The virtual event format has become ubiquitous in the corporate event planning world and has made the list of favorite formats of Event Managers everywhere. Some have even mastered the art of creating online events. The acquisition of this new skill is in large part thanks to Event Management Software (EMS) that has allowed event planners to optimize the event creation process.
From annual conferences to product launches and press conferences, many types of corporate events have been hosted online since the great pivot from onsite to online of 2020. Unfortunately, for sales departments, some “customer” events didn’t make the cut and were canceled. This is because pivoting these events to an online format was unchartered territory. This left salespersons with limited ways to engage their customers and prospects. Fortunately, there are indeed ways to leverage the virtual event format to re-engage inactive customers and get sales departments back on track.
Why you should be using virtual events to re-engage inactive customers
B2B marketers are always trying to find the content format (ebooks, SEO, SEA...) that delivers the best results. When events were canceled in 2020, a small part of the event budget was used to invest in virtual solutions and the rest was distributed amongst other marketing means. Why? Because virtual events were only seen as nothing more than a temporary solution and their possibilities of reaching audiences went unnoticed. Luckily, B2B marketers have since understood the importance of virtual and hybrid events and have increase their budget in 2022 by 33% and 39% respectively. Online events are no longer a back-up plan; they are paramount.
Virtual events are much easier to attend
Humans behavior and expectations have evolved thanks to the internet. We have become accustomed to living in this virtual century where not only consuming but working is easily done online. The keyword here is easy. We like when things are easy and the great thing about virtual events is that they are easy to attend.
Attending an event was made simple years ago thanks to online solutions to manage event registration. Participants simply needed to register online and one confirmation email later they’re ready to go. When attendee registration management solutions arrived, they were considered an Event Industry revolution and some might even say represent the beginning of the rise of Event Tech.
The definition of “easily attending an event” has recently evolved. Now, you simply need to click a link and within seconds are immersed in an event without ever having to leave your seat. Busy customers are more likely to block a small time in their schedules to attend a virtual event rather than a whole day, sometimes even stay overnight, as in-person events often require. Getting to the event wasn’t the only thing that was enhanced thanks to virtual event management platforms. Traveling from session to session has been simplified thanks to innovative tech such as Eventdrive’s “Next Session” button. This innovation immediately transports the participant into their next session at the click of a button reducing the chances of them getting lost in another concurrent session.
Virtual events are fast to organize and can be held at greater frequencies
Organizing an in-person event is not a simple feat and that is mostly due to managing event logistics: venue, food and beverage, travel and accommodation... Online events do not require as many logistics as physical ones. Of course this does not mean they can be created at the snap of a finger, but the logistical headaches of in-person events are abated thanks to virtual and hybrid event management platforms.
Many large corporations were able to streamline their virtual event creation process. In 2021, Euronext was able to create a dozen of events in a few days using using their EMS Eventdrive. Upper management was so impressed by the efficacy and quality of the events produced that Euronext’s even managers were quickly deemed superheroes.
Euronext’s Events Team leveraged their EMS’s ability to create multiple event templates and streamlined the event creation process. The impact was huge. Several important messages kept under wraps until now were able to be shared through a series of events. The simplicity of organizing a virtual event with Eventdrive led them to the decision to host events at a higher frequency ensuring that capital information is relayed.
Virtual events are a great way to improve customer data
Marketing teams work vigorously to enrich their customer data to help nurture leads and customers through various channels. However, the “traditional” digital marketing methods are not as fruitful as they once were, especially in the age of GDPR. Now, content marketing is all the rage as it continues to be successful in gathering customer information for B2B marketing teams. They have discovered recently the power of using virtual events as a means of enriching their customer database. 58% of marketers have reported that virtual events were the type of content that produced the best results according to MarketingProfs.
Your mass database update starts with your event agenda. The topics and subjects discussed at an event play a crucial role in deciding to attend or not. What’s more is that they are a great indicator of what your customers are interested in. You can even evaluate the event tracks chosen by your customers, if you are planning a conference type event with multiple concurrent sessions. In the beginning of your “database awakening” campaign, it is best to offer a mix of topics. This provides your customers with multiple options to chose from increasing your chances of peaking their interest. You will later be able to capitalize on this information to improve your segmentation and offer tailored content.
Of course, there are other ways to enrich your attendee data in addition to what is captured during registration. You can engage with your attendees via live polls, quizzes, and Q&As. Their responses can help you have a better understanding of their wants and needs. Some event planners event export chat transcripts to pin-point the exact topics that spark an interest with their guests. Other tools can be used as well. For example, with the right questions, surveys are also a great way to gain key insights on attendees.
What to do with all this information? Synching your Event Management Software with your CRM is made easy thanks to APIs. When you opt for an integrated solution such as Eventdrive, you are able to continuously enrich your customer data with every event that is planned. You will be able to offer a tailored experience to each customer, which helps in creating a bond between your company and them, ultimately leading to business opportunities. 🤑
Learn more about APIs in this video!
Events always have been and always will be an important part of B2B marketing. Virtual and hybrid formats opened up a realm of new possibilities and some are yet to be explored. You may not have yet organized virtual events to engage inactive customers but it’s still possible. In doing so, you are able to provide your customers with a great way to engage with your brand, virtual events are easy to create, and can be leveraged to enrich your customer database.
Share this article with a marketer and see what they have to say but beware; You might have to organize a virtual event for them when they learn about all the advantages, but we’ve got you covered if you need help with that. 😉