The surprising benefits of virtual events

Companies are increasingly using virtual events, not as a replacement for live events, but as one of the most engaging forms of digital marketing.

They may still attend and exhibit at industry events when they can, but they can also get an impressive ROI and reach people they never normally would, by hosting their own virtual event

A virtual event can have a number of advantages over a live event:

  • They are far more cost-effective – when you factor in not just direct-costs, but also freight, travel and time out of the office, live events are a massive drain on resources
  • Virtual events are also far lower risk, as uncertainty continues, an online event is less likely to be blown out of the water by a sudden lockdown
  • You can reach a far wider audience than would normally attend a live event, whether you’re chasing senior executives who are very selective about their time out of the office, or engineers on remote sites, or government employees with limited travel budgets, the time and cost commitment for them to tune in to a webinar is far lower than having to travel to a live event

But there are also a number of other ways that companies are specifically using virtual events to generate results, these include:

  • Lead Generation

Online events are one of the best ways to generate a large number of leads. Interested prospects can opt-in for the event, providing you with their details when they do. You can also use the webinar to further qualify these prospects. For example, polls during the webinar are a great way to keep delegates engaged, but also collect valuable data on their pain points, products of interest and where they are on their buying journey.

  • Engagement

Getting their details is just the first step, but when interested prospects tune into a webinar, you have a chance to communicate directly with them, it’s like booking 50 product demonstrations at once. You can really build trust by being seen to be an expert, and engage directly with polls and questions live from your audience too.

  • Content Creation

You can keep using the webinar long after the broadcast as well. You can offer it to watch on demand to create ongoing leads, as well as taking bite-sized grabs which can be used as video content on social media and on your website.

But remember...

These are just a few of the ways which companies are now using virtual events to drive their business growth. For all this to work there are a few key things to keep in mind:

Audience

If you want to generate new leads you’ll need to promote the event beyond just your existing list.

Content

To keep people engaged, make sure you go beyond just a sales pitch. Consider partnering with a customer, or other industry expert.

Technology

Creating a simple event online is not too hard these days, but ensure you get the technical basics right and have a backup plan to avoid disasters - if you’re not sure where to start get some help from someone who knows what they’re doing.