A Marketer’s Guide to Driving Growth With B2B In-Person Events 


Ashley Levesque


Most brands operate heavily in the digital landscape nowadays. Nearly all business interactions happen online, from promoting products or services to engaging with prospects and customers. But for all their convenience, there’s something unique about in-person interactions that online spaces can’t mimic. By hosting in-person events, B2B marketers unlock multiple business opportunities. In-person events are an incredible growth driver, as they effectively capture attention, improve brand perception, and foster meaningful connections. Their versatile nature translates to a thriving enterprise. 

Why B2B Marketers Should Host In-Person Events 

B2B in-person events excel at generating revenue because companies can tailor them to different stages in the buyer’s journey. B2B events build trust in your name and accelerate the decision-making process.

If you’re still unsure about keeping or adding in-person events to your marketing playbook, here are several compelling reasons why you should consider this investment. 

1. Capture People’s Attention

In-person events create a tangible point of engagement that people can look forward to. The physical aspect of these events, from the venue and setup to the possibility of hands-on experiences, builds excitement. 

Plus, the inherent exclusivity of in-person events (i.e., limited capacity, the location, the need for an invitation) naturally elevates the perceived value of attending. Subsequently, this element draws more attention to the brand. 

2. Improve Brand Perception 

The effort put into planning and hosting a quality in-person event shows a brand’s commitment to the industry and providing value to their target audience. 

Every element reflects the company’s dedication to providing a great experience for attendees, from the venue selection to the quality of speakers, content, and networking opportunities. 

That attention to detail signals to attendees that the company values their experience, which reinforces a positive brand image.

3. Build Trust With Your Audience 

In-person events allow leads, prospects, and customers to see the people behind the products. This helps humanize the brand, making it more approachable.  

Moreover, hosting physical events shows a brand’s confidence in their product or service, as they’re willing to engage with their market face-to-face rather than hide behind a screen, which strengthens their credibility. 

These interactions are instrumental in cultivating transparency and building trust with target audiences.

4. Attract High-Quality Leads

In-person events require people to invest time and resources to be there, so their attendance indicates a higher level of interest and lead qualification. 

Their investment isn’t solely financial, limited to travel expenses or registration fees; they must also allocate time to be away from work or personal commitments. 

5. Nurture a Brand Community

In-person events serve as a gathering point for like-minded people who share common interests or goals related to your brand’s industry. 

When brands host events, they facilitate many-to-many interactions, which cultivates a strong sense of belonging among audience members. Companies may encourage this ongoing engagement after the session concludes to build and nurture a lasting community. 

6. Forge Partnerships With Industry Leaders 

In-person events provide a platform for the hosting brand to engage directly with thought leaders, influencers, and key players within their industry. Companies may invite these professionals to speak or participate in some other visible capacity.

The inclusion of authority figures enriches the event’s content and positions the hosting brand in association with respected names in the field. Moreover, in-person events serve as a collaborative space where brands can forge partnerships and joint initiatives. These interactions may then propel the brand forward into new niches and market segments.

Recent research has found that in-person events are at the center of companies’ marketing strategy.


Bizzabo infographic on the state of in-person events

But what makes in-person events so efficient in terms of growth? Before we answer that question, let’s explore different types of in-person events and their impact on business expansion.

Most Popular Types of In-Person Events

B2B in-person events vary in format, scale, and focus, catering to different audience preferences. Here are some of the most popular types you can host. 

1. Field Events

Field events are localized marketing activities, such as private dinners or customer appreciation days, held in specific geographic locations to engage directly with a target audience. These highly customizable events range from VIP gatherings to larger public showcases.

Field events are great for creating a sense of belonging. They bring together people with shared interests or industries and foster a community atmosphere. Attendees feel they’re part of a larger group or movement during these sessions, which is less tangible in digital interactions. 

Also, they strengthen connections with existing customers, encourage sales business, and contribute to more referred customers. 


  • Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference Dinners: This annual media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, is famous for its private dinners. These gatherings bring together CEOs and business leaders in a less formal setting for networking, knowledge sharing, and deal-making.
  • The Renaissance Weekend Dinners: This invitation-only retreat brings together leaders from various fields, including government, media, science, and the arts, for lectures, discussions, and private dinners. 

2. Product Launches

Product launches are events created specifically to introduce new items to the market and generate buzz and excitement around them. They can be exclusive, invitation-only gatherings or open to the public. These sessions can drive on-the-spot purchases or pre-orders and thus directly contribute to revenue growth targets.


  • Google I/O Developer Conference: A yearly developer conference where Google announces new hardware, software, and various updates for their existing apps and services. While primarily tech-focused, this event includes significant networking and community engagement components.
  • Adobe MAX: This annual event hosted by Adobe showcases the latest innovations and updates from the company’s extensive product suite. It serves as a key time for Adobe to launch new products and features, presenting their capabilities and potential impact on the creative industry. 

3. Conferences

Conferences are large-scale events that bring together industry professionals to discuss trends, share insights, and network. They typically feature a mix of keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Conferences help brands position themselves as thought leaders in their industry by enabling companies to:  

  • Initiate conversations on cutting-edge topics
  • Curate panels to highlight their expertise
  • Provide a platform for sharing innovative ideas

High visibility among industry peers and potential clients helps build brand credibility and authority.

It’s worth noting that conferences offer great networking opportunities, leading to partnership development and client acquisition.


  • Salesforce Dreamforce: Salesforce’s annual event held in San Francisco, which gathers the Salesforce community for learning and connection building. The conference offers a mix of business and innovation sessions combined with networking activities.
  • SaaStr Annual: This is the largest B2B conference for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies and startups. Attendees learn insights into scaling businesses, growing revenue, and improving their leadership skills.

4. Workshops

Workshops are interactive events focused on imparting knowledge and skills from brand representatives to attendees. During these sessions, audience members acquire specific (product-related) skills and learn new techniques. 

Workshops are smaller than conferences and so enable hands-on training and personalized instruction. By demonstrating uses and benefits, these events help drive product adoption. Moreover, their interactive nature makes them ideal for collecting detailed customer feedback on company offerings.


  • L'Oréal Professional Products Division Workshops: L'Oréal frequently hosts educational workshops for salon professionals that deal with product knowledge, techniques, and business skills to help salons grow their business and stay ahead of industry trends.
  • The HubSpot User Group (HUG) Workshops: These interactive sessions are designed to support HubSpot customers in a communal setting. Led by certified HubSpot professionals, the workshops provide hands-on training, practical exercises, and group discussions. They’re organized in multiple global locations and cater to a diverse audience, from beginners to advanced users, across different business sectors.

5. Holiday Events

Holiday events are themed around specific holidays or seasonal festivities, allowing brands to celebrate with their target audiences and community. This format can vary greatly in scale and scope, from small gatherings to larger gatherings.

Holiday events leverage the festive mood to create an emotional bond with attendees. They’re perfect for introducing holiday-specific promotions or time-limited offers to drive sales.

By celebrating shared traditions and festivities, holiday events foster a sense of community and belonging among participants and endear your brand to them. 


  • Tiffany & Co. Holiday Breakfast: The iconic jewelry brand occasionally hosts a holiday breakfast for their corporate clients. This intimate event allows Tiffany's to connect with clients on a personal level and showcase their latest holiday collections.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Holiday events: PwC runs holiday events for their clients and partners to express gratitude and celebrate the year's successes. These in-person events also serve as a platform for discussing future trends and opportunities in the professional services sector.

6. Award Ceremonies 

Award ceremonies are designed to recognize and honor achievements within an industry, company, or community. Hosting or sponsoring this type of event enhances a brand’s reputation by associating it with excellence and success. 

Ceremonies bring together industry leaders and influencers to provide valuable networking benefits.


