How Successful Events can Transform a B2B Media Business

Most B2B media dabble in events as a complement to their core publishing business, but few really invest in a strategic programme of events. Those that do can unlock significant value. This report investigates the success stories and sets out how a B2B media organisation can use events to transform their business.

Events can propel media brands’ fame into new markets, tap into different client budgets and build strong industry partnerships. They can provide a competitive advantage by adding value to subscribers and sponsors. Events can also be a relatively ‘quick and easy’ route to rapid revenue and profit growth.

But many B2B media businesses are missing opportunities through lack of skills, organisational integration and senior level understanding of the scale of the opportunity available – resulting in a failure to grasp the impact a well-run events programme can have on the value of a B2B media brand.

Research from the 2016 PPA Publishing Futures report (see below table) shows that for B2B media, live events contribute 40% of all branded activities.

Type of Brand Activity Consumer B2B
Print publications 25% 9%
Websites/online products 15% 11%
Workflow tools 1% 1%
Email newsletter 14% 19%
Digital editions 15% 7%
Mobile publications/apps 9% 4%
Live events 10% 40%
Other 3% 9%

This report is based on individual interviews with eight B2B media businesses and two membership organisations, covering the following topics:

  • The strategic value events can add to media brands
  • Key challenges in launching and growing events
  • Building a portfolio of events through launch and acquisition
  • How events can strengthen a membership proposition
  • Building all year-round value with events
  • Strategic marketing for events
  • Effective organisation and structure
  • Evolving events for the future

Participants in our reasearch

  • Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy
  • Rory Brown, Founder, Briefing Media
  • Steve Newbold, Divisional MD, Media & Events, Centaur Media
  • Alex Martinez, Founder, Procument Leaders
  • Amanda Barnes, Chief Executive, Faversham House
  • Tim Lucas, MD, Fleet & Transport Market, Bauer Media
  • Doug Marshall, Head of Marketing, Wilmington plc
  • Conor Dignam, CEO, Media Business Insight
  • Caroline Cronin, Head of PPA Business, PPA
  • Alex Taylor, Head of Communities & Events, IET

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