How to network the right way at Microsoft Inspire 2019

  • 7 very important things to do at Inspire 2019
  • Why strategic networking is better than just ‘chatting’
  • Making the most of Corenote and Breakout sessions

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An event as big as Microsoft Inspire can set your business up for the rest of the year. As well as providing a wealth of priceless expertise from the world’s top business leaders, Inspire is built around collaboration and networking with specially designed areas built to help foster these connections, new and old. The Hub offers a great networking ground to build new business, while the Expo Hall, Partner Network, and Microsoft Showcase all offer talks and advice from experts across industries and verticals, that you can take back and inject into your business. The opportunities to connect at Microsoft Inspire 2019 are countless and, just like the Vegas glamour, should be indulged in at every given chance.

So, with less than four weeks to go, we thought you’d be on the hunt for some networking tips for the biggest Microsoft Partner event of the year.

Top tips for Microsoft Inspire 2019

Social Studies

Social media is an important networking tool so harness it. Search for popular Microsoft Inspire 2019 hashtags and join online discussions in your field. It’s important to enhance your online profile by keeping your name prevalent in relevant social spheres – making you easier to search for. A good example is to create a schedule of the sessions you plan to attend and publicise this to all Microsoft attendees (a feature available upon registering). You never know, somebody could be seeking you out especially.

Time spent social networking before, during and after the event is invaluable so maximise its potential. You can use everything from a company website to LinkedIn and other social media channels to learn information and create talking points prior to meeting people you’re interested in. You could then follow up with that person afterwards. In fact, Microsoft’s Rachel Braunstein shares even more in an exclusive interview on how to network at Inspire.

Take candy from strangers

Finding the right connection can be difficult. Keep your pre-planned prime targets in mind but get mingling and strike up conversations with other attendees. Remember that valuable leads can pop-up in places you might least expect. However, consider whether you feel a business relationship can bloom and focus on those people. Don’t waste too much time speaking with people who can’t help you.

Which floor are you on?

Treat each interaction like a condensed meeting and prepare an elevator pitch. Conversations can be limited to just 30 seconds so make an impression and fill the time with important details. What you do and where you work, who your clients are. What are your goals? At this point, if you feel the conversation is flowing well – ask for their details so that you can set up a second meeting in the future to see if there is any potential for business. The scannable QR code on your badge links to your LinkedIn profile and is a good way of swapping details.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Don’t be scared to jump into the middle of a conversation. Wait for a natural break then step in and introduce yourself. Daunting as it seems, in most cases people welcome the interruption and enjoy the chance to meet somebody new. After all, they are there to network, just like you. Feel free to politely excuse yourself if you sense the conversation is serious.

The Hub

Arrange meetings or spark conversation with fellow networkers at The Hub. Microsoft have created an open space where you’ll already find a concentration of the types of people you wish to partner with, making conversation finding the opportunities much easier.

Corenote and breakout sessions

Reserved for Microsoft’s highly accomplished experts, innovators and visionaries like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and entrepreneur Simon Sinek; the Corenote offers an excellent segue into Breakout Sessions, that can unlock another room full of potential business opportunities.

Each Corenote Session will have a corresponding Breakout Session. These breakout sessions or workshops concentrate on specific areas discussed in the Corenote Sessions, giving you a smaller network of people who are all passionate about the same areas of business and technology. Smaller groups can provide more meaningful discussions around topics which could vastly increase your likelihood of generating a lead.

Think globally, too

Think big, break into new markets and make global connections in Microsoft’s Area Lounges. A suite of rooms devoted to a host of countries in a casual setting, providing a fantastic ready-made climate to plant some business seeds of your own. There’s nothing as empowering as taking your business international.

Come say hi at Inspire 2019

Make sure to  follow us on Twitter to keep up with all the action at Inspire and get your free copy of our Top 50 Inbound Marketing Report for 2019as soon as it’s released. You can also pick up a copy of the report at Inspire – we’ll be at Stand #616, look out for the guys in the bright red t-shirts!

See you in Vegas!

Fifty Five and Five work with Microsoft Partners to enhance their marketing activities. Want to talk to us directly about your next campaign or your broader Microsoft marketing strategy? Get in touch and say hello!

Where do you rank in 2019?

Download the free Top 50 Microsoft Partner 2019/2020 report now, to find out where you ranked.

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blog about B2B video marketing

Breaking down B2B video marketing: What it is and how to do it well

  • What is B2B video marketing?
  • How can you do it effectively?
  • What tools are available to help you get started?

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In recent years, B2B video marketing has rapidly increased in popularity. Today, brands everywhere are competing to create the most engaging visual content to market their products or services. And with so much of modern digital marketing taking place on social media, it’s no wonder that videos are more popular than ever. But getting started with video marketing can often be daunting – and brands often struggle to work out how to do it effectively.

By following a few easy steps, even the smallest companies can succeed in creating successful video marketing on a tight budget. In this blog, we explain how to get started with B2B video marketing through a simple, six-stage process.

1. Plan a strategy

The first thing you need to define is how your video will fit into your wider marketing strategy. B2B video marketing can be a great tool - but to be truly effective, it should work seamlessly alongside your blogs, website and social media marketing.

If you’re planning on just making one video to get started, then you should make sure to target the most effective point in the customer journey. You want to be able to effectively target the content of your video to the precise needs of the customer at their point in the cycle. Creating content explaining how to buy your product before educating them on its functions is pointless.

