- What is a virtual event and what does it entail?
- Three Benefits Of A Virtual Event For B2B Marketers
- Pre-event: 11 Steps For Planning And Organizing A Virtual Event
- Managing Expectations For Your Virtual Event
- 4 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Planning A Virtual Event
- 4 Quick Tips For Promoting Your Virtual Event
- During The Virtual Event: Tips For Success
- Post-Event Follow-up Best Practices
- In Short
If you are a B2B marketer, thinking about organizing a virtual event, but aren’t sure where to start, this blog post is for you.
This post covers the benefits of a virtual event, how to plan and organize one, and what makes a successful virtual event.
We’ll also share some tips for promoting your virtual event and managing expectations for it internally.
By the end of this post, you should have a good understanding of how to plan and execute a successful virtual event.
What is a virtual event and what does it entail?
A virtual event is an event that is held online.
Virtual events are a great way to connect with people from all over the world. This is because virtual events allow attendees to participate from anywhere in the world and there is no need for travel or its attendant expenses. Read the interesting stats for virtual events.
In addition, virtual events offer a more interactive experience than traditional meetings.
Participants can chat with one another, ask questions, and get to know one another better. This increased level of interaction strengthens community and is one of the reasons why virtual events are often considered successful.
A successful virtual event needs to be planned and organized in advance.
Additionally, it is important that the event is well advertised and marketed in order to attract as many people as possible.
Virtual events do involve costs to organize and promote, so it is important to do everything possible to ensure success.
Three Benefits Of A Virtual Event For B2B Marketers
There are three key benefits in a virtual event
- It reaches a larger audience than a physical event
- It engages more customers than traditional events
- It saves you costs – it’s more effective to host a virtual event than to hold a physical one.
The reach of virtual events is more
Without any constraints of geographic and travel limitations, you can reach the entire world through virtual events.
Virtual events are more engaging
Participants can interact with each other through chat rooms, forums, and social media outlets. This type of engagement allows participants to feel as if they are part of the event rather than just watching it from afar.
Virtual events have more detailed content
This is because space is cheap for virtual events. Content can be unlimited.
This means that participants can learn more about specific topics and receive a greater understanding of the material being presented.
In short, virtual events provide an engaging experience that is perfect for those who want to learn more about a particular topic or community.
Virtual events are cost effective
In most cases, companies do not need to worry about setting up expensive equipment or hiring extra personnel for a virtual event.
Additionally, many virtual event providers offer discounts for bulk purchases or monthly subscriptions. As a result, businesses can save money by hosting virtual events instead of traditional physical ones.
Pre-event: 11 Steps For Planning And Organizing A Virtual Event
When planning a virtual event for your b2b firm, it is important to keep in mind the goals of the event.
Virtual events can be used to connect with new customers, promote your products or services, and boost employee morale.
Below are some steps you can take to promote a virtual event for your b2b firm:
Create a marketing plan
Before you launch your virtual event, it is important to have a marketing plan in place.
This plan should include a strategy for reaching your target audience, marketing materials, and timeline. Check out some of the strategies that you can use.
Create a website
Your website is an important tool for promoting your virtual event.
Make sure to include information about your event, how to register, and how to join the live chat. Here are some tips for creating your event website.
Plan for the content that will be included in your event
This will depend on your goals and objectives.
Content comprises two parts: Creation and Delivery.
The event can include technical presentations, research findings, product launches, panel discussion, product demonstrations, keynote speakers, expert interviews, workshops, exhibits, fireside chats, etc.
Determine how the content will be delivered: live streams, recordings, social media and downloads. Get some ideas for creating content for events here.
Plan for logistics such as the registration process
Registration processes should be easy to use and allow guests from around the world access to your event without any problems.
Use a checklist for logistics to manage this. Get a complete lowdown on event logistics management.
Plan for the communication channels for the event.
Include social media platforms (such as Facebook or Twitter), email listservs, and online forums.
There’s a complete list of social channels that you can use for event marketing.
Plan a live launch event
To kickoff your virtual event, hold a live launch event.
Make sure your technology, or event platform, is up to snuff in order to maximize participation and feedback from attendees. Here are some tips.
Generate media coverage
Reach out to your local newspapers, online publications, and radio stations.
In addition, consider using social media to spread the word. Read this article for more ideas.
Create a registration form and distribute it to your target audience.
What’s more, you can use social media to promote the event. Here are 12 email templates to get your started.
Organize live chats
One of the best ways to interact with participants during your virtual event is through live chat.
This feature allows participants to ask questions and engage with you directly. Read about the precise steps to organize live chats for your b2b event.
Give participants the opportunity to win prizes
One way to motivate participants to attend your virtual event is to offer prizes.
This can be done through live chat, registration forms, or product giveaways. Here are some great ideas for giveaways and prizes.
After your virtual event is over, celebrate your success. This can include releasing photos and videos of the event, distributing thank-you gifts to participants, and more.
