A global pandemic has changed the way professionals do business. Safety precautions prevent people from gathering in person. Many businesses count on in-person events for lead generation and sales growth. With live meetings on hold indefinitely, CMOs must shift their focus to marketing via virtual events.
Companies are relying on the internet to develop contacts and promote their business. One virtual event platform has seen over 52,000 events since March. With some careful planning, CMOs can adapt their meetings and events to an online format and continue to generate leads and boost ROI.
5 Steps to Hosting a Successful Virtual Event for CMOs
By following this five-step guide, CMOs can host a successful virtual event and boost marketing efforts despite the cancellation of in-person gatherings.
- Define Your Objectives
For a successful virtual event, you must first know what you’re trying to achieve. Determine who you want to reach, what their needs are, and what kind of content would be beneficial for them. This can shape the type of event you host, from a virtual career fair to an online trade show. Once you know what type of event you’ll need, you can assess your content and technological requirements.
Consider how long your conference should run (most prefer a single-day event). Assess relevant keynote speakers. Will you need breakout rooms or other capabilities from your platform provider? Defining your objectives early on helps ensure you’re reaching the right target audience with the right information. You’ll also confirm you have the logistical equipment required to support your needs and achieve your objectives for a successful virtual event.
- Use the Right Platform
Broadcasting a virtual event takes some technological support. Assess the needs of your event and choose the provider that can help you achieve your goals. Consider whether your platform can support the number of attendees you expect to attract. Think about what your varying sessions will need, and what kind of engagement the company can provide.
Some virtual event partners will even help with supplemental material. From remote interviews to third-party commentary, supporting content gives attendees easy access to information. By providing more technological capabilities, your partner enables you to reach a broader audience. This can help with lead generation and sales growth.
- Engage Your Audience
The two greatest challenges of virtual events for B2B marketing are audience engagement and interaction. Your virtual event is competing with your audience’s in-person event experiences. Grab attendees’ attention from the moment they log on to your event. Your landing page must entice viewers to continue to maximize registrations. Create an immersive virtual environment that captivates your audience and mirrors the in-person experience attendees expect.
Integrate attractive, relevant graphics into your virtual event to hold viewers’ interest. Consider incorporating a live chat feature or offering a question-and-answer function as a way for attendees to interact with each other. Keep them involved and engaged. They’ll retain more of the information you share and will be more likely to attend future events.
- Apply Mixed Media
The beauty of a virtual event is that you’re not limited to the physical constraints of in-person events. You can easily integrate live speakers and pre-recorded segments into a virtual session.
Live messages are more personal and genuine, but they can be risky. A speaker may not be comfortable presenting in front of a camera. Plus, if the platform crashes mid-presentation, viewers will be staring at a blank screen. Pre-recorded videos aren’t always as authentic, but when done correctly, the audience may not even know that it’s been pre-recorded. There’s also the added benefit of editing the video, incorporating exciting graphic elements, and avoiding any technical difficulties.
The welcome address and keynote speakers are the most important elements of your event. Consider pre-recording these to be sure they go off without a hitch. Sprinkle in some live moments to replicate the organic feel of an in-person event. Keep a couple of pre-recorded videos on hand in case you lose your live feed. They’ll continue to engage your audience with valuable information while giving you time to resolve the glitch.
- Broaden Your Impression
A virtual event doesn’t have to end after its broadcast. As a thank-you to your attendees, keep event content available for several days past its launch. Viewers may want to review some of the information. Or they may want to share it with their colleagues.
If your event wasn’t open to the public, consider compiling abbreviated information to share with the masses. Feature a collection of sound clips and video segments from the event. Distribute them via an e-newsletter or social media. Include major talking points and some screenshots from the virtual event.
The more people who see your event, the more leads you can generate. This enables you to gather more data and create even more relevant content for your target audience. All of this equates to a higher ROI.
Boost Your Virtual Event Marketing with Televerde
We’re a global sales and marketing company that provides the strategy and services you need to grow and compete in new and existing target markets. We know these are unprecedented times that require creative solutions. Together, we can help you host a successful virtual event that boosts your B2B marketing efforts.
Engage our team to develop an effective strategy to generate leads through your virtual meetings. Contact us today.