In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of hosting a virtual event, such as having access to a bigger audience, reduced costs, enabling the acceleration of the sales process, the possibilities of interactive content, and the power of collecting data and analytics. All of these factors will contribute to your capacity to generate leads.
Finally, you’ll learn what technological solutions are best suited to organize successful events.
Events have always been and always will be part of our lives, regardless of their category. Whether it’s a job fair, trade show or corporate event, we all have been or will be present at an event one day.
The main goal of an event is to provide a good experience to its attendees and if possible, match their needs, regardless of what it is. As for the organizers, it’s mainly to build awareness and possibly increase the potential to reach their goals through lead generation.
As we shift gradually to a more digital world, it’s only expected to increase the demand for the virtual event format, that’s why it’s important to stay one step ahead of your competitors. The first step to having a successful event is choosing the right event management platform.
There are clear benefits when it comes to generating leads through virtual events such as:
One of the main benefits of hosting a virtual event is that you can reach a much wider audience, as there are no geographical barriers. At in-person events, you choose a location that would probably have the majority of your target audience.
Now, you can have attendees on a global scale, from all places of the world. Not having this barrier gives you a greater opportunity for further business growth.
Room capacity will also cease to be a problem. Virtual events offer you unlimited capacity so you can welcome any number of attendees, as long as you have enough server capacity.
As a result, with a wider reach and unlimited room capacity, comes a bigger audience and a greater possibility of generating qualified leads and driving revenue streams for your event.
Another benefit that comes with virtual events is reduced costs. We all know that digitalization comes with lower associated costs.
For example, you can speed up repetitive tasks, optimize processes, reduce material and infrastructure costs, and have faster access to information, anywhere and anytime.
However, companies are continually moving towards digitalization, so there’s also greater competition associated with it in almost every industry.
The reduced costs when it comes to virtual events translate mainly into the fact that it’s not necessary to rent a venue for the event, which is usually expensive. These costs vary, of course, taking into consideration the number of attendees. The bigger the audience, the bigger the money involved.
Organizing events requires staff that needs to travel to make the event happen and, sometimes, you need to provide accommodations. This brings additional costs. Virtual events don’t require as much staff and commuting, that’s why you will spend less money.
Another expense associated with in-person events is the marketing materials, such as flyers, cards, billboards, business cards, or even smart badges.
Virtual events don’t require as much marketing material and as a result, you spend less money on digital marketing assets since you can use them for an indefinite amount of time.
Since all the virtual events are recorded, you can repurpose and reuse the content for long-term marketing activities. You can create campaigns using some of the highlights or use them for content on your social media platforms.
And there you go. With reduced costs comes the opportunity to create more events, which results in more exposure and opportunities to reach more people and thus increase your ability to generate leads with virtual events.
As long as you are aware of the sales funnel and you strategize the communication of your event around it, you have some serious potential for lead retrieval, with the possibility of turning your attendees into real customers/pipeline deals.
Virtual events can be a strong marketing tool for creating awareness. An attendee may possess little to no knowledge of your business and now you have the opportunity to provide an introduction to your company. This is the first step to building a relationship with potential leads in your target audience. This is what we call the awareness stage.
In the consideration stage, you must nurture the relationship. With a branded virtual event, you have the opportunity to build trust with potential customers, showing that you position yourself as an authority figure in the matter.
A virtual event can increase the potential to turn a visitor into a client. For example, your exhibitors can showcase products, where attendees can see all of their portfolio and a description for each one of them, just like an e-commerce platform.
Virtual event platforms can bring a wide range of digital tools and tactics to engage virtual attendees. The more you engage, the more information you’ll collect.
Having this data-driven mindset will allow you to effectively track all attendee interactions, such as which sessions they attended, who saw what, when, and for how long, or which brand or product exhibit had the most interactions.
It’s already quite challenging to captivate an audience at an in-person event, that’s why it’s important to create innovative ways to engage with your audience, as their attention can be reduced significantly when attending a virtual event.
You can build surveys and polls to get feedback on your products or services, so use that knowledge to improve them. You can also have group chats or networking sessions in order to clarify questions and exchange ideas.
Make your content available with live session recordings for attendees who missed sessions. Use gamification and contests so you can draw more attention from your audience.
Nowadays everything is data-driven and virtual events allow you to collect detailed data, because attendees need to fill in a form, providing their information when they participate in an event. This means you’ll have access to valuable data such as demographics, and personal contacts.
When it comes to tracking their behavior, you’ll have access to all recorded interactions within the event platform, and for how long they stayed at the event or which specific sessions they participated in. All of this valuable information makes you know who is the attendee and which parts of the event you need to work on.
As the data collection is easier, it will be also easier to follow up with those who have attended the event. Use this opportunity to get in touch to either push a product/service sell or to promote another event.
Learn about your target audience and implement new marketing or business strategies if needed so you can increase lead generation at events.
We’ve already covered the majority of benefits associated with virtual events and their different solutions.
In conclusion, everything that is done virtually is easier, since you’re able to track every single digital footprint. However, the con is that you’ll have a harder time grabbing the attention of your target audience.
We suggest your event strategy doesn’t revolve exclusively around virtual events, even though they are great. For this reason, it’s also important to learn how to choose the best technology solutions for your lead generation in-person events or hybrid events.
When it comes to face-to-face events, most of the organizers focus on QR Codes solutions, but there are other contactless solutions. If you’re looking to improve and innovate your event, you should switch to new contactless solutions for in-person events such as smart badges and smart wristbands.
Virtual events are here to stay. However, we cannot forget about in-person events and their ability to offer a more immersive experience and the capacity to draw more attention from your attendees.
Taking into account the different solutions you have learned in this article, both for virtual and in-person events, we believe you’ll be able to create a more solid event strategy, organizing highly successful events, with enhanced capacity to generate qualified leads.
The article was written in cooperation with the beamian team.