The Future Trends of B2B Events in 2023

In this exciting episode of Backstage with Zuddl, Bharath Varma (CEO & Co-Founder of Zuddl) and Ketan Pandit (Head of Marketing at Zuddl) break down and discuss the findings of our latest trends report- The Future of B2B Events in 2023.They look back at 2022 and pick out points that will definitely benefit B2B marketers across industries, for a fresh new year. Our trends report has been specially curated with the answers collected from over 100 B2B marketers- so you know it's on point!From cost and budgeting to event tech stacks, this episode has got it ALL covered. Don't miss this one, you'll love it.

Episode Highlights

What's the #1 priority for marketers in 2023?
How many tools are used to run a smooth event?
Tactical tips to get you started


Welcome to backstage with Zuddl. I'm your new host Shreya from Zuddl’s marketing team, we'll be sharing eventful insights and stories about the exciting world of events from various industry leaders. Wrapping up 2022 am I the only one who felt like the year flew by? Well, that's the standard dialogue that comes around during the end of each year. 2022 came with its own sets of twists, turns, ups and downs within the b2b world. To learn from the past, and to move forward into the new year, we've created a Trends report- The Future of b2b events in 2023. I'm thrilled to have some Zuddls very own on the 11th episode of our podcast, Bharath Varma CEO and co founder of Zuddl and Ketan Pandit our head of marketing. Join them on this special episode as they discuss these findings and share their views on how 2023 can be a smooth one for b2b marketers.

Ketan Pandit- 

all right awesome let's let's just dive

in hi Bharat 2022 has been a very very interesting year for us and the events industry as

such we saw massive uh you know in-person events making a comeback you

had dream Force you had saster annual HubSpot IMAX AWS reinvent right and you

you were at some of these events um what were your observations how was it like going back to these large events

from pre-pandemic to now yeah it's I'd say it's been a pretty interesting year for sure uh the year it started off with

a lot of virtual events and the air ended with like probably the most number of in-person events that have happened

over the last three years right so yeah it's been really an interesting year for sure uh and I have attended a lot of

in-person events I'd say over the last five six months uh a lot more than I've

mentioned it probably accumulated over the last three years right I think that's the case with uh most of the people

I think just a couple of interesting observations from like from the events that I went to right like I went to the

SAS strenu uh the dream force uh IMAX uh

uh and also the Amazon re invent right so yeah so it's been uh a couple of

interesting things one is yeah I think some of these large-scale events have been able to get pretty good

attendance terminals right like I'd say it was probably uh if not at part with

the 2019 levels I'd say it was like very close to those numbers

but on the other side like the smaller conferences right the conferences that

we're attracting anywhere between say 500 to 1500 in these so he would drop

off in the number of attendees right like some conferences that I've been to uh and a lot of even marketers that I

was talking to some of them were also like existing customers Observer right like when they participated in other

conferences uh with votes they've seen attendance dropper as f d turnouts which

are probably 50 percent of the 2019 numbers so that's just a really interesting Trend right wherein the big

events continue to be able to attract audience while as some of the smaller

conferences are finding it harder to do that but yeah talking about in person uh I

think just the energy that you would have in an impersonal uh event is is always great right the fact that you can

just go meet people probably people you you haven't met in a long time and also

it's just an opportunity to meet a lot of people it's it's also it's just like so many people come to the event itself

right so it's just so much easier to meet people that you already know of yeah and I think uh because of the

pandemic there has been a lot of pent-up demand also in folks to go and meet other people attend these large-scale

events live stay in a hotel do a three-day conference kind of a thing yeah for sure and also see one

interesting thing uh that just occurred to me when I was going to all these conferences is like a lot of people talk

about networking in this in-person events but what was interesting to see is yeah of course you meet new people

that you've never met and you make new connections and things like that but I think it's more so just meeting

the people that you know already like probably you were just talking to them on LinkedIn probably you're just like it

was some interaction on like on a social media platform right like you never met

them but like you know of them you you talked a couple of times I think you just end up meeting a lot

more of those people so it's not necessarily just like for meeting new people right it's also just

