Calculating the ROI of Virtual Events
It is clear that organisations are increasing their adoption of virtual events, and we are beginning to see best practice emerge. As virtual events become part of our new normal, however, it is essential that we understand the costs and benefits of these events.
The costs of virtual events may be lower than for their ‘live’ equivalents, but they are still important. Many live events will require higher-profile speakers to grab the audience’s attention, and there will be costs around video and audio production, creating livestreams and webinars, and promotion of live events through digital marketing, online advertising and virtual delegate packs.
It is also essential that marketing teams allow for comprehensive data analysis and follow-up after any virtual event. “Any virtual event campaign is only as good as the follow-up,” says English. “You need to use that data to understand what attendees care about, to create key assets and collateral that can be shared with the right customer at the right time. It’s vital to think about what ‘after’ looks like, even at the start of the campaign.”
Ingram Micro is also investing in new Martech tools around social content, data compliance and other features to make sure the company can run high-quality video content across platforms for virtual events. The next step will be looking at how the company can drive and enable sales on the back of these tools, Jackson says. “It created a new virtual selling role for that guy who might have been out in the field, but now you need really good leads and insights into customers, and we’re pushing that at a faster rate since the pandemic.”
It created a new virtual selling role for that guy who might have been out in the field, but now you need really good leads and insights into customers, and we’re pushing that at a faster rate since the pandemic.
Virtual events offer companies a powerful opportunity to capture data that can be used to inform marketing and drive sales. Knowing exactly what question a potential customer asked during a webinar allows for better follow-up, but only if that information is captured and shared. It’s important to invest time into understanding and disseminating the data from virtual events to fully realise the ROI.
At Ember Group, we frequently run digital webinars using a platform called GoToWebinar and share the discussion points, which take place during the webinar internally, to help the sales team to understand what potential clients are interested in. “We then go further than that as marketers to create further digital campaigns around these webinars,” says Jugheli. “We have gated content that lands on social media lens with PPC or Google analytics campaigns, and in the future, we will do more of that.”