Delivering brand messages out in the world is still vital to capturing mindshare, but traditional channels aren’t old-school anymore. Marketing tech can now track, measure, and attribute every marketing channel, online and off. Learn how to supercharge your offline marketing, integrate it with your online efforts, and more in this VB Live event!

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Even though B2B companies spend anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of their budgets on live events, says Myllisa Patterson, senior director of event cloud marketing company Cvent, they tend to be a marketer’s nightmare.

“I would frankly tend to shy away from events, because historically they take a lot of energy, a lot of resources, they’re expensive, and it’s difficult to tell true ROI stories about them, because they’re that typical offline, more traditional channel,” she says. “But with the infusion of digital, it’s so easy to track conversion, so easy to tell how events are impacting sales.”

When you infuse technology that helps you automate manual processes, that automation creates a digital experience that then produces data. In turn, digital marketers will use that very data to do better, more targeted and more personalized marketing — and this can apply to the event space, or any number of offline channels. They can all be digitized.

Taking event data online

From registration to follow-up, every point of contact with an event attendee can be tracked and measured, Patterson says. She offers some relevant examples, rife with the kind of data marketers always eager to get their hands on.

Registration: Most people are probably capturing registration online through a website, Patterson says.

“But in my experience, the planner who set up the registration landing page, wasn’t thinking about it in the context of trying to profile a potential customer,” she says. “When we’re thinking about content marketing and forms, we’re often concerned about friction and making sure we’re not asking too many questions.”

But if someone’s decided to attend your event, they have some skin in the game. They want to attend. You have a little more license to ask more questions. Starting from the registration form, you have the opportunity to ask questions that will help create a better attendee experience, which will then ultimately help you sell more things. In other words, make sure you’re thinking of that as a normal demand gen form, not just the event registration form.

On-site: The event day cattle lineup is familiar to every marketer, as they line up behind their letter of the alphabet, and the people working the registration desk are scrambling to find names and tick them off.

“The two things that historically I’ve known as a marketer about the event is that they registered, and then they showed up,” Patterson says. “But you’re relying on whether they picked up their badge — or did somebody walk away with the wrong one?”

Patterson wants you to take that back online. Kiosks with tablets let attendees sign in, similar to an airline kiosk. The attendee walks up, types in their name, and can correct their information if necessary — if their title has changed, or their name somehow has been spelled wrong. And then a badge can print on demand right there, with a QR code for further scanning across the event hall as the attendee walks through, consuming content.

If you’re integrating your tool with your marketing automation and CRM tools, you know immediately, in real time, that the person checked in and they’re at the event. But you also have the opportunity at check-in when someone is printing their badge to ask for some additional data about them. With GDPR on everyone’s radar, you can ask them to opt in to certain kinds of messaging or tracking, or even ask them what they hope to get out of the event.

Session attendance: “I equate session attendance to a supercharged white paper,” Patterson says. “Understanding what sessions and what educational content people consume at the event is super useful from a marketing perspective.”

But historically, the only data you’ve got is someone with a counter standing at the door, just trying to get a count of how many people are at the session. That’s not person-level information. But being able to actively scan each attendee lets you know exactly what content people are consuming on site at the event.

This creates a digital footprint that can be automatically synced into your event management and other tools, and can stretch across the whole hall. You can digitize sentiment surveys, explicit buying information, lead scanning, and more.

Bringing a traditionally offline channel into the online offers even more benefits, Patterson says.

“First, just straight up time savings,” she says. “Whenever you automate processes, you’re going to save time. People are able to repurpose staff to do more cool things because they’re not manually assembling the binders, for example.”

For funnel conversion, when you’re able to maximize what’s happening at the event, you can use it for more targeted lead followup and better selling conversations that can happen more quickly, and be more targeted and more personalized.

“You’re able to get about a 20 percent lift in the number of actual leads you got from the event,” she says, “because you’ve modernized your registration system and you’re getting more people to register, and then because of all the lead tracking you have on-site, you’re capturing more explicit interest and marking more people as leads.”

She also notes that they’ve seen a five percent lift in conversion metrics, and some marketers have been able to increase the attributed pipeline of bookings from events by as much as 20 to 50 percent. For planners, the story is about time savings, efficiency, saving your sanity, and getting more people to your event.

“Whenever you try to automate anything, there are some parties who resist,” Patterson says. “It’s a bit of a crawl-walk-run. But the success that you’ll see means you’re armed with a story that you can use to ask for resources and keep going.”

To learn more about how technology is digitizing offline channels, how to optimize and integrate your online and offline marketing efforts, and where to start, don’t miss this VB Live event.

Don’t miss out.

Register here for free.

Attend this webinar and learn:

  • How to use martech to digitize offline channels
  • How to integrate traditional marketing efforts into their newer tech-driven marketing stack
  • The importance of combining online and offline marketing
  • How to track offline conversions


  • Evan Jones, CMO, Fender
  • Mark Coffey, SVP of Strategic Partnerships, GasBuddy
  • Myllisa Patterson, Senior Director, Event Cloud Marketing, Cvent
  • Shannon Ryan, Head of Marketing, CI&T

Sponsored by Cvent