Event marketing is tricky. Event marketing for business to business organizations can be trickier. And event marketing for the B2B tech industry is harder still. Many SaaS providers have products that perform technical tasks or may be uninteresting to customers who just want their office IT programs to run smoothly.
However, that’s anything but true.
Events give SaaS providers a chance to show off their USPs and bring excitement back into the daily grind for new customers. Event marketing for the SaaS industry can be emotional, exciting, and anything but boring. Here’s how experiential marketing can be a gamechanger when it comes to event marketing for SaaS providers and the B2B tech industry as a whole.
Show Off Your Product
No matter what your product is, you can create an experience around it. An event is the perfect venue to allow your customers to experience what your product can do for them. Set up a demo station that allows event attendees to try out the product for themselves. And don’t interrupt or bore them with a sales pitch. You should be confident enough in your product to let it sell itself without interrupting the experience. However, do be nearby in case of questions that may arise.
A hands-on demo is a great way to advertise how user-friendly your product is. It allows your guests to explore different features through your interface. The entire experience of a demo station at an event prioritizes the user experience, not the sales pitch.
Similar to a demo station, allowing your potential customers to get hands-on with your product gives them a sensory experience that can make event marketing for SaaS providers a breeze. Software is inherently intangible. Its non-hands-on nature can make it tough for people to truly understand or wrap their heads around it. But bringing that software into the “real world” can solve that problem.
For example, do you sell security software that protects businesses from cyber attacks? Set up a cyber attack escape room with a scenario where a business is under attack via malware (think WannaCry). They need to make certain decisions to minimize damage and defend important data, using your software to do it. And don’t just call it quits at putting a computer in a room with the door closed. Set off alarms, flashy red lights. Make it a sensory experience that amps up the anxiety and pressure. A countdown clock is a really great tool for that.
When it comes to experiential event marketing for SaaS providers, don’t be afraid to draw in all of the senses and allow your attendees to experience your product in a new way.
Use Emerging Technology
Virtual reality. Augmented reality. 3D printing. When you mention one of these emerging technologies to the tech crowd, ears seem to perk up and heads turn your way. These technologies are still new, exciting, and full of untapped potential. Can you put them to good use at your event?
Let’s look at an example. Are you a Google Cloud Partner? Turn your business into a virtual reality experience. Take cloud computing a little more literally. Create a virtual reality world in the clouds with different features spread out across the sky. Users have to “jump” from cloud to cloud to see the various capabilities of Google Cloud.
Okay so, a virtual reality world in the sky might be a little far-fetched. But there are plenty of other ways to use emerging technology to spice up your event marketing for SaaS providers. Whether it’s 3D printing your logo or using VR to navigate a virtual version of your store, there are plenty of ways to go about it.
Turn an RSVP Into Something More
When was the last time you RSVP’d for an event? What was the process like? Most likely, you filled out a form, threw in your name, company, and email, and hit “RSVP.” It’s the typical process for a business event. But it’s not very exciting and doesn’t create a true experience.
It doesn’t hurt to create a video for an event landing page. Or turn the landing page itself into an experience. Can you add in music? Virtual fireworks when you hit the RSVP button? An engaging video featuring b-roll from previous events is never a bad idea. It gives potential attendees an idea of your space and what to expect at the event that may make them feel more comfortable hitting RSVP.
Don’t Be Afraid of Tangents
Experiential event marketing for the SaaS industry needs to be relevant and on-brand. But it can also be tangential. For example, one of Volkswagen’s most successful campaigns turned a metro staircase into a playable piano. It highlighted the company’s goals of creating healthier behaviors through fun. Yes, Volkswagen sells cars. But one of its values was also to promote health and exercise. While the experience didn’t have anything to do with cars, it was still on-brand by promoting one of the company’s values.
What event marketing experience could you create around your company values? For example, here at New North, one of our core values is to “Remain Teachable.” The value is all about continued learning, being humble enough to learn from your mistakes, and continuing to improve yourself. If we were hosting a networking event that highlighted what we were all about (and time and money were no object), we could turn one of our conference rooms into an impromptu library full of marketing books that invites attendees to sit down, read, and learn something new.
If you’re really struggling to create an experience around your product, don’t be afraid to go off on a relevant tangent. It allows you to create an event that highlights who you are as a company and what you’re all about. Sometimes, that is just as much a selling point as your product itself.