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10 benefits of virtual and hybrid events to marketers 10 benefits of virtual and hybrid events to marketers

Many marketers are still reluctant to hold virtual events or hybrid events (virtual and live), but this often comes from a lack of awareness about the benefits virtual and hybrid events provide. If you’re still wary about holding hybrid or virtual events you should check out Crowd Culture and see the big changes for your company. We came upon 10 ways in which they can help you do your job better and grow your business more effectively! 

1) An Overwhelming Amount of Information

One survey found that 75% of people have attended at least one event where they couldn’t find any information. That’s thousands upon thousands of people every year who go to events with no idea what they’re there for, what they can expect, or who will be attending. With so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to know which events are worth your time and money. 

And with so many marketing tools constantly vying for our attention, it can be even harder to figure out how best to spend those limited marketing dollars. That’s why virtual/hybrid events have become more popular than ever before—they allow event organizers (and attendees) control over what information is made available throughout an event series.

2) Add Relevance to Your Message

Event marketing is an important part of any company’s overall marketing strategy. An event provides a unique opportunity for you to reach your customers on a face-to-face basis. As you create an event campaign, there are several aspects that you can leverage to boost attendance and maximize exposure at your events. Consider using virtual solutions like online registration forms, email newsletters, social media engagement, and QR codes to ensure that your attendees are engaged both before and after your event.

3) Build Relationships Before, During, and After the Event

Your virtual attendees are probably coming to your event with some background knowledge about you, which will make it easier for them to trust you and see you as an authority. Before, during, and after your event, create opportunities for discussion so attendees can chat online in real-time as well as get information from speakers during breaks or via email. This allows them (and you) to build relationships. 

Note: Be sure that virtual attendees still have access to traditional conference materials like speaker presentations and handouts. If they don’t have these resources readily available, they won’t feel like your event is delivering on its promises—and they may not be as likely to return next year.

4) Smaller, more targeted audience

Compared to larger events, virtual events have a more targeted, niche audience. By targeting one particular type of person, you can be sure you’ll have attendees who are interested in what you have to say—it’s not just all about volume here. Smaller audiences also mean easier-to-control discussions and more personalized interactions with attendees. 

Learn from others: Most digital marketing conferences will allow you time during Q&A sessions for one-on-one conversations with speakers. This is a great opportunity for networking because participants at your event may be able to help you achieve similar results or offer advice on how they did it themselves.

5) Flexibility with Scheduling, Venues, Speakers, etc.

It may not seem like it, but one of the major benefits of a virtual or hybrid event is flexibility. The ability to schedule virtual events around your attendees’ work schedules while allowing them freedom with speaker selection can be beneficial for everyone involved. Plus, virtual events can take place in more locations—because there’s no venue cost! 

If you can conduct a webinar from your home office in Texas, why limit your participants to those in the surrounding states? Holding an event virtually also means you’ll have fewer logistical headaches as most web conferencing applications make it incredibly easy for anyone online at any time during an event—whether participants are on their desktop computer or mobile phone.

6) Video Amplifies One-to-Many Communications

In a world where attention spans are shrinking, video conferencing can be an effective way to deliver information in bite-sized chunks. At a video conference, every attendee has your undivided attention. This gives you ample time for pauses, gestures, and other elements that boost your message’s effectiveness by increasing engagement. Virtual conferences have been shown to increase retention rates by 55 percent.

7) Recruit More Attendees (and build your email list!)

You can recruit more attendees for your virtual or hybrid event by leveraging your existing social media channels. Use a tool like Tweetdeck to schedule all of your posts at once, from one place—and get your key messages in front of potential attendees without you having to do all that much. 

Attracting people (and their email addresses) will help you build an engaged audience that’s interested in learning more about your offerings. So make sure you set aside time on social media leading up to and during your event (or, better yet, hire someone who knows what they’re doing!). It’ll pay off with qualified leads later down the road!

8) Get more return on investment for sponsorships

As you ramp up sponsorship revenue, your events are likely to become more popular. To keep sponsors engaged, consider expanding your event’s reach through virtual channels such as live streaming, webcasts, or even email newsletter subscriptions. This approach allows you to attract new sponsors while staying in front of existing sponsors by creating a digital extension that they can opt into. 

Additionally, hosting both a physical and digital event will allow you to leverage complementary promotion across platforms. For example, send an email with a link to an online replay after each live session at your annual conference. The attendees who were not able to attend in person will still be able to take part in some way, further entrenching them into an emotional connection with your brand.

9) Use tools like QR Codes or SMS Codes effectively

Live streaming and recording options give speakers a chance to make themselves more accessible. For many people, being able to watch an event from their desk or smartphone is just as good (or better) than attending. Live-streaming offers another benefit for marketers—it allows them a way to reach audiences outside of their physical location. Live streaming gives marketers another way to connect with possible clients who might not be in attendance at live events.

10) Increase Credibility with Live Streaming/Recording Options

No one is saying you need to live stream your conference or webinar, but there are several situations where it makes sense: with international audiences, where there’s more time sensitivity, or when you want more control over your brand message. And if you do choose to offer an on-demand recording option, don’t think of it as just another sale; rather, look at it as an opportunity for the added value that can help convert viewers into long-term customers. 

You might think live streaming is only good for training purposes or catching up with prospects—and both certainly have their merits—but adding these options give attendees a much greater chance of seeing themselves attending another event or using your products or services in the future.

Also read: Digital Marketing Trends to Keep an Eye on

Conclusion

As marketers, we all know how important events are for building your brand, acquiring new clients, and achieving results. So what’s so great about virtual events? The answer is simple. Like most modern marketing activities, they’re scalable and cost-effective.

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