Get ready to confer and be confounded! A new year packed full of B2B conferences is just around the corner, which means you're in for a whirlwind of opportunities to
a) Learn tactics + insights to stay ahead of the curve in the fast-paced world of B2B marketing in 2024
b) Collect more branded pens than you'll ever need
c) Engage in what some might call 'networking' – or as we say 'the art of sharing elevator small talk on repeat'.
But with 100s of conferences lined up for next year, it can take time to wade through all the options. So, once again, we’ve done the legwork for you and curated a list of must-attend events that promise to shape B2B marketing in the year ahead — your guide to getting the most from conferences in 2024.
We’ll keep updating this list as and when more details come in.
Why attend: PCMA’s Convening Leaders sounds like precisely what you need to kickstart a new year. The conference aims to challenge you to “think bigger”, bolder, and braver about the boundless potential of your career and the future of the business events industry, and over three days, to equip you with the information and confidence you need to achieve your loftiest career and leadership goals.
Attendees can look forward to:
50+ sessions on event strategy and innovation: Sessions are separated into three tracks to help you think better and plan smarter. Among the numerous topics available, the following ones particularly caught our interest:
(1) ‘Think better about your business event strategy’ sessions include:
- Storytelling with Event Data: Calculating and Proving the ROI of Your Events - When Politics and Values Collide: Navigating Potential Calls to Boycott a Destination - Planning, Budgeting and Tracking Cost-Savings or Cost-Neutral Sustainable Event Solutions - When Things Go Wrong: Lessons Learned from Events on Crisis Response and Risk Mitigation
(2) ‘Think bolder about your experience design’ sessions include:
- Guiding Principles in Experience Design Lab: Belonging & The Value of Values - AI Idea Exchange: Sharing Use Cases in Event Planning - Guiding Principles in Experience Design Lab: Exploring Identities & Emotional Data
(3) ‘Think bigger about your career and leadership’ sessions include:
- Pitching the C-Suite: Making A Business Case for Additional Resources, New Event Ideas and Other Initiatives - How I Got Here: Career Journey Insights from Event Profs at Early, Mid and Senior Career Levels - The Art of Difficult Conversations: Strategies for Dealing with Challenging Clients, Toxic Co-Workers, Demanding Bosses and Others
The right kind of people to meet: Meet and mingle with leaders, C-suite executives, and seasoned professionals who can be your source of inspiration, a wealth of knowledge, and essential contacts for your business. Click here to see the profiles of attendees who’ll be at the conference.
Explore San Diego, America’s brightest city: San Diego is not just a convention destination but also a vacation hotspot. The city is known for its innovation, inspiration, and year-round sunshine that fuels adventurous spirits. Whether you prefer a relaxed beach vibe or a lively downtown scene, it has something for everyone.
Why attend: CES is the only trade show that showcases the entire tech landscape at one event. So if you’re a) looking to learn from business leaders and pioneering thinkers who address the industry's most relevant issues and b) be the first to get a look at and access innovative event tech that’ll better your life as an event marketer, then this is the place for you.
Attendees can expect:
Access to breakthrough technology: There are 1000+ startups and 3500+ exhibitors expected at the conference, with products in an incredible variety of categories, including 5G technologies, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR, Digital Health, and more.
Insider insights into the technologies changing our industry: Stay one step ahead of the curve and your competitors by learning about technology that is enabling leading brands to improve the way we live, work, move, and make. Keynote sessions feature heavy-hitters from Siemens, L’Oréal, Walmart, Elevance Health, and Nasdaq, and there are plenty of top executives and government leaders leading the rest of the conference.
Here are a few sessions that we’d love to attend: - Your Brain Gaming for Good - Help! I Can’t Keep Up with Growing Shopper Expectations - Shoppable Videos and Frictionless Checkout - Speaking GenZ
Why attend: The T&C Summit doesn't beat around the bush; the reason you should be at their event is quickly and boldly proclaimed on their website: Because Digital Marketing Changes FAST. And so, the conference agenda is accordingly planned to ensure that attendees learn what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s working right now in digital marketing.
Attendees can expect:
Actionable content: Get actionable growth strategies from digital marketing’s best and brightest that you can apply immediately. The summit’s keynote speaker is the world-class business icon, best-selling author, and one of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time - Sir Richard Branson! Plus, learn from 45+ other industry experts like Daymond John, Magic Johnson, Gary Vaynerchuk, Marie Forleo, Dr Robert Cialdini, Martha Stewart, Dave Asprey, Mari Smith, Kevin O’Leary, Donald Miller, Bonin Bough, and many more.
Networking & fun: At the conference, you’ll meet peers who’ve faced the same challenges and overcome the same obstacles and professionals from every industry, vertical, and corner of the globe with whom you can form strategic partnerships.
Why attend: This retail tradeshow brings together more than 6,200 brands from around the globe to New York City for three days of learning, collaboration and discovery. It’s the event to be at if you want to learn about new insights and futuristic tech transforming retail.
Attendees can expect:
To learn from the who’s who in retail: You can look forward to an incredible lineup of 450 speakers, including - Sean Barbour, SVP, Supply Chain Macy's Inc. - Megan Black, Vice President, Digital Marketing & Media, Sephora - Anusha Couttigane, Head of Advisory, VOGUE Business - Samir Desai, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. - Jane Ewing, Senior Vice President - Sustainability, Walmart - Harley Finkelstein, President, Shopify - Linda Li, Head of Customer Activation & Marketing, H&M Americas H&M - Marc Metrick, CEO, Saks - Caleb Pearson, VP, US Customer Engagement McDonald's - Cassidy Beadle, Retail Client Innovation Director, Accenture
You’ll be spoiled for choice.
Deep dives on critical and trending topics in retail: The NRF 2024 agenda is still in the works, but here are a couple of sessions you definitely shouldn’t miss:
- Oh, the humanity … is gone: The brand dangers of prioritizing cost over people - Deeper learning: How machine and deep learning algorithms can keep the lights on brighter - The marvels of a brand: How the “cinematic universe” model is extending itself into every industry - Thursday, I’m in love: Debating whether the 4-day work week works for corporate retail - A people’s history of quiet quitting: Why encouraging employee side hustles and entrepreneurship is good for your business
Get more leads: At the Expo, connect with the retail industry's movers and shakers - decision-makers looking to invest in new technology and expand their business and brand like never before.
Honestly, we’d sign up just for the intriguing sessions. But add in the Expo and networking opportunities, and NRF becomes one of the top B2B marketing events in 2024 that you won’t want to miss.
Why attend: In what seems to be the anthem of 2024, Social Media Marketing World’s website warns marketers that marketing is changing every day and that you’ve got to embrace change to get ahead. So, the agenda aims to help marketers keep abreast of change, gain more marketing confidence, and discover how to crush marketing goals - but with a particular focus on marketing strategy, organic social marketing, and paid social marketing.
Attendees can expect:
Deep dives: The conference has an incredible roster of topics and speakers. Here are a few that caught our attention:
- How to Create Your Digital Twin Using AI Instructor: Andrew Davis, a bestselling author and speaker
- What's Trending: Understanding The Changing Creator Economy Instructor: Jim Louderback, former CEO and general manager of VidCon
- Advanced Analytics for Marketers: Seven Hidden Gems in Google Analytics 4 Instructor: Chris Mercer, Co-founder of Measurement Marketing
- LinkedIn Company Pages Decoded: Your Blueprint for Business Growth Instructor: Michelle J Raymond, host of the LinkedIn for B2B Growth podcast
- How to Make Referrals Your Most Effective Marketing Channel Instructor: John Jantsch, a bestselling author and TEDx speaker
Lots of opportunities to meet new people: We’re impressed with the wealth of opportunities to connect. Before the conference, there are Facebook groups you can join and pre-event online orientation and meetups; during the conference, there’s an entire plaza dedicated to networking and dedicated staff to help you make the connections you want to make!
Enjoy the San Diego waterfront in February: Sun, sand, sweeping sea views, and social media! Need we say more?
Why attend: Adobe’s conference made it onto our events to attend in 2022 and 2023 list of B2B conferences to attend, and our events in 2024 list would be incomplete without it. It stands out from other B2B conferences because it uniquely combines cutting-edge marketing insights with Adobe's technological expertise, making it a must-attend event for B2B marketers looking to stay at the forefront of their field.
As always, attendees can look forward to really meaty, insightful sessions from visionaries in the industry. Keynote speakers announced for 2024 are
Anil Chakravarthy, President of Digital Experience Business at Adobe
Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines
Mary Barra - Chair and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors
... with more to come.
You can also choose from 200+ sessions based on your needs and goals. There are tracks dedicated to Content Supply Chain, Customer Journey Management, Customer Data Management and Acquisition, etc., to give you an idea of the variety on offer. Expect to hear from leaders at Nike, Walmart, T Mobile, the Home Depot, the NFL, and Prada.
Bonus: Adobe also hosts a pre-conference a day before the Summit kicks off, during which you can learn more about Adobe Experience Cloud solutions
It’s everything you need to know about B2B marketing in 2024 in one go.
