If you’re a marketer, it’s a safe bet to assume you’ve attended some sort of virtual event in 2020.
While some attendees might miss rubbing shoulders with their peers and indulging in the catering, businesses are already seeing a clear upside to virtual events.
In a new blogpost, Marketo – an Adobe company – outlines the attractive business case for virtual events.
With many businesses struggling in the current financial climate, moving in-person events online can free up significant budget space.
“Virtual events cost less—often, a lot less—to plan and execute than in-person events. They don’t require spending on travel, hospitality, or venues,” says Marketo.
“You can invest the money you save in planning even more virtual events. Or you can use a portion of your extra funds for unique gifts and fun activities like a collaboratively prepared meal or chocolate tasting.”
As well as saving businesses some money, with no travel required, online events are also far easier for attendees to fit into their lives and schedules.
“Travel is logistically challenging for busy executives—and for anyone with home and family responsibilities,” explains Marketo.
“This means most people attended fewer events than they wanted to. Now, with so many events going virtual, more people are broadening their virtual horizons and attending more online events than ever before.”
Adobe itself experienced great success moving its flagship event online earlier this year.
With attendees able to pick and choose the sessions they viewed and avoid hours of travel, Adobe’s virtual Summit had more than 500,000 attendees. In the first 24 hours alone, viewers tuned in to 22,6000 hours of video.
Before online events, the most relevant data organisers could collect after the event was usually in the shape of a feedback form – which would often go unfilled.
With virtual events, organisers can see the content that most resonated with viewers and collect relevant data for the future.
And this can translate into sales results, explains Marketo.
“Because you can integrate appointment calendar technologies with your virtual events, you can easily set up follow-on conversations while your event is still running,” the blog says.
“This means you can more quickly qualify leads and accelerate their journey through the sales funnel.”
Getting the most out of your virtual event
While virtual events have provided marketers with a unique opportunity in 2020, they have also highlighted the need for having the right marketing technologies in place.
“You need technology to efficiently plan, promote, and deliver your event—especially if you’re planning to run multiple events throughout the year or you have a small marketing team,” says Marketo.
The company recommends six solutions to ensure a virtual event runs as smoothly as possible.
- A marketing automation platform
- An interactive webinar/live event platform
- Social scheduling and amplification tools
- Live chat and conversational marketing
- An event- and workflow-management platform
- Marketing attribution tools
“It takes a village to produce Summit, but taking Summit online required even more villagers,” said Adobe senior director of corporate events Julie Martin.
“Since this was the first time Adobe Summit was built on Adobe.com, the team not only included Adobe speakers, experiential marketing, demand generation, PR, executive communications, social, creative, BU product and marketing experts, but also the Web team, engineering, analytics, and UX designers.”
To find out more about how to maximise your virtual event, download Marketo’s new eBook Launch Virtual Events That Stand Out, Scale Up, and Soar.