Many B2B SaaS Companies still rely heavily on in-person events to drive certain parts of their commercial funnel. Some depend on a Trade show presence or sponsorship to drive awareness, others use it to meet with existing clients or manage vendor relationships.
Read on to learn 9 ideas on how to put your savings in time and spend, that used to go to events, to good use.
“Oracle NetSuite is postponing SuiteWorld 2020, originally scheduled for April 20 - 23, until August 10 - 13, 2020.”
Ok... So what does this mean for the 2020 demand generation plan of a software solution for Netsuite customers?
Is your 2020 growth plan based on the returns you can normally count on from the trade shows you sponsor or visit? How can you update your strategy as many events are being canceled or moved into the future, and some still don’t provide clarity? How does this impact your Marketing and Sales strategy?
The spring and fall are especially important for tech companies that depend on trade shows. A survey of upcoming shows reveals that, as you might expect, many options are in flux.
“The digital experience conference has gone digital.”
For some events going virtual/online/digital might be good. The new headline on the Adobe.com summit events page for the Digital Experience Conference scheduled on March 31 feels natural.
“As of today (March 13, 2020), SAP and ASUG are still planning to host our guests at the SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, taking place in Orlando, Florida, USA on May 12–14, 2020. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation daily and will provide regular updates. Our hope is that the spread of this virus will soon be halted.”
“Currently, they have no expectation that any events of our size in the DC area will be mandated to be canceled and are moving forward with business as usual. The entire convention center is going through a 2-week complete sanitization ending on April 1. with approximately 350-400 attendees expected, well below the current 1000 person threshold advised by the DC leadership. We expect the current reality to be fairly different at the time of the event as it is still a month away.”
First, one event might be worth attending, given the new reality is The remote work summit 2020, where they promise to address building a remote culture, remote organization, and remote team.
Do you want to ask for your money back? Can you? Should you plan for a new date?
Policies will be different per organization. Red Hat shares the following on their website, and basically provides the option to get your money back:
“Attendees who were registered for Red Hat Summit will have two options: roll over their conference pass to Red Hat Summit 2021 or refund their conference pass.Red Hat Summit 2020 sponsors will have the following options:
As the role conferences play in your Marketing and Sales mix might change forever based on what we learn this year, my recommendation is: Do not commit to a future event if you have the option to get your money back. Bank the cash and try out new things that might work well. You may find that you don’t want to invest in these events in the future, or that later this year is still not the right time.
It’s unlikely that all these conferences and events will be able to secure good venues with the same efficiency, cost, and convenience within 2020 or even in 2021. Capacity at suitable venues is limited and most of these take at least a year to plan to do them well. This means that even if many trade shows and events will get rescheduled, you cannot bet your business on them to the same extent as you have in the past.
Can you find new opportunities that can provide new levels of ROI?
If anything, the current crisis challenges marketing and sales professionals to rethink the balance of what they do to drive Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. What role do events play in all these stages of the funnel and can some of these be done with digital alternatives?
Ask yourself about the event you were spending money on, what was it for, how did you define success and ROI, and what would be the digital alternative to achieve the same?
Kalungi is an agency that specializes in “Growth-as-a-Service” using all the various channels that B2B SaaS companies have at their disposal.
To offer some support we’ve created a special 1-hour consultation with one of our Associate CMOs to help you “balance your portfolio” of marketing priorities. The consult includes: