Saturday, August 6, 2016

Events: Working in a Coal Mine

This week I asked a savvy agency head, Cary Hatch, if B2B marketers were really as deep down into F2F as many event-industry people claim.

Her response: "Yes, they're into events, for the sales. Events are the currency of business today."

B2B agency head Gary Slack has told me that, with the exception of digital, his own clients devote more dollars to events than any other channel.

That exuberance is confirmed by Outsells' research analyst Michael Balsam: “Digital is still king, but events play a large role when you need to touch and feel things as part of the sales process."

And according to content agency Brafton's Molly Buccini, three of four B2B marketers boosted their event spend this year.

"When it comes to bridging the gap between digital and traditional marketing activities, events are an easy way to combine forces," she says.

Something's amiss, however—despite the spend-fest. As B2B marketers continue to sink more into events, they plan and execute them without objectives, strategy, or cognizance of corporate goals.

They've done so forever, as B2B marketing research analyst Julian Archer notes: "We at SiriusDecisions currently see a familiar pattern of too much emphasis being placed upon the activity of an event and not enough on outcome."

I ask, as the lyric to "Working in a Coal Mine" does, how long can this go on?

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