Creating an engaging webcast starts before your audience even logs in to the webcast. Your goals before the presentation are twofold. First, you want to spread the word so you can get as many interested audience members as possible. Second, you want those viewers to be excited about the webcast even before they view it, so that they are eager recipients of your message.
List any speakers and their credentials, especially if you have a celebrity or someone high level within your organization joining the webcast.
Sell Your Story
A compelling abstract is one tool to generate anticipation. Your abstract should clearly and accurately reflect the purpose and content of your event in a creative, articulate way. A dry or confusing abstract will deter audience members.
Email marketing may seem old fashioned, but it’s still one of the most effective marketing tools out there. You may even already have analytics on your mailing list subscribers that can help you put together a targeted campaign. Setting up multiple e-mail reminders prior to your webcast can increase your attendance rate as much as 30%.
Think out of the Box
Video teasers are great for generating hype. You can post these teasers to your own website and to video sharing sites like YouTube. If a picture is worth a thousand words, think how many words a video is worth!
Know Where Your Audience Lives
Post on internet forums and social networking sites. This includes not only big social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but also smaller niche forums that are pertinent to your products or services.
With every form of advertising, make sure you include some kind of a call to action. While you may think that your advertising speaks for itself, remember that people online are usually busy and distracted. So in your posts, emails and video teasers, make sure you tell your audience members how they can access your webcast, when to register, and what date and time to log in. Additionally, be sure to ask your audience members to share your webcast link around with others they know who may be interested.
To learn more about our webcasting solution visit www.inxpo.com/webcasting.
Whether you’re looking to drive revenue from sponsorship sales, or via paid registration/content models, there are proven best practices to follow when monetizing your webcasts. As webcasting experts, we are here to help you define your objectives, programs, and platform use to achieve the results you desire. INXPO’s webcasting tool, XPOCAST, has numerous features that not only help business owners achieve their organizational objectives, but simultaneously creates an unparalleled experience for all-scale global audiences.
Branding and Panels
Webcast content is extremely important, but your audience experience is more crucial. This is where you can explore sponsorship opportunities and packages to offer clients, features to use, and develop the engagement strategy. What are some of the options?
- Background imagery and branding images may be placed anywhere
- Panel frames may be branded to fit the organization’s color guidelines
- Design the available panels open to audience members when they first join the webcast
- Use of social media buttons to drive external conversations and generate awareness
- Call-to-action buttons to gather survey, profile, or schedule appointments with sales to create hyper-qualified leads
- Handouts and documentation available within the webcast
- Panel widgets for standard items like group chats, Q&A, links, surveys, and 3rd party embeddable content or programs
- Deliver the experience to mobile users anywhere a connection is available to interact through group chats, Q&A, polling, and certification
These are small samples of the power of webcasting. Monetizing these elements relates to many items such as content demand, host brand appeal, levels of sponsorship (I.e. Gold, Silver, and Bronze). Remember, complexity in the webcast should be viewed as a premium package to deliver a unique experience for each client, and can be offered as a standalone option or as a content series or even a content track as part of a broader online event or environment.
Why would you want to poll your audience? You’re thinking it takes too much time to setup and people never participate, right? Wrong!
Polling should be a crucial part of your engagement strategy and offered as a premium for your top-tiered sponsorships. If polls can be a part of all webcasts, it is recommended. Metrics indicate that audiences remain in poll-ready webcasts 17-27% longer than those that are not poll-ready. Polling allows audiences to take part in the webcast and guide the conversation with the subject matter experts.
Perspective Tip: For a 1-hour webcast, 20% of time equals 12 minutes. What can happen with your prospects in 12 minutes? Anything is possible!! Maybe they hear something intriguing that leads to a follow-up or even better – a sale.
One poll per 10 minutes of presentation is a minimum best practice. It resets users’ attention spans and allows additional participation outside of the Group Chats or Q&A functions; it also shows who is attentive, adding to the insight delivered via reporting about your audience, your speakers, and the content being shared.
Pass the Microphone
How many times have you been to a presentation where the presenter was Ben-Stein-like in the movie "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off"? It is boring! Do not put your audience to sleep or you will never get them back.
