The Building Blocks of Hosting a Successful Virtual Marketing Event
July 18, 2021
Thanks to the global pandemic of 2020, event marketers are now squarely in the ‘virtual first’ event planning space – at least for the foreseeable future. While many event marketers were able to pivot flawlessly around things like webinars and virtual happy hours, planning and hosting multi-day, online conferences and/or networking opportunities is another beast altogether.
Here is everything you need to know about getting up and running with your next virtual marketing event:
Planning Your Event
First off, it’s time to plan and market your virtual event. Luckily, most people are pretty used to the virtual meeting experience by now, making it easy to discuss the virtues and value of attending an event online. Unfortunately, many people are experiencing screen fatigue and may now want to join an unnecessary event. This is why all your virtual event marketing efforts need to be extremely tight and work to cut through the noise surrounding other virtual events.
Hosting a Successful Virtual Event
There are a few must-have technical elements to any successful virtual event:
A digital hosting platform (such as Zoom or Meetings) can give you the flexibility required throughout your event.
A metrics calculator to track attendees, engagement, hand-raises, breakouts, etc.
A communication platform to engage with attendees before (to drive awareness) and after (to follow up) an event.
In addition, your team should strive to have as many engaging elements as possible peppered throughout your event. This could include anything from adding in other polls and trivia questions during a webinar to hosting. A virtual cocktail-making class for a fun networking alternative. It has never been more critical for event marketers to think outside the box and then deliver on these big-picture items to help drive new deals forward.
Insights & Metrics
One thing that may boost the reputation of virtual events in the SaaS world is the ready availability of detailed metrics and insights available around virtual events. While many in-person events rely on softer metrics (such as in-person visits to a booth), virtual event marketing metrics are very qualitative – and available in real-time. Event marketing teams should be able to:
Track registration and engagement metrics in real-time to see if particular advertising campaigns are working as intended.
Immediately view opportunity and prospect contact records in a CRM platform to add this new layer of insight after a conference.
View exactly which marketing channels (email, social media, direct mail, etc.) brought in the most registrations and/or attendees for future planning.