Why attend: SaaS Open bills itself as ‘the largest gathering of SaaS founders in the world’ and with good reason. Attendees can expect to meet 1000+ SaaS leaders at the conference, which consist of at least 70 SaaS Founders with $10m+ in revenues, 618 SaaS Founders with $1m+ in revenues, 215 SaaS Product leaders with 1,000+ paying customers and 310 SaaS Marketing/sales leaders with 100% yoy growth.
The conference is laser-focused on driving value for each attendee, regardless of profile. It has 4 stages built for SaaS founders, CMOs, heads of product, sales, and engineering. Each stage is packed with a variety of sessions: (1) Fast-paced 20-minute keynotes in which top founders reveal tactics, data, and strategies they've never shared before and answer questions (2) Mastery workshops in which you can teach and learn from other founders in 10-person roundtables (3) Sharktank for SaaS Live Watch in which founders try and get a deal done live on stage with 3 buyers/investors.
Why attend: At this conference, join professionals from big banks, fintechs, credit unions, and more to learn how to bring value to your financial organization by remaining innovative and ahead of the curve.
Attendees can look forward to:
Actionable takeaways from top financial services minds: The conference boasts speakers from some of the largest consumer, commercial, regional, and community banks, as well as credit unions or wealth management organizations. The line-up includes:
- Surendra Reddy Challapalli, Vice President, Citi - Jill Moser, SVP Global Loyalty Offers, Mastercard - Trish Wethman, Chief Strategy Officer, Best Egg - Martin Schrodt, SVP, Director of Market Development, Simmons Bank
Digital strategies for financial organizations: The conference has four tracks planned to help attendees learn tried-and-true best practices that can be used for their digital journey in the coming year:
- Track 1: AI in Banking Today and What’s On the Horizon - Track 2: Advancing the ABCs: Assets, Blockchain and Crypto - Track 3: Building Truly Connected and Valuable Experiences - Track 4: Customer Acquisition and Retention
Unparalleled networking opportunities: As Future Digital Finance is a mid-size event with many planned networking breaks, Q&As, receptions, meetings, and more, attendees have a greater chance of finding and connecting with leaders and like-minded peers (59% of conference attendees are in an SVP/VP/Director role,24% are in a Head/Lead of/Manager role, while 17% are C-level/President). This, in turn, means better conversations and possibilities for strategic collaboration.
Event type: In-person: Paris Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Why attend: LeadsCon is singularly focused on helping conference attendees stay at the forefront of lead generation and customer acquisition. Executive-level speakers will share their strategies and insights in lead gen and performance marketing so that attendees can optimize their approach to nurturing and converting more quality leads.
As the event approaches, we'll update you with all the essential information regarding speakers, sessions, and more.
Why attend: Comfortingly, the EMS website states that it is designed to prepare you for what’s next. During the three-day event, you can commiserate with peers (nothing brings marketers together like shared tales of thwarted campaigns and mysterious Google Analytics spikes), address challenges, and find the solutions you need to lead and thrive in the next era of experiential marketing.
Attendees can expect:
Insights into the future of experiential marketing: How will the industry thrive in the months ahead? What are the world’s leading brands planning for this year and beyond? How will brand experiences change and adapt to our new reality?
Guidance on navigating new waters from experts: Senior-level perspectives on the mission-critical trends, best practices, and how-tos available on experiential marketing.
Deep dives on various topics: DEI, Women in Events, and Event Logistics.
The entire program will be announced in early 2024.
Event type: Hybrid: Virtual and in-person (Austin)
Why attend: The conference bills itself as “the go-to event professionals trust to deliver the information and insight they need to make bolder, smarter decisions”, and it lives up to this reputation.
In 2023, the conference offered more than 100 role-based sessions aligned to the priorities of B2B marketing and sales professionals, and speakers included Dara Treseder, CMO, Autodesk, Cheryl Cook, Senior Vice President Global Partner Marketing, Dell Technologies, and Cindy Matos, VP of Transformation and Governance, IBM.
The 2024 agenda and speakers are still a work in progress, but attendees can expect the following:
Strategic keynotes by Forrester experts and inspiring guest speakers on topics such as driving growth opportunities, transforming revenue generation, and preserving brand values
Session formats are designed for different learning styles, such as analyst presentations, panel discussions, etc.
Marketplace opportunities to help you find the right solutions and networking opportunities to help you expand your community
Check back for more information on the agenda, but this one’s a must-attend.
Why attend: The Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo conference hardly needs an introduction, but for the uninitiated, it’s one of the most anticipated and attended conferences each year, with attendees leaving with the skills and tech they need to achieve more robust performance in their organization’s mission-critical priorities.
At the 2023 edition, attendees explored new research and actionable insights on AI, marketing strategy, multichannel marketing, and brand strategy and learned from industry leaders and Gartner experts.
Why attend: The conference serves as a showcase for the ingenious thinking and inspirational strategies employed by the world's foremost CMOs and top-tier brands. These approaches not only meet but exceed customer needs, foster growth, and ignite transformative change.
Past editions have featured distinguished C-suite leaders from renowned companies such as Google, United Airlines, Verizon, Ford, American Express, AB InBev, P&G, Shell, PepsiCo, and many more.
Stay tuned for more details.
We’ll update this month with event details soon. Check back for updates.
We’ll update this month with event details soon. Check back for updates.
Why attend: If we had to describe Saastr in a few words, it would be ‘SXSW meets SaaS.' It’s a melting pot of creative energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and cutting-edge technology. It's where industry pioneers, visionaries, and startups gather to exchange ideas, fuel innovation, and shape the future of SaaS.
Attendees can look forward to:
Hear from the best in SaaS: 100+ handcrafted sessions to help you scale. No fluff. No commercials. No boring panels. Last year's sessions were led by marketing leaders from Miro, Zoom, Lattice, Freshworks, Notion, Y Combinator, Monday, Asana, Okta, and more.
Mentorship and collaboration: 1,000+ 1-on-1 and small group meetings. 25+ AMAs with top industry experts. Plus VC Matchmaking.
Great parties and networking: Just you and your new SaaS BFFs. New connections every day with evening events and nightly Happy Hours.
We’ll update you when we get more info on this year’s agenda, but we’re excited already.
Why attend: The Marketing AI Conference (MAICON) aims to help marketing leaders and practitioners navigate the use of AI to solve problems, achieve goals, and scale more efficiently than with traditional marketing technology solutions.
The main stage will focus on AI vision and innovation, whereas breakout rooms will center on two core tracks: Applied AI and Strategic AI.
Applied AI sessions will focus on use cases, real-world applications, practical know-how, and tools and technologies.
Strategic AI sessions will focus on topics relevant to an organization's leaders, with sessions on privacy, ethics, legal, talent and training, and more.
All in all, this conference looks like a hidden gem. And given the preponderance of AI already in marketing in 2023, attending MAICON would be an investment in unlocking unparalleled success in the evolving AI landscape of 2024 and beyond.
Why attend: IBC bills itself as ‘the world’s most inspiring content and technology event’, and one glance at the conference website will convince you that they've got the goods to back up that claim.
The conference agenda, for one, is packed with groundbreaking presentations, panel sessions, workshops, product demos, and technology masterclasses - a must-attend for anyone seeking to stay at the forefront of ever-evolving content and tech fields. Learn about new technologies, future business models, and creative innovations that broaden the horizons of media and entertainment.
The speakers at the conference are from all those companies you and your colleagues enthusiastically (or enviously) talk about on Slack and use as references for your work. Just look at this previous lineup of worldwide media content and technology leaders:
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Get in front of industry decision-makers: Exhibitors at the show take advantage of a truly unique gathering of the best and brightest networkers, buyers, innovators and leaders. <screenshot of IBC 2023 breakdown>
We’ll update this space with updates on sessions and speakers for IBC 2024.
DMEXCO (Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference) bills itself as the place where ‘tomorrow’s digital business happens today’, thereby inviting attendees to experience the future in present tense, if you will. It’s an exciting and bold vision that’s bound to intrigue marketers of all stripes.
The DMEXCO conference agenda is always packed with groundbreaking topics, making it challenging to choose between them. Last year, there were 14 stages, organized by focus, such as e-commerce, media, or agency, helping you to access content that would help you excel in your specific industry niche. Here are some sessions from DMEXCO 2023 to give you an idea of what you can expect in 2024:
- ‘Growing shopper engagement and online revenue with intelligent product discovery’ featured an interesting discussion on how to grow key commerce metrics with intelligent product discovery. - ‘Privacy meets Technology – Enhancing and Enabling Consumers Interests’ - an international high-level panel of members of technology and privacy fields who discussed and compared the latest trends, developments and policies in Europe, and the USA.
- Truth Beyond the Bots: A People-First Revolution in Digital Marketing - a keynote that dove deep into the essence of genuine human-centricity and advocated championing humanity over machines.
There were 770 speakers at the conference last year, including marketing leaders from Nestle, Deutsche Bank, L’Oreal, Taboola, and Tiktok.
