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Virtual Events | The Future of B2B Marketing

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Meta description: Virtual events have been on the rise ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Explore how virtual events are the future of B2B marketing.

Not very long ago, people hated online conference calls and business meetings. It was only used as a last resort, with most professionals preferring in-person meetings. Fast forward to 2020 and beyond, and you’ll see that the same people now rely on online platforms to get their work done. Of course, internet penetration and quality have increased substantially over the past few years. Just like more people now have access to Spectrum TV packages, more people also have access to affordable internet plans and if you don’t know what’s the number to Spectrum, you can easily find it on internet. This has played a huge role in allowing B2B businesses to continue to function despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the new challenges that B2B businesses face, virtual events have emerged as a useful tool to help B2B businesses market their products, services, and brand value. This blog explores how this trend is here to stay.

What Are Virtual Events and What Makes Them The Future of B2B?

Every major event saw cancellations and postponements during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While nearly every industry has suffered, the impact on global conferences and networking events has severely limited B2B companies. Remember, B2B marketing is all about reaching out to other business leaders with appealing solutions and services. Corporate events and expos have conventionally been a core aspect of the B2B networking and marketing approach. But in the face of a pandemic and mass cancellations, B2B marketers and event organizers have had to look to other avenues, such as virtual events.

Virtual events are exactly what they sound like. They follow similar formats to conventional events, such as speaking engagements, networking spaces, service expos, and even Q&A sessions. The only difference is that all these activities take place in virtual spaces. Moreover, virtual events bring several advantages that would otherwise suffer from physical limitations. This is one reason why virtual events have become so popular over the past few years. Other reasons include:

  1. Expanded Reach and Flexibility
  2. Significantly Lower Event Costs  
  3. Better Technology Means Better Events
  4. Instantly Gather Data and Potential Leads
  5. Easier To Create Segmented, Targeted Sessions

Let’s have a closer look at these below.

Expanded Reach and Flexibility

The biggest advantage of virtual events is the ease and flexibility of use. B2B marketers need to engage with potential clients at events and secure revenue streams for their business. However, with virtual events, people no longer have to travel immense distances to meet attendees in person. The travel and accommodation costs saved alone are a big boost to B2B budgets during COVID-19. But even more importantly, it means more people can attend and engage with each other at virtual events, increasing your chances of securing a profitable client.

Significantly Lower Event Costs  

Conventional events aren’t exactly low-cost engagements. Businesses have to spend significantly in organizing and executing these events. From venue costs to the costs of hiring staff, caterers, and security, the expenses can quickly become formidable. This puts smaller B2B firms on an uneven footing with larger ones. Luckily, virtual events are quickly leveling the playing field. Since digital spaces don’t require significant expenditure beyond the necessary tech, virtually anyone can host a B2B marketing event. With the additional expenditures of travel, accommodation, meals, and entertainment struck off the list, you have a much leaner and more cost-efficient model to execute a successful and profitable event.

Better Technology Means Better Events

Business technology is often specialized to the organization’s needs. Meaning it could quickly get problematic when engaging with businesses that use other technology. Different technologies may not always be able to integrate with each other. However, most virtual events follow the SaaS model, meaning they host events using purpose-built software as a service. Since anyone can buy “off-the-shelf” software solutions, and since these solutions are designed to work with everyday tech, you can reasonably hope for better engagement and improved event outcomes.   

Instantly Gather Data and Potential Leads

Tracking the return on your investment in an event may not always be possible or accurate with conventional events. But virtual events are designed to capture data on attendees instantaneously. Every user engagement with the event, from registration to clicks to downloads is recorded. Using these and other data points, businesses can accurately evaluate their event’s success levels. The same data can also offer valuable information in terms of leads, such as the email addresses of interested business executives.

Easier To Create Segmented, Targeted Sessions

We discussed how the cost of a virtual event is a fraction of the costs incurred in a physical event. But that’s not the only advantage of virtual spaces. You can also design your event to offer targeted experiences to specific audience segments. For example, you could direct business managers to strategy and planning sessions. At the same time, you could direct business professionals to working sessions. The segmentation ensures audiences get the information most relevant to them, increasing their chances of engaging with you,

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