Combating Challenges Facing Event Companies in a Global Crisis

The COVID-19 outbreak has made a swift but massive impact on many industries over the last few months; virtually no one has been left unaffected in some way. Among the hardest hit, however, is those in the event industry. In the face of a global crisis where gathering in person is the most important thing for us to avoid, nearly all businesses are left looking around in panic while they wonder: What do we do now?

There are several challenges facing event companies left by the pandemic’s wake that are critical to identify, but it’s also important to talk about the ways to cope with and combat them in order to keep moving forward.

Canceled and Postponed Events

Webinerd looks out for hazards

This has been the most prevalent response to shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. With so much uncertainty surrounding the timeline of the virus’s effects at the beginning of the pandemic, many events were simply canceled with no formal plans to postpone. There are many complicated logistics of planning an event – accommodations, venue reservations, booked talent, staffing – that it’s not always feasible to reschedule immediately, or at all. From summer concert tours to professional conferences, hordes of cancellation notices have flooded social media timelines and email inboxes over the last few months.

While cancellations are no doubt disheartening for a number of reasons, it’s an opportunity to take the time to convey to your audience that you’re doing this in the best interest of the hosts’ and event-goers’ health.

Postponements have also been a common strategy for many event organizers – the biggest example being the 2020 Olympics being pushed to July 2021. Again, this solution isn’t without its own unique challenges – certain aspects of the event may not be available to reschedule for the later date, some people may not be able to attend.

No matter what strategy you choose as an event organizer or marketer, forming clear channels of communication with your audience to convey your plans is critical here.

    • Via email. A mass email update for attendees to communicate cancellation or postponement is common, and it’s certainly more reliable than solely posting about it on your event’s social media or website where people have to seek it out, and may miss the memo. Personalizing these emails is a good idea; people want to feel like they are being spoken to directly.
    • On social media. There are many people who will go to check your social pages, like Facebook or Instagram, for quick updates before traveling to your website or digging through their inbox to see if you sent them an email. Social media use has certainly seen an uptick lately, so meeting your audience with information in the place they are already hanging out is convenient.
    • On your website. Your website is the home base to many of your marketing tools, often the landing page out of many email campaigns and social media updates. Utilize a static or pop-up banner to convey updates to your site visitors, or churn out a clear, but concise blog post regarding your event’s change in plans. Now is also a good time to take a constructive look at your website – is the user interface as clean and friendly as it could be to make sure people are able to easily access critical information?

The key here is having an integrated communication strategy across all your marketing channels with consistent information, so that there is less of a chance for critical updates to be missed.

Re-strategizing to Virtual Events

Virtual events have been on the rise in popularity for some time now, thanks to advancements in social media and other communication software. Considering the recent obliteration of live in-person events, though, virtual events have skyrocketed in frequency.

Some event companies have had a handle on balancing a hybrid strategy of planning in-person and virtual events for a while now, so it may feel like you’re struggling to catch up or not sure where to start. To help you plan, here are three major targets to hit when coordinating your new virtual events.

    • Quality virtual event software. The key here is that you want to choose a platform that offers a high-end user experience for attendees. These tools can not only support the video broadcast of your event but augment it with content hubs that supply your audience with ancillary information and activities, such as breakout sessions or specific talk tracks. As with in-person events, the experience is what makes the impact on your audience. Utilizing software to host or broadcast your event that’s clunky, slow, or not user-friendly may cause frustration for your audience and lower the overall impression of the event — making them less eager to tune in to the next one you host.
    • Real-time networking. What’s one of the best parts of attending an event? Networking with the other people who are experiencing it alongside you. If the event software you’ve chosen doesn’t have a built-in chat or forum feature, you can utilize an external app, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, so attendees can communicate presently with one another. In chat applications like these, you could create specific “channels” tailored to discussions around specific talk tracks or breakout sessions. Social media can be helpful in some instances here; come up with a specific hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, or create a private Facebook group for event attendees to connect during and after.
    • Immortalize the moment. Don’t simply post just a replay of your event, though it’s helpful for those that may not have been able to catch the event live. You can edit the recording to focus on specific talks or moments for attendees to relive later, or catch certain presentations they might have missed. Repurpose the content from your event in other marketing efforts, too – rehash a presentation topic as a blog post, share clips for social media posts, or refresh interest in the event content later on by highlighting it through email campaigns.