At the Expo, you can make contact and close deals with decision-makers; according to their website, 77% of DMEXCO attendees have purchasing power, 54% are senior executives, and 23% are C-Level.
Wow. Sign us up!
We’ll update this section with more details on speakers and sessions.
Why attend: This annual conference by Hubspot is a juggernaut, and for good reason, promising to be a place where “careers take off, businesses begin to scale, and community changes us for the better.”
The 2023 edition saw 11,000 business leaders, industry movers, and shakers worldwide getting together for three days of collaborative learning, networking, and growth. Speakers included producer, actor, and Hello Sunshine founder Reese Witherspoon, Derek Jeter, Baseball Hall of Famer and business leader, and bestselling author, Kim Scott.
This sets the stage for an equally, if not more, remarkable 2024 edition.
Check back for more information on the agenda and speakers.
Why attend: IMEX is a fixture in most event professionals' calendars - and for good reason. It’s one of the most significant events of the year for event marketers as it brings together thousands of event planners, producers, conference organizers, and event tech enthusiasts to stay on top of the latest event management trends, discover new partnerships, and explore the most recent advancements in event technology.
More than 150 educational activities: Explore the latest trends, level up your professional skills, and find solutions to industry challenges. At IMEX 2023, there were 6 tracks; you can expect the same or more next year:
- Technology and innovation - Trends and research - People and planet - Business practices - Experience design - Event marketing
We recommend catching a couple of sessions in each track to get a well-rounded and insightful experience at IMEX. It can be hard to pick between them, though! Just take a look at some of the 2023 session topics:
The artist's guide to unlocking innovation: At this session, attendees discovered how the outlook of a poet could empower leaders to unlock the doors to enhanced creativity, collaboration, and competitive advantage.
The importance of providing safe and resilient spaces at events: In this session, conference attendees learned why safeguarding and support are a leading factor in event design and how to attract broader and more diverse audiences and add to the richness of your event.
Using tech for digital natives:Attendees learned how technology such as second screen and augmented reality could be used with purpose and intention to create moments that connect.
Engagement decoded: Using science-based evidence to achieve engagement: In this session, attendees learned about barriers to true audience engagement, and that engagement could and did mean different things to different companies.
You can expect equally intriguing sessions at IMEX 2024. We’ll update this section with specifics on sessions when they’re available.
More than 150 networking opportunities: You will have plenty of chances to expand your network and mix with the industry’s best and brightest via different activities such as dinners and forums, golf tournaments, and even 5km runs!
Access to 1000s of buyers and products from North America and worldwide: Exhibiting at IMEX means that you’ll get in front of important buyers, meeting planners and suppliers from every sector of the global meetings industry, which can mean you can get months' worth of business done in just a few days. Just to give you a scale of what’s possible, IMEX 2023 was attended by 5000+ buyers and led to 80,000+ meetings scheduled.
All signs point to a highly educational and value-driven experience, that should be one of the top B2B events in 2024 you’d want to attend.
Why attend: This conference is for CEOs, CMOs, CROs, VPs, and Directors of companies ranging from $5 million to $1 billion in revenue, looking for an opportunity to engage in a wealth of insightful learning.
The roster of speakers is excellent: Ascent 2023 was headlined by the who’s who in SaaS, such as - Rand Fishkin, Sparktoro, Co-Founder & CEO - Alina Vandenberghe, Chili Piper, Co-Founder & CPO - Anthony Kennada, AudiencePlus, CEO - Brandee Sanders, Revenue.io, CMO - Jason Widup, Peak B2B Founder - Olga Andrienko, Semrush VP of Brand Marketing - Erin Gunaratna, Chargebee VP of Product Marketing So you can look forward to more of the same at Ascent 2024.
The content looks promising: Last year's topics had both breadth and depth. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the sessions that were held: - The End of Marketing Attribution Miracle or Menace? - Using Generative AI in Your GTM Strategy - What is B2B Community Marketing? - Overcoming Adversity Pushes You Beyond Perceived Limitations
And we love the variety in networking: Ascent offers attendees a variety of ways to connect and learn from peers including: - 8-Person Workshops: Intimate group conversations facilitated by industry experts - 1-on-1 Workshops: Dive deep into specific, timely GTM topics with another executive - Content Curated: Presentations from industry-leading subject matter experts - Networking Lunch: A buffet-style networking lunch in the middle of the event space.
As you plan your association’s annual slate of events, there’s one essential task you shouldn’t overlook: how you’ll involve and engage sponsors. Involving sponsors in the event itself adds value to the event for your association, its members, and the sponsoring business.
Sponsors not only cover fixed event costs, but they also provide credibility, additional networking opportunities for your members, and open doors to long-term partnerships. They also get exposure to your audience, and your association gets the chance to expand your membership.
Here are four tips for getting them involved.
(1) Plan events collaboratively
Collaborating on a conference, a specific event or even a series of events is a great way to involve your sponsors. If you have a major association sponsor, you might even consider including their name in the event’s title. Be sure to involve their team in the planning process as early as possible to make the event more cohesive and the engagement mutually beneficial.
Start by ensuring everyone has access to planning documents and event management platforms. This keeps everyone on the same page while keeping your teams—and processes—organized and efficient. Cloud tools like Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive are good options to allow team members to work together on documents. You might also consider a joint project management tool.
Above all, make sure you have regular in-person or virtual meetings to strengthen their involvement and your partnership for the event. These regular touchpoints keep sponsors in the loop about the event’s status and what’s needed from them. For example, you could set up biweekly fifteen-minute Zoom update meetings and a monthly hour-long coffee chat with each sponsor so you have multiple opportunities for making contact. This structure allows sponsors to share their questions, ideas, and concerns so they feel heard and respected.
(2) Include sponsor-hosted sessions
Sponsors want the opportunity to connect with your association’s members, and events are the perfect opportunity for them to do so. When sponsors can build relationships with members, it increases the likelihood that they’ll continue the engagement after the conference is over, boosting value for sponsors and your members.
There are a variety of ways to foster these connections at an conference, such as:
Hosting a booth at a trade show or conference
Moderating or participating in a panel discussion at an educational event
Running a continuing education workshop
Running an on-course game at a charity golf tournament
Hosting a happy hour
For example, let’s say your student legal association is sponsored by a local law practice. You could set up an “Ask a Lawyer” segment where students can submit questions ahead of time and learn new insights from seasoned professionals in their field.
Not only do sponsors see valuable exposure in these options, but they also get to interact with your members. Consider allowing sponsors to take the lead in planning their involvement in these types of events. Frequently check in with them leading up to the event day to confirm the details and that it stays consistent with the event’s theme and provides value to members.
(3) Offer tailored sponsorship opportunities
Your association’s sponsors will have specific goals or outcomes in mind when it comes to sponsoring conferences and other events. You can help them meet those goals by working directly with them to create a tailored sponsorship opportunity that’s mutually beneficial and features options for their involvement.
For example, if you’re hosting a hybrid event, you might craft sponsorship packages that include interactive elements for a sponsor interested in boosting their online presence. Include a live-streamed portion of the event, such as a specific speaker, that they can share through their communication channels. Or, if you’re holding a charity golf outing, for instance, work with the sponsor to see if they want to mingle with golfers before, during, or after the event.
Whatever the case, it’s essential to keep lines of communication open and not take a one-size-fits-all approach. Be willing to be flexible and design sponsorships that fit everyone’s needs.
(4) Provide exclusive networking opportunities
Networking is an excellent way for your members and sponsors to get to know one another and build lasting connections. And being able to market something as “exclusive” adds immediate value. Look for ways to build networking opportunities into your conferences. For example, you could host a meet and greet for new members, a post-golf tournament banquet, or a hybrid conference for a select group of members for members and sponsors to talk face-to-face. Ultimately, the goal is to give sponsors a chance to connect with your association’s members meaningfully.
Sponsors might also be interested in obtaining the contact information of members who participate in an event so they can follow up with those who show interest in their brand, so build this option into your sponsorship offerings.
Treat sponsors like true partners throughout planning and execution and stay on the same page. You’ll be in a good position for not only a successful event but also successful sponsor engagement. With the proper communication cadences and tech stack on your side, you can provide an unbeatable ROI for your sponsors and cultivate long-lasting relationships.
If you’re looking for a tool to strategically engage your members throughout your upcoming event, you’re in luck because you likely already have it in your toolkit: your website.
Your association’s website serves as an all-in-one marketing, registration, and engagement hub that can help you boost attendee numbers and provide important information once your event kicks off. Plus, sharing compelling website content makes it easy to stay connected with attendees long after your event concludes.
Let’s explore how you can use your website before, during, and after your event to drive high engagement levels and create a lasting impression on your attendees.
Before the Event
Your website is a key piece of your association’s event marketing plan. Here’s how you can wield your website into a powerful marketing tool in advance of your event:
Develop an event landing page
Create a dedicated landing page on your website that covers everything prospective attendees need to know about your event. Specifically, you’ll want to cover:
The date and time of your event
The purpose of your event
Your event schedule
Registration fee, if applicable
You’ll also want to spotlight the perks of attending your event to pique your members’ interests; for instance, you might bring attention to benefits like networking opportunities or notable speakers who will be in attendance.
