A Guide to Successful Virtual Events: Tools, Tips and Strategies for Sales Execs
It’s a top question on the minds of sales and marketing professionals today:
“How can I create a successful virtual event?”
Companies need to maintain global business operations and continuity with constituents during the pandemic. But meeting face-to-face right now is a challenge.
Fortunately, the latest platforms make the pivot to digital seamless, simply by checking a box to enable a virtual event.
These solutions are packed with features that encourage learning and make participants feel connected. Here are 14 best practices to drive engagement and return on investment with virtual events.
- Forget top-down, one-way Let chat, Q&A’s, polls, surveys and gamification turn virtual events into enjoyable, interactive experiences. Attendees can connect with speakers through Q&A’s and live forums. Polls and surveys enable session leaders to tailor presentations to audience priorities. Fun, gamified challenges are another way to keep remote attendees engaged.
- You can have amazing content. But your participants still may not want to sit through a full day of virtual sessions. So select your most compelling content and break it into brief sessions of an hour or less.
- Make information available in real time or on demand through a digital library or continuing education store. These are great ways to expand audience reach globally, create new revenue streams and keep participants coming back.
- How do you know if virtual attendees open a session and take off to do something else? Alertness checkers are the answer. They measure continuous engagement by inserting a few quick questions throughout presentations. You can also use these tools to identify the speakers and topics of greatest interest to your constituents.
Drive Virtual Networking
- One of the main reasons for attending an event is to connect with others, of course. So be sure to provide plenty of virtual networking opportunities. Bring participants together through dedicated chat feeds, social networking and video meet-ups. Modern platforms leverage artificial intelligence and recommend other participants to connect with based on shared interests.
- Offer one-on-one video networking opportunities as well, matching attendees with similar event goals. Keep meetings at just a few minutes to set the stage for more in-depth follow-up conversations.
- It’s also a good idea to optimize the technology you’re already using. Maybe you have a mobile event app for surveys. Why not add in-app chat, matchmaking and gamification functionalities? This is an easy way to build community ahead of time and keep attendees engaged post-event.
- For larger events, you can build an immersive virtual showroom experience. Facilitate networking via live demos and real-time video conversations between buyers and sellers.
- Drive traffic to virtual booths through innovative sponsorship opportunities. Invite exhibitors to send push notifications through the event app. They can reach segmented groups of attendees regardless of physical location.
- Keep it simple. When you talk to marketers today, you hear converting to a virtual format is complicated. But complexity doesn’t cut it in a challenging economy, when teams are working with reduced resources.
- Choose flexible technology. New solutions like the Aventri Virtual Event Platform power in-person, virtual and hybrid events all on one platform. Fully integrated solutions make the pivot to virtual seamless; you can switch from an offline to online event in one click.
- Events produce valuable attendee engagement data. This business intelligence is easier to capture when events are online. Monitor performance through a real-time activity dashboard and make adjustments as needed to enhance your virtual event.
- The latest platforms come with robust reporting capabilities. This is a great way to gain new insights about customer preferences and buyer intent. When attendees opt in, capture business intelligence, such as: What sessions participants watched and how long they stayed, How they engaged and how often, What information they downloaded, Which virtual exhibitor booths they clicked on and demos they watched
- These insights can inform everything from sales prioritization to demand generation, digital advertising and more. Leverage the data to convert more customers faster and retain them longer.
Despite health concerns about COVID-19, companies need to maintain global operations and continuity with stakeholders. Tech innovations help sales executives create immersive virtual events to achieve education, networking and financial goals.