The Top 10 Ways You Can Increase Your Sales And Brand Visibility Through Virtual Events
Aug 12, 2020
Over the past several months, we have all experienced some form of event cancellation. Many opportunities and business events have been put on hold; however, what if they didn’t have to be? An industry that has been increasingly growing out of necessity has taken the concept of virtual reality and pushed the needle further. The most essential business trend right now to engage valuable partners and potential clients is: VIRTUAL EVENTS.
It is essential to make virtual meetings, webinars, or events part of your marketing plan. They can benefit your company by keeping your brand consistent and ahead of your competition. The truth is virtual events can improve your bottom line by generating more business and increasing your brand visibility.
Here are the Top 10 benefits your company can experience from hosting, sponsoring, or attending a virtual event that will boost your sales and positively impact your business.
1. Audience Reach
Without the need to travel great distances to meet in a single location, virtual events expand the meeting’s reach. Guest speakers and participants are more likely to get involved with an event that requires minimal effort to attend. According to GTR Now,* (an event technology platform) virtual events increase attendance by 129% of the anticipated attendees for a physical event.
CASE STUDY: Microsoft hosted its annual Build Conference virtually this year and took an attendee-centric approach that included a FREE REGISTRATION GIFT and no event fee with a specific deadline for early registrants.
RESULT: While their physical event would generate a few thousand participants, more than 200,000 people attended their virtual event.
This proved to be a major success for Microsoft allowing them to engage and connect with more participants in a time of disconnect.
The accessibility on any device allows participants from all over the globe. Contrary to a physical event, a virtual event doesn’t end when the event’s designated time is over.
Virtual content can be recorded and emailed immediately for future communications and marketing strategies and shared as frequently as preferred. Registrants who could not attend can have access to the link and use it at a more convenient time. No need for the objective of the event to be one and done. Evergreen marketing can continue generating business and sharing the brand’s message throughout the year.
3. Registration Gifts
There are many creative ways to drive registration numbers up, which is vital for any event. Registration gifts are the perfect way to incentivize people to register early, which can be the difference between "I'm thinking about it" and "I'm in!" There are several ways this can be accomplished. You can offer an exclusive gift to everyone who signs up by a specific date. Another idea would be giving a gift only to the first 50-100 (or whatever number you choose) people who register. Customized gifts and packages filled with branded products sent to attendees, moderators, and presenters can generate excitement and create a positive feeling towards your brand. The good news is that a large selection of gift ideas can be delivered straight to your recipient’s doorsteps, with free drop shipping to up to 100 locations throughout the US. Select thank you gifts can reaffirm your brand’s message and keep your company in the minds of your target audience.
Virtual events provide opportunities to interact with your target audience and allows for networking opportunities for attendees. Some platforms offer "speed-dating" sessions to help create the connections that are such a big part of traditional conferences.
The option to chat in real-time, conduct polls, and other interactive features increase engagement among participants.
Market research has found that attendees are more likely to interact with representative vendors or fellow participants virtually than in person. According to WorkCast,** (software/online events/webcast platforms), 30% of people are more likely to speak to a person in a virtual booth than at a physical event. Multiple resources are available to engage attendees, with fun contests and cool prizes and giveaways and virtual games. That means offering valuable information mixed with a little fun to keep people engaged, presented in a seamless, user-friendly way, will surely help you engage your attendees.
By SPONSORING a virtual event, your brand can be showcased. Stylish, branded apparel is critical to reinforce your event's identity. Along with the event host's logo, which can be imprinted on the shoulder or collar for maximum on-camera visibility, by co-branding the apparel, sponsors will appreciate the extra visibility too. There are also ways for the sponsor’s brand to be included on early registration gifts, increased social media buzz, and brand placement on virtual banners continually displayed during the online event. As a sponsor, your logo placed strategically throughout the virtual event is a sure way to increase brand visibility and receive a positive return on your investment. Virtual events can introduce you to opportunities for sponsorship that go beyond your "normal" business channels and can introduce you to new markets that would never have been available to you before.
CASE STUDY: A major tech company needed to create ways in which they could attract sponsors for their virtual events.
RESULT: An intentionally branded polo was created for everyone on the event team to spotlight their company as well as their sponsors. They also co-branded registration gifts and giveaways for attendees. The imprinted products helped connect the participants not only with the host company but also with the sponsor. Both companies were able to communicate with more attendees immediately after the event rather than having to wait several days for them to return from a physical trade show.
6. Social Media Buzz
Virtual event giveaways increase positive social buzz about your company as people love posting pics of their swag on social media making it easy and enticing for attendees to share photos and videos from your event.
With social media dominating today’s online interaction, hosting a virtual meeting makes sharing your brand only a click away. Create an opportunity to leave your brand on your target audience’s mind before, during, and after the event.
There’s no underestimating the impact social media has on online occasions. A virtual event can increase brand visibility through various sharing features paired with online meeting platforms. There are also several methods to increase excitement around your brand through social hashtags, attendees posting about custom packages, and branded online backgrounds.
Virtual events are more cost-effective than traditional tradeshows and conferences. With the elimination of costly fees, virtual events provide the ability to reallocate dollars to areas that create the most significant impact.
Virtual events save costs related to venue, signage, A/V equipment, airfare, car rentals, hotel accommodations, meals, etc. for both the organizer and the attendee. According to Aventri,*** (event and meeting management technology), virtual events are 75% less expensive than physical ones. Hosting an event provides significant cost reductions and the ability to allocate the budget in ways that genuinely focus on the event’s objective and are attendee-centric.
8. Time is on Your Side
Creating a physical event takes a lot of time and manpower. With many companies having to cut back or furlough employees, the workload and responsibilities are usually divided among the existing staff. Putting together an in-person and physical event can take a year’s worth of preparation. A virtual event is much more streamlined and can be planned and executed in much less time, allowing your employees to focus on other responsibilities of their job. By selecting a good online hosting platform that specializes in your type of event, more of your company’s time can be allocated on the messaging, creating excitement and marketing of the event. A virtual event or conference can eliminate the constant phone calls and worry that your supplies and materials will arrive in time, or your flight is canceled, and many other stressors associated with physical events. A virtual event will allow you the time to be more focused on your virtual attendees creating a greater sense of engagement and interaction.
For physical events, event organizers must go through the hassle of gathering valuable information from a multitude of resources, which is time-consuming and can cause an increase in workload. Virtual events provide more accurate and easily accessible data which can be measured and managed with less stress. Insights gathered from participant information are derived from a custom online registration form, and can lead to more detailed customer profiles, buyer journey specifics, and improved future events.
10. Brand Visibility
Stand out among competitors using the power of brand advertising to engage with clients during a time of disconnect.
CASE STUDY: Many consumer product companies went through a period of struggle during The Great Depression, which was no different for Procter & Gamble. Rather than cutting marketing costs, the soap company actively pursued new marketing avenues. They began to sponsor a daily radio show targeted towards homemakers to start the first ongoing soap opera.
RESULT: What began as a small family-run soap business grew through innovation and creative marketing to become the world’s largest consumer goods company during an economic struggle. Proctor and Gamble put the “soap” into soap opera.
A virtual event can build your brand, build your customer base, and build your bottom line. It’s time to get creative! Think of ways to reschedule that canceled event or finally plan a postponed conference. The possibilities are endless when it comes to planning and executing an event that suits your company best. An online virtual event can be exciting and extremely beneficial to your company and your brand.
Helpful Resources & Online Software to Create a Great Virtual Event:( referenced in the Blog)
* GTR Now - www.gtrnow.com Event Technology Platform
** WorkCast - www.workcast.com Webinar Software, Online Events, Webcast Platforms
*** Aventri - www.Aventri.com Event and Meeting Management Technology
For additional Virtual Event Technology Companies, feel free to contact us: email@example.com. We're here to help!