When it comes to engaging with key stakeholders and prospective customers, B2B events offer something that virtually no other advertising platform does - genuine face-to-face interaction that can lead to tangible, successful outcomes. But what makes them so valuable and what can attendees gain from participating?
B2B events enhance connections.
B2B events are ideal for engaging with like-minded professionals, expanding networks and establishing new relationships and can have long-lasting benefits for attendees from both small and medium to large enterprises.
In 2018, the Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate division set itself the challenge of creating and organising Australia’s premier corporate B2B travel management event. Its focus was on keeping attendees at the forefront of the exciting technological changes occurring in the corporate travel space including OBT’s, mobile apps, reporting, chatbots, biometrics, aircraft design and product distribution.
The Illuminate event took place in September and was attended by over 340 corporate customers, suppliers and key industry experts. The event was also sponsored by over 80 of the industry’s leading travel partners, some of whom operated exhibition stands on the day to showcase their products and services. A number of sponsor prizes were also awarded to attendees including flights and accommodation packages to a number of national and global destinations.
B2B events create brand awareness.
Brand awareness plays an important role in the growth of any business, allowing potential clients to tap into a company’s core values and operational strategies. B2B events allow companies to showcase their brands in an influential and inspirational forum, highlight the breadth of their offerings and expertise, and they give staff and industry partners an opportunity to leverage those offerings to a range of prospective clients.
Illuminate not only highlighted the strength of FCTG and its corporate brands, it provided a platform for the showcasing of a number of cutting-edge technological developments. These included FCM’s chatbot travel assistant app, Sam:] and the launch of revolutionary online booking tool, Savi. Attendees were invited to get ‘up close and personal’ with these new technologies via expert demonstrations in order to learn more about their functionality and how they can benefit customers.
B2B events are highly educational.
B2B events are a great way of providing thought leadership, exposing attendees to current trends and industry knowledge and allowing employees to enhance skills that are relevant to their specific roles.
Illuminate was facilitated by some of the industry’s most influential clients, partners and industry leaders, including 19 keynote speakers from a variety of marketing segments in the areas of AI, online technology, aviation and the customer experience. A number of open discussion panels were also hosted including a Supplier Panel that was focused on the personalisation of customers’ travel experiences, and a Voice of the Customer panel where leading travel procurement managers offered insights into how current industry trends are impacting corporate travel programs.
B2B events lead to tangible results.
The success of B2B events can be measured by a range of variables from guest participation and brand perception to networking and knowledge sharing opportunities and of course, attendance.
Attendee feedback from Illuminate was overwhelmingly positive with almost 400 attendees registering for the day, which was double the previous year. But the most telling statistic? Almost all of last year’s attendees who responded to the post-event survey said they would definitely attend again!
Graham (Skroo) Turner
Flight Centre Travel Group – CEO
“At Illuminate 2018 we heard about new advancements in the airline industry like non-stop flights to New York and London from Sydney which are obviously going to be fantastic innovations. In terms of technology, certainly from a FCTG perspective it’s always going to be about people, but it’s also going to be about how our people can be assisted by technological advances, many of which we’ve got onboard right now”.