B2B Facebook Event Targeting

Are you a B2B company that’s exhibiting at a convention/conference? Facebook Event Targeting, coupled with Facebook ads, is a tactic that will go a long way towards helping your company increase the ROI at your trade show—and will only add a very small sum to your exhibition budget.

The most important aspect of the ad setup is the definition of the geographical radius. Facebook allows “radius targeting” by address in mile increments. In all likelihood, a one-mile radius using the conference site address as the target will allow you to target the entire conference site plus a small surrounding area (since people will go offsite to transact business), which is completely adequate for the purposes of this exercise.

Here’s a screenshot from a campaign I set up recently targeting the Iowa State Fairgrounds:

B2B Facebook Event Targeting

If your convention site is located in a dense urban area, this tactic will be somewhat less effective, since your mile radius will include plenty of people not involved in the targeted conference. This will require you to be more careful with managing your spend.

Now, we need to hook people with the ad. Don’t run your “normal” Facebook ads for conference attendees (for someone quickly scrolling through Facebook on their phone isn’t going to connect your regular ad with your conference exhibit). Instead, do something creative that’s only going to be meaningful to conference attendees:

We are going to get a fair number of clicks to the website from this ad, which is good (and generate some incidental leads). However, our objective is to directly call out people at the convention site to stop by the booth. We’ve given them an incentive to stop by (good beer). Such a tactic will generate more conversations at the booth, bringing more leads into the top of the funnel and helping to validate the tradeshow exhibition tactic.

A logical question that I’ve been asked is whether you should layer additional interest targeting on top of the geographical targeting. I don’t recommend it as when I’ve tested it, I’ve made the audience reach too small. By virtue of being at the conference, people have self-selected as a relevant audience no matter what their previous Facebook behavior says about their interests and likes, and any restriction to this audience would be a mistake.

How much does this cost? I’ve targeted Dreamforce at Moscone Center, San Francisco for $100 a day…and while I could have likely spent more than this, I couldn’t spend too much more while geographically restricting the campaign to just the conference site. You might not think that people would be on Facebook while attending a B2B conference, but I have plenty of data that says otherwise. This tactic has provided amazing results for my clients and no matter how much I talk about it, I feel confident that it will remain effective and inexpensive for the foreseeable future.

B2B Facebook Event Targeting

Todd Mintz

April 12, 2019

By Todd Mintz