A global pandemic halting life as we know it is certainly an unprecedented contender in the list of problems an event organizer could face in their day to day work. Despite the vicious challenge, it’s inspiring to see companies put their best foot forward and not only adapt to their current circumstance, but set themselves up to come out stronger on the other side.

Eileen Shaw is a Marketing Coordinator at MVP Visuals who is passionate about helping businesses connect with their audiences through the power of creative branding, from major league sports teams to your favorite mom & pop shop on the corner.

11 Excellent Questions for Your Post-Webinar Survey

In today’s data-conscious age, we all know that it’s critical to gather attendee feedback after your webinars. What’s not so clear? The best survey questions to ask that will 1) provide the meaningful data you need to improve the quality and responsiveness of your programs 2) understand your attendees and deepen the relationships you’ve begun with them

This article was originally published on JDsupra.com. Shared with the author’s permission.

Here’s a robust, post-webinar survey used by one of our clients that serves as a great template for follow-up.

I like it because it provides three specific pieces of audience feedback that you can use to make your programs better: their views on the value of the webinar, the knowledge and skills of the speaker(s), and the likelihood that they will recommend your program to colleagues (the ‘net promoter score’). Note that, when it comes to surveys, timing truly is everything. More on that below.

Pick and choose among these, or consider using all:

[Event Name] Feedback

Thank you for attending [Event Name].

Your views on the program are important to us. Please provide feedback on this session by completing this survey.

1. What percentage of the information was new to you?

Select: 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%

2. I can use this session information:

Select: Immediately In 2-6 months In 7-12 months Never

3. Would you like to learn more about this topic?

Select: Yes No

4. Please rate the speaker’s knowledge of the topic:

Select: Excellent Good Fair Poor

5. Please rate the speaker’s presentation skills:

Select: Excellent Good Fair Poor

6. Please rate the content of the slides/virtual aids:

Select: Excellent Good Fair Poor

7. How accurate was the session description?

Select: Excellent Good Fair Poor

8. How did the session compare to your expectations?

Select: Excellent Good Fair Poor

9. Overall session evaluation:

Select: Excellent Good Fair Poor

[If relevant: Additional comments about the breakout:]

10. How likely are you to recommend this session to a colleague? (with 10 being most likely to recommend)

Select: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11. Please rate your overall experience:

Select: Excellent Good Fair Poor

You can of course ask other questions to gain further insight into the needs and interests of your audience. Keep in mind, though, that longer surveys – those that take more than a few minutes to complete – typically generate fewer responses, so if you’re looking for different feedback you may want to swap out questions rather than tacking on new ones.

Remember: with follow-up surveys, timing is everything

Webinerd social media

Mention the survey – and ask people to fill it in – just after the presentation has concluded, right before you start Q&A.

Your attendees are engaged, they’ve either asked questions and are waiting to hear them answered, or are ready to participate in Q&A. The worst time to first mention a survey is in an email when the webinar concludes. By then, your audience is completely disengaged. Recipe for success: mention the survey at engaged moments in the webinar and send soon after.

Some additional questions to consider:

  • How could we make the program better ______________________________

The answers help you identify improvements you could make to your webinars in general and the current presentation in particular.

  • Takeaways: What was your single biggest takeaway? ____________________________________

Responses to this question will confirm you’re focusing on the right issues and/or identify modifications you might want to make to the substance of your webinar.

  • Length / pace: The [length / pace] of the webinar was: Too Long/Slow / Just Right / Too Short/Fast

Questions on the length and pace of your program can help you understand how to adjust the delivery of your insight to make the session more relevant and interesting to your audience.