Break-up the action. Passing the microphone refers to both audio and video presentations. If using an audio presentation and computer microphones or video-based webcasts, passing the microphone is switching the source from one presenter or moderator to another.
Allow a moderator to kick-off the session or inject questions from the audience throughout the presentation. A combination of female and male presenters work well because humans crave variety and relate to others and the way messages are delivered differently. This is both a feature and a strategy you should be screaming to use.
PowerSlides offered in XPOCAST are what we call the options such as screen sharing, certification, links, images, YouTube integration, video slides, polling, survey slides, etc… Monetizing these elements is dependent on multiple business objectives, but nevertheless IS monetizable.
- Audio w/ PowerPoint Slides Only
- Audio w/ PowerPoint Slides, polling, and 1 YouTube video
- Audio w/ PowerPoint Slides, screen sharing, and certification
- Video w/ PowerPoint slides Only
- Video w/ PowerPoint Slides, video slides, links, and certification
You get our point here. There are a variety of ways to slice the functionality to fit specific programs and monetizable objectives.
So you’ve heard this fancy phrase, "Exit Actions", have you? Do you know what it means?
Exit actions are the actions that take place immediately following the close or ending of a webcast. During the setup of the webcast, you can define the exit action. You can select to send audiences to an external web address or link, survey, back to the Online Event, the next webcast, in-event areas when delivering content inside of a broader event wrapper, or practically any place hosted online.
This is an extremely important tool for click-through marketing. Assuming users stay for the entire webcast, you can help them with the next phase in your engagement strategy. ALWAYS keep the users moving forward in your programs!
In this article, we discussed INXPO’s webcasting solution XPOCAST: branding & panels, polling, pass the microphone, PowerSlides, and exit actions. It is highly recommended you work with an account executive to develop the best engagement and monetization strategies for your webcasting workflow. Deploying any of the best practices does not guarantee results, but based on experience we’ve seen positive activities.
More About XPOCAST
XPOCAST is a powerful many-to- many engagement platform, which allows speakers to actively interact with the audience, while giving the audience a voice in the discussion. Presentations can be delivered in a variety of ways and through a variety of sources: Live, Simulive (pre-recorded and launched as if Live with Q&A to follow), On Demand, presenters on or off-camera via webcams, professional camera crews, captured video through mobile devices, from multiple locations around the globe, and so forth. XPOCAST is flexible and can meet your delivery model with the capability to reach your audience and engage them on any device.
Backed by a robust metrics portal, XPOCAST turns audience activity into actionable intelligence; shortening sales cycles, providing guidance as to future programming, delivering insight as to the quality of your speakers and content, providing an understanding as to what devices they are viewing your content. This gives leadership or sales team insight as to what documents were downloaded, or how polling questions were responded to.
To learn more about INXPO’s next generation webcasting solutions please visit www.inxpo.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 962-3708.
Do you remember what your last physical event cost? Admit it. Whether you were the lead organizer, vendor, or just a booth owner, it must have surprised you a little.
Then why do we like physical events so much? The answer is simple. They seem more measureable and personal. You know your expenses and what it takes to make money. This may be in ticket sales, sponsorships, paid sessions, raffles, cost-per-lead (CPL), or after-event networking functions. Each attendee is a dollar figure that changes dynamically as more enter the event. On the other side, attendees believe they may meet valuable connections to grow their personal or business portfolios.
A stack of business cards is better than online connections, right? Let’s think for a second.
Physical event CPLs vary, but in this example my client, Company X, invested $10,000 and yielded 30 qualified leads during their physical roadshow. Their CPL in this example is $333.33, but do not forget to calculate other expenses like personnel time out of office and travel expenses. These are factors most event owners do not calculate. The $333.33 CPL + Incidentals were their actual costs. Attendees spent money to visit them as well. They spent roughly $300 per day at a physical event, which included travel, time out of office, food, lodging, and transportation. If it is a paid physical event, add registration fees.
Now let’s compare that program to the online event experience. Company X invested $15,000 after services, marketing costs, incidentals to visit the studio, and technology costs on a well-produced webcast and campaign that reached over 1,000 registrants. Their same physical program, except delivered only online, generated over 550 qualified attendees and reached multiple countries. This means the CPL for their online program was $27.27 and cost the attendees nothing but 90 minutes of their time.