For example, the National Association of Biology Teachers created an engaging landing page in advance of their upcoming 2023 conference. Here, they describe logistical details like the date and location, purpose of the event, and registration information.
They also summarize why members should go, writing: “Join other leaders in biology and life science education for presentations from renowned speakers, interactive workshops, and the special NABT events that you can't get anywhere else.” This kind of emotionally compelling language shows the unique value in attending their conference, helping to drive more registrations.
To entice prospective attendees even further, the National Association of Biology Teachers lists out special perks like special events and speakers.
On top of including logistical details, make your event landing page visually appealing to keep members engaged. Follow these best practices to enhance your event landing page design:
Infuse your branding: To build trust with your audience and demonstrate that this event is being hosted by your organization, add your branded elements to your landing page. This includes your fonts, color scheme, messaging, and tone. You’ll also want to feature your logo prominently, such as in the top right or left corner, to catch your user’s eye.
Use engaging visuals: Show pictures from the last event your association hosted or include a video of an association staff member explaining why attending this event is an absolute must. Visuals help to break up the text on your page and grab your readers’ attention. Plus, you can help prospective attendees visualize what attending your event will be like.
Prioritize accessibility: Everyone who lands on this page should be able to readily access every element, from your text content to your visuals. Offer text alternatives so individuals with visual impairments can engage with your non-text content and use color contrast between your foreground and background so your text is easy to read.
Taking a look at the National Association of Biology Teachers’ event landing page again, you can see that they’ve incorporated their brand colors of green and blue, used an engaging design of a bridge and lobster related to Baltimore to grab users’ attention, and incorporated ample white space to create a clean and professional look.
Once you launch your event landing page, share it widely with your members through email, social media, and direct mail with a QR code. This will help to get the word out about your event and encourage members to sign up.
Create inspiring blog content
Not all members will be regularly checking your website for new landing pages, but they might consistently read your blog, especially if you mention new posts in your email newsletter. A blog post about your event can help to boost awareness and spark members’ interests.
For example, you can generate blog content about how your event will help members progress in their professional careers, provide a sneak peek of an engaging workshop, or ask members who attended this event in the past to author a post about their experience and why others should come.
Offer a seamless registration experience
Rather than directing prospective attendees to an external website to sign up, centralize the entire registration process by embedding a registration form in your event landing page. This way, members can register as soon as they feel inspired by your content.
Make sure to limit the number of prompts on your registration form so members can register for your event in just a few moments and have a positive user experience. For example, only require members to fill out their name, contact information, and billing information if they’ll need to pay for a ticket. Other prompts, like asking people how they found out about this event, can be made optional.
During the Event
Your event has officially kicked off! To keep your members engaged and dialed into everything that’s happening, leverage your website to provide key event information. For instance, you might:
Share your program agenda on your website so members know what to expect each hour or day of your event.
Offer a directory of members in attendance or the contact information for your speakers so attendees can easily get connected with one another and network.
Create a discussion forum so members can jump into thoughtful discussions on your website between workshops and programs.
While attendees will have access to this information on your virtual event platform, it helps for members to know that there is a more familiar source of information available to them, too.
To make this information exclusive to your attendees on your website, consider using a membership website builder that enables you to create a private intranet. Here, attendees can readily access a dashboard with information about your event. Let registered participants know in advance of your event how to log in to these private pages and stay looped into your event updates at all times.
After the Event
Congratulations, you’ve wrapped up another amazing event! But, your hard work isn’t finished just yet. Post-event follow-up is a critical part of keeping participants engaged and eager to stay connected to your association, and a strong digital strategy can help. Use your website in the following key ways after your event:
Collect event feedback from members. It’s recommended to share a survey on your virtual event platform immediately after your event ends, but if members haven’t completed it, a survey can be triggered for them on your website after they log in. Ask attendees questions like “How would you rate your engagement on a scale from 1-10?” and “How could our events be improved in the future?” This will give you invaluable insight into how you can better tailor your events to meet your members’ interests. Plus, this shows attendees that you value their opinions and are committed to creating memorable event experiences.
Share blog content with event highlights to allow attendees to relive the moment and pique prospective members’ interests. This is a great way to market the value of your association and encourage people to sign up for future events. Plus, you can keep your blog fresh—without any extra effort—by repurposing content from your event such as photos and videos.
Post event archives like recordings from your workshops or transcripts from speakers’ presentations in your exclusive member resources. By doing so, attendees can revisit event insights. And, members who weren’t able to attend will have the chance to learn something new and derive value from your organization.
You might also share a message on your event landing page that thanks members for attending and summarizes the key takeaways from your event. Make sure to also send personalized email communications that show appreciation so you can form strong connections with your attendees.
From pre-event planning to post-event follow-up, your website can take your event strategy to the next level. Remember to keep your audience’s interests and expectations in mind as you roll out content so you can encourage them to register, follow your event updates, and stay connected to your organization long after the event.
While the average person might see a conference badge as just a name tag, to a conference organizer, it's an unsung hero, a networking cornerstone, a conversation catalyst, and an important factor in building a great event. Its importance in the conference world is second only to the Wi-Fi password.
In other words, a lot is riding on this unassuming piece of rectangle.
But there’s more than meets the eye to getting it right. It’s not just about slapping a name on a piece of plastic – conference badge design is a delicate balance of art and functionality.
In this piece, we’ll delve into how to design a conference badge that helps make the attendee experience a great one.
First, let’s get the basics out of the way. Follow the following best-practices to create a fun and functional conference badge.
5 commandments of conference badge design
Attendee names: the bigger, the better
By which we mean it should be readable from a distance of 15 feet. People should not need to put on their reading glasses to read the badge.
And it should be easily readable
In other words, please do not use all CAPS.
De-emphasize the conference name
You can assume that everyone already knows what conference they’re at.
Give everyone another reason to look at the badge
Extra details like interests or one’s hometown make for great conversation starters.
Lean into the event theme
Incorporate theme colors, symbols, or slogans to make it distinctive. Remember that attendees often keep badges as mementos.
If you use the commandments mentioned above, you should be able to create a great-looking badge that looks something like the one in the image below.
The anatomy of a conference badge
But there’s still more you can do to elevate your conference badge. Read on.
Designing badges that drive dialogue
Just follow these tips:
1) Include ‘Ask me about ____’ or another talking point
Let attendees add a little personality to their badges by including a couple of topics of interest or areas of expertise where they're open to collaboration. This lets other attendees get a glimpse into their passions and these serve as potential conversation starters.
The questions can be professional and/or fun, such as ‘My hidden talent is…’, ‘The emoji that best describes me is…’ or ‘My go-to karaoke song is…’ making it easier for attendees to ask a follow-up question or respond in kind.
But if you don’t have enough space on your badge or need to prioritize other information, you can simply make other smaller badges with this prompt that attendees can wear alongside your official badge.
2) Let attendees add flair
Let attendees add items or objects to badges that employ visual cues, with color coding being especially effective. This approach allows attendees to be swiftly sorted into interest groups, making it easy for them to spot and connect with like-minded individuals.
For instance, badge ribbons can be used to highlight the individual’s role at the conference - as an attendee, guest speaker, sponsor or organizer. These can help attendees quickly identify and connect with the people they’re looking for.
Different ribbon colors can also be used to show how many years an attendee has been to the conference, providing an easy segue into discussing their conference history and experiences. If you're new to the conference and spot a fellow newbie's ribbon, it's a natural conversation starter, making introductions less daunting. On the flip side, if you notice a seasoned attendee's ribbon, it's an opportunity to delve into their wealth of past experiences and get valuable insights into the event.
Stackable stickers are another great option to add to badges too.
3) Incorporate a QR code
A QR code badge simplifies the check-in process (it took only90 Mins for all of the 672 attendees at Catalyst by Partnership Leaderships to check-in + get their badges) and it can be programmed to include quite a lot of extra attendee information. Details such as social media handles or a link to a company website can be easily exchanged via the QR code, boosting networking opportunities and engagement at the event.
Not to mention, using a QR code allows you to provide more information without taking up space on the design of your badge.
4) Don’t forget about the flip side of the badge
All too often, badges flip around when you're walking around the venue, which can lead to missed opportunities for connections and conversations. To maximize engagement, consider printing relevant information on the backside of the badge, ensuring that details remain visible from any angle.
Or at the least, use it to share the conference agenda or the layout of the venue.
To sum up
Don't underestimate the power of a well-designed badge. It's the small touch that can lead to big connections and make your event truly memorable.
You may have some assumptions about your customer base due to the nature of your product or service or your interactions with customers at events over the years. However, the best way to target current and potential customers is through data.
Data provides a concrete way to assess your customers’ needs, interests, and preferences. In turn, you can build comprehensive customer profiles that guide your event marketing efforts.