  • The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service: These awards honor the achievements of sales, customer service, and call center professionals worldwide. Companies participate to gain recognition for their team's work, boost their reputation, and network with other top performers in their industry. The Awards events culminate in a black-tie gala in Las Vegas, where industry leaders come together to network.
  • The B2B Marketing Awards: This awards ceremony is internationally recognized as the gold standard for excellence in creativity and commercial effectiveness in B2B. The program celebrates successful marketing campaigns focused on business-to-business interactions. Companies submit their marketing initiatives for consideration across various categories, such as content marketing, account-based marketing, brand awareness, and more. 

Each event type offers unique opportunities for brands to connect with their audience, showcase their offerings, and achieve specific business goals.

What Makes In-Person Events So Effective

In-person events drive business growth due to a number of advantages. 

1. Direct Interaction

Face-to-face engagement differs greatly from digital interactions, as it involves:

  • Close proximity or sharing the same physical space
  • Non-verbal cues, such as full-body gestures and eye contact 
  • Sensory immersion, including tactile and olfactory 
  • Enhanced focus with fewer options for multitasking or distraction
  • Spontaneity, as conversations tend to spark naturally 
  • A curated atmosphere or general vibe expressed by the venue decor

When these elements meet attendees’ expectations, they foster genuine engagement and deeper connections with brand representatives. 

2. Immediate Feedback 

In-person events gather instant feedback. The real-time interactions with leads, prospects, and customers allows organizers to tailor their messages on the fly, such as: 

  • Answering ad-hoc questions
  • Addressing any concerns
  • Adjusting messages based on reaction
  • Simplifying the communication
  • Fine-tuning use cases

Additionally, attendees feel more involved and valued when they provide input. The sense of being heard fosters a deeper connection between attendees and the brand, transforming them from passive participants into active contributors.

3. Strong Brand Exposure 

Usually, event organizers decorate the venue with their brand logos and visuals. The physical presence of branding elements, from signage and exhibits to merchandise, creates a lasting visual impact.

This environment reinforces name recognition and strengthens brand perception through direct, immersive experiences. 

4. Live Product Experiences

Unlike digital campaigns, in-person events allow attendees to touch, feel, and test a company’s products. They enjoy a hands-on experience with the product and better understand its benefits. 

Moreover, brand representatives can tailor demonstrations to individual needs to build a more personal connection to the product.

Also, launching and showcasing new products at in-person events generates excitement and anticipation. This is a result of the session’s exclusivity, as attendees know they’re the first to find out about the product. 

5. Immersive Community Experiences 

In-person events serve as a catalyst for new connections. Group activities like workshops, breakout sessions, and social networking foster a strong sense of belonging among attendees.  

Also, they help strengthen existing relationships within the industry or client base. These many-to-many interactions and meaningful connections, which form around the brand, contribute to long-term loyalty; engaged community members are more likely to become brand advocates and share their positive experiences with others.

6. Accelerated Sales Processes 

In-person events provide the right space for engaging in meaningful conversations and establishing personal connections. As a result of building this trusting rapport between attendees and brand representatives, the hosting company can accelerate their sales cycle. 

For example, brand representatives may close B2B deals or upsell or cross-sell products during one-on-one networking sessions and informal discussions over coffee breaks and lunches. 

Moreover, the reps can provide on-site discounts and promotions available solely to event attendees to incentivize immediate action, leading to higher revenue. Deals that might take weeks to finalize in a digital setting can often be resolved with a single face-to-face conversation.

7. Opportunities for Reengagement 

You can effectively re-engage indecisive prospects or lost clients at in-person events. They provide a unique opportunity to reignite connections and rebuild rapport cultivated through previous, likely digital methods in a physical setting. 

Face-to-face interactions also allow for a deeper level of engagement, enabling brand representatives to address any concerns or objections directly and empathetically.

A relationship-centric environment is a powerful asset that fosters serendipitous conversations and organic interactions. However, each type of B2B in-person event impacts business growth differently, so you need to determine your overarching goals to decide which one will best support your organization’s aims. 

How to Integrate In-Person Events Into Your Growth Strategy 

If you want to see tangible results from in-person events, you have to host them more often than once in a while. You must also develop cohesion and alignment between your company’s overall marketing strategy and its events. 

