Conferences are an excellent way for companies to make connections with their target audiences and potential prospects. Traveling to an in-person conference isn’t always possible for a myriad of reasons; therefore, online conferences provide great opportunities to connect with your target audience from the comfort of your desk.
Not only are online conferences more cost-effective than in-person events, a virtual event offers another huge advantage for companies who choose to sponsor—detailed attendee information. As opposed to physical events, where often the only lead data consists of scanning a badge or receiving a business card, a virtual event enables companies to track and evaluate every move of each attendee within the environment, resulting in highly qualified sales leads.
Going to a physical conference usually requires travel, hotel accommodations, and meals, which can add up to thousands of dollars. Plus, you must factor in the cost of purchasing booth space and all its amenities. With an online conference, this can all be avoided.
Attendees will never miss the start of a session because they’re running late or need to leave early to catch a plane. The on-demand recordings of online conferences provide unlimited access to attendees. Convenience and the opportunity to watch and re-watch sessions long after the event has finished is a win-win for both you and the attendees.
Not everyone can afford to attend an in-person conference. Not everyone who attends the conference can make it to the exhibit hall. And those who do make it into the exhibit hall may never get to your booth. An online conference allows you the opportunity to connect with a larger audience, many whom you’d never be able to meet at a physical event.
Let’s face it, there is so much waste at physical events. Think of the emissions from your plane and taxi, the cleaning of your room, and all the materials in the printed brochures and giveaways. A virtual event allows you to provide PDFs for attendees to download, and any giveaways you want to send out is one more opportunity to capture data for accurate mailing information.
Instead of unknown faces rushing through the hallways, you can quickly scan lists of names online and connect with multiple people instantly. You can even dive deeper while you are online to investigate a person as you are chatting with them. This can help you gain insights on the person to support your effort in building a relationship with this potential customer.
Hold surveys, polls, group chats, and networking sessions to allow the exchange of ideas among attendees to better assess their interest in specific products, ideas, or themes. Create a contest or treasure hunt to encourage attendees to tweet or blog about the event.
Virtual event reporting is critical, as it enables organizers to track each registrant. Get details on demographic profiles, interest levels, and activities over time. Analyze how long attendees stayed, what was viewed, how often there were return visits, etc.
The beauty of a good virtual event is that registrants can visit it any time they like. Use email and social networking tools to follow up with non-attendees to share some of the excitement and encourage them to join the on-demand version.
Some people may say that in-person events have face-to-face networking opportunities that you just can’t get online. That’s true! However, how targeted is that networking? Could you be more effective networking with other attendees online, through social media and chat? If productivity is important to you, next time you think about investing in a conference, think online!