Virtual events are not new to the B2B marketing and sales world. We have been producing webinars, live-streaming in-person events, and creating virtual experiences for the past decade.
What is new? Businesses are looking to virtual events to be a leading channel in generating opportunities and creating revenue. Here are five ways you can make sure your upcoming virtual event fuels B2B lead generation, setting you and your team up for success.
How to Generate Leads at Events
To generate leads at events, utilize strategies like setting clear goals, designing an eye-catching booth, offering interactive experiences, hosting engaging presentations or demos, collecting attendee information, and following up promptly post-event. Implement lead capture tools, provide incentives, and leverage social media promotion to maximize lead generation success.
1. Clearly Define Your Target Audience
Targeting the right audience for your virtual event is just as important as targeting the right audience for your in-person event. You want registrants who are qualified, engaged, and eager to learn more. When defining your audience, you should create lists based on:
- Job Function
- Company size
- Sector (B2B, B2C, B2G)
When creating your audience list, it is important to consider the region where they are based. Though anyone can sign-up for a virtual event, having a specific region in mind will make sure your event is optimized to generate registrations and attendance. Understanding the geographic region of your audience will enable you to time your event correctly, curate relevant content, and create an impactful outreach strategy.
2. Build in Time for Event Outreach and Engagement
It can be easy to fall into the trap of starting your event outreach a little too close to the day of your event (we have all been there). Don’t do it! Planning and outreach for successful virtual events take time. After supporting thousands of events, the team at Banzai has developed best practices around outreach and timing of promotion.
Whether you’re producing a 30-minute webinar or a two-day conference, establish a promotion timeline that allows you to create impactful invitations, utilize multiple channels, and pivot if you are not seeing the results you need.
3. Don’t Forget About Reminders
Reminders are an important pre-event engagement tool that drives attendance to your virtual events. The same rules that apply for in-person events do not necessarily apply to virtual events. Virtual event reminders now have to compete for inbox placement with multiple virtual event invitations, other reminders, and just everyday life.
When it comes to virtual event reminders consider:
- Sending reminders the day before and the morning of your event.
- Make it easy to add the event to your registrants’ calendar (or send them the calendar invite directly!)
- Trying other channels for sending SMS reminders, such as using an SMS gateway, phone outreach, personalized LinkedIn messages, and chatbots.
Getting your reminder strategy right might be just what you need to hit your attendance goal and turn your registrants into engaged sales leads.
4. Make Virtual Events Easy to Consume
Virtual events that drive leads and generate pipelines are created with the audience in mind. How do they want to attend your events? Live? On-demand? Creating virtual events that are simple for your audience to consume (and on their own schedule) can set your program apart.
Consider the following when launching your virtual event:
- Create an on-demand strategy
- Enable your audience to select and attend only the sessions that interest them
- Schedule events based on your audience’s timezone
- Use a virtual event platform that is user-friendly and easy provides easy engagement
By creating a virtual event that is simple to view and engage with, you are taking away the barriers that might prevent someone from registering.
5. Create Evergreen Content
A successful virtual event should not end when your attendees sign off. Virtual events have the ability to generate leads long after your event is over. Use the content and insights learned from your virtual event to produce additional collateral that can be shared on your channels and reach new audiences that may not have registered for your event. Continue the conversation from your event by:
- Writing a recap article
- Sharing highlights on your other channels (social, podcasts, video)
- Breaking up your virtual event into an on-demand series
Virtual events are here to stay. It is up to us marketers and sales professionals to create B2B experiences that generate leads and influence pipelines. Set you and your team up for success by producing events that are centered around your audience and created to drive demand long after your event is over.
Banzai is a leading enterprise SaaS provider of Marketing Automation solutions for webinars and events. Banzai is used by over 100 companies like Adobe, Dell Technologies, Nextiva, and PureStorage. Banzai’s Marketing Automation solution helps marketers have more successful webinars and events by growing their audience and creating more engaging experiences.