Even though Company X invested more, they gained 1,800% more qualified leads. This is a special case however because more was spent than the physical event, but the majority of event owners can save thousands of dollars on online event and webcast engagement.
People ask me, “What’s the catch? Are there hidden costs in terms of business generated online vs. the revenue you can generate from a physical event?” To all indications in my experience, online events and webcasts are every bit as effective and lucrative if produced properly. We will see this technology become more seamless into our daily lives. Produce great content, learning needs, and select premium presenters to watch your programs sprout roots and grow – quickly.
A survey by Frost & Sullivan in 2009 indicated that online events generated $156 million. Since 2009, online events
has continued to grow and flourish as a dominant alternative. Some critics may disagree, but you need to do your research to understand who the critics are, what their experience was, and their motives for the critique.
Save Time and Money
Setting up a physical event can be a daunting task, and it’s often an extremely expensive. The physical materials are a challenge to purchase, transport, and assemble; contractors, union workers, and specialty skills are often challenging through the acquisition process.
For online events, you do not need the materials or expansive teams to operate efficiently. However, you do need to dedicate time. Many event owners fail their first time because they tried to do other daily tasks while managing their event production cycles. Do NOT fall into this category. Treat your online event or webcasts with the same top-level priority as a physical event.
Respect the online event cycle.
A simple cost-benefit analysis will quickly show you just how much money you can expect to save with an online event. It’s proven to save time and money, but the success factor is determined by your willingness to strive for next-generation engagement with your online audiences.
It may seem like physical events are the big bad wolf, but that is not the case. Physical events will never disappear, but if you are looking to save money and efforts to build brand awareness and generate leads, online events and webcasting are alternatives you should explore. Whether investing in a true online experience or tying the virtual experience into the physical event (called the Hybrid model) the benefits are abundantly clear. You’ll save money on overhead, gain more attention than ever before, and enjoy the same great exposure you’d get offline.
Don’t forget to leave us a comment on your experiences with physical or online costs. We’d love to hear about it.
To learn more about INXPO’s next generation webcasting and online event solutions please visit www.inxpo.com, email us at email@example.com or call (312) 962-3708.
Hosting your first online event, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry – many others have experienced the same dilemma.
An online event isn’t nearly as expensive or time intensive as a physical event. However, it can still pose challenges especially if it’s your first time. Here are some tips for preparing and conducting your online event to ensure you achieve the results you desire.
Choose an Appropriate Online Environment.
One aspect of online events often overlooked is the aesthetic appeal and use of the event platform features. Sure, you can conduct an online event as you would a webcast or webinar, but that would grossly underutilize the technology available to satisfy your event objectives.
Online events take place in virtual venues or environments designed to mimic physical exposition centers and other locations. There are no limits. You can design, produce, and configure any environment you can imagine by deploying out-of-the-box templates or 100% custom solutions to fit your event needs. Choosing the right environment is critical because it impacts your audience engagement with thought leaders and other attendees as well as your organization.
Timing is Everything.
You may find opportunities at a physical event to speed up or slow down content sessions, which are not always available online. Timing IS everything – period.
It is crucial to plan all of your presentation materials in advance. Understanding session or presentation content as well as Q&A timing ensures your attendees are able to plan their days accordingly. It is important to remember this because online attendees may handle other tasks and responsibilities while attending your event. Typical presentation content/Q&A timings include:
- 45min/15min (1 hour)
- 30min/30min (1 hour)
- 20min/10min (30 minutes)
- 15min/15min (30 minutes)
- 10min/5min (15 minutes)
- 5min (5 minutes of content only)
Lastly, make sure to send out access codes and other pertinent event information early to your guests to limit access confusion. Start a few weeks in advance and follow-up as needed to ensure attendance is high. Ask your guests to join 10-30 minutes early. This small window of time will help ensure enough troubleshooting time if attendee connectivity problems exist.
Choose a Great Online Presentation Service.
You do not need as many materials and tools to present online as you do physically, but that does not mean you should overlook the proper tools.