Integrate in-person events into your marketing strategy to bridge the gap between digital marketing efforts and face-to-face interactions. In that regard, there are multiple tactics you can employ to facilitate a smooth integration. 

1. Host Recurring Events

You can schedule an event to run weekly, monthly, annually, or at any other regular interval that fits your business goals and capabilities. For example, host weekly or monthly workshops and social gatherings, or hold an annual industry B2B conference. 

Usually, a recurring event involves creating a media brand out of it so attendees can identify it as part of the company’s communication routine. 

Recurring events build momentum, brand recognition, and community among target audiences. In turn, that consistency and reliability foster a loyal attendee following that grows over time. Repeating events also offer multiple touch points for engagement that improve customer relationships and strengthen trust.

You can start an event series following these steps: 

  • Identify the core topics that resonate with your target audience. 
  • Choose a format you can easily replicate. Consider starting small by hosting a recurring workshop. 
  • Establish a regular schedule and location. 
  • Promote your series through your online channels to build anticipation. 
  • Automate the event planning to save time and resources. 
  • Collect event data during and after each occurrence. 

Recurring events drive predictable marketing results, as you can use this format to establish your brand’s presence in its niche and turn one-time attendees into long-term customers and advocates.

2. Segment Your Attendees 

Separate your attendees based on a targeted profile, such as demographics, job title, industry, geographical location, and more. 

Or, you can segment attendees according to their current stage in the buyer’s journey. For example, you could run certain events for people who are considering purchasing one of your products and others for paying customers. 

Grouping audience members allows you to personalize event experiences so each interaction is relevant to the people attending. Tailored events can address specific needs or interests and move prospects through the sales funnel more effectively. 

3. Provide Omnichannel Experiences

In-person events should complement your digital marketing strategy to form a cohesive brand narrative.

Develop an omnichannel approach to your events, creating an integrated experience across all platforms. This way, you’ll be able to provide consistent and unified experiences for your attendees, regardless of their point of entry or degree of interaction with your brand. 

For example, you could build a system that allows them to register for your event on multiple channels, including the event’s landing page, social media ads, or an email campaign. By doing so, you’ll unify your audience’s experience and help shape a cohesive perception of your brand. 

4. Integrate Attendee Information With Company CRM

Build a detailed database by integrating attendee information into your company’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. This information can include anything from contact details and attendance data to transaction history and engagement metrics. 

Collecting attendee information enables you to better understand people’s preferences. You can also analyze their interactions with your brand and predict their next steps. Moreover, integrating this information into your CRM will aid your post-event follow-up through more targeted personalization and sending relevant communications. 

You can even use attendee information for lead scoring, which helps sales teams prioritize the audience members most likely to convert. Finally, incorporating this data into your CRM facilitates a clearer analysis of each event’s return on investment (ROI) by tracking conversions that originated from event attendees.

5. Analyze Event Data for Strategic Insights 

Event data informs strategic decisions. For instance, you can hone in on which sessions were most popular among your attendees and which topics garnered the greatest interest. These insights can then fuel your overall content strategy. 

Analyzing how event attendance translates into measurable actions (such as product purchases or service sign-ups) helps understand the event’s effectiveness in driving business goals. Registration, attendance, and participation patterns can reveal attendee behaviors, preferences, and expectations, which supports targeted event strategies.

6. Scale Your Events Strategy 

Scaling your events strategy entails expanding the scope and reach of your events to support business growth. This approach may include actions such as: 

  • Incorporating new types of events
  • Increasing the frequency of your recurring events
  • Hosting events in new markets and different regions
  • Collaborating with other businesses and industry influencers to extend the impact of your events.

Your events strategy should evolve as your business grows to accommodate larger audiences, more sophisticated segments, and broader objectives. Doing so guarantees that events continue to contribute to organizational growth.

