SMBs Increase Use of Events as Marketing Tools

businessconferenceThere's no substitute for in-​person meetings when you really want to make an impression. Both B2B and B2C small and medium-​sized businesses believe that connections made in person can help them win over new and current clients. For an increasing number of these SMBs, holding events are the best way to make these connections happen.

The type of event favored by an SMB is linked to their main business focus. For example, B2B firms are more apt to hold:

  • Workshops/​seminars/​lectures 63% (of B2B operators hold these events)
  • Classes (educational or training) 52%
  • Conferences 44%

B2C companies use workshops and classes, too. But they’re far more likely to host social gatherings (47%) than B2B firms (36%).

About 40% of SMBs engage in some form of event sponsorship to improve their visibility. On average, they host between 13–14 events every year. Only 3% of SMBs are hiring out their event management tasks. For most, the biggest challenge is ensuring that people actually RVSP and show up.  While companies used the phone and snail mail in times past to  promote their events, the number of B2C companies tapping social media is rising. The majority of SMBs turn to email to engage with prospective attendees.

Top reasons for holding events are:

  • Providing education and training 26%
  • Generating more sales/​revenue 19%
  • Attracting new customers 18%

Are you using events to raise the profile of your business? If so, do you feel they’ve been successful?

[Source: Constant Contact Attitudinal Survey. Constantcontact​.com. 2013. Web. 19 Apr. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.