In this article, we’ll review five strategies for building your customer profiles so you can take a data-driven approach to event marketing. Whether you’re creating customer profiles for the first time or enhancing your existing information, these tips will help you uncover powerful insights about your customers.
1. Assess the current state of your customer data
Take a look at your current customer database. What data do you already have on them? Do you have the same data points for each customer, or are there some that have more or less data?
After taking stock of the data you have, determine what data you still need to learn more about your customers and better market your events to them. For example, B2B organizations may know the industry of the companies they work with but not the size of each company. This information could be useful because it would allow B2B organizations to personalize their event messaging and outreach based on the nature of each company.
This is also a good time to assess how you’re storing data. Is it in a spreadsheet, physical forms, a customer relationship management platform (CRM), or a combination of different methods? For easier analysis, migrate all data to the same place—preferably a customer relationship management (CRM) system or other platform intended for data storage.
When you have a better, more complete understanding of your customer base overall, you’ll be able to identify the major attributes of different types of customers and add those to your customer profiles for more targeted event marketing.
2. Conduct a data append
While auditing your customer database, you may notice you’re missing key data from your customers. To fill in the gaps in your database, conduct a data append. During a data append, data providers solicit information from third-party sources to supplement your customer database.
Considering that businesses that use data-driven marketing have a return on investment (ROI) that’s five to eight times higher than businesses that don’t, appending data should be a top priority to elevate your event marketing strategy.
Depending on the data provider that you work with, you can append the following information:
Level of education
Lifestyle attributes, such as hobbies and interests
Buying behaviors, such as online product purchases
Additionally, B2B organizations may want to append firmographic data, such as industry, company size, and location. With this information, you can put data at the forefront of your customer profiles. For instance, when you know that certain customers like to buy your products online while others like to make in-store purchases, you can tailor your profiles for each group accordingly.
3. Segment your customers
Once you have all the data you need, you can segment customers based on shared characteristics, including demographics, buying preferences, and purchase history.
Segmenting your customer base will help you organize your data and create event marketing campaigns that align with their unique preferences. This approach can also save time and resources by only reaching out to customers likely to be interested in certain events.
For example, if you’re hosting an event that would interest CEOs and other high-level business executives, you can create an appropriate segment and only reach out to that group. As a result, you’ll see a higher ROI than if you were to contact every customer in your database.
After segmenting your customers into different groups, you can create profiles within each segment that further specify your customer base. In the CEO segment, you may have a profile for a younger CEO looking for networking opportunities and one for an older CEO interested in attending events about keeping up with emerging technology.
4. Send a survey
Even though you can source most of the data you need for your profiles from a data append, reaching out to customers for feedback can enhance your profiles even further. With the qualitative information elicited in surveys, you can expand upon the data points you have and focus your event messaging for each segment.
Some of the most useful pieces of information you can obtain from surveys are customer challenges or pain points. When you ask customers what they’re looking to accomplish by using your product or service, you can ensure your solution addresses their needs and tailor your event messaging to touch upon those pain points.
For example, business executives looking for software might indicate that their company is quickly growing, and they need a platform that can keep up. As a result, the software company can note this as a pain point in their customer profiles and emphasize the scalability of their product when hosting events for this segment.
You can also send out surveys after events and campaigns to determine their effectiveness in addressing your customers’ needs. The feedback may help you uncover new pain points or other customer information that you can add to your customer profiles.
5. Create customer personas
If you want to take your customer profiles a step further, create customer personas. Customer personas are similar to customer profiles, except they include a fictional representation of each profile type.
Continuing with the CEO segment example, customer personas may include a young CEO named Lauren Smith who wants to increase brand awareness and an older CEO named Emmett Thompson who wants to expand his company’s product into new markets.
When you attach personal attributes to your customer profiles, it’s easier to picture your customers as real people and market your events to them accordingly. Customer Profile #37 may effectively guide your event marketing efforts, but thinking about Lauren Smith’s pain points and interests is a more tangible way of incorporating customer data into your next event marketing campaign.
To sum up...
When data is at the forefront of your customer profiles, you’ll make better, more informed decisions about your event marketing efforts. As a result, you can reach customers in each of your segments and provide them with an individualized experience that addresses their needs and preferences.
It has been a while, but we're back with some super-fresh updates for you!
This time around, we bring you more support for event and webinar management with event series, registration by approval, and surveys for webinars.
Here’s all you need to know about these new features:
Create a series of events, webinars, or a combination of both.
You can now organize multiple events and webinars and promote them under one theme by setting up a Series. Your series can have its own Landing Page, using which attendees can register for all the underlying events and webinars in one go.
On registering once, your attendees will get automated email reminders for each of your events organized in the series.
Gather timely insights from your attendees on their experience
Getting feedback on your webinars is critical to improving and scaling up your event experience. With surveys, you can get quick feedback at the right time.
A survey can be created in a 3-step process; add basic details, add questions, and add an end screen. Choose from different question types: short text, multiple-choice, multiple-choice multi-select, and rating.
All the responses will be saved in your organizer dashboard for ready reference.
For more info on surveys for webinars, click here.
How do you plan a conference that’s so extraordinary that attendees are still raving about it months after it’s over?
It’s a confluence of factors, to be sure; engaging and relevant content, dynamic speakers, interactive sessions, and networking activities all play essential parts in making a conference impactful. But these are now baseline expectations. Without them, your conference might indeed become a topic of conversation, but for all the wrong reasons.
We're emphasizing that while you must get all the fundamentals right, that might not be enough to make your conference stand out.
You need something extra - an X factor - to elevate the conference experience from meh to memorable (and drive traffic to strategic areas in the venue, of course). “We try to build in moments of childlike joy into real-life experiences.. says Lauren Olerich, Sr. Director of Events at Gainsight in our webinar. “At [Pulse - Gainsight's annual conference), we have had people dressed up as superheroes who walk around the conference; we’ve hired a Taylor Swift impersonator to sing and serenade and walk around on stage; and we had a ferris wheel in 2018."
And that’s where activations come in.
A is for activations
What are activations? A quick refresher.
Activations are engaging experiences that encourage attendees to participate in the conference - beyond the sessions, panels, and workshops, and which leave a lasting impression on attendees.
They can take many forms, such as interactive exhibits, experiential installations, workshops, games, live performances, etc. Organizers can use activations to meet strategic goals, such as driving traffic to the sponsors' area in the venue or driving awareness around a concept, product, or service.
(1) Experiences for attendee to self-explore in their own time: If you think about the footprint of your event, [you can put activations on different zones and floors]. You can put activations throughout the Expo Hall or the hallways as people are starting to walk to different breakout rooms.
(2) Encourage attendees to seek out the activations: You can encourage people through push notifications to find the activations. And you can gamify [it] by giving people points if they scan [the event app] at certain activations to encourage them to experience these things.
5 activation ideas that we loved
Idea 1: An interactive installation
What is it: A real-time, interactive artistic display that is built by attendee submissions
Why it’s a great idea: Conferences often focus on knowledge sharing and professional development, but incorporating live art serves as a creative counterbalance, stimulating senses and imagination and providing a unique way to express ideas and narratives.
A real-life example: The Brightline Initiative, in collaboration with Domestic Data Streamers, had a participatory art installation at their 2019 conference. Attendees were asked to write down their thoughts about speakers, sessions, and conference content on transparent tiles with permanent marker, creating a visually engaging and interactive experience that allowed participants to contribute to the event's narrative actively.
We love this idea.
Another example: At the TED Bigger Than Us Exhibit, attendees were invited to write an idea worth spreading on a piece of paper. They were then photographed holding it and their photo was added to a gallery. This activation engaged attendees in the core mission of TED, allowing them to actively participate in sharing and promoting their own innovative ideas, while also fostering a sense of inclusion and community.
A fantastic embodiment of the theme of the conference.
Idea 2: Puppies at the conference
What is it: Quite simply - puppies at the conference!
Why it’s a great idea: Incorporating puppies into a conference provides a delightful and unexpected element that can reduce stress, boost mood, and encourage social interaction among attendees. It adds a unique and memorable touch to the event, as it's not something commonly associated with conferences.
A real-life example: At Quantum Metric’s user conference, the team set up a puppy adoption center in the sponsor area. Attendees were thrilled to encounter adorable puppies, which not only attracted significant traffic to the sponsor area but also ended up with two dog adoptions.
Honestly, if you had this activation at your conference, you'd have trouble getting us to leave.
Idea 3: Smoothie bikes
What is it: Smoothie bikes let attendees select their preferred flavors and then pedal to blend them into their own custom fruit smoothie or signature cocktail, which they can take with them.
Why it’s a great idea: People love an activity, and people also love free food and drinks. Smoothie bikes cleverly combine both by offering a hands-on and fun experience that you definitely don’t expect at a conference and a yummy payoff.
A real-life example: HP set up smoothie bikes at Curry’s Peak Conference, as it perfectly exemplified HP sustainability, but works well at just about any event organized by a company that cares about sustainability (because you produce your own electricity!).