meeting the people that you know of in some form or fashion but like and you just want to kind of meet them in person

to establish that relationship yeah you're just putting a you know face to a

name and you know just adds that bit of authenticity right yeah for sure yeah yeah absolutely so we've been speaking

to a bunch of marketers about 100 or so over the past couple of months right just to get a sense of how 2020 was for

them what they're looking at uh while going in 2023 right uh and when we ask

them to tell us what kind of were the key patterns that um they were seeing in 2022 I mean a lot of thing common things

emerge right one of which was that an overwhelming majority of beta marketers were saying that uh either pipeline or

revenue is the North Star metric for uh them now right so events are no longer

good to do just for brand but there has to be an Roi tie to it what what are you

hearing when you speak to you know customers and Prospects yeah 100 right uh I think

I think that's true for every channel right now I think that's the true for every dollar that you spend like there

has to be an Roi attached to the spend right but I think it's been a transition that's been happening I'd say for the

last like probably 10 years like 10 years ago I'd say a lot of companies that were spending money on events uh I

wouldn't say that they never cared about Roi but I don't think that that was the primary uh that was the primary metric

that people were looking at right like I wouldn't say the primary metric was like generating revenue or creating pipeline

of course that was always a part of it but a lot of it was also a brand like just

brand awareness right but I think now yeah just thinking of it as a brand awareness activity doesn't hurt anymore

like it has to has to result in Pipeline and drive Revenue at the end of the day

right so yeah I think that's just like how it

became for every channel and every dollar that you spend and I guess image is no different right and because events are also very

very expensive right yeah for sure like yeah like if you were

to do like yeah a user conference which is a in-person event uh like forget

about like a hundred thousand ten thousand dollar people even or twenty thousand dollar people even right a

thousand people like you'd probably be spending like yeah at least like 300 to 500 000 yeah which which is a lot of

money right so you'll have to yeah yeah sorry the other thing that came out of

this uh survey was that you know a lot of B2B marketers said that uh driving demand now has become more difficult

than before right um and uh for the same amount of effort they're getting a lesser attend

registered to attendee turnout right and this is an overwhelming like 60 or more

folks mentioned this as a key pattern or concern that emerged in 2022

um what are your thoughts on that why do you think that's happening yeah I'd say one big aspect is just uh

is just the whole hybrid work environment like it's all like a lot of people working from office and not

necessarily going to their offices and I think there's just a lot of inertia because of work from home right

like I think it's just so much more easier to get people who are dressed up and who are already

in their office to go to an event then to get them to move from their house

right so you're essentially not just competing with other events you're also

competing with like Netflix you're competing with all the podcasts that are out there and what

is that now there's also an added element of your competing with the time with one who gets to spend with their

family it's an interesting Dynamic right like if you're going to step out of your house at like five o'clock in the

evening for a networking dinner is just a lot more harder to do and if

you probably have like your kids at home and your family at home and yeah it's just a lot harder to leave your house

than to go from office and that's really interesting learning right like when I talk to B2B marketers that's like one

common Trend that I have seen when they're just finding it super hard to get people to move from their houses to

the networking business and people have tried like all sorts of things right like even like things like giving a shopper like

literally sending a car to their house to make it easier for them and even then it's super hard to get them out right

like to get them on a car and forget them to like spend 20 30 minutes traveling one way

I I say that that is a huge uh that's definitely one uh

something that changed over the last like 24 months I think other than that it's just like

the sheer number of events that are happening right like events is a very important channel for a lot of companies

out there and a lot of people out there are doing webinars and field events and user

conferences and so there's just so much supply of of

events and content and Netflix and yeah just like I guess like an overload of

and you just I guess file for options that's right no I mean we do a lot of

events right and we're seeing that that it's becoming it's becoming increasingly more difficult to get people to register

or attend right so I think everybody is in a similar boat but what do you think

um folks can do to improve this attendee registration to attendee turnout or just

basically get people to their events yeah I think one I'd say the biggest

piece is definitely really having a great understanding of your audience and

really understanding what is it they care about right like understanding what is that they want to learn like how can

