8 B2B Event Tactics for Engaging Attendees

You’ve got people to attend your event. Well done!  Now, how are you going to keep them engaged, give them an amazing experience and encourage them to share it with their friends and colleagues? 

Here are 8 of our favourite tactics for making your B2B events memorable and shareable…


People at a conference with their hands in above their heads all with VR headsets on their heads

The art of giving out free stuff never gets old, and for good reason. Everyone loves getting something for nothing, and custom-branded merchandise is an excellent way to get people talking. 

Samsung gave away VR headsets at CES to promote their new Galaxy smartphones. This not only got attendees buzzing; it also allowed them to experience the product hands on.

It doesn’t always have to be costly. Our client, Salesforce, have built a massive community that loves stickers and plushies, or really anything related to their beloved Salesforce characters. They are real collectable items which is why they generate a lot of UGC. 

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

A ricoh event set up using AR

This rise of immersive technology means that AR and VR can be great ways of grabbing attention and creating an unforgettable experience. For example, RICOH used AR at trade shows to show off their products in an interactive way. This allowed attendees to see the product at work without having to physically handle it.

Photo ops and Branding Opportunities

Everyone loves taking selfies, and photo ops can be a great way to promote your brand and create an interesting experience for attendees. Not to mention, the buzz it can generate on social media, possibly creating incentive for others to join next year.  

OST works with technology giant, Salesforce, to ensure their social channels are buzzing with photos and clips at their events. By publishing content featuring influencers, employees and #Trailblazers, we are able to engage a huge virtual audience. In 2022 our Salesforce Live content drove 1.5 million organic impressions and achieved an incredible 37% influencer SOV, with the halo effect lasting well beyond the event itself. 

Interactive Content and Games

promotional graphic for the Inbound 2023 boston Hubspot convention

Interactive content and games can be a great way to create engagement and build a more personal relationship with attendees. For example, Hubspot used a game called Throw Like a Pro at their INBOUND conference. This game allowed attendees to pose in a throw-down with their colleagues in fun, interactive ways, with their names being posted on a leaderboard.

Live Stream the Event

People standing together at Salesforce World Tour with a lady smiling

Another way to engage people who aren’t physically present at the event is to live-stream it. This allows you to reach a broader audience, which in turn can lead to more awareness and ultimately more sales. 

This could be attributed to being an accessible event for those who can’t be there physically. According to a recent study conducted by Livestream, there has been a 76% increase in B2B live streaming since 2016. More B2B companies are recognizing the value of reaching a wider audience through live video content

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become a tried and tested tool for B2B event activation. By partnering with relevant influencers, B2B event organisers can expand their reach and connect with an extended network of decision-makers. 

One way in which we support Salesforce is through our UK Influencer programme, a tried-and-tested tool for B2B event amplification. We connect influencers with internal Salesforce thought-leaders and #Trailblazers (customer advocates) to create amazing, live content that drives organic reach within their target markets. 

Gamify Engagement

Graphic used by Salesforce for the gamefication of their event

Gamification can be a great way to make things a little more interesting. For example, a scavenger hunt that leads to different booths in your exhibition area can be a fun way to keep people engaged.

Even if your attendees are participating remotely, then the odds of them being surrounded by distractions is pretty high. With event games, you are significantly increasing the chances of having everyone’s attention.

If you’re not sure where to start – designate a ‘selfie spot’. This is a simple method to drive UGC online, and even display any event hashtags. 

Connect People

For every B2B event, facilitating a connection between people is fundamental to success. Most major events offer an app service. For example, Cisco created an app that allowed attendees to connect with each other but also highlighted their various products. Promoting the use of the app can create greater interaction amongst attendees. 

If that’s not on budget, then invest in solid community management. This is another key tool for event amplification, you can monitor your social media channels and respond reactively to messages and queries about the event – before, during and after. 

Find out more about partnering with a B2B Event Activation agency.

Jeremy Taylor
Date: 24th August 2023
Category: B2B Marketing Blog Event Activation

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