In the first part of this series, we shared how events have changed over the past several years, the current event trends and the customer journey. In part two, we offer 10 great virtual events to try.
Webinars and virtual events are great approaches to helping people understand who we are and what we do. They are also platforms in which you can share your thought leadership. But there are also other ways to deliver your message to an audience throughout their customer journey. They include:
Panel conversations allows us to break out of that typical PowerPoint slide and is really great for a deeper stage in the journey. But when you're just getting to know someone, you can't assume you already know their problem and the solution. That's why a thought leadership panel is a terrific way to engage and let your customer self-select what they're most interested in.
Virtual hospitality events. Reproducing the old in-person VIP hospitality events is much more cost efficient, ensures that the audience present wants to be there, and allows you to create a way for your content and entertainment is live. A great example of a virtual hospitality event shared by a panelist in the webinar was where the audience was taught how to make pasta while the host used the opportunity to talk about their business. This is an opportunity to “show and not tell,” and do so in an informative and entertaining way.
Pre events before a big summit allow us to engage high level executives (who may not attend the summit) in a special way and in a manner more suited for their title or level. By creating an experience for this audience, you're now giving your salespeople an opportunity to start a more personal conversation around the experience.
Game shows can be created to deliver your information and education content in a fun and engaging way. Mixing up the format is recommended to keep it entertaining. For example, you could have a game show host and experts who compete to provide the best answer to the question, or open it up to allow every audience member to participate.
Product launches can generate excitement for those who are actually evaluating your products or solutions. When produced professionally, these allow your audience to see the product or solution in action.
Executive briefing centers can get C-suite potential buyers into your solution set to learn more about you. Presenting a virtual experience is really ideal for an executive who can browse and shop on their own time and check out your products. The information attained by this option is invaluable—you can see which product/solution someone was most interested in and how much time that they spent to ensure that follow-up conversations are more impactful.
Instant demos and product tours are essentially enriched video experiences that are integrated into a webinar console, surrounded by other resources. The video should be short (around two minutes) and should be designed to immerse the viewer immediately into your product or solution. And it should be easy to access, open and view whether on their computer, tablet or cell phone.
Webinars are popular tools, but many don’t realize you can use this platform with a very small group—with impressive results. The audience may be a focus group, new accounts or your greatest advocates, each capable of delivering great insights.
Direct engagement with a speaker can take the customer in the later stages to the next level. This is where you create a very intimate experience for the customer. And this is also where the community meetup comes into play. It is completely networking-based and allows you to bring your community together which is more important than ever. This is an opportunity for you to virtually bring together a lot of different people, allowing them to connect with each other and network. You can also provide breakout rooms where your audience is creating the content in real time versus simply consuming it from you.
On-demand content series are ideal for the last stage of the customer journey—the upsell. They generally know a lot about your offerings and want the option to choose areas where they need to brush up their knowledge or where they have a particular interest. By putting together a series of events or on demand webinars, you're allowing your customer to consume and browse on their own time.
Ultimately, how you choose to deliver your message comes down to who you hope to engage, where they are in the customer journey, the content with which you want to engage them, and what insights you need to keep them moving through their journey with you.