Tips on Using Virtual Events to Generate New Revenue
Virtual Events—which essentially replicate all aspects of a physical event minus the physical logistics, costs and on-site headaches—are a great way to generate new revenue and a new audience. Live conference sessions with Q&A and sponsor and exhibitor booths filled with rich media and live interaction between attendees, booth reps and presenters can create a real buzz during a live event, in addition to some real revenue for the event organizer.
While many of the aspects of a successful virtual event are similar to those of a physical event—quality content draws audience, excellent promotion attracts large numbers of people, which leads to sponsors who are willing to pay to have access to these people—there are certain best practices to be mindful of in order to operate successful virtual events.
The FactPoint Group, a Silicon Valley-based research and consulting firm, recently completed a study of 200 virtual events and produced a research paper, “Best Practices in Virtual Events: How to get the most from virtual events.” The paper covers everything from planning to execution. Below are a few tips extracted from the paper. If you would like to request a full version of the paper, please e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promote the Virtual Event
The three keys to success here are 1) promote early; 2) promote often; 3) promote even more. The key to any event is attracting an audience to make your sponsors and exhibitors happy. Use all traditional promotional methods, including e-mail blasts, banner ads, search engine marketing, editorial content promoting the event, etc. But be sure to promote it frequently and track various mechanisms to see what is successful and what isn’t.
Don’t shortchange yourself on sponsor packages, as the physical cost savings afforded everyone (event organizer, sponsors/exhibitors and attendees) with a virtual event can generate a substantial return on investment. Having said this, sponsors new to this venue can sometimes be a little hesitant. Even if it is your first virtual event, your technology provider should be able to arm you with the tools you need (statistics, cases studies, sales tools, etc.) to help you recruit sponsors effectively.