How B2B Event Strategy Can Help Reinforce Your Brand

It’s no secret that the event industry has changed a lot over the last few years. As travel incentives have become more commonplace in B2B industries, guests are beginning to expect more out of the trips, meaning event strategy is more important than ever. Long gone are the days when simply going somewhere was enough – incentive trips need to be well-planned, informative, and engaging.

This isn’t just on the guest’s side, either. Brands are expecting more out of their trips – if the return isn’t great, why bother investing?

With so much riding on the success of an event, it’s more important than ever to clearly define your events, from engagement between guests and brand to ensuring that your events will continue to extract value in the future.

This definition begins with our first meeting with our clients. The first question we always ask is, “Why do you run this event?”. If you don’t have a good answer to this, don’t feel bad – the most common response is “Because we always have”.

This lack of clarity on the purpose of events, annual spend or the contribution events make to overall business objectives is unfortunately common because it means that our clients haven’t been optimising their planning for almost the entirety of the history of its run.

This lack of reflection can be detrimental to your brand – slowing innovation, hindering progress, and preventing growth. This is why we developed the Event Strategy Model – to better align your events to your business objectives and the needs of your audience, allowing your brand to welcome a new range of opportunities and relationships.

Reviewing Your Business Events

The first step, as with any good process, is defining the purpose. We need to ‘find the WHY’ by assessing current events and trends against a process that audits effectiveness and finds a way to improve where possible (trick question: it’s ALWAYS possible to improve).

The need to define the purpose is to allow our client to pursue new opportunities, build stronger relationships across a wide range of stakeholders, and be better positioned for success across a wide range of business markers.

The importance of reviewing all events regularly – ESPECIALLY in the current economic climate – is to:

  • evaluate whether the event budget aligns with business plans
  • ensure that content matches the intended audience
  • target the most important attendees.

The importance is compounded as your workforce demographic changes, meaning you’ll need to review your event content and itinerary to ensure its relevancy. It’s easy to overlook this considering past success, but the event should be specifically aligned to what you want out of it, and that relates specifically back to the needs and wants of the guests.

This goes hand-in-hand with our process for designing B2B loyalty or reward programs. By defining your audience, their needs, their ways of developing value, and how your brand intends to relate to them, your loyalty, rewards, or event travel program can ‘find the WHY’ and subsequently find success.

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Our Event Strategy Model

After noticing a series of trends with new customers, we created our Event Strategy Model (the E-Series) to future-proof events and ensure a high ROI. Our model applies to a series of event-specific attendee behaviours, which work to identify both current and future event attendee outcomes.

With our model-defined behaviours, we can effectively target the client’s needs and work towards desired attendee behaviours first, which will inform the itinerary and inclusions as a result. This helps bolster the desired outcome determining the event, rather than the other way around.

Here’s how the Event Strategy Model works:

  1. Event Portfolio Analysis:
    The first step to optimise your portfolio is assessing current events, and categorising them into specific ‘behaviours’ using our E-Series list. The list includes up to six behaviours that can be applied to any event type, including educational, entertainment, networking or promotional. Categorising events in this way allows us to better understand the overall makeup of the event portfolio and identify gaps or redundancies.
  2. Behaviour Modelling:
    After categorising the events, we then assess them based on our most sought-after behaviours. This serves to identify which behaviours are most important to your business, and which events will deliver the desired outcomes. By assigning up to six fundamental event behaviours to each event, we can compare your current outcomes with desired outcomes, either individually or collectively.
  3. Applied Learning:
    Based on your business or industry challenges and objectives, we can then identify the most fitting event behaviours for your event. This lets us use the insights gained from the model to reconstruct a new event or new event portfolio. Applying the insights gained from the previous steps helps ensure events consistently aligning with business objectives, and provides a better ROI and return on objective (ROO).

Overall, our Event Strategy Model puts your events through a thorough evaluation process to determine whether your current approach aligns with your business objectives or you need modifications to enhance their effectiveness.

Event Strategy Asks and Answers The Power of Why

At the heart of our Strategy Model, we keep the practice of questioning the purpose of every event and ensuring alignment with business strategy. This isn’t to second-guess your work – it’s to ensure that every business event contributes to your overall business objectives.

The Event Strategy Model can help your business achieve its objectives by aligning your event outcomes with business goals to inform your event design. This creates more impactful and engaging experiences that drive results and long-term success.

The idea of changing a traditional event that’s always worked for your company can seem daunting – but questioning the purpose behind your events allows us to work with you to re-align it with your business strategy. This helps your brand and future-proof events, builds stronger stakeholder relationships and positions your brand for huge success.

So, if you’re ready to ask your brand ‘why’, fill out the below form and get in touch today!

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