  • Additional interests: What would you like to see next? ___________________________________

This question is a good one to include because it helps you align your content calendar to the actual interests and needs of your targets.

  • Reasons for attending: Why did you attend today’s program? Required for job / Interesting Topic / Knowledgeable Presenters / CLE

While it doesn’t need to appear on every survey, this question can help if you’re trying to understand what motivates your audience to sign up for your webinars.

  • Prior webinars: Have you attended any of our webinars in the past? If so, which ones?

This is a useful question to include when you want to find out how well you’re attracting new participants to your programs.

Marketers Need to Think Digitally on the Virtual Event Experience

Whether they had a physical event or not, many brands are launching digital events to help build their pipeline. But digital events are not easy to do.

You can’t just spin up some type of event software, get some well-known experts to speak, and assume that every person that attends is interested in your products and services. There’s a lot more to think about before and after your event.

This article originally appeared on diginomica.com. Shared with the author’s permission.

I had a conversation with Tessa Barron, VP of Marketing for ON24, about the increasing growth of digital events. She said that the evolution of digital events is not a surprise; we were moving in this direction for a while. But she indicated that for many brands, setting up a digital event was a panic move to make up for the pipeline lost from not having a physical event. Most brands simply try to do a direct transfer of the physical event to digital, she said, and that’s a huge problem.

Digital events can work, but the right technology is only part of the answer. You need a different strategy and process for digital events. When you do it right, the data you can get will be better and more useful.

Rethinking the digital event format

Some formats Barron has seen work well include having a live webinar-style event and then several break-out sessions on-demand or holding your event over two weeks with prepackaged sessions delivered in different formats, or across different timezones. Barron explained that her company held the same event across four timezones to bring a live event to everyone at a time that is best for them.

We talked about the difference between paid digital events and free ones; there have been a lot of free events available; however, some companies are having paid digital events. Barron said that’s fine, but when you are charging for attendance, you have to think carefully about what is the benefit to your audience. Content is not enough of a benefit for a paid event; there needs to be some tangible outcome.

She offered the example of WebinarWorld, ON24’s live event. As part of their event, they offered a form of event certification. After a live event, there was a five-part on-demand webinar-based certification. ON24 didn’t charge attendees to get this certification, but it’s an example of something you could offer to make charging for a digital event worth the money.

Digital means data – useful data

Data is probably the most significant advantage of holding a digital event over a physical event. If you have the right technology, you can capture your audience’s behavior and interactions in ways you could never do at a physical event. And you can use that information to create relevant conversations with the right people when the event is over.

With physical events, every person that attends is passed on to Sales, with an assumption of their intent and interest. But most of the time, Sales waste a lot of time figuring out which leads are viable.

You can do things differently with a digital event. Barron said you need to build events based on the data you want to collect. Run polls to engage your audience and to understand their intent (what do they want, what matters to them, are they interested in your product). Include things like surveys and embedded CTAs to provide similar insights.

Barron told me that it’s important to have the ability to differentiate intent. She said the typical field marketer has never dealt with more than 500 leads at a time, but with digital events, that number can grow into the thousands. Too many leads cause the process of sifting through MQLs to break down. Data from activities like polls and surveys, from QAs, from the sessions people attended, and the time they spent at the event, gives the field marketer the ability to segment people and prioritize leads for Sales.

When you have a physical event, you can create 1-1 experiences with some of the people that attend. You can’t necessarily do that with a digital event. Still, you can create an event strategy that enables you to create those 1-1- experiences after the event – with the most important people.

It’s not the end of the physical event

Barron doesn’t believe that physical events are over. There will always be a mix of the two. But she does see the physical event getting limited to a tent pole event – one of several major parts of a bigger campaign or set of campaigns.

It may be that in-person events will be held specifically for key prospects and customers – the ones a brand determines through one or more digital events and other campaign activities.

My take

I’ve appreciated the opportunity to attend events that were once physical that I am not usually able to attend (many like me are in the same situation). But what I found is that much of what I learned listening to sessions is information I could easily learn reading blog content or a book.

