Pop-up stores, immersive experiences, AR games, simulations, live streaming events… Most of us have seen or been part of some form of experiential marketing before.

According to The Drum, a good brand-in-hand experience leads to an 85% purchase intention EMI also found that 74% of consumers say that engaging with branded event marketing experiences makes them more likely to buy the promoted products.

Experiential cuts though the noise in the overwhelming world of advertising. In the Covid-19 era, with everything and everyone shifting into a virtual environment out of necessity, any way of standing out from the crowd and retaining customers has proved invaluable.

Whether labelled a ‘marketing stunt’, a ‘gimmick’, or not, it appears that as long as it’s done right, experiential marketing works. So, the question stands, if experiential is so successful in the B2C field, shouldn’t B2B agencies with the same overall business goals be deploying it too?

At Chief Nation, we understand the pressure B2B leaders face in finding new ways of engaging customers. To help, we’ve evolved our Digital to Human™ approach accordingly. So, just how can experiential be tailored toward crucial B2B events?

What Is Experiential Marketing?

Sometimes called ‘live’ or ‘engagement’ marketing, experiential marketing is the idea of creating a lasting impression on prospects and customers through greater interactivity, especially through events.

Research your target audience...

Going down the experiential route in B2B is no different to any other good campaign in that the target audience must be captured as part of the brief. You must understand the community you’re engaging with before crafting an experience to suit them.

A way of doing this is to closely analyse the individual data of attendees. First off, it’s good to work out how your audience want to be reached out to as you’ll need to know where you’re most likely to come into contact with them in the first place. Learn about where they dedicate their own time to consume content and resources. Whether that’s a simple video, an e-mail or through social media, these can then be used to invite and update them on the event in a way that’s going to grab their attention.

It might also prove useful to look at RSVPs, traffic patterns, and activity participation. Or even things like website heatmaps, watch rates, drop-off’s, and click-throughs, which you can look at during the sign-up period. This applies even more so if your event is hybrid, as it could tell you a lot about your virtual attendees.

In addition, taking advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and algorithms is always a good way of giving a speedy and accurate rundown of audience data. By interpreting online profiles and learning their behaviours, such as their pain points are or what information is most important to them when making a purchase, you can target and recommend events straight away to the right people.

Combining these methods lets you truly understand your clientele and will help in creating an experience that’s a cut above the rest, just like our live and virtual roundtables we host here at Chief Nation.

Face-to-face networking is still of the utmost importance in business, but it’s being reimagined in a post-Pandemic world, and perhaps for the better.

...And understand how to speak to them

Creativity can feel more blatant in B2C, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for B2B. If anything, marketers need to be more creative in B2B for events to stand out and make a mark. Think about the experience from each buyer’s perspective and whether they’re a retaining client or it’s their first ever interaction; it’s your job to make the experience an impactful one, and creativity will help you make it so.

A well-thought-out event in line with a brand story is always going to be appreciated and remembered because any effective marketing campaigns value Storytelling. Particularly at a time where audiences everywhere are looking for a little escapism from lockdown life, providing some education and entertainment to lighten their load for a short while is never going to go amiss.

For example, WeWork hold a regional Creator Awards events — a pitch competition for organisations for cash prizes or funding from WeWork. A pitch competition like this can increase the exposure of an event and can distinguish an organisation as an industry thought leader. Or HubSpot’s annual mega event, INBOUND. An event that’s so influential that it’s grown as an event brand alongside HubSpot’s main brand by investing in the overall event branding.

We know the value of experiential marketing here at Chief Nation. Our take on it is our premium networking events for the C-suite, where our famous wine tastings and VIP experiences deliver impressive attendance rates and ROI for our clients.

Remember, a range of innovative pre, during and post-event tactics and talking points, is always going to steal the show.

The power of social media

In today’s world, where things can be done simply ‘for the gram’, it’s not just consumer-facing brands that should be taking advantage of social media in their marketing. Experiential B2B events are a great way of promoting your brand through user-generated content created by guests themselves.

We’ve already spoken about utilising social media prior to your event to learn about your audience so you can customise for them in the best way possible, but it can also unlock a whole lot more.

A huge 98% of customers at engagement events create their own digital or social content whilst there, and a whopping 100% of those report sharing it. Even more in line with a post pandemic world for B2B experiential events is that 44% of people are finding themselves using social media more now than before the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s savvy marketers that are in tune with these new buyer’s consumption habits and increased screen-time who will be utilising social media during and after the event to promote.

Make it V.I.P.

The whole point of experiential marketing is that the possibilities are endless, so use this, because nobody is going to say no to a good perk, and it will boost engagement.

Giveaways are something that should be fully encompassed in experiential marketing: creating a sense of exclusivity through VIP treatment, free branded collateral, new product launches, special access for early-birds or valuable customers, complimentary coaching or networking sessions are just a handful of ideas to make your event one to remember.

Going above and beyond to make your attendees feel extra special is always going to put your brand in good stead. It’s the little things that can make eventgoers feel connected to your brand. For example, acknowledging all attendees, producing content based on audience learnings, having a sufficient staff presence for real-life events or introducing those who have just joined.

Time to raise your engagement game

The buyer journey has changed. It’s interaction that’s now making waves for our digital-first era, not just now, but in the future of marketing; just like product consumers, business customers like to try technology solutions before they buy too.

As B2B marketers, we can either keep trying to stay up to date with new messaging and adapt constantly, or we can be clever and seize a more human approach. One that surprises, inspires and entertains customers, delivering something memorable and measurable for both them and your business. It’s time to look more deeply at how to reach, engage and serve your audience in a new light, to make every interaction truly count.

One more thing


At Chief Nation, we run unique B2B marketing services and experiential events for some of the world’s biggest leaders in technology. For a closer insight into our marketing strategy and a look at how our virtual events can work for your business, get in touch with our expert team who are on hand to get you face-to-face with the C-Suite.