7 expensive digital marketing mistakes that B2B event organisers make and how to avoid them.

I know a ton of B2B event marketing managers and I’ve seen just how busy they can be. Always on the phone, rushing from office to office – It’s perpetually frantic and makes me tired just thinking about it. As you can imagine (or may know from first-hand experience), this leaves very little room for error and even less room for second guessing. Luckily, most B2B event marketing mistakes are avoidable with some foresight, especially if you team up with an experienced team of digital marketing experts.

Here are some of the most common B2B event marketing mistakes that I’ve seen and how you can avoid them.

B2B Event Marketing Mistake #1 – Not building event prospect personas before starting your marketing

If there’s one thing I know about B2B event marketers it’s that they know their community intimately. It’s strange then that so few B2B event marketers actually use this knowledge to drive their marketing.

I’m not talking about creating a broad segment that matches each of your verticals, but rather a detailed profile that outlines their pain points, interests, potential objections and where you can find them. Mapping these out and making them available to your team and partners will give everyone a clear north star to follow.

B2B Event Marketing Mistake #2 – Not tailoring your communication to your audience

Hopefully you’ve already got your prospect personas mapped out before you start sending out communication. If not, go straight back to B2B Event Marketing Mistake #1 – do not pass go!

Now that you have your personas mapped out and know them intimately, you can tailor your communication to your audience. What content speaks to them? What will entice them to visit your event? Are they more concerned about the convenience of the location or the qualifications of the speakers? Are they the decision maker or do they need to convince their boss to let them attend?

For maximum effect, your marketing and advertising should speak directly to your target audience. Use images that they can relate to and that will get them excited.

B2B Event Marketing Mistake #3 – Focusing your digital marketing budget on getting registrations and not reducing ‘no-shows’

I’m always amused when B2B event marketing managers tell me proudly how many registrations they get from a campaign. Don’t misunderstand me, getting registrations is a very important part of the process – but what good is a registration if the visitor doesn’t actually walk through the door. The solution to this is to implement a double funnel strategy that keeps registrants engaged, reminds them why they registered in the first place, and warms their feet before they have a chance to get too cold.

B2B Event Marketing Mistake #4 – Not fully understanding which channels / tactics are giving you low cost-per-registration and which are draining your resources

Ever met a B2B event marketing manager who isn’t trying to make magic with a limited budget? I haven’t. Knowing which channels / tactics are working and which are underperforming will help you maximise your budget and reach your KPIs more easily. The solution is to use analytics to track where your registrants are coming from to identify what channels and adverts are driving the most conversions. There’s no excuse not to have your analytics implemented correctly. If you’re not very technical, hire someone to do it. A few pounds or euros spent now could save you hundreds (maybe even thousands) down the line.

B2B Event Marketing Mistake #5 – Not leveraging the customer networks of your exhibitors/sponsors

There’s no one better to market your event than those who stand to benefit from it. And who will benefit most from crowds of quality visitors? Your exhibitors, speakers and sponsors, that’s who. Each and every one of your exhibitors, speakers and sponsors has their own network of high quality customers just waiting to be invited to your event.

Before you decry this with excuses like “my exhibitors won’t want to expose their customers to their competitors” just bear in mind that your event isn’t just for your exhibitors to reach new customers, but also to get some face to face time with their existing customers to explain new products or services and open up new sales opportunities.

An excellent way to do this is to offer your exhibitors and sponsors a slick, professional landing page that features their business and add a remarketing pixel. This will give you the opportunity to market your event to everyone who views their page and give you further opportunity to entice them to register.

B2B Event Marketing Mistake #6 – Not personalising your retargeting

Not everyone who visits your website is going to register for your event immediately (wouldn’t it be amazing if it was that easy?). For that matter, not everyone who registers for your event is going to show up. Retargeting them can entice them to register or keep them engaged between registration and the event itself. However, retargeting absolutely has to be personalised if you want it to work. If someone spends 5 minutes looking at who’s exhibiting in a certain category, don’t retarget them with generic messages about attending the trade show. It’s much more effective to tell them about new exhibitors within the category they were looking into.

B2B Event Marketing Mistake #7 – Trying to do it all in house

Taking it all on yourself is an admirable strategy to try, but it always ends badly for martyrs. Always. Even the best B2B event marketing managers don’t have time to ensure that every marketing channel is being used to its full potential. Outsourcing aspects of your event marketing has multiple benefits:
• Access to specialists – No one is an expert in every single marketing tactic, so unless you have a dedicated resource for every channel it’s unlikely that your in-house marketing team has the 360-degree knowledge you need to run a kickass campaign for your event.
• Fresh eyes – Digital marketing is constantly evolving, with new technologies and strategies surfacing every day. Outsourcing some of your marketing can inject it with new life and expose your team to innovative new ideas.
• Cost efficiency – Outsourcing your marketing gives you access to the fresh eyes of specialists at a significantly lower cost than employing these specialists internally.

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Eric Louw


Some people are just destined to market B2B events. Eric is one of those people. It’s not because he’s passionate about B2B events (that’s a given), it’s because he’s passionate about helping B2B event organisers maximise their marketing budget with digital marketing tactics.


Eric Louw


Some people are just destined to market B2B events. Eric is one of those people. It’s not because he’s passionate about B2B events (that’s a given), it’s because he’s passionate about helping B2B event organisers maximise their marketing budget with digital marketing tactics.