Physical events shifted to digital fast, a little too fast, and the time wasn’t taken to think about how to create a more engaging digital event experience. The suggestions Barron gives will help companies think more carefully about how they plan their events and what happens at them, but it will also help them think about what happens after.

Every person that attends a digital event is not a potential customer. But they are a potential audience and influencer. So you have to think about what the experience will be like for them during and after the event. Data will you figure out the best experience to provide, and it will help you figure out who will get what experience when the event is over and done.

Feature Friday: Bring External Videos Into Your Digital Experiences

Video is one of the most popular types of content for marketers. It enables you to deliver your message efficiently and effectively, which is especially useful when there is an increasing number of distractions around the buyer journey. In fact, the medium is so powerful that 80% of marketers say that video has directly increased sales.

But once you’ve built the content and published them to your hosted channels, like YouTube or Vimeo, how do you extend their reach and leverage them to optimize your digital programs and audience experiences?

At ON24, we and our customers love video! From creating categories of training or product overview videos in ON24 Engagement Hubs to drive buyer or customer education to feature personalized videos for top accounts in your Target pages, and leveraging videos to promote upcoming webinars, we want to ensure that incorporating video is easy and efficient. In addition to uploading video files directly into your digital experiences, we’ve now added the capability to add videos from YouTube or Vimeo channels with just the URL. No need to download and re-upload.

You can quickly add videos from YouTube or Vimeo by using the video URL both services provide. Simply add the URL into your Media Manager and manage it alongside all the other content in your ON24 account. There is no need to remake content; the videos already created can be easily added to any digital experience.

When incorporating external videos into your digital experiences, you not only increase viewership but also gain insights into your audience’s interest. Your YouTube and Vimeo channel can continue to be the centralized place to track views or you can leverage the ON24 Intelligence engine which gathers total views, unique views and viewing duration so you can continue to understand content performance on your ON24 digital experience and optimize programs.

If you’d like to learn more about ON24 Engagement Hub or Target and leveraging external videos, please contact us. If you’re an ON24 customer, contact your CSM to get started.

Are You Using the Right CTAs on Your Webinars?

Nothing is worse than a mistimed call to action. I was recently on an auto dealership website and right as I arrived, before I even navigated toward the model I was researching, I was prompted with a chatbot about if I was ready to buy now.

Umm… no. (Side note — I’m a bit of a car snob and it is breaking my heart at the thought of trading in my six-speed MINI Cooper for a more family-friendly SUV.)

Aside from all that, at its core introducing a chatbot to push a deal is a misunderstanding of the buyer’s journey. A car is a considered purchase, even if it is a consumer decision. As a first time visitor to the site, this prompt was out of left field at best.

And all of this led me to think about how webinars often don’t have the appropriate CTAs based on the messaging and their intended audience. Think back to your most recent webinars, did you use appropriate CTAs? Sure it is great to ask if someone wants a demo at the end of the webinar, but could your CTA conversion rates not be high enough because the audience for that webinar is actually at a stage where they are seeking other information?

Now the first step before any of this is to ensure your webinars are aligned in messaging and content to the buyer’s journey. A full series of posts could be dedicated to that, but today we’re focusing on how the CTAs apply. I’ve included two examples per buyer’s journey stage:

It is critical that, as you develop your digital experience strategies, you don’t leave your audiences with a dead-end at the end of an event. By using this table, you’re taking the first step to keeping audiences engaged and allowing them to self-select into appropriate next steps.

How Atlassian Serialized its Stellar Virtual Summit

COVID-19 turned our in-person event world upside down and created a frenzied transition to virtual events. But, there is a silver lining that makes this rapid transformation, and hours of work, worth it. Now, all that virtual event content is automatically ready for a digital replay, adding more flexibility for audience consumption and maximizing marketing ROI. So, how do you successfully turn a virtual event into an ongoing digital campaign?

To find out, we took a look at the Atlassian Summit Webinar Series 2020. Why? Because Atlassian took a creative new approach to virtual summits — one that shows us all how to take single-day virtual events and turn them into an ongoing series over time.

