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Five Takeaways from The ON24 Experience 2023

July 24th, 2023 Mark Bornstein

Thousands of B2B marketers gathered virtually for the annual ON24 user conference, The ON24 Experience 2023. What was top of mind? How engagement, data and AI are transforming industries and helping marketers optimize performance to drive greater outcomes this year. 

After two days of keynotes, ten peer-led breakout sessions, hundreds of selfies and more, here are the five top takeaways from ON24X 2023, which you can watch on-demand here. 

Check them out: 

The competitive advantage of engagement, data and AI 

ON24 Co-Founder and CEO, Sharat Sharan

To kick things off, Sharat Sharan, co-founder and CEO of ON24, shared how companies across every industry are using digital engagement to re-imagine how they drive growth. He showed examples of how leading companies like S&P Global, Microsoft and UCB use the ON24 platform to redefine audience engagement in their industries. Finally, he laid out his vision and roadmap for how ON24 will continue to push digital marketing into the future with AI-powered innovations.

This vision is all about turning digital engagement into a real competitive advantage. Helping brands scale global reach while personalizing every experience for the individual. Enabling marketers to drive deeper engagement, delivering the data and insights they need to drive revenue more effectively. 

This advantage becomes even greater as ON24 integrates the power of AI across its platform to scale content creation and turn human engagement into even more actionable data. 

The launch of the ON24 Optimization Suite

Optimization Suite Announcement

One of the big highlights of ON24X 2023 was the announcement of the new AI-powered ON24 Optimization Suite. The Optimization Suite provides a range of AI-powered capabilities designed to help you personalize, orchestrate and automate your digital engagement strategy. 

Here’s how: 

Personalization 

Personalization at ON24X 2023

Connecting the right audience with the right content at the right time is not easy. The new ON24 platform innovation, Segment Builder, makes this task much easier by allowing for you to segment your audience into unique bands based on criteria and rules you establish, such as company size, contact title or previous engagement behavior. 

This means you can dynamically customize ON24-powered digital experiences — like a webinar or content hub — so only key segments will see custom calls-to-actions (CTAs) and messages. You can even promote different calls-to-action to unique audiences or dynamically display an account’s logo within an ON24 environment for the ultimate personal touch. 

Not only that, but through ON24 integrations with ABM platforms like 6sense and Demandbase and marketing automation platforms like Hubspot and Marketo, marketers can set segmentation criteria based on third-party account intent or pre-existing database lists. 

This means that webinar attendees or content hub visitors from your hottest accounts can be served a CTA to “book a meeting,” and those still early in their journey will see a different CTA like “view more resources.” 

Orchestration 

Orchestration ON24X 2023

To help accelerate the delivery of personalized content and experiences across marketing channels, ON24 also introduced a new set of orchestration capabilities that help you create, manage, host and measure all your webinars, hybrid and virtual events, videos, blog posts, e-books and more, from one platform.  

Here’s how. 

Video Builder

Want to enhance your promotional campaigns and sales follow-up? With the ON24 Video Builder, you can. Professional-quality videos — down to branding and background music — are a few clicks away from within ON24 Media Manager. The editing features includes:

    • Trimming video clips to only keep the wanted sections
    • Cutting longer clips into multiple sections and edit, keep or remove as wanted
    • Adding chapterization, intro and outro slides in between
    • Adding text overlays, name tags and subtitles
    • Adding background music

Seamless Email  

Email is a critical channel for marketing success— especially when you’re trying to orchestrate a virtual event. To make this process run more smoothly, we’ve released modern HTML email templates for your events. These templates include: 

    • Event Invitations 
    • Confirmations 
    • Reminder emails
    • Follow-up emails

Of course, each template is fully customizable to your brand.

We’re also making the event email experience seamless for your audience, too. Now, in your confirmation emails, you can embed calendar invites. With just a click, your registrants can add your event to their calendar without having to download a file or manually plug the event into their calendar. 

Hybrid Registration 

This new feature allows your attendees to self-segment between physical and digital versions of a hybrid event upon registration. It’s a useful feature that can help you with resource allocation and limit the number of in-person attendees if the venue you’re using has capacity limits. 

Automation

Automation ON24X 2023

Everything in marketing— from landing pages and emails to social media posts and ebooks — depends on quality content. But content takes a lot of time, effort and resources to create. That’s where the ON24 Optimization Suite can help change the game – by using generative AI, you can now automate content creation before, during and after a live virtual event or webinar. 

Automate Pre-Event Content Creation 

Based on a few simple prompts, our new Smart Text feature can automatically produce event titles, abstracts and emails for your team to review and use. This cuts down on the time it takes to produce promotional content from days and weeks to minutes and hours. 

