The events of 2020 accelerated cross-discipline digital transformation within an array of business landscapes, necessitating marketplace changes likely to instill lasting behavioral norms for buyers and sellers alike.
With a temporary and, in some cases, permanent shift toward remote workforces, tradeshow and event marketing in particular have seen a massive shift to the virtual realm. Leaving marketers to answer a key directive: “How do we effectively promote virtual events to drive attendance and impact revenue?”
This White Paper will detail the proven strategy for successful virtual event marketing promotion Ledger Bennett deploy to provide your business a reliable pathway to measurable results.
What Are Virtual Events & Do They Work?
Effective virtual events can take shape in various formats. These can vary from single-topic live webinar series, to full-day events will parallel tracks, to virtual tradeshows complete with exhibit halls, networking space, keynote & breakout speakers, just to name a few.
No one format is better than another and what works for you will depend highly on your business, the market within which you operate as well as your budget.
Whichever format you choose, when properly executed and correctly promoted, virtual events are a great way to achieve on KPIs from brand awareness to attributable revenue impact and everything in between.
The In-Person vs. Virtual Event Experience
Measuring Virtual Event Effectiveness
As with any investment, virtual event targets should always be aligned with a larger business goal or goals. You may be optimizing for things like Ideal Customer Prospect (ICP) awareness, registrations, attributable closed new business or some combination of these and other goals.
Generally speaking, the following metrics are useful starting points to use when crafting target objectives:
1) Event Awareness – A successfully executed virtual event marketing program will naturally raise awareness among your target market about the event itself and your brand by extension.
2) Event Positioning – Beyond awareness, the event must be positioned as “can’t miss” among your key personas. These will include customers, prospects, key channel partners and industry influencers.
3) Drive Conversion Metrics – What to measure to gauge campaign effectiveness:
a. Event Registration Page Visits – How much traffic is driven by campaigns?
b. Registration Sign-Up Conversions – Broken out by Clients & ICP prospects
c. Virtual Event Attendees – Live vs. On-Demand Viewers (if applicable) with breakout by audience/attendee category based on your value system.
4) Create Engagement – Track pre-event, in-event, and post-event engagement broken out by business-specific objectives.
5) Impact Pipeline – Pre/In/Post-Event prospect meetings held and Sales Qualified Opportunities (SQOs) wholly or fractionally attributable to the event.
6) Revenue Attribution – Event impact on revenue metrics from new business to usage uptick from current clients/subscribers to deal velocity acceleration.
Our team will work to understand your objectives and set aggressive target objectives upon which the success of your virtual event marketing program will be gauged.
Setting the Virtual Event Marketing Strategy
How to go from virtual event marketing ideas to an executable plan and timeline…
Develop a Communicable Aspirational Goal
Whether you aim to be the go-to event for a niche industry segment or the premier source of thought leadership around a category, create and promote content that lives and breathes this goal.
Craft an Attendee-Centric Approach
Innovative events all start with a solid creative and promotional strategy built around a thorough understanding of target marketing values, needs and pain points. Use this knowledge to inform the Organizing Theme for your event. This is the key topic(s) that will attract and galvanize participation/attendance within your desired audience.
Executing Across Channels
Ledger Bennett builds a nuanced strategy fit for each client geared toward accelerating engagement with innovation and creativity through the entire campaign from strategy and concept to build and activation using a blend of media skills, content marketing expertise, marketing automation and media/performance marketing excellence.
We do this by engaging your target audience across a mix of key channels, within which we:
- Convert the aspirational goal into an attendee value proposition, i.e., key benefits linked to your industry or brand to be gained from event attendance.
- Sell the virtual medium, especially where virtual is replacing an in-person experience. While we all now hate the term ‘new normal’ that’s what virtual events have become. We’ll position your virtual event as “can’t miss” for your audience – just like in-person events which may have preceded.
- Communicate opportunities for education, networking and/or personal development as applicable within and around the virtual event.
- Engage with strong messaging and media presence around your key theme or specific topic(s).
- Grow relationships with virtual event attendees through post-event engagement.