Along with your engagement strategy, internet connection, microphone, presentation materials, telephone, and webcam, you will need a webcasting service such as INXPO. INXPO’s webcasting product allows you to create a customized branded webcast with all the features you need such as group chat, ask a question, social media integration, synchronized slides, mobility, polling, testing & certification, and many others to fulfill your presentation goals.
Participants in your online event may join from home, office, a sandy beach, or crowded commuter train.
Why is this important to note?
Regardless of where your attendees or presenters are, it is useful to advise elimination of distractions such as websites, YouTube, Facebook, and other physical distractions. This applies to the event owner as well. Advise your participants to attend in quiet rooms so background noise does not interfere with conversations or presentations. If a presenter is in a noisy environment, ask that they mute their lines until absolutely necessary. Remember, noise is a major distraction and may be viewed negatively – especially for audiophiles.
Use Proper Presentation Etiquette.
Your event may be hosted online, but it is still a professional presentation.
You should observe professional etiquette as you would at a physical event. Dress appropriately and demonstrate professional courtesy when you speak to attendees. Speak clearly and not too quickly when talking on the phone or presenting with a webcam. If you are on video, don’t forget to look at the camera when you are talking. It makes the online audience feel like they are with you physically. Don’t shout, talk to other people who are in the room with you, interrupt others who are speaking, or use distracting gestures.
If you haven’t noticed by now, hosting an event online is not so different from hosting a physical event. The technological and timing requirements are different, but the professional courtesy at the heart of the event should remain unchanged.
One final thing to remember is networking. Networking is essential to any online or physical event. Schedule time for attendees to navigate around the online venue and introduce themselves to others, ask general questions, and engage in friendly conversation. This type of interaction can help your participants to forge valuable professional connections. While it may not seem as important as getting to business and discussing items on your event agenda, many event participants believe networking is just as vital and can lead to new business opportunities.
INXPO’s next generation webcasting and online event solutions help organizations communicate in a more interactive manner with their employees, customers, prospects, partners, and members. Each webcast can be deployed as a link on a website or in an email, in an Online Event on our award-winning event platform, as part of an ongoing 365 Community or inside our Social Business TV product.
In addition to delivering audio and video webcasts, we complement these broadcasts with social tools that turn lackluster presentations into memorable experiences.
Also, INXPO is unsurpassed in the market with its mobile webcasting viewing and interactive experience. From their iOS and Android device users engage with high levels of interaction including; group chat, Q&A and testing.
To learn more about how INXPO can fit into your organizations communications strategy please visit www.inxpo.com
, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
, or call us at (312) 962-3708.
If your website consists of static content like text and videos, you may be wondering how you can integrate video into your outreach efforts. Video has the greatest impact when it is interactive, which is why webcasting is an ideal platform for sharing multimedia content with potential buyers, business associates and others. Webcasting can also be used internally for conferencing, training and other purposes.
Popular webcasting applications in business include:
Social Business TV
Engage a global audience on a regular basis with fresh video content. Promote brand awareness and keep your audience up to date on product offerings, company news, thought leadership sessions, and more. This is an excellent way to build long-term relationships with employees, customers, prospects, partners and others who take an interest in your business. A webcast is a form of multimedia social marketing. It can be even more effective than keeping your customers up to date on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, because it allows you to put a face on your company and personalize interactions. Live events are engaging and fun for audience members to attend, allowing users to share content and your video presentation in real time. Here is an example of the type of “channels” you can promote through your own Social Business TV network.
Let's say you're in charge of marketing for a video game developer. With a weekly social business TV broadcast, you can show off your team's ongoing work on games which are under production, host Q&A with your dedicated fans, poll fans about features they'd like to see, and make it easy for your audience to share your stream on Facebook or Twitter. Each week, you increase your audience and also build up serious hype for your next game!
Product launches and demonstrations
Informing your customers that you have a new product available can be challenging, even if you are already have a successful business. This is particularly true in high-tech fields, where customers may not understand a new product unless they have a chance to see it in operation. With streaming video webcasts, you can give live presentations of your products; answer questions posed by audience members, and ask your customers for feedback and suggestions. Engagement is crucial in delivering high impact and memorable presentations and experiences.
