By Laura Haight
What is keeping your company from adding virtual events to your portfolio this year?
Not sure? Don't worry, you are not alone. According to a survey conducted by Exhibitor Magazine - a magazine geared toward marketing pros - the majority of companies aren't sure what virtual events are, how to use them, why they should use them, or how they would get information or support for them. The 2011 Virtual Events survey asked why companies aren't using virtual meetings or events.
The responses are telling:
- 11.3 percent said they didn't have adequate staff to plan or execute them.
- 14.1 percent said they didn't understand them.
- 18.3 percent said they didn't have time to figure it out.
- 15.5 percent said they just didn't know.
That's 59.2 percent of businesses that essentially admit they aren't using virtual events because they don't have enough information.
Our goal is to give you the information you need to make smart decisions. Admittedly, virtual events don't work for every company or every situation. And one size, most certainly, does not fit all.
Social media and marketing watchers expect more companies to move into the virtual world this year. A few things your company should be looking for:
- Hybrid Events: Add virtual components to live events. Having a job or career fair? Consider a virtual element to expand your reach.
- Social Media: Whether it is live blogging or tweet coverage during a presentation or event, businesses should look for ways to incorporate social media into their events - before, during and after.
- Data measurement: No marketing tool can guarantee sales; just opportunities. . But you need to be able to measure that opportunity. Fifty-two percent of companies that held virtual events last year didn't know if the quality of leads were any better than with their live events. From the first contact with an attendee to the last, we can capture critical information about their demographics, psychographics, buying interest, influence level and attention to your event. Be involved in that process so you get actionable information that goes far beyond a business card in a fishbowl.
A solid foundation, understandable goal and an ability to deploy advanced features are important for your business to feel comfortable with your event and to understand your results.