This blog was written in partnership with the SalesIntel team.
The value of face-to-face communication will never go anywhere. However, there are moments when going virtual is an essential part of an event plan, especially in today’s day and age of social distancing.
Notably, 87% of marketers find that incentives created by virtual events are a critical success factor. By planning virtual events not as short one-off slide shows or presentations, but as value-added, engagement-driven interactions, you can build an impactful virtual event that stretches far beyond the computer screen.
While a lot has changed in the new ‘’normal’, the purpose of driving events has remained constant:
- Marketing and promoting your solutions and brand
- Prospecting and generating qualified leads for your business
The technology behind virtual events satisfies both of these purposes, provided marketing and sales executives execute the virtual event strategy well. However, that can prove more challenging than many expect.
Here are a few reasons to host a virtual event:
- Accessibility - While an event is still being hosted in-person, virtual opportunities encourage you to meet guests who are unable to attend in-person.
- Budget - The company has to cut costs to move events offline.
- There’s no other option - With the current situation, you are forced to make your in-person event virtual or cancel it altogether.
Reaching your Prospects Using Virtual Events
Prospecting is a crucial part of your B2B sales process for generating revenue and marking your virtual event success. To that end, here are five ways you can reach your prospects and generate qualified leads after switching to virtual events.
1. Define how many prospects you should reach
When you want to reach prospects through virtual events, you should decide how many prospects you can reach. This will depend on your conversion rate, you should start with reverse engineering. Once you discover how many prospects are attainable, you need to set a goal.
Seeking the right prospects on its own is a challenging goal. You need to be more specific. How many new prospects will be good for your event? Is there a specific customer profile that you're trying to compete in?
For example, if you want to generate 15 qualified leads from your virtual event and your conversion rate is 10%, you should reach at least 150 prospects. When you know the number of prospects you need to reach to achieve your lead generation goal, it becomes easy to choose the channels to reach your prospects.
2. Choose the webinar topic & position the event correctly
First, you need to ensure that the people organizing or hosting the event are professionals with insider knowledge and stories that appeal to your audience. In this respect, what you're actually offering as the core of your virtual event is a workshop for your prospects with clear, practical, and actionable outcomes.
If your organization uses event-based marketing to reach prospects and generate leads, it should be fairly easy to come up with an idea for your workshop.
First of all:
- Identify the challenges of your target audience that are correlated with your product or service package.
- Create a list of advantages that the attendee will receive from a virtual event.
- Create an action plan for the people who attended the event (sales call with an offer of a free [something], etc.)
All these areas will help you to position and promote your virtual event effectively.
3. Choose your virtual event format wisely
The virtual event format that you will use for your event will have a huge impact on your strategy. There are three common formats that you can use:
- Presentation: A presenter delivers a presentation to the guests.
- Panel Discussion: Two presenters discuss the topic or answer questions of the attendees.
- Breakout Rooms: Attendees can participate in the discussion and then report back to the group.
You can use a mixture of these three formats based on the intent of your virtual event. When you are turning a major industry event into a virtual event, you can use all three formats.
4. Use email marketing for promotion
When it comes to event promotion - online or offline - few platforms produce outcomes like email marketing. You are likely to rely on email for outreach to attend a successful virtual event. In fact, 40% of marketers agree that email is the single most powerful medium for promoting an event.
However, it is important to ensure that you are using reliable data to match the expected result from your email campaign. It is recommended you use a reliable B2B data partner who can help you with human-verified data within a given budget. The benefit of having a data partner is that you can access additional information such as buyer intent data, firmographic and technographic data, enriched personal data, and more.
5. Leave it to the experts (Probably the best and most preferred by marketers)
In order to organize virtual events that produce results and drive highly-qualified attendees to virtual and in-person events, the best way is to leave it to the virtual event experts. Leaving the event promotion to experts will help you focus more on your topic, presentation, and event positioning.
While organizing a virtual event needs a lot of planning and involves several activities that might get missed, Banzai makes it easy for you. Our intelligent platform Reach, helps you to identify your targeted attendees who are looking for solutions that you provide. As a one-stop virtual event expert, Reach helps you build a qualified audience profile, provides tools to create and schedule events, and offers invitations to help you reach your prospects for your events.