The Do’s and Dont’s of Participating in B2B Events

B2B (business-to-business) events are unique opportunities to forge new partnerships, strengthen existing relationships, and showcase your latest products or services. However, navigating these events can be daunting without the right approach.

In this guide, we’ll share valuable insights and practical tips to help you maximise your impact at any B2B event. Explore how to make a lasting impression, avoid common pitfalls, and turn opportunities into profitable outcomes for any business gathering. Read on and get ready to make the most out of your next B2B event!

Why attend a B2B event?

Attending B2B events can be an instrumental strategy for companies aiming to expand their professional networks, establish their industry standing, and drive business growth. Here’s why these events are so valuable:

Networking opportunities

B2B events are hotspots for networking, bringing together a diverse array of professionals from similar or complementary industries. These events offer a unique platform to meet potential clients, vendors, and partners in person. Networking in such environments allows for the organic development of relationships that could lead to collaborative opportunities, knowledge exchange, and mutual growth.

Thought leadership

By engaging in panel discussions, delivering keynote speeches, or conducting workshops, you have a chance to establish yourself as a thought leader in your respective fields. This not only enhances your credibility but also positions your business as a go-to resource in your industry, attracting more clients and collaborators who value your knowledge and approach.

Exclusive collaboration

B2B events often feature exclusive collaboration opportunities not available elsewhere, including partnerships on new projects, product beta testing, or joint ventures that combine the strengths of multiple businesses.

Being physically present at these events increases your chances of being involved in such initiatives, allowing you to leverage collective capabilities and resources for enhanced business solutions.

Lead generation

With a concentrated audience of industry professionals and decision-makers, your marketing and sales teams can engage with potential clients who are already interested in the services or products you offer to generate leads directly. This environment facilitates faster and more efficient lead generation compared to other marketing strategies, providing a higher return on investment.

Brand exposure

Exhibiting at or sponsoring these events puts your brand in front of a targeted audience, increasing brand awareness and recall. It’s an effective way to showcase your brand’s strengths, demonstrate your products or services, and differentiate yourself from competitors. Enhanced visibility in such a concentrated market segment can significantly amplify your brand’s profile and open further avenues for expansion.

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What are the B2B event formats?

B2B events have evolved significantly over the years, adapting to changes in technology, business needs, and global circumstances. Today, these events can be categorised into three primary formats: in-person, virtual, and hybrid. Each format offers unique advantages and caters to different needs within the business community.

In-person

In-person B2B events are the traditional format where attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and sponsors gather at a physical location. This format is highly valued for its ability to facilitate direct, face-to-face interactions, which can lead to stronger relationships and more immediate engagement.

In-person events are particularly effective for networking, hands-on demonstrations, and detailed discussions. Attendees can experience products firsthand, engage in live Q&A sessions, and participate in workshops or breakout sessions that might not translate well to virtual mediums.

Virtual

Virtual B2B events are conducted online, using digital platforms to host webinars, live streams, interactive sessions, and virtual exhibitions. This format gained significant traction during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to be popular due to its accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

These events held online eliminate geographic and logistical barriers, making it easier for a global audience to attend. They often feature tools for real-time interaction, such as chat rooms, polls, and virtual networking lounges, allowing attendees to connect and share information without the need for travel.

Hybrid

Hybrid B2B events combine elements of both in-person and virtual formats. These events are held at a physical location while also being broadcast online, providing flexibility for attendees to choose how they wish to participate. Hybrid events cater to a broader audience, accommodating those who cannot attend in person due to travel restrictions, budget constraints, or health concerns.

This format maximises reach and inclusivity, ensuring that content and networking opportunities are accessible to everyone, regardless of physical attendance. These hybrid events can extend the lifespan of content by offering on-demand access post-event, allowing participants to revisit sessions they missed or found valuable.

The complete guide on what to do and not do during B2B events

B2B events are essential for businesses looking to network, generate leads, and position themselves as industry leaders. However, knowing the appropriate etiquette and strategies for various types of events can greatly enhance your effectiveness. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do and not do during different B2B events:

Conferences

Prepare for conferences by thoroughly researching the agenda and speakers in advance. Prioritize sessions that align with your professional goals and plan your schedule to balance learning with networking opportunities effectively.