you add value to them I think now like you really really have to add value to

them right like I think you just cannot like be preaching and like talking about like some Concepts that are not that

doesn't help me like in my day-to-day job right so I think if you create content that is helpful when I say

helpful something that can help me do my job better tomorrow and today something I can apply in my day-to-day

work I think people like people it's a lot of people don't watch content right like people watch a lot more content

than they watch five years ago there are a lot of events that are happening that's true but also people spend a lot

more time consuming content than they've ever done before so I think it's just like the key is to kind of make it

really really valuable for them and uh and also I think it's also about

under having a deep understanding of the the Persona that you're targeting

right like what their preferences are and support meeting them where they are and not expecting them to come to where

you are so what I mean by that is like I've seen a couple of interesting things a couple of interesting events right uh

if I would if I were to just give an example I think Mutiny did a great job with and even that they've done with

saster so a lot of people do like uh networking dinners after the conference

and even for those it's just really really hard to generate Demand right because a lot of people are doing it

like it's something that like probably five 10 15 companies are doing so even there you're kind of spoiled for choice

so interesting thing that Mutiny did was they had like a workshop with 200 CMOS

so it was just not like a networking dinner it was like literally a workshop wherein

they were like like there was like some CMOS talking about

specific challenges that they've been able to solve so again it's about like really trying to kind of

help people right like give them content or talk about things that people want to

hear something that can help people so like not just a networking dinner like it's beyond that right it's about how do

you add value so that was a really interesting thing they got about yeah 200 CMOS in one room got them talk about

like discuss different ideas talk about what they're doing differently the challenges that they've seen uh followed

by a network or dinner which which is interesting right so I think yeah it's just about not doing something because you've been

doing that for the last five ten years but yeah it really needs to come from what your audience care about uh and

really understanding it deeply and and designing your even program around that yeah so talking about uh removing

friction points right one of the things that also came out was that um a lot of

these event marketers they're using multiple tools to run a simple event right so even to run a simple event like

a webinar they probably dabbled with four to six different tools right which kind of uh sounds easy but is not when

you look at the you know the workflows that need to be created the the different points that data touches the

and when you look at the veracity of the data or the sanctity of the data it's all over the place right so that was one

more thing that came out in 2022 when people were the B2B marketers were really really tired with the managing

all of this right so I where do you think of a an inherent Gap in the event Tech

space yeah I I would think so I think it's

also the larger theme of SAS companies like over the last 10

years I think a lot of focus of a lot of tech companies at large has been about solving

well mostly Point solution trade which means which means that you pick like one problem and really try to solve that

well and solve it uh for all sorts of different use cases but like solve one

problem and I think that's all that's what happened when it comes to even the

even technology right but see the interesting part about even Technologies is it's just not even technology so if

you're talking about like four or five different tools that are being used for webinars you're talking about like an email marketing tool which is a software

which is a different tool right you're talking about like creation of the event site or the event landing page itself

and then the whole registration forms attached to it and then the webinar platform so I think it comes from

the fact that it all this is not really even technology as such you're just like getting together like a bunch of tools

and trying to kind of patch them together to get your event program to work right and a lot of these formats

are like I'd say like fairly new right like obviously industry events exploded over the last like one two years before

that it wasn't like a big thing so I'd say it's still in a pretty nonsense stage so I think yeah a lot of

what's happening so far is like you're just like using a bunch of tools that existed before that's not really even

Tech and you're trying to kind of make it work and when I talk about events like no event is really simple right

like you know how it works you've been doing it for some time it looks like a simple event for the audience but it's

never simple for the person who is doing it yeah that's right there's just a lot of challenges that we talked about right

like even driving demand is just becoming such a big problem and usually even teams are like pretty lean teams

so yeah I and you'd want to make sure that the event marketers really get to

spend time on understanding Their audience better and thinking through what they need to do differently to add

value to them right which means that yeah there's definitely a need for I I can totally see why people are

frustrated having to use so many tools and manual processes that come with it and yeah the amount of time you need to

spend yeah you know I can't help but compare this to the the time between 1970s and

mid 1990s when a lot of I.T systems were built like patchworks right so you had a