You are a hardware developer working on a next-generation platform with unique capabilities. You could try to explain those capabilities all day long in text and with images, and succeed only at confusing your audience. Imagine being able to demonstrate those capabilities with live streaming video while answering questions directly from your audience of potential buyers. Not only will they understand the console's cutting edge capabilities, but they'll easily be able to envision how it could fit into their own lives.
You can use live streaming video and webcasting features to either attend a trade show online or host a virtual event of your own. Many corporations save thousands of dollars doing it this way, and also reach a global audience in the process!
You spend most of your time on marketing efforts to drive people to your physical event and at the end of the day you think, what you can have done differently to reach a broader audience and increase my ROI. Virtual online events that compliment your physical events have shown to not only increase attendance and generate new revenue, but also increase attendance to your physical events the following year. With online events, the possibilities are endless.
Education and Training
Another way to use webcasting internally to raise the efficiency of your operations and expand employee knowledge is for education and training purposes. Virtual workshops can be used for any number of knowledge sharing experiences, to include employee onboarding, benefits forums, professional development, or ongoing training to name a few. These types of environments and programs are particularly useful for companies that have employees in various locations or even time zones, as a way to reach everyone at once with a consistent message.
Imagine there’s a way to cost effectively eliminate inconsistent training of employees - whether locally, regionally, nationally or globally. No longer would there be differing team performance or customer experiences from one location to another. Virtually, you’re now able to impact revenues, reduce the problems that could cost your retail chain a fortune in revenue, and get new employees up to speed quickly.
These are just a few of the many uses of video for business. Here at INXPO, we deliver solutions that meet all your internal and external online presentation broadcasting and online experiential event needs. From one-off webcasts to a global online platform that engages your audience 365 days a year; our award-winning technology helps companies improve their engagement and interaction with large diverse audiences including customers, employees, partners, and prospects.
To learn more about our online presentation broadcasting and experiential event solutions visit www.inxpo.com, email us at email@example.com or call (312) 962-3708.
The past few years have been financially difficult times for many businesses, but they have also been a time for technological growth and development. For both of these reasons, virtual events like online trade shows and conferences are swiftly rising to prominence, replacing or augmenting offline events. Virtual events are far less costly to organize and are very convenient for participants, regardless of their location. They do have some drawbacks, but for many businesses, especially small to mid-sized companies, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. What are those pros and cons?
The biggest and most obvious benefit to point out is the cost savings of attending or hosting a virtual event instead of a brick-and-mortar event. Think about all the costs associated with trade shows or conferences offline. You have to rent meeting space or pay a fee to put up a booth at an exhibition hall. Your company also has to front the money for hotel costs, transportation, and other work-related expenses for all employees who are traveling to attend the event. And then there are the additional costs associated with putting up your booth. Now imagine being able to eliminate all of those costs. Instead, the only cost is the money you have to front for the virtual event, which will usually run you only a few thousand dollars. Attending a trade show in person? That can easily run you 10 times that.
Less Time Wasted
When you travel to participate in an offline event, that’s valuable time your employees are investing in travel. You have to pay your employees for their time during work hours, and you are wasting their time after hours. That is all time your employees could be using to do something else. Traveling is inconvenient. If you can do all your business from your office (as you can with a virtual event), your employees are free to concentrate their time on other tasks. On this same note, virtual events tend to be faster paced than those in real life since the attendees don’t have to physically move from space to space. So you can actually end up meeting more people at online events than you could at offline events.
Easy Note Taking
When you attend an offline event, you have to come up with a way to record information, which generally comes down to taking notes on your tablet. You don’t have to carry around these supplies or put in this effort with virtual events though. All conversations, whether text- or voice-based, can be recorded and stored indefinitely for all participants to access at any time in the future.
Fast Planning and Set-up
Planning attendance at a trade show offline can be a complicated and challenging prospect, and may take a great deal of time and effort. Just putting up and taking down a booth can be a day’s work in itself. With a virtual event, you can get everything set up and running in a half hour if you are attending, and if you are hosting, you will save even more time overall. Sending out invitations is as easy as providing your attendees with a link, and you don’t have to set up accommodations or make complicated arrangements. There’s no “take down” process afterward for your booth; you simply close up the program and you’re done.
