The meteoric rise of virtual events over the past year has allowed businesses to continue engaging their target audiences throughout the pandemic, but it has not been without challenges. The biggest of these is that the defining social aspect of in-person events has rarely been properly translated into a virtual environment. This has left event sponsors and exhibitors struggling to keep audiences engaged and create memorable experiences.
In light of unprecedented disruption in recent times, many business leaders continue to view virtual events as a temporary fix, rather than a long-term solution. However, even though in-person events will eventually make a return, that does not mean virtual and hybrid events will be relegated to the past. After all, virtual events offer many advantages that will be every bit relevant in the future, especially in the context of international business.
One of the inherent advantages of virtual and hybrid events is that they provide additional opportunities for universal lead capture and B2B lead generation. As every digital interaction leaves an auditable data trail, virtual events offer sponsors and exhibitors a wealth of insights into their target audiences.
Moreover, bringing innovative event-management solutions like Aventri’s Digital Lead Capture tool into the mix allows brands to engage their audiences in more meaningful ways. Together, these methods can empower customer-facing teams to engage on a more authentic and personal level and generate higher quality leads in the process.
What is a Virtual Event Booth?
The purpose of a virtual event booth is to deliver a comparable attendee experience to that which they might have if they walked up to a booth at an in-person event. This allows, for example, exhibitors and sponsors at trade fairs and other events to set up virtual landing pages where attendees can engage with brands via video-conferencing and other methods. For event organizers, facilitating virtual event booths makes it possible to take large-scale events online or maintain a hybrid environment. These hybrid events will be especially important in the years ahead for attracting attendees who are unable or do not wish to travel – thus they will remain every bit as relevant in the future as they are today. Below are five benefits of virtual booths:
Maintaining Face-to-Face Conversations with Attendees
There is no substitute for face-to-face conversation for building meaningful relationships with customers, especially in high-touch sectors and B2B lead generation. For a virtual event booth to provide a comparable experience to an in-person event, it is imperative to have integrated video conferencing to facilitate the conversations that matter. Video conferencing enables a far more authentic and personal experience for event attendees by giving them a way to connect directly with subject matter experts in specific products and topic areas. In addition to facilitating this one-to-one setting, sponsors and exhibitors can use integrated lead generation tools to include things like surveys and document-sharing. This will allow them to collect important lead qualification data and keep a record of every interaction.
Converting Event Leads into Qualified Opportunities
Virtual events also offer a great opportunity for converting event leads into qualified business opportunities. At the same time, organizers and exhibitors can track all attendee interactions with advanced analytics. Integrated event lead capture software helps businesses of all types and sizes establish and maintain meaningful relationships with their prospects and customers throughout every stage of the sales funnel.
One of the many unique advantages of virtual events is that they provide a complete record of every conversation and other interaction. When combined with data analytics tools, event sponsors and organizers can turn these conversations into actionable insights that will advise them on the best course of action for moving leads further down the sales pipeline. And, since everything is recorded in real-time, they can also close deals faster.
Increasing Alignment Between Teams with Unified Lead Retrieval
Today’s business technology environments are becoming increasingly complex and disparate, making it notoriously difficult to keep track of important information. In the case of events, this can mean having important lead capture information spread across multiple systems. This can lead to inaccurate or missing data and cause the creation of information silos between different teams. It is imperative that sales, marketing, and customer support, for example, have access to the same information to ensure maximum efficiency, productivity, and alignment.
A universal lead capture tool that works across departments by centralizing all activity prevents discrepancies which, in turn, reduces the chances of qualified prospects dropping out of the sales pipeline. With the seamless integration of data, teams across different departments can more easily schedule meetings and better track, understand, and influence engagement with your virtual events.
Integrating Digital Lead Capture into your Workflows
Lead generation strategies in event marketing can be enormously valuable, but chances are events are not the only medium you use for building your brand. The seamless interoperability between events across different departments should also extend to other workflow areas, such as customer relationship management and marketing automation. This will help you integrate all event marketing initiatives into your wider sales, marketing, and support ecosystem, rather than having different teams recording and accessing different data.
Choosing event lead capture software that integrates seamlessly with your other software is essential for success. Aventri, for example, integrates with all leading CRM platforms, as well as marketing automation software, virtual event platforms, and analytics solutions. This keeps time-consuming tasks, such as manually re-entering lead capture data into your CRM after an event, to a minimum. This facilitates fully automated workflows while ensuring compatibility and consistency between systems. These connections between platforms are also encrypted to maintain complete information security and privacy.
Uncovering the True Value of your Virtual and Hybrid Events
The most effective way to fuel business growth is to look at what works best and then build upon that. While this might sound obvious, it is not always easy, especially if you do not have access to the necessary insights. To know exactly which conversations turned into qualified leads, you need a way to track and make sense of all the recorded data. These insights allow event sponsors and exhibitors to continuously improve their operations, allowing them to drive greater engagement and revenue at their virtual events.
Integrated analytics provide quantifiable and qualifiable insights that reveal the true value of your events. For example, you can instantly determine the average cost per lead or opportunity and the overall return on investment of an event. Moreover, thanks to integration with the wider sales pipeline, it is possible to obtain a comprehensive view of your event's impact on sales and other areas of your business.
Virtual and hybrid events are here to stay, but there is no reason why they should not be able to offer a comparable experience to real-world events. Thanks to virtual event platforms with lead capture integration, sponsors and organizers will be better prepared to recreate the social aspect of in-person events, all while gathering mission-critical insights that deliver value across the entire business.
Aventri’s integrated event management platform features digital lead capture that functions as a virtual booth to deliver a more immersive interactive experience for attendees. Request your demo today to see how it works.