You could send out thank-you emails to participants, or create blog posts summarizing the key takeaways from the event.
You could conduct online surveys or interviews as a way of gathering feedback about the event itself.
By making use of these post-event follow ups, you can increase engagement with your audience and better understand their needs and wants.
Check out some post-event ideas to engage your prospects.
Managing Expectations For Your Virtual Event
It is important to manage expectations of your staff and other stakeholders. when hosting a virtual event.
It can be a tricky task, as many from your team will be eager to participate in the event. Here are 6 tips that can help you manage expectations:
Set clear expectations from the start.
Let your colleagues and team know what they can and cannot expect from the virtual event.
For example, you may require that they attend meetings in person prior to participating in the virtual event. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page, and that no one feels excluded from the event.
There are many ways to set expectations with your team.
Don’t overload the team with too much information.
While it is important for them to have all the details about the virtual event, giving them too much information at once can be overwhelming. Instead, provide them with information in smaller doses, over time.
This will allow them to have a better understanding of the event, while also allowing them to prepare in advance.
Encourage participation, but don’t force it.
While it is important for employees to participate in the virtual event, don’t force them to do so.
This will only create resentment, and employees may not feel as though they have a vested interest in the event. Instead, encourage them to participate, but let them know that they are welcome to stay home if they wish.
Check out some ideas to improve and encourage team members.
Acknowledge and appreciate your team’ participation.
Once employees have participated in the virtual event, it is important to acknowledge their efforts.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as awarding them with a prize, or giving them feedback about their performance.
By doing so, you will show your employees that you appreciate their participation, and that you value their input.
Learn more ideas for recognizing and rewarding virtual event team members.
Communicate with all stakeholders regarding the event.
This includes participants, sponsors, ticket holders, and media outlets. This will ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of what’s happening and prevents any surprises down the road.
Look at ideas for better communications with stakeholders of an event.
Have a contingency plan in place.
Make sure to have an alternate timeline in place should something unexpected happen (like bad weather or an electricity blackout).
Here are some tips.
This way you can still execute the event as planned, but with less stress on everyone involved.
4 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Planning A Virtual Event
Avoid common mistakes that can lead to an unsuccessful event.
Overcomplicating the event, not having a diverse lineup, making it all about one person, and not using technology are all examples of mistakes that can be made.
In order to ensure an effective and successful virtual event, make sure to follow these tips!
Don’t over complicate.
Make sure to keep things simple and easy for your participants.
Ensure a diverse lineup.
This will make everyone feel included and able to participate. Try to mix up the types of personalities that are attending so that no one group dominates the conversation.
Avoid focusing on a single personality.
Making it all about one person can be quite boring for participants and may result in them feeling left out or unimportant.
Try to put together a team of people who can each bring their own unique perspective and expertise towards the event.
Check out some tips on how to put together a panel.
Don’t forget technology.
Finally, make sure you are using technology when planning your virtual event!
This will help you keep everything organized and streamlined, making it easier for everyone involved!
4 Quick Tips For Promoting Your Virtual Event
Event promotion can be a daunting task, but with the right strategies in place, it can be a lot easier. Here are some tips to help you promote your event:
Use email marketing to promote your event
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote an event, as it reaches a wide audience quickly and easily.
By using powerful email templates and providing helpful information about your event, you can ensure that people who are interested in attending know all there is to know about it.
This guide to email marketing for events gives you some great tips.
Create a social media strategy
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer great opportunities to reach out to potential attendees and let them know about your event.
Make sure to post relevant information about your event on these channels, as well as create engaging content that will capture people’s attention.
Get some great tips on crafting a social media strategy for your next b2b event, here.
Host a webinar to generate leads
A webinar is another great way to generate leads for your events – by hosting one, you can give potential attendees the opportunity to learn more about your event firsthand, and see if it’s something they would be interested in attending.
Plus, webinars are typically very interactive, which makes them fun and engaging for participants!
For getting B2B leads from webinars, here are some tips.
Use Event Management Software
Many businesses choose an Event Management Software when planning their events.
This software helps organize everything from registration dates and times through prize draws and social media campaigns – making promoting an event much easier than ever before!
Check out a list of event management platforms that you can use,
During The Virtual Event: Tips For Success
There are a number of things you can do during the event.
Make Virtual Events Worthwhile to Convert Attendees to Leads
Your attendees’ attention spans are short because business is fast-paced. Leads may quickly disappear if your event is boring or uninformative.
If your event is engaging, your leads may even contact you. This simplifies follow-up.
We recommend 15- or 20-minute sessions for engaging virtual events.
“Interrupt hour-long keynotes with five-minute interviews. Interactive audience questions and answers boost engagement and authenticity.”
Invite local celebrities or company leaders as guest speakers. Your guests should discuss your event. This may yield leads you missed.
Invest time in event planning. Disorganized events waste time and money and miss the chance to impress attendees and generate leads.
You may want to look at some of the ideas to make events worthwhile for attendees here.
