Several organizations that were thriving before the covid19 pandemic faced horrific revenue losses. Many companies across industries had declared bankruptcy and were forced to lay off large chunks of their staff. One of the worst affected industries was the events industry. We saw the cancellation of many important business events and exhibitions in an effort to slow down the spread of the virus which lead to loss of lead generation.
We moved on, nevertheless
When it all began, we could never have predicted where we would be today. Similarly, we have absolutely no clue where we would be or what we would be doing two years from today. But we moved on! The sky hasn’t fallen, the sun still rises from the east, and we are all still in business. We have all accepted the new normal.
So, what changed?
Virtual events have started seeing growth. Last year, they were valued at around $77.98 billion, and are expected to see an annual growth of 23.2% until 2027. (As per Virtual Events Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report). Virtual events are now being seen as a cost-effective means to efficiently bring a large number of attendees from all over the globe to a purposeful business event or gathering.
We are increasingly using video conferencing for business and client meetings. The market has witnessed higher demand for virtual events as most companies have adopted a Work-From-Home (WFH) policy owing to the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 affected countries to avoid the community spread of the disease.
The pandemic has caused and accelerated this growth. We probably won’t be going back to live events any time soon. The trend will most likely be a hybrid model bringing in speakers and attendees physically as well as virtually.
How do we generate leads from virtual events?
Trade shows and other in-person events were always known to offer great lead generation results. However, virtual events have taken the world by storm and we’ll list down a few lead generation strategies for virtual events that you should take into consideration before, after, and during your event.
Ensure a bigger and diverse event attendance
Virtual events can accommodate a much wider audience since it removes all kinds of geographical restraints. You need to carefully choose the kind of event that best suits your purpose and target audience to be able to reach out to a larger pool of prospects.
Use the opportunity to shorten your sales cycle
Consider these events your first sales call. You can get your visitors exposed to your service, give a demonstration, negotiate, and close the deal. You have an opportunity to shorten your sales cycle, which otherwise would have taken weeks.
Use lively techniques for interaction
People love real-time communication in their professional interactions. People expect a reply in minutes when they interact with a brand. This means interactive content like videos, tweets, webcasts are all gaining popularity. Virtual events must be designed to facilitate such interactions through instant chat, webinars, and live Q&A sessions.
Understand you can still give away freebies
Develop leads, warm them up, and position your benefits by sharing free and useful e-books to the visitors. People are more likely to engage with you if you build a lead nurturing environment by always being available to answer a prospect’s query through the convenience of digitization.
Use figures like the number of attendees, dropped applications, company, and contact data to gauge both the quantity and quality of leads generated. Use data collected from visitors at the registration desk for your sales teams to reach out to them and maximize event ROI.