This detailed attendee information allows publishers to offer sponsors targeted lead-generation. ON24 assigns scores to names, weighing their relevancy and worth based on an individual's activity level at a virtual show and the nature of their interactions.
Unisfair also offers a lead-ranking tool, which allows sponsors to customize an index to the specific lead types they are looking to generate—say, chief financial officers on the East Coast who visited a specific session and downloaded a certain whitepaper. "If these [conditions] are met, then this is a qualified lead that can be sent over to sales," notes Rathenberg.
"The platform ON24 is providing us will enable us to give our sponsors a great deal of feedback and pulse-reporting from attendees … [to] the show and individual sponsors' booths," Foster notes. "After the show is over, we will be able to tell our sponsors how many people attended, how many walked into their booths, how many requested information or downloaded a marketing brochure, how many watched the video … in their booth."
Unisfair client Haymarket Media Inc. offers booth sponsors lead guarantees, along with incentives to ensure sponsors put effort into their presentations. "You only get the leads that come to your booth, so you still have to do the work," notes Tony Keefe, director of business development at Haymarket Media. "If you want to exceed the guarantee, which most of our companies who participate do, you need to be active at the virtual events. … [There needs to be] someone at the booth who can answer questions in real time, and they need to tailor their content around the subject matter of the event."
Haymarket's use of virtual events for its b-to-b title aimed at information security professionals, SC Magazine, offers a good example of the innovation possible when these events are built into an overall product structure. SC runs 15 virtual events a year and maintains an ongoing destination where IT security people can access archived events and supplementary information. "We created a year-round, permanent virtual environment with a trade-show floor populated by vendors who bought into the concept of the 12-month cycle," Keefe says. The structure dovetails well with SC's yearly physical trade show, SC World Congress. "You have the option of buying a [physical] trade show booth on its own or you can package it with a booth that sits inside our virtual environment, which means you are there for the 15 virtual events we run during the year," Keefe says.