What is it: VR/AR/AI adventures are usually immersive and interactive experiences that leverage virtual or augmented environments, often involving headsets or devices. An AR scavenger hunt is an interactive game or activity in which participants use AR technology, often via a mobile app, to locate and collect virtual items or complete challenges within a physical or digital environment. Like Pokemon Go.
Why it’s great at a conference: VR/AR/AI adds oomph to your event and lets attendees explore a concept related to your conference’s theme in an exciting and cutting-edge way. The scavenger hunt, in particular, is a creative and fun way to get attendees exploring the venue, and interacting with products, services, and sponsors, which promotes deeper engagement between participants and event stakeholders.
A real-life example: The AR scavenger hunt at the 2023 Advertising Week APAC conference was a big hit. Attendees were encouraged to explore Lunar Park - the conference venue - to find and collect rewards from sponsors throughout the park. Participants would be entered into a draw to win a major prize.
This is a smart way to employ gamification at the conference in a way that feels authentic and enjoyable to attendees, and helps you meet strategic event goals too.
Idea 5: Nostalgia arcade
What is it: An arcade of retro games designed to connect attendees with positive memories of the past.
Why it’s great at a conference: It adds a touch of fun and familiarity, making networking easier through shared memories, and conversations more enjoyable, and the event itself distinct and memorable.
A real-life example: AWS re: Invent in Las Vegas featured educational sessions, networking opportunities, as well as a variety of retro games, including a Giant Human Claw Machine in which attendees played the part of the Giant Claw. They were lifted into the air by the machine and lowered into a giant pit of untold treasures that were up for grabs.
There's no denying the power of a 90s throwback.
To sum up…
In the quest to make events truly memorable and strategically impactful, activations stand out as powerful tools.
But to make them truly effective, organizers need to carefully align the experiences with your company and event’s personality, goals, mission, and values, and with strategic objectives you’re trying to meet through them - for instance, driving footfall to sponsors.
So, be thoughtful, be strategic, but above all, be boldly unexpected.
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023 is fast approaching! This premier event is a must-attend for anyone in the open-source and cloud-native community. Here's a quick rundown of what to expect.
But first, a quick refresher on KubeCon
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation's flagship conference, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023, gathers adopters and technologists from leading open source and cloud native communities. This event serves as a nexus for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and networking among professionals in the field.
Its 2023 edition is set to be a hybrid event, combining in-person interactions with virtual participation. The first day is dedicated to preliminary activities, while the main conference spans three days.
Over these four days, attendees can expect a mix of in-person and virtual content, featuring keynotes, over 10 conference tracks, tutorials, and networking opportunities.
Environmental Sustainability in the Cloud: A deep dive into the importance of environmental sustainability in IT. Learn about power consumption accountability, energy efficiency, GreenOps, and cost optimization from experts at Grafana Labs, Red Hat, Intel, Microsoft, and more.
Performance Profiling with Ryan Perry: Explore performance profiling across various programming languages and platforms. Understand the significance of observability in modern software development.
OpenTelemetry Contribfest: Get introduced to the latest features and developments of the OpenTelemetry project with Juraci Paixão Kröhling from Grafana Labs and other Prometheus project maintainers.
Measuring Kubernetes Costs: Gain insights on tracking cloud costs, especially for Kubernetes clusters, with JuanJo Ciarlante and Mark Poko from Grafana Labs.
Hop into these hubs:
AI Hub: The first-ever AI Hub is set to be a highlight. This one-day unconference will delve into AI topics impacting the cloud-native community, covering areas like LLMs, AI policy, AI operations, AI data governance, and more. Attendees can engage in active conversations and learn from industry peers about AI implementations.
Security Hub: The inaugural Security Hub will focus on security topics vital to the cloud-native community, offering insights into the latest cloud-native security practices and challenges.
All in all, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023 is poised to offer a comprehensive view of the future of cloud-native technologies and opportunities for networking with industry leaders.
Our new Event Series feature allows you to link related events or webinars, simplifying repetitive tasks like registrations, attendee management, and communications.
One landing page for all your topic-specific events
You can now organize multiple events and webinars and promote them under one theme by setting up a Series. Your series can have its own Landing Page, using which attendees can register for all the underlying events and webinars in one go.
By releasing events under a series, you can boost attendee turnout, have deeper engagement with your attendees, and build a stronger connection with your audience.
Native CRM integration
Directly sync your attendee data to your CRM. This drastically reduces the turnaround time for follow ups and help your teams run targeted campaigns.
Analytics for entire series
Get granular data on what polls or questions each attendee engaged with. Get analytics on their interests, time spent per session and CTAs clicked. You’ll find all analytics across each event, organized in one single dashboard.
The Event Series feature is all about efficiency and enhancing the attendee experience. By linking related events and streamlining processes, you can focus on delivering value and ensuring each event in the series is a success.
In our inaugural session of Events About Events hosted by Nick Bennett, the CCO & Co-Founder of Tack, we delved into the intricacies of B2B event marketing.
As the conversation unfolded, industry experts Ashley Mauras, Director of Experience Marketing at Quantum Metric, and Jason Widup, the founder of Peak B2B, shared their unique perspectives and insights on the key changes they've observed with events.
If you missed it, or just need a refresher, here are 4 key takeaways:
Defining the core of modern B2B events
B2B events are not what they were before.
For instance, today, It's not just about putting together flashy events anymore; it's about creating experiences that resonate.
In the session, our speakers illustrate that the very core of modern event marketing has evolved. It is now all about understanding your audience's evolving needs and meeting them head-on.
Changes in event expectations
The post-pandemic landscape has invariably altered the way we perceive and approach events. “Attendees now value their time more than ever, demanding better experiences", says Ashley, emphasizing that companies need to elevate their event strategies, understanding that subpar experiences could deter potential attendees in the future.
To this end, Jason highlights - “One of the bigger changes companies are realizing is like, ok, this has to be a very attendee focused experience - the attendees should be really at the center of the event.”
Events aren’t just events; they’re growth catalysts
If you’re thinking of events as just networking opportunities, think again.
Events should structure around the customer's journey – from discovery to engagement and growth.
It's a reminder that events can be strategic levers in your growth plan. And guess what? In-person events can be especially impactful, providing that personal touch that might just push a potential deal across the finish line.
Retention and renewal through events
Even the focus of B2B events is evolving, it isn't solely on new acquisitions. Jason Widup sheds light on the current trend in the SaaS world, noting, "Everyone's moving to a land and expand model... focused on expansion, retention, renewal."
Why are we observing this change? Because event marketers have realized that having their customers attend their events results in:
➡ Genuine testimonials: Their firsthand experiences carry weight, making them your brand's most authentic promoters.
➡ Organic interactions: They often become spontaneous salespeople, answering queries and sharing their positive experiences.
➡ Boosting retention: While events are great for attracting new faces, having your customers around not only validates your product but also reinforces their loyalty.
Money 20/20 Vegas 2023 is shaping up to be an insightful gathering for those in the payments, fintech, and financial services sectors. As we approach the event, here’s a sense of what's in store.
When and where is it happening?
22-25 Oct 2023 at The Venetian Resort, Las Vegas.
Sessions to watch out for
Putting the heart back into the customer experience through high-touch digital platforms
Speakers: Thomas Fuss (CTO, Backbase) & Ashley Eknaian (Chief Digital Officer, Eastern Bank)
Insight: Dive into the real essence of "digital transformation" and its implications for banks. Understand the challenges of implementing new technologies and the need for a holistic approach to truly transform and deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Building loyalty through payments: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Caesars
Speakers: Matt O'Brien (Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships, Rock Entertainment Group), Megan Rodriguez (SVP Loyalty & CRM, Caesars Entertainment), and Dennis McCarthy (Chief Client Officer, Bread Financial)
Insight: Explore the importance of customer trust and loyalty, especially in the sports and entertainment sectors. Learn how financial innovations are being leveraged to enhance user experiences and foster repeated engagements.
Future proofing through experiential marketing
Speaker: Raja Rajamannar (Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Mastercard)
Insight: Delve into the evolution of Mastercard's iconic "Priceless" campaign. Discover how it's transitioning from moments to movements, connecting people globally, and the brand's future direction centered around experiential marketing.
Sunday Night Live: Ben Horowitz, AI, oh my...
Sunday Night Live at Money20/20 is the premier event featuring top industry names. From the ice breaker to the Fintech Update, anticipate an exciting Sunday evening of surprises.
Money 20/20 boasts a lineup of influential voices in the industry, including:
Emilie Choi, President & Chief Operating Officer, Coinbase
There are conferences, and then there are conferences. Partnership Leaders' Catalyst 2023 firmly establishes itself in a league of its own.
This annual conference serves as a catalyst for growth in the partnership and business development sector, with partnership professionals from around the globe coming together to discuss best practices, set industry standards, and elevate partnerships to new heights. This year, Catalyst 2023 was held in Denver. It was attended by 650+ professionals, all of whom left the event thoroughly impressed and inspired by the experience.
Here are 3 ways Partnership Leaders made this in-person conference an absolute hit among its members this year.