Turning the Atlassian Summit into a Webinar Series

To start, Atlassian created a webinar series featuring popular sessions and never-before-seen talks from its annual conference. Topics included the latest teamwork and technology trends, insights from industry experts on innovative new ways to work, and detailed information on how leading companies are using Atlassian to drive change.

The Atlassian Summit Webinar Series began in mid-May and lasts until August 4. Each week, usually on a Tuesday or Thursday depending on your time zone, there is a webinar about one of five topics:

  • Teams and Future of Work: Productivity is an art and a science. Learn how to get work done efficiently and start completing your to-do lists.
  • Business Transformation: Scale and improve remote collaboration. Learn how to utilize the power of the cloud, data center, and change management.
  • IT: Deploy, operate and support your services with speed and reliability. Learn how to optimize for high-velocity ITSM while embracing agile and DevOps.
  • Agile: Learn how to build thriving agile teams, practices and products that keep everyone on the same page while adapting quickly to change.
  • Developer: Enable your teams to bring software from idea to production faster with better results, and learn about modern development practices.

Each of these categories features two to five webinars throughout the summer, with each event being made available on-demand after its live date through the event website. Once registered, attendees can create their own agendas based on the webinars that interest them.

So you may be wondering what you can do to set up your virtual event in a similar way. We’re going to examine how Atlassian organized the five themes of the summit, how it’s using webinars, and how it’s promoting its event.

Spreading out Topic Tracks Across Months

Atlassian split its IT, developer and business transformation discussions for maximum impact. Each topic track features two sessions spread apart over months. For example, its first IT session was held on June 2 in North America. The second session will be held on August 4.

Any organization can spread out a single theme over multiple events —  and they ought to for big-ticket summits. Doing so gives the event host more time to prepare, incorporate feedback and refine the discussions that audiences crave. For Atlassian, it also provides attendees with the time and opportunity to go between tracks and sessions and truly get a holistic view of each track interfaces with the other and how other teams approach problems and develop solutions.

Diving into Big-Ticket Topics

The other advantage of spreading out a summit over a summer is that it provides hosts and attendees the time and focus they need to dive into big-ticket topics. Take Agile project management for example. If you run a quick Google search, you’ll net more than 140 million results. Professionals want to know what it is how to operate on its principles.

To help them, Atlassian put together four webinars on the subject, each providing a new opportunity to dive deep into the topic. Atlassian’s first Agile session aired in early May, but the remaining three webinars are spaced two to four weeks apart. These cover various topics like how to survive the transformation to business agility, how to focus on the outcome for agile metrics, and how to work within a business where some teams are agile and others are not. Atlassian gives its topic, “Teams and Future of Work,” the same treatment with five total events.

Excelling with Simulive Experiences

All of the webinars in the Atlassian Virtual Summit Series are offered in three time zones: Pacific Daylight, Central European Summer and Australian Eastern Standard.

Of the presentations that have aired at the time of writing this article, all were presented in a Simulive format where the presentations are pre-recorded, but interactions with the speaker are live through engagement tools like Q&A and chat. Of course, all webinars and discussions are available on-demand after the last scheduled airing because attendees can attend the summit at any time.

Promoting the Experience

Atlassian makes it easy for registrants to attend its virtual summit. The event is promoted on multiple social media channels, its website and through email nurturing.

Social Media

Atlassian makes expert use out of its social media channels to drive awareness and excitement around its event. Its Facebook Page provides a great example, where its social banner features event branding and timing.

When scrolling through the page, there are informational posts about the different topics and reminders that a session is starting soon.

Atlassian also promotes individual presentations as they come up through social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Emails

Emails are probably one of the most essential tools for running a virtual event. They promote, coordinate, remind and keep events running. Each registrant should receive an email confirming they’ve signed up for the selected presentations. This is a standard, but important step because it both confirms what the attendee has signed up for and provides them with the opportunity to make any adjustments they’d like to make, if necessary.

