B2B SaaS marketing is notoriously difficult with more to contend with now than ever. 

An impactful marketing strategy needs to consider: how you’ll stand out in an increasingly crowded market, how you’ll feed your sales pipeline amongst changing buyer preferences, and how you’ll cut through the noise and reach the right audiences in the AI era.

Through turbulent markets, and changing demands,, in person events have remained a staple B2B SaaS marketing channel that helps businesses of all stages reach their goals. 

In this post, we’ll explore why events continue to be a core channel for B2B marketing leaders and how they’ll help you make an impact in 2024. 

What do we mean by event marketing? 

Event marketing is the process of using events to amplify your brand, generate new business, and make new connections. It’s a broad term that encompasses ways to both host and attend events, including: 

  • Hosting in-person events, from conferences (like Salesforce’s Dreamforce or Xero’s Xerocon) to smaller meetups and socials.
  • Hosting virtual or hybrid events, like online webinars and product launches that are hosted either solely online or in person and streamed at the same time. 
  • Sponsoring or partnering with industry events, like conferences and trade shows, meetups, or social events. 
  • Speaking either as a keynote or part of a panel or hosting content sessions like workshops and roundtables. 
  • Attending an event and using the opportunity to showcase your brand by networking with prospects, customers, peers, and industry experts. 

Events are a popular B2B SaaS marketing channel because of the range of ways they allow companies to engage with their ideal customer profile (ICP) – from raising brand awareness, right through to closing deals and developing advocates.  

For the purpose of the rest of this post, we’re going to discuss the impact event marketing can have when you attend industry events as a partner or sponsor.

5 reasons why events are a powerful marketing channel for B2B SaaS

Sponsoring events involves things like having a booth on the show floor, and increasing brand visibility by sponsoring activations, or hosting a networking or social event. Depending on the event, there’s usually a range of packages to suit different budgets and goals.

This range of options gives you lots of opportunities to get in front of your ICP and make other powerful connections in the community. Here are six ways those opportunities can propel you towards meeting your marketing goals in 2024.

1. Pipeline expansion and revenue: 

With your ICP in one room, events provide opportunities to collect accurate and valuable information including preferences, behaviours, and contact details. The opportunity to collect this first-party data is invaluable to marketing leaders looking to build their sales pipeline and streamline GTM processes. 

Interactive booths & activations on the show floor are a great way to get people engaging in conversations with your team. You can also look at what networking opportunities are available through the event and book meetings with key prospects, customers, peers, and industry leaders in advance. 

At SaaStock, we’ve had companies like Paddle scan over 1000 badges at our Dublin event, generating quality leads that gave them a 3x ROI from their sponsorship.

2. Brand awareness and thought leadership

Meeting face to face at events creates a space for you to connect with prospects and customers on a level it’s hard to reach on Zoom – 77% of event attendees say they trust brands more after interacting face-to-face with them at events

Depending on the event, there’ll be a range of ways to increase your brand visibility onsite. Examples include: a booth and activations, fringe events, and your branding on event signage and collateral. 

You should prepare your team to represent your brand at events not only with things like staff t-shirts but also by encouraging them to network and create their own connections to increase reach and build that trust. 

3. Customer relationships and feedback

As well as connecting with prospects, you can use events to meet with your existing customers. Speak to them and ask for feedback about what they value in your product and where they’d like to see improvement. 

This will help you build lasting relationships with them, plus these conversations give you a chance to address any issues and identify cross or upselling opportunities. Getting this right can help customers stay with you for longer (increasing your customer LTV) and boost expansion revenue, lessening your reliance on acquiring new customers.

4. Networking and making new connections

Whether it’s peers, new talent to join the business, potential partners or the lead investor of your next funding round – the power of networking shouldn’t be underestimated. 

It’s an increasingly important part of events for attendees and sponsors alike and such is becoming a more structured part of conferences and trade shows. At SaaStock, for example, we’re introducing a networking programme that runs alongside the event content and expo hall to make it easier for you to make the connections that will change your business’ trajectory. 

“The whole acquisition process started at SaaStock and it’s not the first time we’ve made those sorts of connections. At prior SaaStock’s I also met people that we ended up partnering closely with. In this world where we are very much working remotely, it’s great to have conferences to go to meet people and [make] connections,” Esben Friis-Jensen, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Userflow

Check out more about Esben’s story here.

5. Product feedback and market intelligence

Events are an opportunity to get live feedback on your product and messaging–both from customers and people completely new to you. Use it to understand what’s valuable, what resonates, and what isn’t so clear. Collect the feedback, share it with your team, and use it to make decisions about where to focus going forward. 

You can also use events to gather market intelligence. Walk the floor and speak to other exhibitors and attendees. This will help you understand what competitors are doing and see more broadly where SaaS companies are innovating and what’s driving their growth.

Measuring event marketing success

Amist budget constraints, being able to prove the ROI of your marketing efforts is more important than ever. Depending on what you want to achieve with your event marketing, there are a number of ways to measure success. Here are some of the most common: 

  • Pipeline and revenue generation: Using metrics like leads generated, cost per lead, and event attributable revenue to understand how much money you made versus the cost of sponsorship. 
  • Brand awareness and engagement: Tracking your website visits and social following during and after the event. In the weeks and months that follow, review engagement with follow up marketing activity including emails, content marketing, and social posts. 
  • Customer engagement: Looking at the number of conversations you had against the number of cross or upsell opportunities and the amount of revenue generation from those opps. 

We’ve got a more detailed guide to measuring the ROI of event sponsorship here.

Kick start your event marketing with SaaStock 

At SaaStock, we’ve spent eight years working with SaaS companies of all sizes to make sure that our events drive impactful results against marketing and business goals.

Our conference in Dublin this October will bring together 4,500 SaaS decision makers and see a new networking programme running alongside our event content. We’re also launching a number of new partner initiatives that make it easier for you to build your pipeline, generate brand awareness, and grow your revenue, including: 

  • Distinct meeting experiences that serve as a focal point for arranging impactful meetings, with the right people. 
  • Tailored opportunities to engage with a focused audience, with exciting new formats including: boardrooms for CFOs/CROs/CMOs/CPOs, SaaStock Sponsor Stage, workshop opportunities for your ICP, and more.
  • Our VIP meeting service, SaaS.Concierge, to pair you with your ideal customer, optimising your time at the event for maximum efficiency and impact.

Find out more about our partnership opportunities or download the prospectus

We look forward to hearing from you!