Mainframe and then you had some Legacy CRM and then you had some ldps and then

SAS happened and all of them kind of got uh washed out right so I think this is a

similar pivotal point for event Tech where uh you know the way forward is simplification

yeah for sure yeah awesome so I mean 2020 is almost over we've got one more

week before it called the curtains on this year going into 2023 there are certain trends that have been forecasted

right by B2B marketers let's look at some of them right one of the first one that um these uh B2B marketers mentioned

was that they're looking at a hybrid event strategy right um now hybrid the word has been thrown

around a lot um but I don't think it's fully understood in the context of an event mix right so what do you think uh how

should event marketers look at an event a hybrid event mix

yeah so I think first it's important to Define what hybrid means and what we're talking about because like you said that

that word doesn't really have like a single definition right like everyone uses that word hybrid in a very

different way and I'd say for most people hybrid really means like live streaming an in-person event to a

virtual platform right like that's what hybrid means uh but yeah for a lot of people uh

hybrid doesn't as in that definition of hybrid doesn't really seem to work because there's no engagement right it's

pretty much like a live stream and to a virtual attendee it pretty much looks like a pre-recorded video like they

can't really engage with the speaker they can't really ask questions then they don't feel that they're a part of

the event which is very very important right like I'd say that that is one of the biggest differences between

attending an event and watching a video on YouTube which is the fact that you

can interact with content there you can ask a question and get a response right like you're a part of something that is

that is happening in life yeah so yeah so if you're taking the definition of

hybrid to be live interaction uh an engagement that is happening between what's latinities and a combination of

in-person speakers virtual speakers impersonating these virtual attendees that's definitely going to be a huge

option that itself is a huge opportunity right like to have like more reach as a

company but I think what is more interesting is this going to be the hybrid evening strategy and by a hybrid

even strategy what I mean is and even strategy that comprises of a combination of some in-person events

some hybrid events wherein is some engagement and interaction between virtual and in-person attendees yeah and

some completely virtual events and webinars right so what you yeah what

companies would really at least I believe would really get into is a format wherein you're using different

formats of these events based on the goals of based on the goals that you

have right right you can be doing events to create top of the funnel you can be doing events to move to move prospects

along your sales cycle in the funnel right like once they're already an opportunity uh in the sales cycle and

you also be and you're also doing events to retain customers like to provide more

value to them to train them uh customer advisory boards and so on and

so forth right so yeah I I'd say that really based on like I don't think that

companies should decide that oh I'm going to do this format of events like the goals of the event should like

determine what format works the best and again about keeping your

your your your personas or the like the customers you really care about at the center of all

of this right like where do they prefer to consume content like where do they like what do they prefer and I think

that dictate what your even format should be right and it's not a very complex decision it's just that it needs

to be done there are multiple variables that impact the decision of the format that you choose but it is it isn't it is

an important uh aspect of event planning yeah for sure I and there's just a lot

of things right like I guess there's no real like there's no right answer to what like what should be the right mix

of events like it all depends on like I said right like again just to give an

example like say for example if you're targeting a set if you're targeting SMB as a segment wherein your acvs are blow

up which means your cat needs to be low which means you need to be able to reach out to a lot more audience yeah to

create top of the funnel you cannot possibly be just doing in-person events right it's just not possible virtual has

to be a huge part of it because you like if your acvs are like thousand to three

thousand two thousand dollars you cannot afford to have in-person events for for the Target segment right like it has to

be has to be version now on the other end say if you're a company that is only only focusing on Enterprise

like probably you can get away with not having a webinar series you can get away with not having to do virtual events

right like you're probably targeting cxos and you could probably do with like just doing networking dinners you like

you can really decide the format of the event based on your target segment right but say if you're a company that is

focusing which is usually what happens after you cross a certain certain Revenue threshold right like companies

start off focusing on SMB probably to start focusing on one of the segments but usually you kind of if you start

with Enterprise you go the SMB route or the mid Market to SMB route or at least you tend towards that and the same if

