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B2B Landscape

The Live Event Renaissance

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In B2B marketing, it often feels like digital channels dominate. Just a couple of years ago, we were all debating whether in-person events would ever fully recover after the pandemic. However, in 2023, it’s increasingly clear that in-person events are not only relevant again—they’re indispensable for making connections and elevating B2B conversations.

Let’s explore where in-person events and digital events intertwine, learn what’s behind the resurgence of in-person event attendance, and see why trade shows and other live events play a pivotal role in your B2B marketing strategy.

In-Person Events: Competing Head-On With Digital

One prediction made in the Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report is that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur via digital channels.

And yet, in-person events were identified as the most effective marketing channel by B2B marketing leaders in the 2023 LinkedIn B2B Marketing Benchmark report. A whopping 60% of respondents said they plan to include in-person events in their strategies.

Now we can safely say that in-person events are recovering.

LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Benchmark, 2023

In-Person Events: Competing Head-On With Digital

According to the Freeman Trends Report, in-person events are still the preferred way for exhibitors and sponsors to make big announcements.

It’s worth noting, however, that digital channels are quickly catching up. With rising event costs pushing some companies to reconsider exhibiting at events, businesses may find more value in “going hybrid.”

By planning hybrid keynotes, product announcements, and speaking engagements, companies can reach a greater number of participants. Luckily, hybrid events don’t show signs of slowing, providing B2B leaders a platform to reach two separate audiences. That’s particularly important when it comes to lead generation—the primary reason that organisations exhibit, according to the Freeman report.


So, while purely live events are still on top, hybrid expos are going strong, and they are a great way to engage a broader audience than in-person or virtual events alone.

Use Events as a Platform for Thought Leadership

Part of the excitement of in-person events is engaging with speakers. Exhibitions provide B2B enterprises a platform to let their thought leaders shine, through keynotes and educational sessions. 

In-person events offer the chance to share their personal experiences and industry knowledge, and show new technology and products in action. Whether through a captivating keynote speech, an engaging panel discussion, or an interactive workshop, in-person events enable executives to connect with a live and engaged audience.

Bring Education and Networking Together

Trade shows have long been viewed as a place to learn and network—that’s the power of live events. With in-person events being viewed as one of the most trustworthy sources of information, B2B organisations have an enormous opportunity to reach an engaged audience.


Create an eye-catching keynote that tells a story, is backed by hard data, lasts less than one hour, and provides space for Q&A to pass insights to your audience without the risk of losing your audience’s patience and attention. 

Prepare to engage a younger audience in the coming years, as younger audiences are making up a larger share of attendees.

What’s Your Strategy for Live Events in 2024?

Although digital channels have gained ground for lead generation, sales, and product announcements, it’s clear that in-person events are coming back with a vengeance. Conventions and trade shows provide a tangible platform to amplify your thought leadership, engage with your audience on a profound level, and foster authentic connections. And, in a world increasingly saturated with digital noise, in-person events emerge as a way to really create personal connections with buyers, rise above the chatter, and make a memorable impact.

So, how is your organisation planning to make its mark in the evolving B2B landscape? If you want to create showstopping keynotes and hybrid events that resonate with your audience and reinforce your thought leadership, get in touch with our team. Together, we can craft unforgettable experiences that elevate your brand and set you on the path to B2B success for your 2024 event season.

Jessica Mizerak B2B Content Producer

Jess is a versatile B2B content producer at PaperplaneCo. She loves meeting new clients, and every new project opens up a new world for Jess to explore.