Another important email tactic is to help registrants remember when to log into the presentation by sending a reminder email. Often, this email can be sent an hour before the event starts. Also note, the Subject Line is a direct reflection of the content of the email, which is a tip we feature in our Email Best Practices for Virtual Events article.

How Webinerds are Adapting to Work from Home

Businesses are starting to adapt to a work from home world, but the day to day of office life isn’t back to normal and may not be for quite some time. To compensate, our webinerd community quickly adapted and shared their tips on how to keep work steady and operations going.

Here’s what they had to share:

Rachel Ross Creates Physical-Turned-Digital Events and More Webinars for Customers

Rachel Ross is the Field and Corporate Marketing Coordinator for Cherwell Software and the coronavirus pandemic made work a little crazy for her. Rachel and her colleagues had to quickly create and publish webinars to make sure they’re staying visible to their customers and supporting their sales teams. She’s also been working hard to transition in-person events to digital events using the ON24 Platform.

Brandy Rowden Shares Webinar Best Practices with Colleagues

Working from home gave Brandy Rowden, Senior Marketing Program Manager for ServiceNow, the opportunity to take a seat on the other side of a webinar and present to colleagues. Brandy spoke on webinar best practices and made sure to wear her #webinerd t-shirt for an added boost in confidence!

Ariana Raftopoulos Works to Support Customers’ Needs

As the Corporate Webinar Manager for Salesforce, Ariana Raftopoulos keeps busy by adjusting topics and producing webinars that support customer needs. As a big fan of webinars, Ariana is happy to see so many others realizing how webinars can be a powerful tool for success.

Dean Shaw Created Good from Bad with A Virtual Conference

For Dean Shaw, Global Advocacy Program Manager for SAS, the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on SAS’s biggest conference of the year and forced them to cancel the event after many months of planning and preparation. After struggling to break through the historical mindset of a traditional face-to-face conference, Dean and his team transitioned their event to a virtual conference with almost 50 webinars powered by ON24.

Webinerd Tips

Businesses are taking a more cautious approach by letting employees return to the office when they’re ready. But this push to return to normal also misses a critical outcome of digital-first situations: that strong digital experiences will necessarily need to be a part of any company’s marketing plan regardless in both good times and bad. This means webinars, digital conferences and virtual trade shows should remain a critical tool in every marketer’s pocket.

But what about the attendees? What should they do? Well, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you find yourself watching a webinar:

Focus

You signed up for a webinar for whatever reason: the topic interests you, you need continuing education credits or everyone on your team is doing it and you don’t want to be left out of the discussion…whatever! You committed to do this, so embrace the experience and do what you can to get the most out of it.

Most webinars last an hour and include a question and answer portion toward the end. Commit to getting the most out of the experience by focusing on the presentation. Break out a notepad and jot down any interesting perspectives you may come across. If you need specific information that is shared during the webinar, jot down the timestamp of important content if you know you’ll be able to go back and review the presentation at a later time.

Engage

A good webinar encourages engagement from participants through tools like quizzes, polls, or chat pages with the hosts and other participants. Just like in a face-to-face presentation, the audience may be asked to raise their hands for something or to call out answers to a question.

This is also true with webinars, so if the hosts ask you to do something, be a good participant and engage with them! Doing so can help introduce your fellow participants to new ideas and perspectives. In fact, you and another attendee may even have the same question. So, participate!

Be Patient

Some webinar hosts are bonafide webinerds who are long past the days of being nervous about hosting a live webinar, but those people are few and far between. So, be patient with your webinar hosts — especially when they’re broadcasting from home.

Recognize the more personal side of business — especially if there’s a noise in the background or a child is seeking a parent’s attention. Most webinar hosts will have prepared contingencies in case something goes wrong, but even the most experienced webinerd encounters problems they’re not equipped to handle. It happens and it’s human! Have fun with it and when things get back on track, start taking notes again.

How SAP Switzerland Went All In On Digital Experiences

Every year, SAP hosts its flagship customer event SAP NOW in different markets and locations around the world. For SAP Switzerland, that means anticipating more than 2,000 in-person attendees for a two-day event loaded with keynotes, breakout sessions and an exhibition hall filled with sponsors.