7. Ensure Team Cross-Functionality 

Create a cross-functional “tiger team” to execute a cohesive events strategy aligned with your business goals. You can do that by following these steps: 

  • Establish shared goals for the event that your marketing, sales, customer success, and any other involved departments can clearly understand and embrace.
  • Involve representatives from different departments in the event planning process to leverage diverse insights.
  • During the event, have members of the tiger team actively monitor and manage different aspects of the execution, like handling issues, coordinating with vendors and speakers, and engaging with attendees. 
  • After the event, gather the tiger team for a debriefing session to discuss what worked well and what could be improved. Analyze attendee feedback, engagement metrics, and overall performance against your established objectives to gauge the session’s overall success. 

Building a cross-functional team helps align in-person events with broader business goals, which drives meaningful outcomes.

How to Maximize Growth During In-Person Events

As previously discussed, companies can connect with attendees on a personal level during in-person events. With strong targeting and nurturing, these real-time interactions can result in instant feedback, immediate product interest, and on-the-spot conversions. 

You can also employ other tactics to increase the chance of leveraging these opportunities for fast growth.

1. Invite Successful Customers to Speak at Your Event 

This strategy displays the tangible benefits of your product. Moreover, these authentic narratives offer a relatable perspective that written reviews can’t provide. 

Live testimonials are powerful endorsements that’ll help build your brand’s credibility. Firsthand experiences may also speed up the sales process by persuading prospects at your events to make a purchase. 

2. Offer Exclusive Attendee Promotions 

Encourage on-the-spot decisions with promotions — such as special offers, discounts, or bundle packages — available only to your session attendees. Because these promotions aren’t available to the general public or through other channels, they generate a sense of exclusivity. That enticement can compel attendees to take immediate action to capitalize on your offers before they expire. 

3. Run Engaging Demos

Holding product demos at in-person events adds a layer of interactivity and personal connection. You can make demos interactive by focusing on use-case scenarios, interactive walkthroughs, and gamification. 

When possible, choose knowledgeable, highly engaging presenters with strong communication skills. You also can (and should) tailor product demos to reflect the interests of different attendee segments. The key is to make these experiences as enjoyable as possible while showcasing the concrete advantages of your product. 

Allowing attendees to see, learn about, and interact with your products may shorten the sale cycle by convincing people to make quicker purchasing decisions. 


4. Implement Strategic Seating Arrangements 

Be strategic when planning the seating at your in-person events or social activities. Whether they’re keynote sessions, workshops, or post-event dinners, place highly qualified prospects next to your sales representatives or existing happy customers. This facilitates natural, organic, and informal conversations, providing the context for lead nurturing in a relaxed setting. 

Consider the space layout; for example, round tables facilitate group conversations better than long tables. Aim for natural arrangements that don’t force interactions but encourage them. 

Then, brief your team members on the objectives of the strategic seating. Prepare them as well by providing contextual communication ideas and ways to open conversations about the product. 

5. Facilitate One-on-One Meetings Between Reps and Prospects

Incorporate one-on-one networking sessions into your event agenda. This way, you can set up meetings between your sales reps and high-potential prospects in an environment that fosters personalized interactions. 

Allow your audience members to schedule these sessions throughout the event so they can decide if and when they want to engage with a sales rep. Also, equip your sales reps with detailed information about the attendees, including their purchase history, industry, and any other relevant insights. 

One-on-one meetings during in-person events are great for establishing brand credibility. Prospects are more likely to feel valued and understood as well, and this can lead to faster sales cycles and higher conversion rates. 

6. Collect Data for Future Targeting 

Collect attendee registration information, event and session check-ins, and the number of interactions during the event. You can then compile a large database of attendee preferences and behaviors to refine your marketing strategies. 

For example, you could track the most popular sessions and questions attendees tend to ask speakers or your brand representatives. Based on that information, you can better tailor your communication messages and hone in on topics that matter the most to your audience. 

7. Conduct Real-Time Surveys or Feedback Stations 

Gather instant feedback on your products through live surveys or dedicated feedback kiosks. Immediate insights inform real-time adjustments and long-term product development, in turn enhancing customer satisfaction.