Avoid trying to attend every session. Overextending yourself can lead to burnout and reduce the quality of your interactions. Instead, focus on a few key sessions that offer the most value and allow yourself time to digest the information and engage meaningfully with other attendees.

Trade shows

Design your approach to trade shows with a clear strategy. Make sure your booth is engaging and manned by knowledgeable team members. Prepare concise, impactful marketing materials to distribute, and be ready to discuss your products or services confidently.

Don’t forget to follow up promptly after the show ends. Quick, thoughtful follow-up with new contacts can make all the difference in converting leads to actual business opportunities. Delaying this can cause you to lose the momentum gained at the event.

VIP dinners

Use VIP dinners to develop deeper connections with industry leaders in a more personal setting. Engage genuinely in conversations, showing interest in others’ views and sharing insights appropriately. This setting is perfect for cultivating relationships that could lead to future collaborations or insights into industry trends.

Be conscious of other participants in the B2B event and avoid dominating the conversation or focusing solely on selling your products. These dinners are about building trust and rapport, not immediate sales. Listen more than you speak and focus on being a thoughtful participant.

Webinars

When attending a webinar, ensure you are fully engaged by participating in interactive elements like Q&A sessions, polls, and chat functionalities. Prepare any questions you might have in advance and take notes during the session to help you retain the valuable insights provided. This proactive involvement can enhance your learning experience and make the session more valuable for you.

Don’t neglect to check your technical setup before the webinar begins. Ensure your internet connection is stable and your audio and video (if required) are working properly. This helps avoid missing important parts of the presentation due to technical issues. Additionally, try to attend the webinar in a quiet environment to minimize distractions and allow you to focus on the content being presented.

Roundtable Discussions

Come prepared for roundtable discussions with knowledge about the topic and ready to contribute actively. Engaging in the exchange of ideas not only enriches the discussion but also helps you establish yourself as a thoughtful industry participant

Avoid being passive in roundtable discussions. Active participation is key to getting the most out of these events. By contributing to the conversation, you not only learn from the experiences of others but also have the opportunity to share your own insights, enhancing the collective understanding.

Masterclasses

In masterclasses, actively engage with the expert and other participants. This is your opportunity to gain deeper insights and clarify any doubts. Participation also allows you to connect with peers who are equally interested in advancing their skills.

Never hesitate to ask questions during masterclasses, no matter how basic they may seem. Asking questions can help clear up confusion and encourage a more comprehensive understanding for everyone involved, making the learning experience more valuable.

Workshops

Fully participate in workshops. They are hands-on and designed to apply what you’re learning in a practical setting. This active involvement enhances your understanding of the material and helps you retain the information more effectively

Don’t just watch others during workshops. The benefit of these sessions lies in your active engagement. By participating, you gain practical skills and knowledge that are immediately applicable to your professional context.

Product Launches

Make sure your product launch is memorable by planning a polished presentation that clearly demonstrates the advantages and applications of your product. If possible, provide demonstrations or samples so attendees can experience the benefits firsthand, which can enhance interest and excitement.

Don’t neglect the power of media and social media channels to extend the reach of your product launch. These platforms can significantly increase visibility and generate buzz around your new product, attracting both media attention and consumer interest.

Maximise B2B event experiences with The Ortus Club

Event marketing has become increasingly essential, and our events provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to network and build relationships with potential customers and partners.

At The Ortus Club, we specialise in creating and delivering high-quality events that bring together executives and decision-makers from a wide range of industries. We host virtual and in-person events, such as roundtable discussions and masterclasses, that foster important interactions and collaborations.

Whether you’re looking to connect with C-level executives or expand your network, The Ortus Club’s events offer a unique platform to engage with your target audience. Thinking of scaling your B2B marketing to a global audience? If you’ve reached this far into the blog, then maybe this is your time to host an event with us. Message us today to learn more!