Virtual events and the convergence of digital and event marketing

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By Ville Vanhala, Brella

2 mins

How can virtual events enhance your digital and event marketing strategy?

The recent burst of virtual events has left both organizers and sponsors confused. The way things were always done just don’t translate well to virtual events.

However, 80% of corporate sponsors are still interested in sponsoring virtual events, as long as there is interaction between them and potential leads.

Because the easiest way for marketers to prove success is by delivering qualified leads to their sales teams.

That is, of course, why they sponsor your event. They want a presence at your event to reach the right group of people and generate new business because of it.

And your virtual event offers a perfect combination of the reach of digital marketing and the intimacy of live events.

Let’s break that down a little more.

Marketing budgets have grown steadily since 2009, and most of that growth has been in digital marketing.

Traditional advertising, on the other hand, has decreased, as marketers come under increasing pressure to validate their results from campaigns. Imagine having to report on exactly how many people saw your billboard ad and purchased because of it.

It’s as the famous quote goes: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

For your sponsors to know that they spent their money well, they need data and accurate numbers.

Those can be difficult to come by at live events, but at virtual events, it’s incredibly simple to report on relevant data like:

  • Booth traffic
  • Attendee interests
  • Livestream views

And much more.

Since virtual events are 100% reliant on technology, every data point can be captured and reported on (especially when hosted on a virtual events platform).

Your virtual event can also provide higher conversion rates than other digital marketing activities.

Typically, digital marketing campaigns have a conversion rate of around 1-2%, meaning to get a worthwhile amount of leads, you need to get in front of a lot of prospects.

If you’ve ever done cold calling, you’ll know this feeling well. Convincing someone who has never heard of you to download a guide or try a demo (without shaking their hand or looking them in the eye) is tough.

Your virtual event can offer greater conversion rates of prospects to leads, up to 30% or higher.

This is due to:

  • A higher purchase intent environment
  • More avenues for conversions
  • An optimal attendee journey

Let’s talk about the attendee journey in particular.

At live events, there are far more opportunities for prospects to become ‘lost’ or unreachable. Your sponsors generate leads based on how many sponsor representatives are present and the location of their booth.

How can virtual events give your sponsors more leads?

If a potential lead books their ticket but doesn’t show up to the event, your sponsor loses out on a potential deal.

If a potential lead never walks by the booth, your sponsor loses out on a potential deal.

If a potential lead does come by the booth, but all the representatives are busy, your sponsor loses out on a potential deal.

Then, once all these hurdles are passed, the sponsor must add their info to the CRM manually and follow up with them, as quickly as possible. The conversion rate from following up with leads within a day after the event is 60x higher than following up with them later.

However, there are far fewer ‘holes’ to fall through at a virtual event.

For example, sponsors can understand who watched their sessions for later follow up.

Or, they can provide a form at their virtual booth to capture information, or a packet to download to help attendees learn more. This captures leads in an efficient way – no need for a rep to interact with each visitor.

Then, best of all, they can schedule a one-to-one meeting with a potential lead so they can communicate in a private and secure channel. This could start the deal process while the event is still running.

So, really, your virtual event offers the best of both worlds for sponsors.

It offers them the benefits of your event: a highly relevant audience who has high purchase intent, a favorable environment for conducting business, and a perfect place to meet one-to-one and have relevant connections.

It also offers them a powerful digital marketing opportunity, complete with powerful lead capture processes that are optimized for conversions, all while providing a simple and elegant user experience.

A virtual sponsorship at your event is an exclusive and focused marketplace where both sellers and buyers are easy to approach, leading to higher conversions (due to the ease of connections and lead capture) within a favorable sales environment.

This is a sponsored blog post from Brella. Brella is the world’s leading networking and virtual events platform.

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About the author

IT Services and IT Consulting

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Ville Vanhala, Brella