MeetingPlay Study Tracks Growing Power of Virtual Events for Corporate Groups
An event by any other name would smell as sweet to corporate event planners as long as the objective is met. That’s one of the main takeaways from a thought-provoking research compiled by event tech company MeetingPlay in conjunction with Corporate Event News.
Results, published in a new whitepaper that can be downloaded here, clearly demonstrate the end goal for virtual corporate events is nearly always the same as their in-person counterparts. Namely, corporations have become just as reliant on collecting lead generation from remote attendees as more traditional gatherings like meetings, conventions and product launches.
It makes sense that the bottom line is ultimately the bottom line here, and corporate groups have proved nimble in making the most of the new era of events.
“Generally speaking, virtual events work exceptionally well for demand generation
compared to live events,” the white paper reads. “For example, it’s challenging to track serendipitous conversations in a hallway or unscheduled meetings in a sponsor booth at an in-person event. Virtual events can capture nearly every action and interaction associated with an event.”
Through increased gamification efforts — trivia contents, scavenger hunts, etc. — virtual event planners have adapted to increase the fun factor, which in turn leads to engagement, which begets the data needed to spot new leads. The study notes that digital platforms are able to better track behavioral patterns of attendees during the actual event whereas in-person gatherings usually are limited to what information is collected during registration.
MeetingPlay stresses it’s one thing to get the data, but another to make the right decisions with the information.
“Whether actions taken are scored or analyzed, event marketers should examine buyer touchpoints, identify patterns and build a story of interest and intent as a way to qualify a prospect as an MQL [marketing qualified lead],” according to the research. “Enterprises can build these analyses from event platform reporting, use third-party analytics platforms to make those calculations or rely on their virtual event platform partner to provide them.”
The survey polled 2,655 executives whose companies organized virtual events as of March 2021. Interestingly, a time has gone by in the pandemic, many of these respondents have come around on virtual events, at least as a method to augment face-to-face functions.
A study in mid-2020 found that about less than 10% of executives felt virtual events were meeting their objectives. But in a tectonic shift, 52% of the 2,779 respondents whose companies conducted virtual events said a digital experience is more effective in achieving business objectives.
Concludes MeetingPlay: “While COVID-19 lent a helping hand, virtual events have claimed their leadership position in the marketing mix, and event marketers have added yet another highly effective tool to the demand generation toolbox.”