Promote Online for Wider Outreach
You can promote an online event with ease on social media websites and on your company website. What’s great about virtual events is no one has to travel for them, including customers, potential customers, business associates, and others who are located in distant cities or countries. These people can all attend your trade show instantly, just as you can, without leaving their locations. You get a wider outreach this way, and everyone gets to participate. While the conference or trade show is in progress, attendees can continue to spread the word in their social media circles.
When you’re attending an event in person, there is nothing to distract you (assuming you turn your cell phone off and aren’t online on your tablet). The office however is full of distractions, from the phone ringing to the internet being at your fingertips. You have to find a way for attendees to virtual conferences at your office not to be distracted by these local activities.
While the fast-paced nature of online events may help you meet more people, there is also less spontaneity in the virtual world. When you are attending an expo event in person, it is common to just bump into random people—who then may turn out to be interested in your company or products. These people can forge important professional connections with you. You are far less likely to randomly meet people at a virtual event who are not present specifically to talk to you. This can make networking more challenging.
No Business Vacation Element
Some employees view attending events in the offline world as a kind of reward. This is because trip tends to be just that—a trip. Even though they are required to do business on their trip, it can still be seen as a kind of vacation, one where many expenses are being paid by the company in return for attendance at a trade show or conference. It may take a toll on employee morale if these trips are removed. Not all employees view them as an inconvenience. Many look forward to them all year, so you may need to find another way to reward your employees.
With INXPO's award-winning virtual online platform you now have the ability to reach a global audience, further increasing your event ROI. Enable additional revenue opportunities by allowing access to content even after the curtains have closed, for as long as you'd like. With access to real time reporting you can track and measure the effectiveness of your events and share specific analytics with your key stakeholders including your partners, speakers, and executive sponsors.
To learn more about our virtual online events platform please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 962-3708
The lecture has long been the standard for transmitting knowledge to classroom learners, but these days a lot of students are participating in distance learning courses. As a result, teachers are starting to look to webcasting to upgrade their existing distance learning solutions. In a classroom, a teacher can strive to promote interactivity by allowing students to ask questions, work together on projects, play learning games, and more. Online, all of these features can be brought into play as well with webcasting.
If you’re not yet familiar with webcasting, this is a type of technology which is similar to webinar software, but with more powerful capabilities. Anyone with a high-speed internet connection can participate in a webcasting presentation. Webcasting is fairly simple to set up, and is also quite affordable. Some instructors and school boards shy away from webcasting because they imagine it to be costly, but scalable solutions like those offered by INXPO will be affordable to K-12 schools and higher learning institutions.
How is webcasting currently being used in education?
- Distance learning institutions like online universities and K-12 schools are using webcasting to teach all of their classes to students
- Brick-and-mortar colleges are using webcasting for the distance learning opportunities they provide.
- Professors and other faculty members are taking advantage of the capabilities of webcasting in order to meet with other professionals, cutting back on travel expenses for learning seminars and conferences.
- Schools are also using this software to train their own staff members in the latest educational techniques.
INXPO’s communications software is used in the educational sector by instructors and also by corporate HR departments for training employees. It is specifically designed to help you to transmit knowledge using live video, crystal clear audio, chat and screen sharing. With this software, you can lecture students but also provide a platform for interactivity. Q&A keeps students involved, and you can use instant polls and surveys to check to see whether students are comprehending information. You also can automatically log all activity so you can review your sessions and figure out what you can improve and who might need a little extra help.
Before you start using webcasting for your distance learning classes, a couple of quick tips. Don’t forget that interactivity is key, whether in person or online. Most teachers have found that the best approach is to regularly interact with students and allow students to influence the direction of the discussion, just as you likely would in a classroom environment. If you wait until the end of a long lecture to use the live chat, polls, surveys and other interactivity features, comprehension will suffer. Finally, never lose sight of the fact that technology by itself does not transmit knowledge, but you can leverage the power of technology to share knowledge more effectively. Ultimately the instructors who achieve the best results from webcasting will be those who are able to unite powerful technology with effectual teaching techniques.
