Posted by: michaelwestcott | November 29, 2010

COMDEX Goes Virtual: Why (and How) Virtual Events Work


“75 percent of business decision-makers said they attended three or more Web-based events during the past 12 months.”

Source: American Business Media and Forrester Research

Introduction

Recently, COMDEX returned as a virtual event.  COMDEXvirtual is now available on-demand – register today and experience all of the great content.

Virtual events provide many clear and measurable business and marketing advantages. The benefits include improved cost savings, higher productiv­ity, expanded audience reach, incremental revenue generation, better data capture and tracking, not to mention reducing environmental impacts.

The Six Benefits of Virtual Events

1. Dramatic Cost Savings

Going virtual eliminates or reduces the travel time and expense associated with staging or attending a physical event. Many virtual event hosts and sponsors report that virtual events have saved fifty percent or more when compared with physical events, while time to market can be as little as six weeks, (although we recommend a 12-week planning and launch time frame). Virtual events are completely scalable and can target from five to 50,000 attendees. Attendees can participate from remote locations at their convenience, while event speakers can pre-record or deliver their presentations live, which makes for easier scheduling and often reduced speaker and content budgets.

2. Higher Employee Productivity

Clearly, staff that spends more time in the office and less time traveling can be more productive. And keeping telecommuting staff engaged and connected is a huge business advantage. Virtual events allow marketers to focus their energy on signing sponsors and exhibitors, procuring top speakers and content, attracting a better audience and generating better leads. In addition, many organizations are using virtual events to engage and motivate internal constituents. Through video conferencing technology, company meetings can now run online and with just a webcam and a laptop, remote workers can become more present as companies try to connect and motivate their best employees.

3. Expanded Audience Reach and Engagement

Virtual technology is allowing more event marketers to think globally, with limitless opportunities to engage worldwide audiences. In fact, a recent study published by Information Week found that 42 percent of virtual event attendees were international. Virtual events also enjoy an extended lifecycle, with archived content available well after the actual event is over. History has shown that 25 percent of virtual event leads come after the event. For physical events, posting sessions online, as well as hosting webinars and web­casts can extend value and mindshare for an event long after it is over – or before it begins

4. Incremental Revenue Generation

Clearly, virtual events can reach more attendees and exhibitors at a lower cost than in-person events. And with careful budgeting, compelling market­ing and promotion, the cost savings can go right to the bottom line through sponsorship, exhibitor revenue and pay-per-view fees for enterprise, associa­tion and media show owners.

5. Better Data Capture, Tracking and Intelligence

One of the key benefits of hosting or participating in a virtual event is the performance and behavioral data that can be collected from attendees and their actions. Virtual events provide unparalleled access to real-time and post-event data, collected as attendees navigate virtual exhibit halls, download white papers and collateral and participate in live Q&A’s. As part of the planning process, identify your key metrics and set goals in advance to measure the event’s success. In the end, all of these analyses should be linked to specific actions that drive business outcomes.

6. Sustainable Business Practices

Virtual events also provide “truly green” benefits to your corporate marketing and communication strategy at a time when being a good corporate citizen is becoming more important to customers and the bottom line. Virtual events reduce your organization’s carbon footprint, as well as eliminate the cor­responding waste and trash generated by an in-person show. A 2000 EPA study found that the typical convention-goer who is staying at a hotel gener­ates about 20 pounds of trash per day, compared with 4.6 pounds at home.

Conclusion

Want to know how to get started?  Contact us and we’ll provide further details on how you can achieve the benefits that virtual events offer.


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