like you can start off focusing on SMB and then you kind of tend towards with marketing Enterprise at some point in

your uh in your life cycle as a company right but yeah if you're someone who is focusing on these three different

segments then again initially a combination right like for your Enterprise segment it probably do events

which are more in-person but for SMB and big Market you'd have to do version right so I think they did a lot of yeah

uh a lot of things that that really like

what should the right mix of events be yeah and with all the talk around the recession and uh you know the the

economy being in a tailspin around the you know beginning of this year uh beginning of the next year costs are

definitely in Focus right and you know martech tools are very expensive every time you sign an approval you you see that it's not a couple of hundred

dollars only right it runs into thousands of dollars uh so the other thing that a lot of B2B marketers were

talking about was unifying the tech stack right uh and not just so that they

can work better um across the life cycle of the event but also to help them manage cost manage

workflows manage teams right um large organizations have smaller

field marketing teams across regions um young startups or smbs have smaller

teams with you know one or two people who are supposed to who tasked with managing the entire event life cycle

right so that was one of the trends that came forth the very um very boredly

um what are you when you speak to prospects and customers and partners what are you hearing about this

yeah budget is definitely probably is like one of the biggest things that people care about right

because again like every dollar that you spend needs to have an Roi yeah so I'd say it

right now like the challenge that a lot of even marketers faces because you're

using like different point Solutions people end up using a different solution for a webinar people end up using a

different solution for for creating landing pages for a field event right or

field events using a different solution for user conferences and then there's just the email

marketing tools and this is so much that is going on one is if you think about it like one is

just the cost of all these individual Solutions ah which is obviously pretty high but I'd say the bigger impact is

just the cost of maintaining all of this yeah and just the cost of

like integrating all the solutions and making sure that they're working together right and just the amount of

time and effort that event teams have to spend on these manual workflows

I think it's just killing people right now because see the thing is like one thing

we need to keep in mind is the world is changing at a very very rapid pace and events right like events

are changing so much like they've just changed so much over the last 24 months right like what works today is probably

not going to work next quarter like the base of change has been incredible so I think

people already have like even marketers already have enough on their plates in terms of really understanding their

personal understanding what is working what is not working and that's where you want to be spending your time not on

getting the basics to work yeah that's true and um one so the problem with

multiple tools is also the data silos that it creates right uh and this was

another issue that came up when we were talking to these people right attendee insights is is something that will

become very critical uh in 2023 right people attend multiple events based on

their preferences or what is or relevance to them but there is no way to kind of keep track of an attendee

profile across multiple events or webinars or formats and things like that so that is going to be crucial right

what do you think where do you think that is headache yeah I think with the whole information

overload and like that is happening right now I think personalization is

going to be one of the biggest themes going forward right I think like even me

like when I attend a lot of these events are registered for a lot of events I just get like one generic thank you

email right like I get a lot of emails which says thank you for attending when

I'm not even attended the event and I get a lot of emails that say oh thank you for like we've missed you at the

event when I've actually I didn't leave it yeah right so and to me as a like as

a prospect for them like potentially no it's just like a very bad experience

right like like I've yeah I've definitely had instances wherein

I definitely like at the back of my head would not have a great opinion of the

company that has done that mistake right but me being in this space I just

understand how hard is it for them to personalize that scale like it's very very hard right because it's just so

many manual processes you're using two three different tools you're downloading CSS from one place uploading it

somewhere else yeah all of it it's just so easy to make these mistakes yeah

right so yeah being from the space I understand how hard it is for people but again

being an attendee at some of these events you understand the expectations that an activity has like people don't

care that it is hard for you to do it right like that's just become the expectation right right so yeah I think

like yeah marketers definitely need to find figure out a better way to kind of

personalize its scale and also it's you you can get some incredible information right like from simple things like polls

that you do right if you're able to pick some intent signals from the poles

and if you're able to have like a sequence that is based on a certain response to a port for example right

again it's a simple thing but as an attendee I would be impressed if

if I get a sequence or if I get some information based on what I care about based on the session that I watch based

on like where I probably responded with some emojis in a particular place like

when you're talking about a particular topic right like if you send me say relevant I don't know like let it be