To learn more about INXPO’s online communications software please email us at email@example.com or call 312-962-3708.
How many trade shows has your company participated in? Have you ever hosted a trade show? If so, you probably are more than aware of the numerous benefits of exhibiting at one. Trade shows are excellent outreach tools which allow you to connect to new customers, old customers, business partners, associates, industry allies, and even competitors. They allow you to reach a highly concentrated target market, even if you work in a niche field, discover new audience members, and get face time with customers and clients. They are an excellent way to generate new sales leads and introduce your products and services to customers. Trade shows have long been associated with innovation, and by appearing at an exposition, you are telling others in your industry that you are on the cutting-edge.
But to be truly cutting edge you must be agile. Agile to market your products/services, promote them, and connect with customers who have the need and resources to buy them. Virtual trade shows are becoming one of the most popular ways for companies to communicate their message quickly and effectively, exhibiting their innovations to a mass online audience. According to Forrester’s research, “Virtual Events rank as the 2nd most important source of information when business decision makers evaluate technologies or services to purchase.”
It’s true that online trade shows have some drawbacks; no presentation medium is perfect. Your customers cannot see and touch your products in person. But they can still view them in video demonstrations, and you still have the chance to offer giveaway opportunities and other incentives. You also are unlikely to enjoy as many spontaneous, random encounters when you operate a trade show booth online, but there are other advantages to doing a trade show online which help to make up for these drawbacks.
Unique Advantages of Virtual Trade Shows
- Save Money. Perhaps the greatest single advantage of virtual trade shows is that your fees are likely to total to a few thousand dollars and no more than that, whereas costs for attending an offline trade show can easily tally $100,000, even if your business is a small or mid-sized one. Virtual trade shows by contrast incur only modest fees but still generate excellent revenue.
- Mobile Access: You don’t have to be present at the exposition center in a particular city at a certain time or date to attend your own trade show. You can participate from the office where you conduct your everyday business, eliminating travel costs and hassles.
- Audience Reach: Just as your employees may not have the luxury to travel to attend a conference, just think how many potential buyers and others who may want to interact with you cannot afford the time or money to travel to a trade show. By hosting your event online or extending your presence using a hybrid model, you are able to reach out to these potential customers, prospects, partners and other interested parties around the globe.
- Streamline Promotion: Promoting an online trade show is a lot like promoting one offline, except that you may discover your marketing tactics are actually more effective. Why? You are promoting an online event to internet users who are online to begin with. It’s much easier to funnel traffic online from one website to another than it is to promote your event on your company’s social marketing websites and try to funnel traffic to a destination in physical space. You can also prompt attendees at the virtual trade show to help you to spread the word while they are interacting with you. This can bring even more traffic in while an event is in progress.
While virtual trade shows may seem like an unusual concept if you have never attended one, over the coming years you can expect them to rise to prominence. Many small and medium-sized businesses cannot afford to attend trade shows in person, but they can afford to band together and host important industry events in virtual space. As awareness of virtual trade shows grows in the public mind, these cutting edge outreach tools will become even more powerful. Take advantage of that new technology and leverage it now for even greater success in the coming years.
To learn more about virtual tradeshows with INXPO please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 962-3708
Online presentations are more effective than ever. Here's how we characterize online presentation technology today:
- Live video presentations are now a vital part of demand generation programs.
- Tools for audience interaction are now very engaging.
- Metrics data now results in valuable audience profiling data.
- Technology is now simpler to use, higher quality and more powerful.
Check out our infographic, in which we compare meetings to presentations.
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Ask Alex Bender about product launches and he’ll tell you that the traditional way of doing things is history. “We’re in a new age, which requires new thinking,” said Bender, Director, SMC Marketing at RSA, a division of EMC.
Bender was responsible for the high-profile launch of RSA Security Analytics, a set of data analytics tools from the security vendor. Under the tagline of “Big Data Transforms Security,” Bender and team sought to achieve ubiquity in RSA’s target market, as well as generate awareness within RSA and EMC. In addition, Bender’s team needed to attract net new sales leads and convert them into opportunities in the sales pipeline.
