You’ve heard correctly: Virtual events generate tons of leads.
How do virtual events generate leads?
While virtual summits offer the traditional benefits of trade shows (accelerating brand awareness and marketing your product/service), they also cast a larger net to your pool of prospective clients, have fewer time restrictions, and improve the quality of leads through data collection. It also doesn’t hurt that they save you a big chunk of change and time in the process!
Here is our step-by-step guide on how to launch a virtual event for lead generation so you can get a head start on planning yours today!
How do I Launch a Virtual Summit to Generate Leads?
Here, we break down the areas you need to focus on to launch a successful virtual event with the goal of generating more leads.
1. Create a Vision and Attract Industry Experts to Your Virtual Conference
To create lead generations, you first need an audience. Use the following tip to design a dynamic virtual event that incites participation from both sponsors and attendees.
- Set a vision: Start out by asking yourself five key questions:
- Who is your audience?
- What are you offering?
- Where is your remote audience located (local, global)?
- When will you go live and for how long? Most importantly, why?
- What goals or sales targets are you hoping to achieve? (Use your tip sheet to help organize your thoughts).
Knowing the vision for your summit and the number of potential attendees is indispensable to have when approaching speakers and/or sponsors.
- Attract industry experts to speak: Your next step is to invite industry experts. Not only does this help you attract a large number of potential leads, but it simultaneously allows you to create a lasting connection with experts in your industry. As an added bonus, your brand will be associated with industry expertise, which provides long-term ROI that goes way beyond the summit. Here are some great tips to consider when planning your agenda.
- Find speakers who want to reach your target persona: Really narrow down your target persona and then find speakers who want to reach the same market.
*Insider Tip: Pre-registering attendees will be a good selling point to speakers so you can give them an indication of their potential reach.
- Host an editorially driven event: Multi Sponsor or Single Sponsor events can drive revenue for a virtual summit. Limiting the number of offers will help sell them up front.
2. Prepare a Solid Sales Demonstration
If attendees have registered for your virtual summit, you already have a list of qualified leads to pull from. This means, you better bring your sales A-game. Try the following sales-minded preparation when planning for your virtual summit:
- Create a sales demo: You have the undivided attention of a large group of potential buyers, so make sure your sales demo is ready! Having an informative and attractive sales demonstration can significantly speed up the sales funnel process and is much more efficient than taking several weeks of back and forth phone calls and e-mails.
- Increase UX: Recent studies about UX clearly show us that 1) video helps persuade 73% of people to buy a product or service and 2) 8 out 10 consumers who signed up for emails from a brand over the past six months made a purchase based on what they received. Make sure your product is easy to access and understand, and that your sales demo has a great UX so you do not miss out on potential high-value leads.
3. Establish Low Barriers of Entry to Cast Your Net Wider
Virtual events trump brick and mortar events because of their inherent accessibility and low barriers of entry. Capitalize on this for more lead generation by doing the following:
- Offer free or small admission: Encourage more people to join all over the world as well as more downloading/sharing of your content by making your virtual event free or available for a very small admission fee. This is the way to cast the widest net.
- Create exclusivity by limiting access: With the wide net option, there is always the chance of 1) landing non-quality leads and 2) possibly making the event or content seem too broad or uninformative. Alternatively, you can charge a small fee for access to the event or just to specific content inside the event to propel interest, create an alluring exclusivity, and make some revenue on the side.
4. Enhance Lead Tracking Through Extensive Data
Lead generation continues long after the event closes its virtual doors. The data collected at virtual summits and conferences can help you nurture current leads and generate future ones. Here’s how to actually use it!
- Use data to evaluate leads: We know that the success of a virtual summit is not merely based on the number of attendees, but rather on the more substantial stats: content views, volume and value of transactions performed, download volume, and the number of interactions with staff, to name a few. Analyze this data to gauge the quantity and quality of leads generated.
- Discover what content is most valuable to nurture leads: You can see where participation spiked throughout an event and focus on gearing your content strategy in the future towards more of the content that your users find valuable.
- Indicate quality leads to your sales department: Your sales team will thank you! From the initial data collected by visitors when they signed up to data-driven reports on attendees engagement throughout the event, your sales department will be able to glide through the lead qualification process and go straight to maximizing ROI.
5. Leave Virtual Event Open Past Publishing Day to Generate More Leads
Here’s the biggest perk: Your event doesn’t have to be limited to just one day. Here is how going virtual enhances your engagement and boosts your possible leads.
- Keep event open longer: Keeping your event open for days after the live broadcast can substantially increase the number of times your content is seen, downloaded and shared.
- More attendees, more data: More attendees rolling in overtime means more:
- Information you can collect further down the funnel.
- E-mails to send valuable information to.
- Data on engagement, and finally,
- HIGHER ROI.
- Create a sense of community: You can host a year-long event that creates a sense of community for attendees and enables the development of a content hub of valuable information for your clients.
Time restrictions are non-existent when you go virtual – you just have to choose what style best represents your brand.
Take the Next Steps to Launch Your Virtual Summit
Now that we’ve learned all about how virtual events can generate quality leads and sales, are you ready to make the most of virtual events? Here are your next steps to a successful event: