No digital marketing line-up would be complete without virtual events. And, with a wave of platforms on the market, there are solutions that cater to the smallest get-togethers, biggest occasions, and everything in-between. In this blog, Fox Agency expert Zoey Woodward shares the benefits of virtual events, best practices, and how to decide which platform is right for you.
First – why virtual?
Over the past few years, virtual events have been a need. Now they’re a want, and it’s easy to see why. The days of travelling to the latest conference are creeping away, as attendees enjoy the comfort and ease of joining events from wherever they choose. The benefits are equally compelling for hosts, offering the opportunity to:
- Increase audiences without budgeting additional travel costs
- Significantly reduce your environmental impact
- Have global reach from a single location
- Cater to different time zones
- Catch no-shows with on-demand content
Ready to take your next event to the virtual space? Now’s the time.
The marketing opportunity
There’s power in numbers. Event marketing is a high-value strategy that unites like-minded people (and potential customers) to intrigue, engage and entertain.
Businesses have been using events to bring prospects closer to their brand for decades, and their virtual counterparts are no exception. Online events offer an opportunity to build brand loyalty and capture attention far better than a phone call or pitch, as they offer something of real value to attendees.
UX is key
Attendees are the most important part of any event. That’s why you should demo every platform you try as though you are the end user, looking for easy accessibility and a visually appealing experience.
As the world of virtual events has grown, so has the number of options for platforms on which to deliver them. The market is flooded with options, with many offering unique capabilities. So, how do we narrow them down?
This is one of the biggest considerations for any paid platform. In the world of events it’s easy to stray over planned cost, so ensure you are open about your budget with providers from the outset. Providers often differ in this respect, with some opting to charge based on numbers of attendees, whilst others charge a flat rate – so bear this in mind when choosing.
How many attendees you plan to have will have a big impact on the platform you choose. For example, if you have a big audience, you could look at functionality that will allow you to host multiple sessions simultaneously in break out rooms.
Whichever platform you choose will need to offer the features you need or integrate with the ones you already have. This is where the rest of your MarTech stack comes in. Create seamless workflows for event extras such as: sponsorship sale, virtual booths, ticketing, email automation, event agendas, landing pages and more.
Future-proof your investment
What kind of events are you holding, and will they change in the future? These are the types of questions you should be asking before committing to a platform that may not serve your long-term needs. Every event is unique, but you need a platform that can accommodate each, or scale to requirements.
A blossoming virtual relationship
The relationship you have with the platform provider is vital, so work with a company that is flexible and alongside people that become an extension of your own team. It also helps if they work within your time zone.