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Out-of-Home 2.0

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5 min read

How to Run Out-of-Home During a Conference

Go-to-market teams are in the trenches of 2024 planning. After a rocky year, particularly for B2B tech companies, marketers are trying to find the right balance between efficiency and effectiveness. They’ve got to meet their goals for growth, with a smaller team and a smaller budget.  

So what’s on the ‘trend watch’ for marketers for 2024? They need to continue operating with efficiency, but also build brand trust and differentiate among a sea of competitors.

Leading Marketing TRENDS for 2024

One area that’s getting a heavier investment across B2B in particular is brand marketing. A recent survey from Matter Communications revealed that 35% of CMOs ranked brand-building a top priority for the year (up significantly from the previous year), specifically, investing in driving brand loyalty among existing customers. This has become a priority largely because of how difficult new customer acquisition was across a number of B2B industries this year.

According to Bloomberg and Gartner, in-person events are back and will be a common marketing tactic for B2B businesses in 2024. Despite the rise of virtual alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, most event organizers plan to schedule more in-person B2B events in 2024 compared to 2023.  

A strong in-person event presence can be the cornerstone of an integrated marketing campaign. If done right, an event can deliver against full-funnel goals - from brand-building, to lead nurture, to customer engagement and retention. An out-of-home campaign surrounding the conference can play a critical role in conference success if done right.

USE OUT-Of-Home TO Amplify PRESENCE at a Conference  

Using out-of-home advertising during conferences offers a unique opportunity to capture mindshare among all your target audiences. Decision-makers, industry influencers, existing and prospective clients are all gathering in one location. 

Unlike other marketing channels, out-of-home advertising at conferences allows for immediate and direct exposure to a concentrated group of individuals who are actively seeking industry news, trends and solutions. 

In addition, OOH advertising surrounding a conference can: 

  1. Double down on large conference investment - having a conference booth can often be the biggest line item on the marketing budget. Investing in OOH surrounding the event can multiply the impact of your event presence. 
  2. Drive traffic to your booth - OOH placements at conferences can contain extremely pinpointed messages, even QR codes with specific CTA's. Reminding your audiences repetitively where to find you can help drive foot traffic to your booth or event. 
  3. Compete with the ‘noise’ - B2B events are often jam packed with speaking tracks, networking events and cool swag to collect. OOH advertising messages conveyed during quieter times - in a car on the way to the conference center, or in the hotel lobby - have a greater chance of actually being heard. 


When you’re planning your out-of-home campaign for your next B2B conference, recommends adopting the SWARM approach:

  • Simple - Keep your message straightforward and concise.
  • Widespread - Maintain your presence throughout the attendee journey.
  • Affordable - Make the most out of your budget across various placements. 
  • Repetitive - Repeat your message consistently for better retention.
  • Measurable - Evaluate performance to refine future campaigns.

Best Practices for OOH at a Conference

  1. Simple - Keep your message straightforward and concise.
    In OOH advertising, simplicity is key. You have a limited amount of time to grab the attention of passersby, so keep your message simple, clear, and impactful. Use bold fonts, minimal text, and eye-catching visuals to communicate your brand's key value proposition. Think about the context of how and where someone is consuming this message. It’s going to be in a passive way. The content and message need to be clear without much context.
  2. Widespread - Maintain your presence throughout the attendee journey.
    Selecting the right locations for your OOH advertisements is crucial. Identify high-traffic areas near the conference venue, such as hotels and major highways. If it’s a conference people are traveling in for, that opens a huge opportunity for transit placements at railway stations, airports, and more. Placing your ads strategically will ensure that your message is seen by a large number of conference attendees and other professionals from the B2B industry.
  3. Affordable - Make the most out of your budget across placements.
    There are so many options for OOH advertising placements it can be overwhelming for marketers to access, review and purchase them. But there’s a modern way to go about the selection process, based on the activities of the event and the behaviors of your audience. And OOH takes on many forms - it’s not all massive, expensive billboards. Especially surrounding conferences. Approach OOH with the strategic thinking and precision you would with other performance marketing channels, to maximize your investments.
  4. Repetitive - Repeat your message consistently for better retention.
    Conference attendees will be busy and rushing from one place to the next. Don’t try to tell a long story or a variety of stories with your campaign - it won’t sink in. Use your placements to reinforce the same message over and over. This extends beyond the OOH placements, including your online and booth presence. The more consistent your brand is with your message, the more people it will resonate with. 
  5. Measurable - Evaluate performance to refine future campaigns.
    Traditionally it’s been difficult to measure the impact of OOH - we covered this in depth in our blog recently. But new MAIDs technology has changed that. Each media placement in your OOH campaign can be tracked individually to understand the impact it had. And with all of this data, has built an extremely intelligent database so every out-of-home campaign becomes more precision-targeted than the last.


In addition to the SWARM approach, here are a few more tips for your marketing team to consider as you build your OOH strategy surrounding your next conference:

Integrate Digital (DOOH) Elements for a Modern Experience

We’ve covered all the basics about Digital out-of-home (DOOH) in a recent blog post. Digital inventory can be a particularly creative outlet for B2B marketers during a conference - brands can run engaging, customized messages that can be adjusted quickly. It can also serve as a connection point to the rest of your digital marketing activities if you incorporate CTA’s and QR codes.

Here are some creative DOOH deployments we’ve helped customers run surrounding conferences: 

  • Scannable QR codes in taxi cabs or waiting areas - use a QR code for an event CTA in a location where event attendees are seated and likely using their phones. The CTA could be add a speaking session to their calendar or RSVP to a party. 
  • Custom messages based on news or events - digital placements in hotels and airports can be customized based on factors like the weather or the event agenda. 

Combine OOH with Digital Channels to Maximize Impact 

Don't fall into the common trap of your event activities being standalone to the rest of your campaigns in market. The success of an in-person event can be multiplied significantly by activating all your marketing channels around a common event message and goal.

In addition to on-site event presence and out-of-home advertisements surrounding the conference experience, this means using PR, social media, email, and digital advertising channels to reinforce the same message.

One simple application is simply taking the same ads you’re creating for OOH and convert them to digital placements to run during and immediately after the conference. You many need to change the CTA slightly, but when a conference attendee takes the step of visiting your website or googling your brand name after seeing a billboard, they will feel they landed in the right place.  They'll see the same colors, messages, etc. on your digital channels as they did at the event.

At a minimum, ensure nothing is going out to market via any of your channels that might be contradictory to your event message. Considering the event attendance a holistic marketing campaign that drives your greater brand narrative - not a siloed effort. 

EXAMPLES OF OOH Conference Campaigns

OneScreen.Ai works with top B2B brands to run engaging OOH campaigns during conferences. Here are a few recent examples: 

Greenhouse ran an OOH marketing campaign surrounding a big industry event in Las Vegas. As many attendees were traveling in, they secured multiple digital placements in the Las Vegas Airport. They also had a significant presence on digital screens along Las Vegas Boulevard. Conference attendees saw digital messages from Greenhouse throughout their journey to and from the event. digital signage digital billboard outside  

Fivetran is an automated data movement platform. Their latest conference campaign in London, surrounded a big data industry event with thousands of global attendees. Their OOH campaign included a mix of DOOH advertisements, OOH signage, and wrapped taxi cabs: 

Fivetran digital billboard

Fivetran OOH on taxi cab


When used effectively, out-of-home advertising can be an extremely powerful tool for promoting conferences to B2B businesses. Keeping the SWARM approach in mind, leveraging DOOH, and integrating OOH into an omni-channel campaign,  will help your team maximize your reach among your target audience, and maximize your conference investment.