Last Updated on October 7, 2021
Lead generation is the bread and butter of inbound marketing, and the core means by which B2B organizations generate revenue. It’s all about capturing the information of people interested in a company’s products or services, about driving interest in a particular business or brand. It’s also very closely related to event management – though many people don’t fully realize how closely.
“Events such as user conferences, seminars, tradeshows, and road shows offer opportunities for organizations to capture deep and meaningful information about prospects in a short period of time.” explains Certain’s Michelle Schofield, “Beyond simply knowing a prospect has attended the event, organizations can enhance demographic information for their leads, measure engagement, and capture individual interests.”
Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? One can’t help but wonder why every inbound marketing firm doesn’t run as many events as they can. After all, they’re one of the best ways to generate leads for a business, right?
Yes and no.
It’s not really enough to simply run an event and leave it at that, continues Schofield. While you certainly could simply gather information on leads though your event’s registration forms, that’s actually the bare minimum of what events can do for lead generation. Perhaps I should explain a bit further.
Event Management, Marketing, And Automation
According to Schofield, it’s through the use of automation technology that we see the true capacity of an event to gather leads. She identifies three key areas event management professionals and B2B businesses need to focus on. The first of these is profile data.
That’s basically exactly what it sounds like – demographic information on attendees including industry, position, name, email, phone, address, company size, revenue, location…you get the picture.
The second area is called Interest Data. This is information collected based on the habits and activities of attendees both at an event and in the time leading up to the event. This includes sessions registered for/attended, appointments requested, received, and completed, pages visited, and ratings. Interest data basically shows what a guest’s areas of interest happen to be – what products/services does their company seem most keen on utilizing?
Finally, there’s Engagement data – how active they are. This includes mobile application usage, social shares/social activity, appointments self-scheduled…you get the idea. Engagement can show how likely a lead is to translate into a sales prospect, but it shouldn’t be examined in a vacuum.
In order to connect these three areas into one lead generation initiative, a brand needs to implement a unified event platform which combines analytics, event management, and marketing automation. This platform needs to tap into the digital information trail left by attendees during, before, and after the event – and that information needs to be used when the company follows up after the event. Miss even one step in the process, and it sort of all falls apart.
Follow through, however, and you’ll generate more than leads – you’ll generate customers and brand advocates.
It seems only natural that event management and lead generation should be at least marginally connected to one another. After all, simply by setting up an event registration page, you’ve an opportunity to collect new leads. What a lot of people don’t realize is how deeply the two can be integrated with one another – and how, in the right hands, an event can be one of the most powerful lead-generating tools in an inbound marketer’s arsenal.
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