like a blog post on on the post like on the section

of the session that I'm watching that I liked right like I'd be far more impressed than just getting like one

generic thank you male which says thank you for attending or sorry we missed you and the two like

yeah sending it thank you for attending when I have fought

yeah yeah true uh I mean yeah it all boils down to the overall experience right at the end of the day the attendee

doesn't really care how much hard work goes but uh from where we sit you know it whatever we can do to make the event

marketers life easy we should right and uh I think breaking down silos it starts

with just that right awesome so I mean we have a lot more of these uh you know Trends in our in our

latest report and you know the audience can actually download it from uh the download button right up in the screen

um what I would like to do now is ask you some questions that have been top of mind for a lot of uh event marketers

going into the next year right but one of the biggest question was that um how are event marketers thinking about uh

the spend versus the tech that they need right uh what what do you think are going to be the key uh you know things

to focus on there yeah so I think it's

I think the right question to ask is like if your butt so I guess it's about

like it really depends on the state of the company you're at right like the companies that are out there wherein

they're using like four or five different tools right like one for webinars one for user conferences yeah

one for field events and so on and so forth so I guess it's about

if you're able to consolidate those tools and like buy one solution

how much are you gonna save I guess it's beyond how much You're Gonna Save in terms of just the dollar

amount it's also more in terms of how much time you're going to save right that's going to allow you to

yeah like just plan better even programs right like make it more personalized

understand your customers or your audience better and spend more time

designing your agendas better spend more time curating your speakers better things like that right so yeah

I guess is when you're talking about spend it's just not the dollar spend on the tools but also this amount of time

that you're spending which is which is the time which is also equal to the time that you're not spending on some of this

in like important aspects to drive Demand right because driving demand is is a lot Beyond Tech

so yeah I guess it really depends on uh stage of company that you're at like

this of some larger companies that are using four or five different tools for different use cases

for them it's about yeah for them it's about the ability to consolidate tools

and therefore that it takes to consolidate a tool right because if you're moving from four to different tools to one tool obviously it does take

some time for you to kind of get used to but it also provides you an opportunity to kind of

yeah have all your data in one place automate a bunch of workflows that are managed right now

and then yeah you'd get the benefits of it Downstream okay awesome

um the other question that is top of mind is um with all the uncertainty around right how does one pivot quickly

from an in-person event to a digital event or vice versa

yeah uh I'd say it's I think the number one rule for events is have a plan B

like it doesn't matter if you're doing an in-person event or a digital event or like whatever you're even here doing you

definitely need to have a plan B right like and plan C sometimes yeah I think a lot of times because things do go wrong

in events and they go wrong A lot of times a lot more than you would want to end a lot more than than you anticipate

and I think all of us have learned that over the last 24 months right like with codeword and again it's just not covered

right it's just see any any macroeconomic factor that happens like the first things that get impacted

is like easy events so I think it's it's always always important to have like a

plan B and just have like say if you're doing an in-person event and if you expect it

to be completely in person and there's no need for it to be virtual it's always

good to have think about like what is the situation changes yeah like have like I'm not saying you should just go

and buy a platform and all of that but you should always think say that oh if it happens like this is what I'm going

to do yeah and I'd say the second piece is I think it's very important for you to

take calls faster sooner than later right like if you think that the circumstances are going to change like

if you are planning to do a virtual event and if you want to do in-person event based on certain factors

you might want to start planning for it and just do it in person right and not

really expect certain macro situations that you're expecting whatever right like just don't

wait for those to happen for you to change the audition and then take a different

route because then it just becomes harder then you'd not do what needs to be done for to make it a successful

event right so I guess this take calls faster right and you know the sooner you

let your attendees registration speakers sponsors know the faster you can turn it around because you know everybody

understands and it's not like these kind of things have not happened they've happened in the recent past yeah

um okay awesome um so yeah let's look at some audience questions now

um let me quickly scroll so this okay so there is

um a question from Joseph now um he's asking once people register the

to the register for the event right how do you ensure a higher attendee turnout and I think this is um in line with the

