Virtual show evangelists


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Once marketers create incentives for attendees to return regularly to the always-on event, a second, major advantage is the opportunity to combine the benefits of the number of metrics tools of virtual event providers with constant measurement. “We know more about what the attendees are doing and where they're going. You have much better access in the virtual space,” said Kathy Doyle, director-global Cisco Live conferences for Cisco Systems. According to Cisco's Veale, “It goes beyond just name, company and e-mail. We can find out: what's their next project, how much they are investing and we can see what's really resonating beyond physical events.” The constant measurement, said Avaya's Moran, is boosted by the fact that users spend much more time engaged with the company when they are online. “The tracking you can do is beyond anything you can do at a live event. When you're live, you don't really know how much [attendees] take away, how deep we get into their craniums. But virtually you can see how many videos did they view, how many documents they download and which type. [We're finding that] people explore just like they would on a Web site and go deeper. They wouldn't be able to do that in a live event because live is really a monologue.” Ultimately, the ability to nurture attendees and measure their every move over the course of months or years rather then a day or two is helping marketers command significant control over the relationships clients and business partners have with their brands. The always-on event, ebizQ's Yeamans said, has “been a differentiator for us. Definitely people know us as a company that's putting on events all the time.” Avaya's Moran said: “You can have messaging done to your target audience and have one vehicle available for awareness. For customers that don't do business with us, I can market an event with increasing productivity and engagement, and I can go to customers with a slightly different message. It's a great vehicle for multiple people. They're getting all the key messages. Virtual events give you an opportunity to put together an event with multiple layers. You can "teach' those multiple layers quickly, and you can sit alongside your customers. You can get a lot more information across to an audience, and they can customize their agendas.” In other words, she said, the always-on event is a win-win. “It's a tremendous way to start a conversation, continue a conversation and move a conversation forward.” M
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