1) A frictionless check-in experience
At many in-person conferences, the check-in process can be tiresome, often involving long queues, manual badge searches, and frustrating delays. Attendees frequently spend valuable time waiting in a line or tutting internally at the sluggish pace of checking-in.
But at Catalyst ‘23, attendees were able to check in and get their badges printed in less than 60 seconds. It was a smooth-as-butter process because:
Attendees were emailed a QR code beforehand
They scanned this code on iPads provided at the registration table in Denver
The scan prompted a badge label to be printed automatically
All that was left was to collect the badge and walk into the conference!
2) A conference app co-created by attendees
Conference apps, while intended to enhance the event experience, can often be bloated with unnecessary features and difficult to navigate. Attendees may struggle to find the information they need amidst a sea of overwhelming options, leading to frustration rather than convenience.
The Catalyst ‘23 app however was built with input from Partnership Leaders’ community members themselves, who logged in, tested things out and made suggestions. This sense of co-ownership resulted in 98% of Catalyst attendees downloading the conference app.
“They used it to navigate the venue and add sessions to their schedule. They could receive real-time updates to the agenda, and it allowed them to see who else they could network with based on their goals and interests,” says Asher Mathew, CEO of Partnership Leaders. “It helped to personalize the conference experience for them and strengthened the sense of community, as we had all built it together.”
3) Easy ways for sponsors to connect with attendees + vice-versa
Navigating the conference landscape can be a double-edged sword for both sponsors and attendees. For sponsors, qualifying attendees amid the hustle and bustle of large events can be a daunting task. On the flip side, attendees often find themselves overwhelmed, struggling to keep track of the multitude of opportunities that come their way.
The Lead Retrieval app at Catalyst '23 served as a bridge, simplifying interactions between sponsors and attendees. Sponsors could quickly scan attendee QR codes for instant data capture and qualification using simple lead scoring, making follow-up with highly interested attendees easy. And for the attendees, the same QR scan meant that they could just focus on interacting with the sponsor without the burden of manual note-taking, knowing that they would be sent pertinent information after the conference.
To sum up
The collaborative energy championed by Partnership Leaders paved the way for streamlined interactions and seamless data exchange that attendees wholeheartedly embraced at Catalyst '23, and set a new standard for in-person conferences.
After being shelved during the infamous locked-down years in the recent past, in-person events have re-entered the scene with a fresh, new sheen.
But what stirred this change, and where does today’s tech that promises to support these events stumble a bit?
Let’s find out.
So, what’s the new deal with in-person events?
Safety comes first, but make it smooth
Remember the ease of walking into events, all ready to networking vibes on? Now, it’s all about QR check-ins, ensuring a smooth, touch-free entry while keeping the safety gears in check. Health and engagement now go hand in hand, ensuring everyone can mingle without any worry in their heads.
Tech isn’t just a backstage player anymore
From QR codes ensuring safe entry to attendee apps that enable you to easily manage schedules, technology has stepped into the spotlight, playing a pivotal role in shaping the in-person event narrative and personalizing attendee experiences.
The necessity of hybrid components
In a world where reaching a wider audience has become paramount, integrating virtual elements into in-person events is no longer optional. You need a virtual streaming component at events to ensure no audience is missed and maximize reach and engagement.
Shift in audience perspective and strategy
Strategic audience targeting has taken a front seat, The focus moving from being solely on seeking new logos, to strategically bringing in existing customers. It’s a strategic play to get them to learn from one another, thereby subtly influencing deals and experiences.
Moreover, existing customers are now viewed as extensions of your sales team.This has become a standard approach in modern event planning.
Event intel is a must-have
The era of virtual events handed us the golden ticket of data - insights into attendee behavior, engagement metrics, and lead generation info that marketers now expect from in-person events too.
In essence, in-person conferences have evolved from just crafting memorable moments to strategically beneficial experiences. It’s not just about hosting a stellar event but ensuring it delivers tangible, measurable results.
But here's the challenge with using virtual platforms for in-person conferences
In-person conferences, now a key player in B2B marketing strategies, aim to bring valuable experiences to attendees and sponsors. However, event marketers find themselves in a bit of a pickle due to the predominantly ‘virtual-first’ solutions in the event tech landscape.
Different foundations, different stories
Most event platforms, which gained traction in recent years, were crafted with a clear mission - deliver a top-notch virtual experience. Adapting to in-person needs isn’t just about tacking on features; it’s about embracing the core essence of the format, which isn’t a mere flick of a switch but a transformation.
Strategic focus isn’t a one-size-fits-all
Hybrid events might be the talk of the town, but let’s break it down. Events usually lean towards one format, with the other playing a supporting role.
While platforms might claim to cater to both formats, their primary focus often peeks through their features and dashboards. Event marketers need tools that understand the intricacies of their primary event format and align with their strategic goals.
So, where does this leave event marketers?
Modern marketers deserve an event platform inherently designed to deliver an in-person experience attuned to the evolved expectations of attendees.
As in-person experiences transition from being tactical events to strategic marketing endeavors, event marketers should leverage technology that propels them towards success and enables them to extract maximum value from their in-person events.
In wrapping up, the event landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years, and so the technology supporting it must also evolve, ensuring it is not merely a reactive solution but a proactive tool that understands and enhances the modern in-person event experience.
Picture this: your association just wrapped up a conference that kept all of your attendees engaged and taught them valuable insights that they can carry into their professional careers. However, just because your association’s event is over doesn’t mean your work is!
Events are not just one and done. Post-event follow-up is critical to keeping attendees invested in your organization and eager to stay involved, whether by registering for an upcoming event, signing up for your mentorship program, or upgrading their membership tier.
Luckily, you can use a variety of communication and marketing channels to keep attendees in the loop and connected to your organization at all times — from text messaging to social media.
Use these best practices to foster lasting relationships with attendees and nurture guests along the member journey after your event:
Post event highlights
Offer additional ways to get involved
Connecting with your attendees before, during, and after your event is a vital part of boosting your member retention rate. Let’s dive into how you can keep your association on your members’ minds long after your event concludes.
Your association is likely made up of busy individuals who take the time out of their schedules to attend your conferences, workshops, and more. As a result, it’s important to show your gratitude to members for showing up. Doing this can build stronger connections with your members and make them feel like they're really part of your association's community.
In your thank-you messages, be sure to:
Greet attendees with their first names: A personalized message is much more eye-catching and impactful than a generic note that begins with “Dear Member.” Plus, it can lead to higher open rates. In fact, one study found that personalizing your subject lines can increase open rates by 29.3%. Add members’ first names to your subject lines so they’re more likely to read your message and feel like they’re a valued part of your organization, rather than just another participant among hundreds or thousands.
Reference the event they attended: Include the specific name of your event in your message so attendees know what you’re thanking them for.
Share the top insights from your event: Remind your attendees of the key takeaways from your event that they can use to reach their individual goals. For example, if you recently hosted a skills-building conference, you might say “Dear Monica, Thank you for attending our Annual Skills Development Conference. We hope that you enjoyed our public speaking and technical writing workshops and will carry out the three C’s we went over: “Communicate Clearly, Concisely, and Confidently.”
Manually personalizing each of your attendee communications can eat up all of your time and cause you to delay getting your thank-you messages out quickly. Instead, leverage a text messaging platform with automation and personalization abilities so you can easily power off these messages in just moments and feel confident that attendees will see them. The right platform will also let you schedule these messages in advance to be sent mere minutes or hours after your event concludes.
Show your guests that you value their perspective by inviting them to fill out a post-event survey. Ask attendees to honestly share what they liked and disliked about your event. For instance, you might ask questions like:
On a scale of 1-10, how engaged did you feel during this event?
What was your favorite part of our event?
Do you have any suggestions to improve this event?
How likely are you to attend another event from our organization in the future?
Your members’ responses will point your association to ways you can increase your events’ impact in the future and boost your attendance numbers. After all, members are much more likely to attend events that align with their interests and actively take their feedback into consideration.
Once your survey is created, you’ll need a way to get it to your supporters. Easily send out this survey by text messaging your attendees a mobile-friendly link. This way, attendees can submit their responses at any time on the go. You can also email it to your event attendees so they have the option to complete it from their computers.
Post event highlights
Sharing event highlights on your marketing and communication platforms — like your text messaging campaign, social media, and email — allows attendees to remember the great time they had at your event while enticing members who weren’t in attendance to register for future events.
For example, you might share:
Photos of guests engaging in event activities, like listening to a speaker or networking with peers
Video clips of the top speeches from your event
Testimonials from guests in attendance
To gather testimonials, ask some of your loyal members who were in attendance to write a few sentences about what they took away from your event and how it’s helped them in their respective fields. This can be powerful social proof to inspire people to sign up for your next event or even apply to be a member if they aren’t already.
Offer additional ways to get involved
Events can often serve as a springboard for attendees to dive deeper into what your association can offer them. Point attendees to other ways they can continue to stay engaged in your association. For example, you might invite attendees to:
Register for upcoming events: On your website or through newsletters, highlight upcoming conferences, workshops, or networking events that would be of interest to your attendees. Include a link to your registration page so attendees can sign up with ease.