Automate Live Event Q&A

Augment live webinar and virtual event delivery by leveraging our new Q&A chatbot. When questions pour in during an event, you can have our Q&A chatbot field the audience’s technical questions about accessing the webinar so that your speakers can stay focused on engaging and interacting with the audience, responding to questions about their presentation while the Q&A chatbot addresses the more mundane questions. This will help improve engagement scores, increase audience satisfaction, and drive even more sales opportunities.  

Automate Post-Event Content Creation 

But what about after your event? With ON24, you can continue to create new content based on the content of your webinar and how your audience engages with your event. 

    • Video clips based on key moments within an event 
    • Generate blog drafts that summarize your presentation 
    • Automate e-book drafts for quick asset generation

Altogether, that means you can quickly set up a comprehensive multichannel campaign from a single webinar experience. 

AI will make marketers more effective than ever 

Mark and Ann Handley discussing AI

But what about how to use AI? 

Well, the incomparable Ann Handley joined us at ON24X to discuss generative AI and how it’ll impact marketing. Her major takeaway: don’t panic! Copywriting and storytelling — both unique to an individual business — can be enhanced by combining the joint powers of human creativity and artificial intelligence.

Handley suggests that marketers view AI as they would any other tool: helpful when used well. Think of AI as an efficiency enhancer — a useful tool to generate ideas and fast-track content creation. 

As marketers, Handley suggests we embrace this new technology and become champions in our companies to help drive innovation. That means staying educated on AI-related developments, being an early advocate for AI within the workplace and thinking of thoughtful ways to use AI to help amplify your work. 

The power of digital engagement to transform industries

ON24X 2023 Breakout Sesisons

ON24X empowered attendees to learn how leading marketers across multiple industries use ON24 to produce more engaging content, connect with more audiences and drive more revenue to their organizations. 

These deep dives took place across several breakout sessions, each one showcasing what’s possible with just a little bit of planning. We spread these insights across three tracks.

Thought leadership

Going from a relative unknown to a trusted voice takes practice. Our guests show us how they built that trust through educational content and digital engagement. 

Experts like Dr. Angelia Drake, Director of Community Engagement and Strategy at GSK, shared how they built trust by giving patients always-on access to subject matter experts and resources. UnitedHealthcare’s Mara Lopez, Virtual Marketing Coordinator, shared how her team’s routine for recurring virtual wellness events builds trust and healthier habits among its members.

Demand generation

Marketers all understand the need for digital scale, but bringing your content to the masses in a targeted way takes a lot of planning and foresight. It also requires the right tools that can make your vision a reality. 

Our guests for this track showed us how they pieced it all together through strong processes that scaled digital engagement to drive better results. For example, Microsoft’s Robert Garbareno, Sr. Capability Lead, Digital, shared how his team’s centralized process stands up and runs thousands of webinar programs across 60 countries. Similarly, S&P Global’s Roger Castilho shared his webinar program’s workflow and how they support multiple programs for unique audiences. 

Training, certification and enablement 

The ON24 platform has also played a huge role in helping leading brands enable employees and partners, delivering personalized training and certification experiences at a digital scale. 

For Sarah Greisdor, Community Manager at Squarespace, that means producing community events and nurturing customer discussions that deliver deep insights. With that engagement knowledge in hand, she was able to build out a community event schedule that helped elevate customer conversations and accelerate them through an upsell journey. 

Similarly, Allison Hale, Senior Marketing Specialist at RSM, shared how her team built a repeatable process for producing CPE events — complete with automatic certification. 

The ON24X 2023 Customer Awards  

ON24X Award Winners 2023

What makes a great digital experience, well, great? 

This year’s ON24X Awards featured an incredible line-up of innovative brands who proved that digital engagement is the key to driving growth across every major industry. 

In life sciences, Wellmed, the winner of the “Digital Transformation Award,” re-imagined audience engagement after both in-person and virtual events by creating their StayConnected Engagement Hub, which includes detailed, categorized content and CTAs dedicated to helping audiences access personalized health-related information, all from one digital destination. 

Microsoft, the “Data Innovator Award” winner, showed how technology companies were turning digital engagement into actionable first-party data that converts – at scale. The team’s strategic use of engagement data, integrated throughout their CRM and marketing automation systems, has accelerated sales cycles and provided vital insights to refine and improve program content and experiences continually. 

In professional services, Tata Consulting, the “Globalization Award” winner, put digital engagement at the heart of its growth strategy. By teaming up with the ON24 Services team, they successfully delivered webinars and digital events that scaled to thousands across the globe and kept audiences engaged in generating over 3,000 new sales leads while saving valuable time and resources on costly in-person field events. 

Each ON24X award winner (Tata Consulting, Salesforce, Microsoft, Paycor, Wellmed, NACE and Zywave) shared a similar story of proven success through the power of digital engagement. We congratulate them all.

This is just a glimpse into the excitement of this year’s ON24X. The good news is that you can still experience the entire event in full, watch now.