The B2B Marketing Expo 2019 – two times a charm

By Lucy Barfoot | Speaking Events

May 16

Europe’s leading marketing event? YES. 

The B2B Marketing expo brings together UK and Europe’s winning marketers, tech providers, solution providers and software companies. There are thousands of businesses in attendance and a tonne of interesting seminars and talks to attend. 

The Ninja team trotted over to London in March for our 2nd year exhibiting. For this 2019 event, we made the jump to not only having a bigger stand than in 2018, but taking charge of a massive masterclass space too. (If you’re a trade fair aficionado, you know how expensive these things can get per sq foot!) 

Having our masterclass space gave us the ability to lead our own training sessions on some real kick-ass topics:

  1. How to double your business with marketing automation
  2. How to behaviourally automate for happy customers
  3. A beginner’s guide to marketing automation
  4. Profiling & behavioural triggers for enhanced conversion
  5. Automating your customer journey workshop
  6. A practical guide to increasing your profits – case study deconstructions.

Kenda and Mike lead a total of 11 masterclasses from our masterclass space. The audience was super keen and willing to learn as much as they could from the sessions, and the event as a whole. There was a real buzz about the place.

We wanted to make these free sessions as useful as possible for peeps. We felt like the topics we chose were the sweet spot between presenting new pioneering ideas in the field of Marketing Automation/Behavioural Marketing, and making that information accessible, and dare I say it – FUN!

We were fully booked for all of the masterclasses, but wanting as many people to come along as possible, we made use of the space, slotting people in – both kneeling up front and for those people whose legs were not yet failing them were stood at the back. 

The Excel centre is HUGE and I’m glad I was tracking my steps!

Our aim was to fill the seats with a real variety (from ‘not yet started up’ people in the ideas phase, to startups, small, medium, and enterprise businesses/ successful entrepreneurs) of attendees. We wanted all levels of business to ‘get it’ and to be inspired by the possibilities within Marketing Automation.

We also wanted to share some of our Campaign Flowcharts on our stand. We used them as wallpaper, which caught the eye of lots of people as they wandered about. The flowcharts were both examples of how campaigns could work, and real-life, tangible, hold-it-in-your-hand (kinda) flowcharts actually being used by businesses, complete with detail. The biggest of them all, a Customer Journey for an Accountants firm, really helped bring Customer Journeys and ideas around Customer Lifetime Value optimising to life for people. YES! That’s what we want!

So the flowcharts were a winner.

Just like back in 2018, nearly every person we spoke to was inspired by the flowcharts and shared that they wish they had their business mapped out in similar ways. AND that they just don’t make it a priority to do so. If we had a £1 for every time we’ve been told that…!

Hear this – if you’re not mapping out you customer journey, you’re probably:

  1. Not providing what your customers want
  2. Not using your customers’ behaviour to give them what they want
  3. Not having a competitive edge.

We help businesses understand customer behaviour, design customer journeys with that behaviour in mind, and automate it. We’d love to help you with yours. Do you like the sound of that?

The masterclass space was directly opposite our stand, which was fab – the Ninja team could see people’s receptiveness and interest in the topics and best of all – see the mad dash of masterclass attendees coming over to get their free chapter of Kenda’s book Hack the Buyer Brain, or to see one of our Campaign flowcharts and discuss how they would work with their business.  

We had some ace feedback from our masterclass participants about how it was so useful to not just hear great advice, but have a go at the nitty gritty of what that advice could look like in their own businesses. Every one of the spaces on our masterclass sessions came with a massive bit of A3 guidance worksheets with prompts for people to fill in

One of my favourite conversations was with a guy who runs one-off painting sessions in local cafes. He came along to the event to kickstart his ideas for growing his idea into something bigger. He practically bounced out of Kenda’s Masterclass ‘A beginner’s guide to marketing automation’, and he and I got deep in brainstorm mode about the ways he could harness Marketing Automation to build up his sideline.

It’s at events like this where you really feel like a real-life marketer. It’s in conversations like these where you remember that it’s not ALL about all those long faceless hours in front of a computer screen, and there’s a lot of satisfaction found in being 1-1 with  entrepreneurs and business owners, bashing out a marketing idea, or helping them with their strategy.

Being at the B2B expo gave us a great opportunity to be  marketers ‘in the field’ – and boy it felt good! It also helped us kind of do our own market research… it’s at events like these where you get to speak to a lot of people, hearing what’s going on for them in their biz, the challenges their facing. That lead to us getting really clear about the tweaks we needed to make to our products and offers, so we can be better at helping people with the challenges that marketing in 2019 is bringing.

On top of the flat-out Masterclass sessions, Kenda was booked for a couple of speaker slots in the seminar spaces. The title for her sessions were ‘Smarter marketing – creating meaningful engagement for customer lifetime value.’ and she smashed it. The seminars were packed out – we’re talking full seats and people squidged in stood at the back. Twitter was buzzing with people tweeting about how much value they were getting from our dear Chief Ninja, up there doing her thang.

Other highlights include –

  • Posing with the Tilkee fox
  • Meeting a Michael Jackson impersonator (that was a really  interesting conversation in light of the 2019 documentary!)
  • The awesome freebies, my fave being a bag of pick and mix #SugarRush
  • The abundance of bouncy balls which were getting tossed about the moment the expo was complete on Thursday.
  • Being finalists for the ‘Best Marketing Management Tool’ award (not a win for us, but we’re chuffed to be runners up!)
  • The awesome feedback which was flooding in during and after the event: 

The B2B Expo was a fab platform for us to sell pre-orders of Kenda’s Book. It’s at the 2018 expo that we were giving out golden tickets which would give the recipient a free digital copy of the book, so it was cool to see some familiar faces a year on, when the book had finally been birthed! We waxed lyrical about ‘Hack the Buyer Brain‘ and sold a load of copies to excited people, fresh out of the masterclasses. We also were offering marketing therapy sessions too. If you want either of those things – here’s how you do it!

The team have announced the dates for  next year – it’s on 25th – 26th March 2020. Tickets are free, and if you’re into marketing, a marketer, have a business (whatever size) we think you should be there. There are loads of industry experts to plug into, not to mention the freebies (everyone loves a freebie!) and the incredible value you can get from the masterclasses and talks. More info on the B2B Expo here

So many people asked for the slides, if you’re one of them – please just contact the Ninjas and we’ll get them sent over pronto.

As you can tell we really enjoyed the expo! We’ll certainly be back next year. See you there! If you attended, leave us a comment letting us know what you thought.

About the Author

Lucy is out creative director although that doesn’t really cover the many hats she wears. In addition to looking after all the design and creative for Ninjas Lucy works directly with some of our clients helping them to identify their objectives and devise campaigns that convert. As something of a serial entrepreneur herself, Lucy understands all to well the challenges facing small businesses and applies her experience to helping clients achieve the best results through bigger thinking. Her positive outlook and creative nature makes her ideally suited to her role. Lucy is happiest when she’s being creative so when she’s not Ninjaring Lucy potters with pottery, paints, spends time with her family and friends and gets out into the wilderness with Dusty the dog.

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