the questions that we've been uh you know the point that we've been talking about uh that uh you know attendance

getting people and driving demand your events is becoming more and more difficult so what

are the some of these quick things that folks can do to ensure a higher attendee turnout

the first uh the first thing is send calendar invites uh

as in the reason I say that is that's something that we've as a feature implemented on Saturday like six months

ago yeah and that has seen a huge huge Improvement in that indeed turnouts right like we've seen an increase in the

attendee turn off turnout from anywhere between like 30 percent to 60 percent

which is huge I'm not saying that that is only because of sending invites but

that's a huge part of it now I know that everyone has an ad to Canada button but less than fifteen one fifteen percent of

the people actually ever added to their calendars right so it's very very important that you send calendar blocks

so that it's on the calendar right so that people don't have to it's just super super easy to forget yeah and the

second one is again really a really small thing that we've seen that five minute like when

you're sending the reminder emails sending a five minute like sending a reminder before five minutes

is a lot more effective than sending a reminder one hour before the evening oh yeah right like it's something very

simple something you'd not expect but it it's it made a huge difference right

I guess like now looking at the data if you think back it does kind of make

sense because I guess it's more like when you think that oh I have an R to go and it's a virtual event especially I'll

be like oh I'll start doing something right like because it's hard to go and then you're on some call or you're

doing something and you completely forget about it yeah because it's only on your calendar right like most of the times it's you're just thinking that oh

I'll just go attend it in an hour from now and and just people miss it so yeah I think those two things

definitely make a difference but apart from that it's also getting speaker shout outs right like if you can

get make a quick video to talk about what is it attendees are going to learn

if they like what are the takeaways going to be before they even attend the event right later you can summarize that

okay these are the things that we're going to talk about and this is what you're going to learn and just make that as concise as possible and as yeah

really basically make it about the audience and what they're going to learn from it of course ties back to what you

said about the the power of a strong agenda and content right yeah awesome

um another question that we have is from uh Gillard apologies if I'm mispronouncing your name

um but the question is around hybrid Tech um will hybrid tag be simplified to

currently the techno house seems to be a blocker for marketers to run events in that format so I think this is more to

do with the for hybrid format rather than the hybrid mix of an event strategy

yeah I yeah I think city has come a long long way in the last couple of years to

solve for events right like or especially hybrid Tech I I think the biggest challenge that

people like that organizers were facing to to host these hybrid events is one is

there's just not like a lot of people don't understand what hybrid is right so I guess there's a problem with the

expertise itself uh that is required to run hybrid events again it's an expertise that the whole ecosystem needs

to have right like not just the person who is conceptualizing it but also the teams that are executing on which

includes the the production agencies the a b companies the even planners and so on and so forth yeah I think people are

really learning and learning fast right and also it's the even Tech now say if

you're talking about a hybrid event wherein you expect there to be interaction between virtual attendees

anniversely Hindi being able to come on screen on a LED wall of an in-person

event and have a conversation with the speaker or ask a question now that was very very hard to execute

when I say hard it's just like a complex process again you're patching together a bunch of tools and it's just very very

expensive right but I think there's just been a huge Improvement uh in tools to

make that happen now say with Charter like we have a hybrid studio right now if you were to have like 20 speakers or

20 attendees having these conversations with in-person attendees of speakers

I'd say before like even even with even with customers using satellite say six

months ago or a year ago didn't they we needed to have like a elaborate setup with like

having as many laptops as the number of attendees having conversations real time

right which meant that if you wanted 16 people talking at once you literally

needed to take 16 different laptops different 16 different sound cards so it's just a super elaborate process

which when did you spend a lot of money and then at that point it's just not worth it to do it like that right but

now like you're able to like literally do it with one laptop for example right which means that hybrid is becoming a

lot more accessible to execute yeah so yeah I guess and it's just going to kind of improve from here on right wherein

it's just going to become a lot more affordable a lot more easier to execute because it's just not about money right

it's also about the complexity and and see the thing is with the events you want to be safe like that it's more it's

more important to be safe than be Innovative when it comes to events right because you don't want something to fail

