March 08, 2021
In fall 2019, BeyondTrust team was flying high on the success of “Go Beyond,” its first major in-person event. Following its initial success, the BeyondTrust marketing team started to throw ideas around left and right, suggesting new topics and ways to improve as they plan for the next iteration of the event.
2020 had other ideas in mind and BeyondTrust realized it had to accept the fact that its “Go Beyond Virtual Partner Festival,” for 2020 would have to take a different form.
Without even a momentary thought of canceling or postponing the event, BeyondTrust’s marketing team quickly regrouped and started planning for a complete virtual conference experience. And that experience delivered a 93% approval rating from attendees and helped the company reach 40% of its pipeline target within weeks.
How BeyondTrust Planned Its Virtual Event
To ensure its new digital event was valuable to customers, the event planning team went directly to the source and asked the 2019 Go Beyond participants what they wanted to see and how they can make sure the virtual event is “not just another webinar.”
The results showed that participants wanted four main things:
- More technical and training sessions.
- Customer testimonials and stories.
- Time to network and engage with other customers about products and solutions.
- They wanted to have fun.
With excellent feedback from the 2019 event providing guidance for what participants wanted, the BeyondTrust event planning team set out to create a digital experience for its customers filled with the topics and content customers wanted.
Through many long days, lots of tech support cases, and a brilliant collaboration between ON24 and BeyondTrust, the team was able to design, create, promote and deliver the full event in a few weeks!
How BeyondTrust Structured Its Conference
Instead of gathering 150 business partners in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a two-day in-person event, BeyondTrust chose to produce a two-day virtual “rave” event with multiple content tracks.
The virtual conference would feature simulive and on-demand content across three global regions.
With a music festival theme throughout the event, BeyondTrust created virtual tents with different interactive experiences and content for participants:
- The Main Stage hosted the executive keynote address, content agendas and the featured speaker sessions.
- Product Tents featured multiple sessions for BeyondTrust’s services with information about new releases, updates and notable features. There was even a special designated tent for its Universal Privilege Management approach to enterprise security.
- Customer Unplugged included educational information from the BeyondTrust University and highlighted customer case studies.
- Training Zone allowed participants to complete continuing education credits and upgrade their skill sets with sales and technical training sessions.
- The BeyondFun Zone allowed participants to take breaks with an event partner and participate in virtual rock n’ roll, yoga and house drumming activities.
Continuing with the rave theme, the content tracks were renamed playlists and participants could choose between executive, sales and marketing and technical and product tracks.
Because all of the content was available on-demand long after the event completed, each track was given a designated symbol so participants could identify which sessions would be of interest to them within the entire event Content Hub.
The executive breakout sessions featured a blue icon with sunglasses and focused on content related to cybersecurity, how quickly the field is changing and how leaders can keep organizations safe.
The sales and marketing sessions used a pink icon with a ticket stub and housed information about the company and products and how to successfully sell and market privileged access management (PAM) solutions to customers.
The technical and product group was identified using a green icon with a lightbulb and provided in-depth product tutorials, certifications and recommendations on key software integrations.
Content is king for digital events, so the event planners wanted to make sure there was a wide range of information available to participants. The breadth and depth of content allowed participants to pick and choose which areas they wanted to focus on and get deep into topics that interest them.
Because training sessions were a key priority for customers, the team needed to find a way to display 20 or so topics without overwhelming the viewer with a cluttered Content Hub. To avoid having so much content on one page, BeyondTrust used ON24 Target pages and embedded calls-to-action to help participants get to the lesson they want. Taking this tack allowed BeyondTrust to present high-level, detailed content without confusing its audience.
Ultimately, how participants used the content gave the BeyondTrust team valuable insight into what customers want, how the sales team should follow up with participants and how the organization can better enable every partner.
Since the 2019 Go Beyond event was completely in-person, the team knew it couldn’t compare its 2020 conference using the same scale and metrics to define success. With virtual and in-person events offering different benefits and detriments, BeyondTrust’s marketing team created new goals, KPIs and objectives specific to its virtual conference.
With virtual events eliminating attendance and geographical restrictions, BeyondTrust set a goal of getting 750 of its business partners to participate. They ended up having just under 1,000 participants across 59 countries.
Of the 750 event registrants, the company targeted a 20% turnout for the event. The final numbers including on-demand viewing showed that 69% of event registrants ended up participating in the event.
Knowing how important engagement experiences and feedback are for virtual events, the planning team designed a post-event survey to gauge participants’ reactions to the event and its content.
They hoped 50% of participants would rate the event as “good” or “excellent.” The survey showed that 93% of participants felt the experience was “good” or above and 70% rated the event as a full 5 out of 5.
The last objective was to increase pipeline and sales by 50% and 25% respectively. Within a few weeks of the event, BeyondTrust had already reached 40% of their pipeline target.
The event was specifically designed to be a high-touch, high-engagement experience for participants and help turn folks who are casually looking at BeyondTrust’s services into qualified prospects who want their solutions.
Like many organizations throughout 2020, BeyondTrust did not plan to have a digital event, but the one they planned produced results far past their expectations.