This year, though, it didn’t happen. Instead, to accommodate global health concerns, it switched to a digital-first format. We were able to sit down and talk with Cyrill Maag, Head of Performance Marketing and Demand Management SAP Switzerland about how they set up this year’s virtual experience. Here are the tips they had to share:

Plan the Experience in Advance

The marketing team from SAP Switzerland planned the event for more than six months. However, two weeks prior to the event, they received the disappointing information that there was to be no social gatherings bigger than 1,000 people. That’s when the team decided the best way to transform this event was to go digital.

Some good news: the contract with the event organizer, flights and hotels for speakers were still honored, Maag said, and so the team was able to use the space to pre-record everything at the venue. With producers on-site, the team recorded all presentations and planned to live stream it through the ON24 Platform. With only five days to get all the recordings set up and hosted, the marketing team not only created a uniquely branded experience, but they were able to have eight parallel live-streamed sessions all in different languages.

While stressful to pull off, the event was an amazing success and the team was able to reach and engage just as many customers digitally as they anticipated in person. More importantly, everyone realized the value and potential for this event content to drive demand and business all year round, well after the event.

Provide An Easy Access Content Hub

SAP wanted to make the attendee experience seamless, so it provided a one-stop-shop event hub powered by ON24 Engagement Hub where attendees could RSVP once and gain an all-access pass to sessions. Once the live day event concluded, all session content was automatically switched to on-demand access so attendees could easily re-watch sessions and find sessions they missed, all while capturing data that rolled up into existing reports.

Develop Strategy for Repurposing Sessions

The team knew there was great potential to drive demand and convert prospects with targeted session content post-event. In the months after the event, the SAP team re-packaged and bucketed sessions by hot topics and languages, and re-promoted to different segments and personas in their database via email based on their interest areas.

Know Your KPIs and Understand Data Flow

 For the team, it was important to closely track event performance and make the most out of the leads. They were pleasantly surprised to see the amount of data that the ON24 Platform provided and how it could be easily fed into existing marketing ops processes to its MAP and CRM. Using this data, the SAP team nurtured and converted attendees by using repackaged event content and engaged other target contacts in its database.

  • Initial Digital Event Metrics
    • Quantitative
      • # of Registrations
      • # of Attendees
      • Conversion Rate
    • Qualitative
      • NPS Score – How likely are you to recommend this event to others?
      • Attendee Survey Feedback
  • Business Impact Digital Event Metrics
    • # of New Leads
    • $ Amount of Business Pipeline Generated

Maag is certain that hybrid in-person/digital events will be “the new normal” going forward. In the future, they will have more time to prepare and will have more of an opportunity to optimize the digital experience for engagement. For Cyrill, a digital component will always be a part of his event strategy moving forward because it allows him to engage a larger, more diverse audience and drive more leads year-round.

If you want to check out the SAP masterpiece, just click here.

Jack’s Hacks: Running Video Only Webinars

This topic is near and dear to my heart. Slides. Do we need them? Absolutely not.

We have been thinking about webinar formats a lot lately, and one thing that we consistently come back to is video-only webinars. Slideless webinars — what a thought.

A few weeks back we decided to take the leap, and put together a very exciting video-only webinar called “MINDSHIFT.” The feedback we received was extremely positive, and we will definitely be revisiting this format more in the future!

Here are the benefits of video only webinars:

  1. They stand out. Whether presenting or watching, we have all participated in a million webinars with a presenter going over slides. With the increased reliance on webinars due to COVID-19 standing out is more important than ever.
  2. Console real estate. Nixing the slide widget allows more room for the media player and makes the video front and center.
  3. Higher production value. With the time and effort taken off of creating a deck, energy can be focused on really upping the quality of the video that will be playing during the webinar.

Here’s the best part: they’re super-easy to do. All you have to do is disable the slide widget. That’s it. As always, have fun and get creative!