This post is by Amanda Nielsen from Openview Labs
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In the world of B2B SaaS where digital marketing takes precedence and automation touches everything we do, in-person events are often an afterthought — but in-person events are a critical component of any successful growth strategy. In fact, the majority of B2B marketers have ranked in-person events as their top-performing demand generation tactic. The consensus is in: it’s time to put the human element back into SaaS marketing.
The Value of Human-to-Human (H2H) Experiences in B2B GrowthToday, most businesses have the ability to perform all of the marketing, sales and services efforts remotely, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to set up in-person meetings with your prospects, partners and customers. Genuine, one-to-one human connection is the one thing that your competitors can’t replicate with technology, digital content or automated outreach. No matter how outstanding your product or service is, nothing quite compares to the value and
you can generate by looking your prospects in the eye, shaking their hands and solidifying your relationship. Successful in-person events offer a number of benefits, including:
- Better sales conversations: When your salespeople have the ability to meet with your prospects face to face, they can respond more effectively to the nuances in their tone, body language and energy. Plus, interacting with your employees in person gives prospects a taste of what it’s like to work with your team, which could influence their decision to buy.
- Improved brand-building: In-person events are a great way to build brand equity. Just by making an appearance at important industry events and networking with other leaders, you can get your name out there and establish yourself as a key player in the market.
- Accelerated demand generation: As I mentioned earlier, in-person events are ranked as one of the top-performing demand generation tactics out there. In-person meetings can improve engagement across the board, from the prospect’s initial awareness of your brand to long after the sale closes.
- Partner networking: Attending events can help you stay relevant in your industry. For example, if New Breed, a Diamond-Tier HubSpot partner, didn’t attend the annual INBOUND conference, it might make us look out of touch. In-person events are an opportunity to reinforce your connections in the industry.
- Client success and retention: It’s much more difficult to give up on a product or service when you’ve formed a strong connection with the person or person(s) providing it. In that way, in-person events improve client relationships.
How Can You Use Strategic In-Person Events to Drive Business Growth?Mind you, in-person events aren’t limited to industry conferences and trade shows. There are a number of different kinds of in-person meetings you can host, attend and/or sponsor to encourage company growth.
Industry Trade Shows and ConferencesThe most popular in-person events are, of course, large-scale industry trade shows and conferences. Companies in later growth stages might be in a good spot to sponsor events relevant to their industry, but SaaS companies of all sizes can attend these events to enhance their brand awareness and, ideally, grow their pipeline and customer base in a short period of time. Popular SaaS trade shows and conferences include:
- SaaStr Annual Conference
- Growth Hacker’s Conference
- Adobe Summit
- Content Marketing Conference