What a time to be alive, yes? At this point of the pandemic, you're most likely at the acceptance stage to realize that COVID-19, as we know it, is here to stay for a while.
This realization also informs us that all our business and marketing plans have to be adapted for long-term survival as we ride the fast rise of digital transformation as well.
Early research shows higher adoption rates in B2Bs implementing digital strategies to reach buyers online. In fact, research from McKinsey & Company announced a 23% increase in the worldwide average company revenue share driven online during the pandemic.
This tells us that people are still spending, and the strategy for businesses moving forward is to BE CREATIVE with the lemon thrown at us.
If meeting our customers online is the only option, let's bring a whole new experience straight to their rooms.
According to our survey, approximately 60% of people are in favor of virtual events because they’ll able to escape bad traffic and skip the queue for registration! Besides that, parents won’t need to find lost kids, and business professionals won’t have to rush for time. It’s a win-win situation for many of your customers.
“Personally, I’ve never been to one [virtual event] , but the thought of not having to hassle around and drive there sounds good!”
- Alvin P.
With that being said, what would be the most effective plan? After clarifying your campaign's goal and objective, here are five steps to plan your virtual event.
1. Ask yourself: “WHY should people attend your event?”
As you're preparing to launch your virtual event, it can't just be another page that mirrors your existing website. What value are you offering? How can you and your team add genuine human experience to your virtual event? Think about what you need to include and what you can exclude.
- Is there a video premiere that people can anticipate?
- Would you like to host a virtual tour?
- Will guests be expecting a welcome speech by your event ambassador?
People will require a more compelling reason to visit your "virtual event,” knowing that they're not just visiting "another webpage.”
Let us know your goal and budget, we'll help you to plan accordingly.
Once all the information is confirmed, we'll create a customized digital space to generate leads for you as your team interacts with your customers in real-time.
2. Paid Search on Suitable Digital Platforms
Great! Now that your team/vendors are prepared for your event, it's time to find your target audience to announce the big day. We'll extend and amplify your reach to the right people through:
✓ Google AdWords
✓ YouTube Ads
✓ Gmail Ads
✓ Facebook Ads
✓ Instagram Ads
✓ LinkedIn Ads
✓ Outbrain Ads
✓ Remarketing/Retargeting (across all ad channels) and more!
You’ll be kept in the loop all the way! You’ll get direct access to analyze the ad performance in real-time on our LIVE Marketing Dashboard too.
All the leads collected will include your current fans and potential prospects. And yes - we can use "retargeting" based on your existing database as well.
You might ask: To use the budget well, this will only be done right before the event day?
Answer: Nope! All ads have a learning phase. Putting them up in advance will allow the ad to go through the learning phase earlier so that it’ll be at its best performance right in time for your event.
3. List all your highlights on a Feature Article
While your ad can give your target audience a preview of your event, it won't be able to cover all the highlights you'll be bringing.
Therefore, we'd recommend a feature article to be a part of your content marketing. It will be used to provide more in-depth information than a press release, and it’s a useful way to share details about the different products, courses, or vendors represented.
You might ask: Can it be made concise into a press release too?
Answer: Why not?
4. It's time for your virtual event, chat LIVE with your guests!
(oh the excitement and nervousness of hosting a virtual event. Don't worry, anticipate genuine leads!)
On the day of your event, it's important to remind your customers! We'll blast out an email to all the leads collected to get them pumped and excited for the exhibition. On the event landing page, these features will be available:
- Form sign-up
- About us
You might still be a little tensed (but at least you won’t have to deal with traffic stress and sweat from running around)!
You can teleport from booth to booth, and your customers will be able to visit the information counter, watch a product video together with you, as you engage your prospect directly through a LIVE chat too!
- You can answer chats from your mobile device.
- You can also respond quickly with shortcut answers.
- You can monitor virtual event visitors in real-time too.
Be sure to prepare all your relevant PDFs, extra information and greet them as you would in person! Be aware of the stage of their buying journey and provide all the relevant help they need on the spot. Ensure your customers that you will follow-up with them should you have more offers to cater to them.
And don’t worry, your prospects will be able to access the landing page throughout the campaign period.
This whole experience is designed to emulate a real-life exhibition as closely as possible. While it can't replace a real event, it serves to advance your business and mission as everyone stays safe during this pandemic period.
Wait, that's not the end.
5. Evaluate your post-virtual-event report
Although the reporting can be viewed in real-time, The LIVE Marketing Dashboard and Lead Dashboard will also help you to draw patterns in analyzing which booth, program, or product garnered more interest among your guests. The data presented will also improve the targeting, strategy, and assist in scaling your future campaigns too.
There you go, 5 simple steps for a great virtual event!
Check out an example of our previous event here.
Still having second thoughts? Discuss it with us!
80% of people believe virtual components of in-person events will be more common after the coronavirus pandemic.
Why wait when you can stay ahead of the rest?