.
  • PR – why is your PR hidden in the trade press? Publicise it across social media.
  • Blog and share. But make your blogs better. Here’s how. 
  • Advocates. Who are your best customers? Ask them to publicly appreciate you on social media!

Look at how you find customers


It’s always a great idea to bring out your masterplan and ask yourself a few questions.

  • Who are your customers? (Not who you want them to be, but who they actually are now!)
  • Why are you different?
  • Do you make that clear?
  • Why would someone choose you over a competitor?
  • Where do you compete? (Service, product, speed, reputation?)
  • At what stage do people purchase from you?
  • How long do conversions take?
  • Where do your leads come from?

These are just some suggestions that will help you really focus in on your strategy and ensure you have a clear vision of where leads come from, how they convert, how long that takes and where to find more! You might also use this time to look at your brand, your website and your physical presence across a google search.

Keep an eye on the competition

There are plenty of new products and services coming out that compete with yours. Are you watching?

  • Hootsuite allows you to track activity across social media networks. Create your own search and set it to a streams to monitor hashtags and brand mentions for your competitors. Are they having an outage? Are they in technical difficulties? You can use this to your advantage!
  • Set up Google Alerts for competitors, your customers and your product or service
  • Sign up to any trade body emails to pick up new research on your product or service
  • Follow industry websites and magazines and make time to read them and circulate the knowledge!
  • Check your social media bios an edit as appropriate
  • Engage with some influencers in your sector
  • Readjust your social graphics
  • Check your reviews across the web – search brand name + review
  • Edit your Google profile
  • Cleanse your database by tenure, value, average spend, ready for campaigns
  • Create a dynamic marketing plan in Google Docs
  • Get some better email newsletter content 
  • Set up Slack or Yammer to make internal comms instant and effective
  • Set up Google Alerts for your own brand name
  • Note down any event hashtags and follow these now
  • Do a PR search for your competitors – business name + press release or business name + news
  • Photography – get some photos of the senior team / key members ready for a press release whilst they are all in the office.

Thanks for reading! Want me to do all this for you? I was hoping you would ask – contact me today.