Sales people love targeted marketing events. Unsurprisingly, this is because they are an effective medium for building relationships and doing business. 

The B2B sales cycle is experiencing a beautiful wave of scientific innovation. At least 80% of decision making is happening on line and marketers are all deeply focusing on analytics to deepen these virtual engagements. As the marketing cycle morphs and gains wisdom, there is a shift in the role of sales teams. Moving relationships from the anonymous world of web engagements to a face-to-face, trust building close can create some intense expectations as a deal moves towards the finish line. 

I think that's why sales people still love targeted events. However beautifully a marketing team have created a brand online and communicated it's value through wizarding content marketing strategies - ultimately, people still buy from people.   

From a prospect's point of view, an event can still feel like discovery and exploration. There's not so much pressure as there is in a one to one meeting where the chemistry is a gamble.

 At a targeted event, if the atmosphere has been built well, it creates a better opportunity than a few people round a table for sixty minutes can aspire to. 

Building a compelling reason to bring people together helps build relationships that can push a deal over the finish line. There is nothing like the alchemy of sharing best practices within a peer group to create an atmosphere of trust, openness and curiosity.

The recent Gartner report  on Data-Driven marketing is a good read for people in sales and marketing looking for insight on what tech is available to help with the automated elements of the B2B sales and marketing cycle. 

But for the moment when you have MQLs ready to convert to SQLs - there's nothing quite so transformative and effective as an in person event. A compelling theme, an intriguing agenda all work together to create the right atmosphere. And for all of the hard work that goes into an event, that's why I still absolutely love them and believe in their power.