If you are the owner of a business, you must be aware of how big of a role marketing plays in selling out your products and services.
Whether you manage a small business selling handmade products or a massive company retailing top technology, efficient marketing is one of the foundations that determine your growth and stability.
Business events are a compulsory occasion in every corporate set-up whose principal goals include increased reach and more knowledge and experience. Traditionally, this was done by hosting public events and conferences where the technologists, developers, and business owners marketed their merchandise and made major announcements while connecting with their customers.
But now that the world is turning digital and people are stepping into the virtual world, digital marketing is the next big thing! Beginning from the year 2020 and further, marketers are going to have a whole new approach to audience reach and advertising. Read further to know why!
What Is Virtual Event Marketing?
To put it simply, it is a method of marketing where groups of people with common interests come together virtually, rather than meeting in a physical location.
There are roughly four main types of virtual events:
- Online Webinars
- Virtual Conferences
- Internal Hybrid events
- External Hybrid events
Each of these types has different standard time durations, agendas, and tools. The business owners can implement them based on the goals they are trying to achieve from the Virtual Event.
Over the years, Virtual event marketing has risen as a popular trend in the world of digital marketing. As businesses recognize the benefits of this marketing strategy, they’ve been hopping onto it the first opportunity they get. Ever since the pandemic came into the scene, this approach has been adopted in full boost.
Even entertainment businesses like escape rooms have moved on to the equally attractive and indulging virtual escape room games. Due to the steady growth of video conference apps like Zoom and Google hangouts, they can conduct these online games with the utmost competence! YouTube, a famous video-sharing site that people used mostly to gain and spread information, has also turned into a major business platform over the past few years.
Some examples of company events that went virtual in 2020 are San Diego for Cisco Live and Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference). The American multinational technological company, Cisco went live for a two-day virtual event and organized over 500 sessions about the IT industry. The event was well-executed and easily navigable by the three million attendees, from the comfort of their homes.
Benefits of Virtual Event Marketing
Virtual events use internet-based platforms to unite with thousands and lakhs of customers globally.
They promote easy and interactive engagement like Q and A’s and chat boxes to answer queries and spread information on a wide scale. They also allow an incredible potential for growth and help you focus on other aspects of your business.
Read further for details on the benefits of hosting virtual events!
Along with effort, there is a lot of investment that goes into growing a business and building a community.
Generating a steady profit, workflow, and bettering the available products and services requires them to spend bills, and they may or may not be able to afford a well-organized public marketing event with shrinking budgets.
Luckily, the advancement of technology has reduced the overall cost of these events. You can save on printing costs for event booklets, banners, and buntings and focus on online advertising that is comparatively cheaper. The expense of venue setup, staff, meals, transport, VIP accommodation, logistics, and clean-up is cut down, and businesses can invest this money for the growth of their company.
Increase Audience Reach
With virtual event marketing, the number of attendees has increased manifold. The guests do not have to travel across the world and spend extra time and money on hotels and meals as they can do so with a few clicks on their laptop devices or tablets.
But in public events, you may have to worry about a lot of things. You have to make sure the location is accessible to your target audience. You have to analyze the number of guests who will show up, the dropout rate, and if the setting will be able to accommodate everyone. Whereas in virtual event marketing, there are no limits for guest attendance!
It is also easier to make connections with the attendees and speakers as they are all gathered in the same place, and they don’t have to walk from booth to booth to meet someone, like in an in-person event.
Time is precious, so why spend it on an expensive public event or virtual birthday party, when you can go virtual? Although they might require some preparation and time to set up the event website, nail down registrations, carry out online marketing and promotion, the whole deal is tremendously less taxing than an in-person event.
In virtual event marketing, businesses can save their staff, attendees, and themselves some time, which they would otherwise spend on site selection, appointing staff, signage, and everything else.
Instead, they can focus on programming an event virtually, building sponsorships, and creating an easily navigable attendee experience!
Receive Instant Feedback
Feedback is a crucial subject for every business owner. Unless they know about what, the customers have to say regarding the pros and cons of their products and the event, they cannot work on bettering them.
The whole process of gaining feedback in virtual events is much simpler with the usage of real-time polls and surveys during the sessions. Keynotes can be viewed individually, and you can employ live polling to keep the audience in your grip. Sessions can incorporate live Q and A tools for constructive feedback.
They are also beneficial in measuring if the event was an overall success or a failure.
Flexible and Easy-to-Use
There are many features and tools that come along with hosting a marketing event in the virtual realm. The power is in the hands of the organizer, and they can choose to make the session interactive or not according to their convenience.
You can showcase your latest product demos and offer training to attendees with an integrated LMS system. These systems can advance plenty of language options with the use of a translator, many guest speakers, etc. They also need limited planning time and are a great Plan-B in case your public event has to be postponed or canceled.
By using the right digital marketing strategies and software tools, businesses can obtain rich data from virtual event registration. As everything is tracked online, they can focus on metrics like the number of attendees that logged in, the numbers of attendees that stayed, and which speaker gained the highest rate of engagement.
You can also measure your results by checking your attendee retention, dropout rates, website visits, audience satisfaction, social media metrics, event survey, and the number of viewers at peak.
On some event providers like Pigeonhole, you can use the attendee profiles feature to know which session had the most engagement and questions and tell you what made them content so that you plan your next move in virtual event marketing.
This information is essential to them as they can draw their attention to the mistakes that were made and avoid them in future events.
Plenty of Virtual Event Providers
As there is an increase in the number of virtual events due to the present circumstances, there is a subsequent growth in virtual event providers too. While software like Zoom and Teams can be used for relatively small-scale virtual events, platforms like YouTube, Aventri, GoToWebinar, and BigMarker can be used for large events for an extensive and far-reaching audience.
There are some other platforms that have emerged in 2020 with their additional handy features. Some of them are 6Connex, INXPO, VConfEx, and VFairs. These platforms have new and advanced features like Backstage, Networking, technical assistance, and data protection. They also have cybersecurity services for a safe and smooth virtual event!
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic took the world by storm, it has raised restrictions on travel and social gatherings, driving people to take a step into the virtual atmosphere.
Because of their foolproof and user-friendly handling, marketers are rapidly latching onto this new tool. It is also an innovative way to increase the conversion rate and reduce cost per lead. There are so many perks that come along with this marketing method that it weighs up to be way better than public events too!
If you are a business owner who is not very tech-savvy and hasn’t hosted an online event yet, this is your chance to give it a go! In these times and conditions, virtual events are more of a necessity than a commodity.
With a little help and practice, you are bound to explore a new world where you can grow and reach a larger audience.