B2B Events: Speaker Topic Trends

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Business to Business Events - Speaker Topic Trends: Canada

Three topics that corporate Business to Business (B2B) conferences or B2B tentpole conferences are currently speaking on in Canada are 1) Practical Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, 2) Cyber and Data Security, and 3) Digital Social Marketing (Maximizing LinkedIn). The conferences, along with their website links, are provided in the findings below.

1) Practical Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

2) Cyber and Data Security

3) Digital Social Marketing (Maximizing LinkedIn)

Research Strategy

We started our research by looking for any recent, ongoing, or future corporate Business to Business (B2B) conferences or B2B tentpole conferences in Canada.

After concise research, we found some of these conferences, and we were able to highlight topics that they are presently speaking on in Canada. These topics are focused on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, cyber and data security, and digital social marketing. Although we observed that there were variations in the wording around these topics, the text of our headings in the above findings is the crux of each topical discussion.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Business to Business Events - Speaker Topic Trends: United States

Three topics that speakers at corporate B2B conferences are currently speaking on in the United States are social media marketing, artificial intelligence (AI), and influencer marketing. Below is an overview of each topic, name of conference and website link. The reasoning behind selecting the topics is included in the research strategy section.

Social Media Marketing

  • Social media marketing is using social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Many B2B companies are having difficulties implementing social media marketing into their business because it has been long perceived as solely for B2C companies. It is said, however, that social media could be the most effective marketing channel for B2B companies.
Conference Topic & Websites
  • Content Marketing World: Creating a Sales Strategy for YouTube That Doesn't Kill Your Channel, Reanimating Your Desiccated Company Page on LinkedIn: Build Your Brand, Encouraging Employee Advocacy and Inviting Engagement with LinkedIn pages, Utilizing Instagram to not-so-accidentally grow your brand.
  • Marketing Prof B2B Forum: How to Get People Talking Positively About Your Company in Social Media, How to Combine Account Based Marketing and Social Selling on LinkedIn, and Leveraging Social Media: Three Essentials to Drive Business Through Digital Marketing.
  • B2B Online: Effectively Measuring Customer Interactions Online to demonstrate an ROI and Content and Personalization

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. AI has helped marketers succeed in scaling B2B sales and marketing and has been used effectively in predictive analytics campaigns.
Conference Topic & Website

B2B Influencer Marketing

  • Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves endorsements and product placements from an individual or organization who has a strong social influence. B2B companies are turning to gain exposure through influencer marketing since the cost of paid advertising has increased and in some instances decreased in effectiveness. 65% of B2B companies are planning to increase their influencer marketing budget by 2020.
Name & Website of Conference
  • Content Marketing World: How to Develop a B2B Influencer Marketing Program that Actually Works, Guardians of Content Col 1: How to Scale B2B Influencers Content to Save the Galaxy, and Influencer Marketing is Content Marketing for the Enterprise.
  • Marketing Prof B2B Forum: Through the Looking-Glass: Enter a New World of Always-On Influencer Programs, Scaling a Data-Driven Influencer Marketing Program, How to Increase Brand Awareness, Credibility, and Trust by Working With B2B Influencers and Influencers, Search Rankings, and Collaboration
  • B2B Marketing Exchange: Driving ABM Programs With Influencers

Research Strategy

We started the research by searching sites such as Eventbrite, LinkedIn and All Conferences for a list of B2B conferences. We then filtered the results by location and selected conferences to be held in the US. We thereafter searched the website for each conference to find the number of attendees from previous years. We then selected the conferences with the least amount of attendees and reviewed the agendas to find topics that will be discussed. We included the topics that were mentioned most frequently in our research. The topics were also cross-referenced with a B2B Marketing Trends Report; all three topics were mentioned in the report.


Part
03
of four
Part
03

Big Picture Trends - Canadian Business to Business Events

Four of the more significant trends in Canadian B2B conferences in Canada in 2019/2020 are artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and ecommerce/omnichannel sales.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Artificial intelligence is the phrase used to describe the function that allows machines to learn from experience, change their code to adjust to new information, and perform tasks usually done by humans.
  • Examples like chess-playing computers and self-driving cars rely on natural language processing and deep learning. Using AI, computers can be trained to complete specific tasks by "processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data."
  • This topic was chosen because AI is a central principle that will drive disruptive changes in the 4th Industrial Revolution. It is predicted that this revolution will "likely challenge our ideas about what it means to be a human and just might be more transformative than any other industrial revolution we have seen yet."

