Michael Doyle, executive director of Virtual Edge Institute, spoke to BtoB about how virtual events strategies are changing.
BtoB: How are virtual events evolving?
Michael Doyle: Marketers have got to look at tactics that engage people, and video is on the high end of the list. You're going to see more people who are doing creative kinds of video, showing more creativity than putting up slides and talking, building a more theatrical production. The enterprise is driving this. They have more budget and they have studios available, producers who come from the television industry. You're seeing more of that happening. What starts in the enterprise generally trickles down to the rest of the b-to-b market. More people are focusing on content, and delivery of content and real engagement.
The people who are doing a really good job, these are people who have a content strategy going in. They get multiple pieces out of this. People are taking a session and cutting it into a smaller series. They're combining it with like content and making another event, going into another geography, creating a certificate program around it. They're going to bundle it and sell to other organizations that are interested in content from a training standpoint or as a way for people to keep up with what's going on in their space. People are getting more sophisticated. It's a big investment in an asset. What other ways can we repurpose this to meet another business objective?
BtoB: The Virtual Edge Institute digital events strategist program has just graduated its first class. How does the program approach content development?
Doyle: Content strategy is just one of the things that we look at. What is your audience doing now? We build a strategy around that audience. What is the content you need to build? What is your engagement strategy? We look at monetization and issues around revenue, the tech strategy and the marketing strategy, the production plan before, during and after the event. Measurement. Content has to be looked at as part of a holistic whole. —C.W.