Give Value To Attendees and Sponsors
To encourage participation and attendance, you may want to give your invited guests an incentive.
For example, if you run a stationery brand, you could offer attendees a free sample pack as a thank you.
The catch is that you only send them the stationery once the event has finished. It invites them and lets you talk business afterward.
Creating buzz before your virtual event and building relationships early can help your post-event networking efforts.
Find ways to connect your attendees afterward. You can send feedback emails or have a dedicated event Facebook page where guests can share feedback and watch replays of their favorite sessions. Instagram poll questions can engage attendees even more.
Check out some proven engagement ideas for event attendees.
Use Proper Software and Check All Boxes
Choose the right platforms to communicate with leads during and after the event.
Webinar software can host virtual Q&As. After connecting with leads, following up will be natural.
Your webinar tools will depend on your event and features. The best webinar software is compared in this guide.
After the webinar, send a follow-up email with additional resources or the video.
Introduce Your Attendees
If you’re hosting a big event, connect leads to the right people. Hosting multiple question-and-answer sessions will accomplish this.
Job fairs match employers and candidates. You could send a post-event email asking job seekers to upload resumes for a specific employer.
As the intermediary, you can ask both parties if they found what they were looking for.
Businesses attending B2B events may need services. HR, accounting, and other time-consuming tasks may be outsourced.
Invite industry experts for success advice, tips, and resources.
Send a follow-up email to remind them of what they learned and who they spoke to. PEO business cards can be mailed for smaller events.
Here are some ideas that you can use.
You’ve planned your event to give attendees a valuable experience. Tracking and statistics show logins, attendance, chat transcripts, and downloads.
This data will help identify successes and failures. Personalize follow-ups with it.
Generic emails fail. A prospect might read and delete it. Your email may spend eternity in a spam filter.
Reply suggests identifying and meeting lead needs during sales development.
“Rather than trying to use email blasts with zero targeting, help your SDRs (sales development representatives) use what they’ve learned about your ideal customers to send relevant messages that are personalized to their needs.”
If possible, personalize all communication and mention a session they attended or a conversation you had.
Here are some email templates that you could use as part of your event marketing.
Post-Event Follow-up Best Practices
Data aids follow-up
Most virtual event platforms provide great attendance data. How long did someone attend? What did they do at the event? For example, answer questions or polls, fill-out surveys, attend multiple presentations. Use this as a context in your follow-ups.
Summarize your virtual event
Use the summary in blog posts, social media and video content.
Visuals—graphics or short videos—are even better at grabbing attention.
Give attendees mugs, tote bags, or postcards with a summary image.
Contact non-attendees using recordings
Virtual events are usually recorded and available on-demand.
These recordings can be used to reach out to attendees who missed the presentation or didn’t register.
Call attendees immediately
Follow up on attendees within 24–48 hours of an event while they are still excited about it. Your reps can ask for event feedback, what they learned, and what they want to learn more about.
You can categorize leads based on attendance. Hot leads may receive an immediate phone call, while warm leads may receive a personalized email the following day.
Include a CTA in emails (CTA). What’s next?
Your CTA could include a “buy now” button or a “Take a survey”. If your lead requests a quote, be ready.
Closing involves following up on event leads. Learn more about specific ideas to follow up after virtual events.
Use Innovative Virtual Event Follow-up
Give away gifts. Event giveaways can go beyond booths. Thank event attendees with a small gift. A book or swag giveaway may be appropriate.
If you don’t have attendees’ addresses, Swag.com’s giveaway feature lets you choose an item and have it shipped to them.
Post-event networking community.
Virtual events lose networking opportunities the most.
You can create a LinkedIn, Facebook, or other group for event attendees to network, discuss topics, and plan future events or presentations.
Here are some ideas for networking with the community after the event.
Your event’s presenters may offer a Q&A for attendees who missed the live presentation.
A Google Hangout, Zoom meeting, live LinkedIn video, or Twitter chat can increase reach. Any format lets you engage your audience.
Here are some survey questions that will get you started on the Q&A.
After A Virtual Event, Contacting Leads
Stats, instant sign-ups, and data tracking are advantages of virtual
events over physical ones.
This data lets you target leads and send personalised follow-ups. Thus, a post-virtual event email can boost conversions.
Leads will want to know what you offer. Event planning, software, and value-add are important. Include interactive webinars and connect them to industry experts.
Here are some tips to nurture leads after an event.
To summarize, good follow-up is essential for demand generation, education, and community-building events.
Some leads may even approach you.
Timely, personal, and valuable follow-up is best. These tips should help you recapture the best of a virtual event in your follow-up.
While virtual events have many advantages, from a lower cost to the ability to engage with a wide audience, they still require careful planning and preparation to be successful.
By following the tips in this blog post, you can ensure that your virtual event is organized and executed flawlessly.
Additionally, don’t forget to promote your event and manage expectations by communicating regularly with all stakeholders.
With proper planning and execution, your virtual event is sure to be a success!