Conferences

  • PEOPLE ANALYTICS is a conference targeted to Human Resource professionals who want to move their HR systems to the next level. The workshop on AI is called "How to Use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Put the Human Back in Human Resources". It discusses the practical solutions of using chatbots to optimize hiring and using AI to customize corporate training programs.
  • IT TECH is one of Canada's largest IT conferences. It is held annually in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. At the Toronto Conference in 2020, the workshop on AI is called "Are you AI-ready?" It speaks to the benefit of making knowledge easily accessible to staff and customers using AI.
  • CANADIAN CONFERENCE on AI will take place in Ottawa in May 2020. The conference is collocated with the Computer and Robot Vision conferences, and a single registration allows attendees to attend workshops at any conference. The conference agenda has not yet been published.

Cybersecurity

  • Cybersecurity is the rules and processes used to protect systems, networks, and applications from digital attacks.
  • Cyberattacks are usually aimed at stealing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, blackmailing users, or disrupting normal business processes.
  • This topic was chosen because the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Breaches are increasing, hackers are becoming more active, the proliferation of IoT is opening never- before-available portals, and the cost to businesses and risk to consumers is high.

Conferences

Social and Digital Marketing

Conferences

ECommerce

Conferences

Research Strategy

In order to determine the trends happening at Canadian business conferences, we started at the Canada CEO conference to determine what the major topics were that most interested Canada's CEO. We chose that strategy because we assumed that CEO's would have identified the biggest trends about which they needed to learn more.
At this year's annual Canada CEO conference, the topics picked for the one-day conference, based on feedback from the CEO's, included artificial intelligence, digital marketing, and mastering the direct to consumer (ecommerce) model.

We then looked through the Canadian business press to determine the themes or activities that would identify issues that would be of interest to conference goers. In the last year, cybersecurity has been hot topics in all the major Canadian business media, including the Financial Post and the Globe and Mail. The Canadian government supports a Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity to assist the public.

Finally, we performed generic research on the topic of business conferences in Canada. This research showed that each of these four topics were considered important and had multiple conferences scheduled across the country. This confirmed for us that the topics from the CEOs and the press were in fact bigger trends in Canada.

Part
04
of four
Part
04

Big Picture Trends - United States Business to Business Events

After extensive research, the research team was not able to determine the Big Picture trends that are currently happening across the US. However, the research team found that providing immersive experience with the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) and live streaming events/conferences are some of the trends in United States B2B events.

Helpful Insights

#1. Providing Immersive Experience

  • Immersive experience is the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in B2B events where virtual reality allows participants to engage with 360 degrees 3D images, immersing them into places and experiences that are otherwise inaccessible.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) overlays a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, creating an enhanced reality.

Why this is a Trend

#2. Live Streaming

  • B2B event organizers have started to capitalize on live stream technology via live transmission of an event over the internet as people watch keynotes and sessions that are uploaded and live-streamed to social media channels.

Why this is a Trend

  • This is a Big Picture trend because it is being activated in 3 different B2B conferences across the US including:
  • In 2019, the ANA Conference focused exclusively on in-house agencies, where the executives provided practical ideas that businesses can rely on for enhancing in-house agency operations and creative strategy through live streaming.
  • Google I/O, Google’s annual user conference was live-streamed as the event organizers recorded the keynote with a 360 camera allowing virtual attendees to watch the speeches live.
  • SAP organizes Sapphire, a user conference held in Orlando, FL each year relied on influencers to live-stream the event to people who could not attend the event.

Additional Insights:

  • Some trends in the corporate event and conference industry include hosting more events with fewer resources, the use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

B2B Event Marketing Stats:

  • According to Adstage, 68% of B2B marketers use in-person events for lead generation initiatives.
  • A report by Bizzabo revealed that 58% of B2B companies use event software at their events, compared to 54% of B2C companies.
  • About 23% of B2B organizations primarily run live events for community building.

Research Strategy:

We were not able to determine the Big Picture trends happening at United States B2B events/ conferences.
We commenced our research determine the Big Picture trends happening at United States B2B events/ conferences by searching for industry reports and market reports for the subject under investigation through sources such as IBISWorld, Markets and Markets, and Market Watch among others. This strategy enabled us to locate the Trade Show and Conference Planning Industry report for the United States. The report detailed the market size, growth rate, etc, for conference planning in the US. However, there was no information found on the trends in B2B events/conferences. Besides the full report was not accessible because it was locked behind a paywall.

Next, we searched for information on the websites that specialize in the event planning industry through sources such as Eventbrite, Event Manager Blog, Social Tables, and Bizzabo among others. The idea here was to look for articles or reports published by these sources specific to the trends in the B2B event/conference industry of the United States. This strategy enabled us to find information on some trends happening in the event/conferences. However, there was no specific to the trends in the B2B event industry.

As a last resort, we decided to search for articles, interviews, and media publications on the B2B event/conference industry in the United States that have been published by media outlets. Our idea here was to look for comments from industry experts, company spokespersons, etc, and see if they had discussed any details related to trends in Big Picture conferences across the US. We were able to come across articles published by Summits YNC and The Weed Blog among others. From these sources we were able to locate some trends in the B2B event/conference industry of United States.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03