Product Launch 2.0
For Bender, the entire process of launching a product needs to be re-evaluated. In this age of social media and mobile computing, product marketers need to think outside of the proverbial box and develop a launch campaign that reaches the target audience wherever they happen to be.
As the foundation for his product launch, Bender selected the Online Events platform from INXPO. Bender required a solution that enabled RSA to be both ubiquitous (in their target market) and global (across all geographies).
An online events platform fit the bill perfectly and INXPO’s platform was attractive for its registration integration, social media integration, social gaming features and scalability. “We wanted to be everywhere, from Kansas City to Rome to Moscow. And we needed to show innovation. The INXPO online events platform enabled us to do all of that,” said Bender.
How to Generate Sales Pipeline from a Product Launch
The early results are in: RSA’s product launch generated 9,500 registrations and 2,300 attendees. Over 35 sales appointments (with new prospects) were secured. Let’s look further at how Bender’s team used an online product launch to dollars to RSA’s sales pipeline.
Leverage Mobile for Promotion and Registration
As marketers, Bender and team knew that the surge of mobile devices in the market was an opportunity to engage their target audience with content to drive registration. Along the theme of “thinking outside the box” Bender partnered with Trepoint to create a mobile marketing strategy that included mobile banner ads and more importantly a streamlined registration process with calendaring functionality.
The promotions included a call-to-action to register for the online product launch, right from the same device. “We wanted to use mobile advertising as a means to effectively lower the industry average cost per acquisition (CPA) to an acceptable range,” said Bender.
Ads and registration were optimized for delivery on mobile devices. It worked: 5,500 (nearly 60%) of the 9,500 registrations came from mobile devices, proving Bender’s research about his target market. In addition, Bender derived a lower CPA on mobile registrations compared to conventional web-based CPA programs (e.g. syndication, e-mail blasts, etc.).
Integrated Marketing Plan for Audience Generation
"There's a really good chance that you knew about our product launch."
To generate registrations for the online product launch, Bender and team left no stone unturned. To be ubiquitous in their market, they needed to be everywhere online. In addition to the mobile registration initiative, Bender’s team used a communiation strategy with emails, Facebook posts, Facebook ads, tweets, Twitter ads, YouTube videos, YouTube ads, LinkedIn posts, LinkedIn ads, blog postings and promotions within RSA and EMC-managed online communities, public facing websites and employee intranets. According to Bender, “If you’re in the security space or within EMC/RSA, there’s a really good chance that you knew about our product launch.”
Online Event Engagement Drives Sales Opportunities
Bender’s team utilized interactive features of INXPO’s online events platform to drive real-time engagement with RSA sales prospects. One tool they used was a “Request an Appointment” button that was conveniently placed in the event. The button allowed prospects to fill out a short form and schedule an appointment with an RSA sales representative. The result? Scheduled appointments for the RSA sales team.
Chat transcripts can yield signals for buying interest.
Bender also enabled a Trivia Challenge game available on the INXPO platform. Bender’s team provided the questions and answers for the game, which were tied directly to the theme of the product launch. The game’s leaderboard and chat area enabled security professionals to compete with one another for placement on the board.
The online event generated a high volume of chat activity, both in group chats, as well as private chats. After the event, Bender’s team reviewed the chat transcripts for clues on prospects’ sales readiness. “We looked for questions about pricing and other clues,” said Bender. His team compiled a list of “middle of the funnel” prospects and had sales representatives follow up.
To date, the 2,300+ attendees have led to 30+ sales appointments. In addition, the online launch event helped move existing accounts into new sales opportunities.
Said one RSA account executive, “I have one account we have pretty much given up on. What this event has led to is a webcast next week and a follow-on meeting the following week to see a full demonstration of the technology and do some architectural conversations.”
In addition, Bender has kept the online event open, during a 3-month on-demand archive period. Already, 5+ additional sales opportunities have resulted from on-demand visitors. If “Big Data transforms security,” then it must be said that “online events transform the product launch."
Online Product Launches
Interested in doing your own online product launch? Feel free to contact us: contactsales@INXPO.com or 312.962.3708.