The term “virtual event” has been thrown around a lot over the last month, as in-person events have been dropping like flies. A virtual event, also known as a virtual run event, is any organized experience that happens online rather than in person. Virtual run events can take a variety of shapes — from a highly interactive, multi-day event that tries to mimic the experience of a big conference in a web-based format, to a variety of other web-based strategies to deliver shorter content like trainings, sales presentations and meetings.Unfortunately, COVID-19 has stopped 2020 in-person events cold. Almost all events were canceled, rescheduled, or changed to a virtual platform starting in March. This has continued through summer and many event organizations are wary of committing to events even later in the fall. While in-person events are often beneficial, they can get pricey and don’t always fall into every budget. The costs to exhibit, sponsor or just attend begin to add up, especially considering flights, hotel, food, and transportation expenses. In this year of uncharted waters, think about what you can control, including saving parts of your budget and reinvesting in other ways to promote your organization or next major launch using online and virtual events. Here’s how a virtual event can help you achieve your goals in a competitive business environment:
- Set your offerings apart: For B2B Marketers, virtual events particularly help with the ‘evaluation stage’ in the Sales Funnel. Once your prospects have identified their need for your product and are scouting for the best option, a B2B marketing event, whether in the form of a virtual product launch or a trade show, can help set your offerings apart.
- Showcase your product: Marketers can showcase the best product features through rich interactive tools like webinars, discussion forums, product demos, chats, and videos.
- Better engagement: Once a prospect visits your virtual booth, you can engage with them to identify their unique requirements and tailor your product demo to deliver the most relevant experience to them, there and then.
- Personalization: What comes particularly in handy with a digital event is the room it allows for real-time customization and conversation. This personalized interaction develops a superior lead-nurturing environment that leaves a lasting impression on the attendees.
- Maximized outreach: Scalability and reach are two other noteworthy benefits that help B2B marketers cater to a global audience and deliver as inclusive or exclusive an event as they require.
- Track-ability: Since an online event records every registration, login, click, download and share, event tracking has become easier than ever.
- Data-driven Approach: B2B event marketing has started to revolve around tracking metrics, measuring ROI and developing data-driven follow-up strategies that improve the performance of upcoming events by enabling decisions backed by hard numbers.