Videos can be more personal and friendly than the written word, which makes them particularly good for reassuring potential customers at the early stages of the customer journey. If you’re going to produce multiple videos, then you’ll need to consider how they relate to each other. Ensure each video targets viewers at different points in the customer journey, with a logical progression of ideas from one point to the next. Each video should draw upon and develop the information outlined in those that came before. Alternatively, if you’ve got a wide range of customers in different industries, make sure your videos target the specific needs of each one.

2. Choose your video type

There’s not just one type of B2B video marketing - there are plenty of different ways you can appeal to your audience through visual media. When choosing the type of video you want to make, consider the needs of your audience, the messages you’re trying to convey and how well the format fits in with your wider content strategy. Here’s a look through some common examples:

Product explainer

A product explainer is a great starting point for your first video. Consider this the visual version of a blog; it should succinctly set out the business problems your customers faces and how your product is the solution.


A tutorial is a good way of explaining how to use your product or service. This is particularly useful if you create software applications, or similar tools that require customers to learn how to use them. Tutorials encourage adoption among existing customers and demonstrate the capabilities of your offerings to newer viewers.

Case study

Videos allow you to extoll the proven benefits of your products or services. If you’ve got happy clients, then visually explaining how you helped them could be a great way of finding new ones. Make sure your video is focused on the specific problems that you helped your client solve.

The list of different types of video marketing doesn’t just end here. If you’re an experienced video marketer, you could branch out and focus on webinars, brand videos, educational explainers and much more. The possibilities are endless. But if you’re a beginner looking for a video idea that’s easy to execute and provides real value – these three are certainly the best place to start.

3. Define your audience

Like any type of marketing content, you need to understand who you’ll be talking to before you can get started. Good B2B video marketing involves a clear and focused understanding of your customer’s situation – what the problem is and how your solution applies to that.

Creating personas is a great way of doing this. This is a fictitious outline of your average or ideal customer that uses market research or real data about your existing customers to build a profile. Outline the customer’s role, what their job entails, and which industry they work in. Then, specify the problems they face, their pain points and the reason they would choose your product as the solution.

Once you’ve created your persona, you’ll have a character that you can create messages for. When writing your script, recording your voiceover and creating your designs - keep in mind how it appeals to this persona.

4. Write your script

Good scripts are one of the most essential parts of successful B2B video marketing. But it’s also one of the most difficult things to get right. If you’ve written marketing material for your business, you’ll be used to the kind of tone and marketing messages that this involves. But there are important differences between writing for the written word and for the spoken voice.

Find the right tone for your script. Try to strike the right balance between casual and formal. A good script should sound natural and spontaneous, using jargon-free language that makes your viewers feel comfortable. Address your customers directly; your script should flow like a conversation with a friend. Keep in mind that this is still marketing material and customers could be put off if the language is too colloquial. Try reading your script out to a colleague. If the words roll off your tongue and sound authentic, then you’re definitely on the right path.

Most importantly, make sure to keep your language short and to the point. Introduce your problem then describe the solution. If you can condense your ideas down to a 2-3 minute video, you’re on your way to creating fantastic B2B video marketing content.

5. Make your video

If you’ve put the right preparation in, this should be the easiest part of the process. With a good outline and script in place, now you need to get recording and creating.

People often think that to make a professional looking marketing video, you need specialist, potentially expensive, equipment and software. In 2019, however, that’s not the case. Decent quality microphones have never been more affordable, and there are plenty of cost-effective tools that allow you to easily make professional looking videos.

If you’re looking to dip your toe into the video marketing waters, then you’ll want an inexpensive, easy-to-use tool to get you started. Here’s a look through some of the most popular choices.


Wideo features an easy-to-use interface that allows anybody to make professional looking videos. The platform also features a range of pre-made video templates to make your creation process even easier.


With Viewbix, creating video marketing material can be as easy three simple steps, in as little as five minutes. Obviously, this is particularly good for first time users, but users may find the functionality restrictive as they develop.


Stupeflix makes video production easy by allowing you to gather pre-existing images, videos, music, and a whole range of third-party media together. The interface allows users to unify different types of content into a single, professional looking design. It then makes it easy to publish this on the web, either on YouTube, Facebook or on your website.


Wistia is one of the most powerful video marketing tools, including detailed analytics features which allow you to analyze the success of your strategy. This could be particularly useful for more advanced users that want to continue building and improving on their video marketing strategies.

Once you’ve found the right video marketing tool, the rest is easy. Fortunately, many of these will offer a free trial – so why not take the opportunity to shop around and find which tool is the best match for your business?

6. Push your content out

You might think that once you’ve made your video, your work is done. Like any type of marketing material, however, you need to encourage people to watch it. To do that, you need to generate attention.

Pushing your video out on social media is generally a great way of doing this. Pay attention to LinkedIn and Twitter, since they tend to be more popular among business audiences. Most importantly, make sure you can embed the video onto the social feed, since users are far less likely to watch something that requires them to click away from the page. Hosting your video on YouTube is a particularly good way of doing this, since it allows you to easily embed content on other platforms. Try and make sure any voiceovers are subtitled so users without immediate access to sound can still enjoy your content.

Getting started with B2B video marketing

With these six easy tips, you should have everything you need to get started with your B2B marketing campaign.

When making your video, it’s important to remember that not everything you produce must be of the highest, professional video quality. But it does have to be short, simple and to the point. With a little bit of preparation and the right tools, even the smallest businesses can get started making successful B2B video marketing material.

At Fifty Five and Five, we’re experts in creating professional level marketing material for your B2B technology business, including video marketing, animations, blogs and much more. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help your business.

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