Sign up for your email newsletter or subscribe to your blog: Attendees can always stay tapped into your organization by keeping up with your email newsletter or industry insights blog. This is a great way to keep your association top of mind and help members derive as much value from your organization as possible.
Follow your social media accounts: Encourage attendees to follow your association on social media for real-time updates and the ability to connect with other members. For example, you might create a Facebook group where members can launch into thought-provoking discussions.
Explore opportunities that relate to their specific interests: Suggest opportunities that align with the purpose of your event since you know that attendees are already interested in this. For instance, let’s say you’re an association of medical professionals that recently hosted a networking event for new doctors to learn more about how to progress in their careers. You might direct them to an opportunity to join your mentorship program and receive invaluable advice from more veteran members of your association.
You can also ask attendees as part of your post-event feedback survey for ways they hope to get more involved in your association. Then, you can suggest opportunities based on these responses.
The post-event phase is a golden opportunity to convert attendees into loyal members. With the right post-event marketing and communication strategies, you can build stronger relationships with attendees and create a vibrant and growing member community. Make sure you’re working with the best tech to easily get in touch with attendees and keep them engaged well after your event ends.
And here’s what you can look forward to checking out at the conference:
(1)🎱 Keynotes on cutting-edge tech and industry trends
Hear directly from top insurance CEOs, regulators, and innovation visionaries on their strategic insights and vision for the insurance sector - these sessions are insightful, downright inspiring and extremely valuable. We’re looking forward to these fantastic keynotes this year:
Practical Optimism: Strategies for Thriving in a Changing World Presented by Gary Vaynerchuk, Chairman of VaynerX, the CEO of VaynerMedia Creator & CEO of VeeFriends
Thinking and Acting like a Digital Company: Building on 150 Years of Insurance Background Presented by Kevin Strain, President & CEO Sun Life President Rodney Zemmel, Global Leader of McKinsey Digital, McKinsey & Company
In the Hot Seat of an Insurtech CEO Presented by Angus McDonald, CEO & Co-Founder, Cover Genius Eduardo della Maggiora, CEO & Founder, Betterfly Gary Hoberman, CEO & Founder, Unqork Jacqueline LeSage, Managing General Partner, Munich Re Ventures Jennifer Fitzgerald, CEO & Co-Founder, PolicyGenius
(2)👂Intriguing panel discussions on all things insurance, from personalization to bitcoin
There’s a fantastic variety of panels you can attend at the conference based on your specific interests, goals and pain points. We’d love to attend all of them to be honest, but here’s the ones that we wouldn’t miss:
From Good to Great: The Power of Personalization and Leveraging Data to Improve Customer Experience Presented by Andrea Iorio, Columnist, MIT Technology Review Brasil Brent Williams, CEO, President & Founder, Benekiva Effi Fuks-Leichtag, CPO, NEXT Insurance Jackie Morales, SVP, COO, Security Benefit
Insurance: Mission Impossible or Time for a Rethink? Presented by Russell Higginbotham, CEO, Swiss Re Reinsurance Solutions
The Power of Emotions in Insurance Customer Experience: Creating Positive Memories and Loyalty Presented by Jamie Hale, CEO & Co-Founder, Ladder Life
How Insurance Can Help to Enhance Resilience Against Climate Change's Environmental Risks Presented by Daniel Price, Co-Founder, WeatherPromise Dave Mullen, VC, SVB Capital Raghuveer Vinukollu, Head of Climate Insights and Advisory, Munich Re Rema Matevosyan, CEO & Co-Founder, Near Space Labs
(3)🤖🧠 Interactive deep-dive workshops on AI and more
From exploring emerging technologies like AI to mastering the intricacies of regulatory compliance, learn how to apply cutting-edge knowledge to real-world challenges in the insurance sector. Here are a few intriguing workshops that caught our eye:
Generative AI: Bridging the Productivity Gap in Insurance Presented by Quantiphi Bhaskar Kalita, Global Head of FSI, Quantiphi Global Head of FSI Quantiphi Learn: how you can bring generative AI into your organization to solve transformational challenges and boost productivity, like for instance streamlining tasks like policy comparison, policy document generation.
Revolutionizing Underwriting: Cutting-edge Tools Enhance Risk Analysis and Pricing Strategies Presented by Moody's RMS Learn: about the next generation of underwriting tools for P&C (re)insurers and how they work by pulling in untapped data sources, correlating them across their business, and delivering key insights at the point of underwriting.
(4)🗣️🗣️🗣️Lots and lots of networking opportunities
You’ll have plenty of time and opportunity to meet businesses and professionals you’re interested in connecting with. There are booth/kiosks on the show floor, private meeting rooms adjacent to the show floor booths, a dedicated area on the show floor for international attendees as well as dedicated meeting tables on the show floor.
There are a series of networking meet-ups designed for key niche audiences throughout the day including a First time orientation, Black Founders reception, Women’s Leadership Forum and a Reverse Speed Mentoring session held by InsureTalent x RISE in which young professionals seize the reins and offer insights that challenge conventional wisdom.
And there’s an AI matchmaking tool available that will connect you with decision makers that matter the most to you.
(5) And there’s plenty of fun and entertainment too
It's not all business; there's lots of entertainment and socializing at the conference too! Enjoy social events, receptions, and after-hours gatherings where you can relax and unwind while building connections. Do not miss:
Puppy Lounges - Stop by the ITC puppy lounges to spend time with adorable rescue puppies. Need we say more.
Relaxation Stations - Enjoy a mini massage from a trained masseuse to help you recharge
Champagne Wall - Stop by their champagne wall and grab a flute to toast your success at ITC Vegas
Happy Hour - Drinks and conversations almost every day, whether the kick-off reception or closing party
Insuretech Connect this year promises to be a captivating event where you’ll probably be witnessing the future of insurance unfold in real-time. You’ll also get plenty of opportunity to network with tech and insurance enthusiasts as well as industry leaders. Win-win-win.
Every year, Zylo, the leader in SaaS management hosts SaaSMe, a multi-day conference dedicated to assisting IT and business leaders drive responsible growth through smarter SaaS management.
Day 1 of the conference is open to all who want to learn more about optimizing their SaaS portfolio, while Day 2 is dedicated to helping current customers dive deeper into deriving even more value from Zylo. Here's how Zylo delivered value to SaaSMe 2023 attendees and built relationships that turned into 46% growth in pipeline within just 2 months after the conference.
Here are 3 things that Zylo did which led to incredible growth in pipeline:
1. Smart conference session-scoring let Zylo identify a prospect or customer's specific pain points or interests
Despite having over 1000 registrations at SaaSMe, Zylo effectively understood the pain points and goals of each attendee by employing event engagement scoring.
They achieved this by first intelligently aligning session scoring with Zylo's value pillars.
Then Zylo analyzed each prospect’s attendance at sessions and engagement activity within each session.
This made it simple to see which were the prospect’s primary interests or concerns in SaaS management - for instance security, or licensing.
2. Layering event + account data gave Sales the power to highly personalize post -conference engagement
By leveraging Zuddl’s Salesforce integration, Zylo’s Sales team had easy access to information on the sessions that prospects and customers were most interested in at SaaSMe 2023 and questions or concerns on their mind. This insight, combined with existing account data, enabled them to reach out with personalized messages and content aligned with a prospect's interests—such as security for those engaged in SaaS security sessions.
Furthermore, Zylo also ensured that the right seller connected with the right prospect. For instance, because Day 2 of SaaSMe was customer-centric, only customer success executives were assigned follow-up with customers. Here too, because of the Salesforce integration, CS executives had more insight into a customer’s goals and challenges and could recommend additional Zylo service offerings.
3. Made conference video recordings super-fast so that Sales could use them in outreach
Team Zylo, using Zuddl's built-in video production tool - Studio, were able to create SaaSMe 2023 branded video highlights within days after the conference. This meant that their Sales team could use the videos in their outreach to prospects and customers - a simple but impactful way to continue the momentum of the conference forward, cement Zylo as a partner invested in optimizing your SaaS management, and move the needle a little further towards conversion.
When the name of the game is building authentic connections and tailored solutions, Zylo's success stands as a testament to the power of meaningful engagement. Through their effective use of Zuddl’s platform features and integrations, Zylo turned their industry conference into an impressive pipeline engine for the company.
Another season becomes another reason to celebrate!
We’re super kicked to share that Zuddl has bagged 98 badges in G2’s Fall report across 8 categories. Back in summer. we secured 65+ badges, and now there's 33 more badges - which means 33 more reasons to smile :)
Here are the key highlights from our wins as per the G2 Grid® Report for Fall 2023:
Our G2 report rankings are derived from genuine feedback given by actual users of Zuddl. As Sara Rossio, the Chief Product Officer at G2, points out, these insights are invaluable for potential buyers. They can confidently rely on this information during their software selection process, knowing it stems from thoroughly checked and genuine reviews.