in the middle of an event that's right reliability is going to play a huge huge part like I'd say the Great Piece about

tech and not having to patch like you know like 15 different laptops

together is the chance of failure reduces significantly which means a lot more people would be

willing to try it out right so we all have horror stories from events

right stories that make our uh blood run cold even today yeah yeah

awesome awesome I have uh I think one more question that we can take uh we

have that much time left um so this is more around post event about marketing and sales collaboration

right at the end of an event you typically see that uh and this is a lot from personal experience also marketing

is telling sales that you're not following properly and sales is selling marketing that your leads are bad right uh I I think this comes again from the

problem of not having a common dashboard or data or data residing in silos right

uh what can event marketers do to make a better marketing and sales collaboration

so that it's a win-win for both yeah I think this is like one of the most common uh pain points that we hear

from a lot of even marketers right like yeah I've heard this a lot of lot of

times I think I'd say like the simplest way to do it

would be like with the tool like I think this one is like it's just a huge Focus

for us at Dragon right like making that whole collaboration between sales and

marketing uh a lot more automated than it is today

right I think a simple answer is they need to be a tool because that's the

only way you can for you to automate that right like otherwise right now

it's just like a super manual process which means that you're sharing like Excel sheets with sales teams uh

you're trying to compare a registration like download a CSV of registrations compare that with oh go out of these

registrations are prospects in my sales force right like that so I think right now a lot of

people's process is very very manual to be honest like I just don't see uh

yeah at least to kind of make like to make it scalable and to make it simple like I just can't think of a better way

than to use a tool to uh to make that happen yeah yeah and you

know I I think what has worked for us is that that to get sales involved early on

in the whole process work with them give them UTM links uh so that they can go

invite Prospect gamified the whole thing have leaderboards where you can actually track how many leads or registration

sales is getting you know give them insights into the event as it progresses

in real time so they always have context of uh you know who's coming who's

attending who registered who did not attend and things like that I I think it just makes a huge amount of difference

like you said right use a tool to get it done because manage this on an Excel or

a Google sheet is not impossible right yeah yeah yeah awesome I think we're a

little over time but uh thank you thank you so much for joining in thank you for your time Bharat uh before we go

reminder if you like more insights on uh what's happening in the B2B event space in 2023 download that report it's a

completely free of charge and it's a gorgeous looking report um we wish you a very very happy holiday

and see you when you're back have a good day everyone

Shreya- And that’s a wrap! I for sure have learnt a ton from this episode of Backstage with Zuddl. If you like what you’ve heard, don’t forget to check out all of our other episodes with special guests on Spotify, Google, Apple Music and other platforms. And, head to our trends report to see the inside scoop in detail. With that, I’m signing off.

Meet the guest

Bharath Varma

CEO & Co-founder, Zuddl

Bharath founded Phoenix Live, a premier event management agency in 2015 which has hosted more than 300 conferences for multinational companies like Microsoft, Google, and Deloitte. Bharath grew Phoenix Live to a team of over 60 people with offices in 4 different cities.

Ketan Pandit, Head of Marketing, Zuddl
Meet the guest

Ketan Pandit

VP Marketing, Zuddl

A seasoned B2B marketer with expertise in building scalable demand generation engines and partnership ecosystems. Prior to heading marketing at Zuddl, Ketan has helped build the partnerships ecosystem, and led demand generation at CleverTap, built the marketing team at Aureus Analytics, and worked at consulting giants Cognizant, Persistent Systems and TCS.

Meet the guest

hosted by

Kishore CS

Content Lead, Zuddl

Kishore leads Zuddl’s content marketing efforts. With over a decade of experience in the content field, Kishore’s experience ranges from content writing and editing to strategy and analytics for B2B and B2C companies.

Kishore CS, Content Lead, Zuddl
hosted by

Shreya Sanjay

Content and Social Media, Zuddl

Shreya runs Zuddl's social media, from creating content all the way to sending out quirky replies! A young mind, filled with creativity and enthusiasm to share ideas in multiple ways. Shreya's previously worked in films and digital media.