This direct feedback from a B2B audience, often knowledgeable and invested in specific industry contexts, can uncover deep insights into the market’s needs and preferences.

For a strong response, position feedback kiosks in high-traffic areas or at pivotal points within the event space, such as near session rooms or at the entrance or exit. You can also offer incentives for completing surveys or providing feedback, such as entry into a prize drawing or future discounts. 

8. Provide Exclusive Benefits to High-Value Prospects and Clients

Give VIP clients or high-value prospects special access to specific sessions, speakers, or networking opportunities. The exclusivity strengthens relationships with key clients, fostering loyalty and encouraging continued business.

First, clarify who your premium prospects and clients are. Base this designation on their purchase history, potential for future business, strategic importance, or influence in the industry. 

Next, design exclusive experiences that will appeal to this group, such as VIP lounges, exclusive meet-and-greets with keynote speakers, or private tours. Whatever you choose, you must ensure these experiences feel personalized and exclusive.

Seeing your company go the extra mile to acknowledge and reward its most valuable clients or prospects can enhance your brand reputation and deepen loyalty. 

How to Maximize Post-event Business Opportunities

It’s critical to capitalize on the momentum that in-person events create. Keep driving growth by taking strategic steps to interact with leads and prospects who attended your events. 

1. Create a Lead Scoring System 

Implement a lead scoring system that assigns value to each attendee based on their event engagement level. It’s helpful to consider variables like: 

  • Session attendance 
  • Participation in live polls and surveys
  • Meetings with sales reps
  • Interactions with product demos
  • Social media interactions
  • Downloading additional materials 
  • Engagement with speakers

Develop criteria for scoring that includes points for factors such as attended sessions, number of questions asked, or interactions with product demos. The goal is to quantify your attendees‘ interest levels.

You can also integrate this lead scoring system into your CRM for easy tracking and follow-up. You’ll then be able to focus your follow-up efforts on the most engaged attendees. As a result, it should increase the efficiency of your sales team and improve conversion rates. 

2. Launch Follow-Up Campaigns 

Construct personalized follow-up campaigns that reach out to audience members post-event. These campaigns should include elements such as:

  • Thank you notes
  • Additional resources
  • Exclusive content offers
  • Post-event discounts
  • Invitations to similar or future events
  • Personalized product recommendations
  • One-on-one consultations

Use the data collected during the session to personalize follow-up messages, including referencing specific sessions they attended or interests they expressed.

Insert links to session recordings, additional content related to their interests, or exclusive post-event offers as well. Encourage further engagement by inviting them to schedule a demo, sign up for a free trial, or attend a one-on-one follow-up meeting.

Well-designed follow-up campaigns keep the conversation going and reinforce the connection made during the event, which guides attendees further down the sales funnel.

3. Develop Marketing Campaigns Around Attendee Interests 

Leverage the insights gained from your event to segment your attendee list and create targeted marketing campaigns. Form groups based on session attendance, topics of interest, and interactions. This allows for highly focused marketing efforts that speak directly to each segment’s preferences.

Craft messages that cater to the different interests your audience showed during the session. Additionally, develop and distribute content that aligns with the specific interests of each segment. Whether through detailed guides, industry reports, or webinars, ensure the content adds value and resonates with your target audiences.

It’s also crucial to incorporate clear calls to action that encourage further engagement, whether that’s a consultation, a product demo, or some other next step that brings them closer to a conversion. These actions need to be easy to execute and relevant to the content and context of the campaign.

Securing post-event action relies on event and attendee data. This shows that in-person events are great not just for building connections but also for collecting insights that have a valuable impact on business growth. 

Final Note

In-person events make for a powerful asset in a B2B marketing strategy. They’re excellent for fostering meaningful connections with target audiences and driving ongoing business growth. 

By strategically integrating in-person events into your broader marketing initiatives, you’ll leverage the value of direct engagement and construct a more dynamic ecosystem that bears fruitful results from your efforts. Moreover, this approach will give you insights you wouldn’t otherwise discover. As a result, you’ll be able to refine your strategies with a precision that only real-world interactions can provide. 

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