How to create and implement successful web marketing events

Marketing events today are mostly web-based because we are in the middle of a pandemic. Marketing teams worldwide are now learning how to use web-based marketing events to bolster their leads and connect with their target audience.

When I was a vice president of CoCreate Software, we used to speculate about one of our attendees. She showed up at every one of our London trade shows. Rain or shine, you can’t depend on Miss Jones. 

Someone suggested that she was homeless, but regardless, she was our most loyal attendee. She never asked difficult questions, never argued with the presenter, and always appeared interested in our presentation. Of course, she never purchased any software, and she stuffed her pockets full of expensive tradeshow marketing toys, but you can’t have everything.

This type of interaction is one of the few things I missed about doing live events. Almost everything else can now be accomplished over the web. Live marketing events are still valuable, but it’s much tougher to get good results than even a few years ago. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has even made it more difficult. There is simply much more competition, and traditional promotional methods alone are often ineffective at filling seats. The internet has changed the way events are run in promoted in several important ways.

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When to use and not use internet marketing events

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The traditional marketing event can work for you if you sell an expensive product. Your product needs a lot of explaining, you need face time with prospects and customers, your competitors are using them effectively, and you have a compelling message.

If you have an executive audience, you might also consider the live executive only event.

Web-based marketing events, also called virtual seminars and webinars, are useful in almost all other circumstances. These webinars can be a successful marketing tool for you if you have a dispersed audience; you lack a critical mass of prospects in a local market and your target audience.

 Online marketing events have six significant advantages over traditional marketing events.

  1. You can generate attendees at a much lower cost. In fact, over the years I’ve been doing these types of events, the average cost per attendee has been about 30 to 40% of traditional marketing events. This takes a pre-show trade show marketing plan.
  2. You can run the entire marketing event without the need, time, and expense of travel. There is no need for speakers to be in the same location; all they need is access to a web browser and a telephone. And most computers and webinar software have both of those built right in them. A couple of examples are Google Meet, Zoom, and Go to Meeting.
  3. You can reach more prospects and customers in a shorter time. Faster execution cycles of online marketing events allow you to cut the time in half between when you conceive, I’ve had a marketing event until the actual marketing event occurs.
  4. Online marketing events give you much higher geographic coverage since anyone with web access can participate. Traditional sales seminars or trade shows are usually limited to geographic areas large enough to draw decent-sized audiences while smaller cities and rural areas are left uncovered. For example, people in places such as Burlington, Vermont, and Grand Rapids, Michigan get few opportunities to attend traditional trade shows but have total access to online marketing events.
  5. Web marketing events work much better than traditional trade shows when promoting a series of related topics, particularly if you want the same individuals to attend multiple events. People can dial in from their own office in a fraction of the time necessary to attend a live face-to-face trade show or marketing event.
  6. Online marketing events are more likely to draw an audience of executives or too busy to attend traditional marketing events or trade shows.

Partners and speakers issues in online marketing events.

marketing event speakers
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Matrix Technology Hub

I recommend that you conduct marketing events with your business partners. The right partner can help you attract a much larger audience, and if you split the cost, each lead will cost half as much. If your small company or you are new to the market, a prestigious partner can give you instant credibility. 

You can also benefit by gaining access to the partner salesforce and distribution channels. The only downside is that a partner can dilute or contradict your message. You can prevent this by rehearsing before the marketing event.

Choose your speakers wisely. The right speaker can help you attract a broader audience, and it will help drive more leads. Conversely, the wrong speaker can dilute the audience and cause your audience to sign off early. 

To avoid this, make sure you communicate to your speakers precisely what is expected of them and have a back-up plan in case a last-minute cancellation or no shows.

My philosophy is like Broadway. Except for extreme situations, The ‘Show Must Go On’, and you should never let the audience see you sweat. Of course, this is much easier to accomplish with online events since a great deal is hidden from the audience.

Good speakers need good topics to discuss, such as your topic carefully. The compelling marketing event topic must be chosen from the standpoint of your audience. It should be highly relevant to their professional lives and be timely. 

If you happen to be in a fast-moving industry, what is considered timely will change very rapidly. For example, in the high technology industry, SaaS software and supply chain management are considered hot topics. 

Today if all you about is client-server technology or legacy systems, you would have a relatively small crowd if the subject these include subjects like data warehousing. Your topic will also be considered hotter if it is not a me-too idea, and of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a digital twist to it.

People attend web marketing events for many reasons. Suppose you go online just to get out of the other office commitments. Many attend to gain general knowledge about a particular category of product or specific information about your product or service. 

You can also count on one or more of your competitors to attend. It is hard to screen them out since you can use phony company names and dial-in from your home internet connection.

 The most valuable attendees will be those who attend to confirm the decision to buy your product or to check you out before making a final commitment to buy a competitor’s product. Make your marketing event educational. 

You must have a lead capture mechanism that allows you to differentiate between different categories of attendees. 2% or more of your audience are legitimately interested in your products or services. You’re doing fine. 

Make sure you have a program to convert these leads into customers. I highly recommend a CRM system and a marketing automation system, like SharpSpring, that has designated workflows to capture the leads and nurture them through the buyer’s journey.

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Promoting your web marketing events

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The most crucial suggestion I can offer about promoting your advances to use multiple media, including social media. Don’t just rely on email. 

Direct mail might work or telemarketing but use a combination of these media and be sure that you have a campaign set up to track what channels drive the most leads and which are the most cost-effective. 

The same is true for handling responses. If possible, give the responder a choice to register by phone, mail, email, or web form. You can also boost your registrations by gathering referrals. Make sure that you leverage the marketing event program as a way to build your database and gather intelligence with incremental data you collect during registration or confirmation emails or calls.

It is wise to have a plan ready if a particular marketing event looks like it’s going to be a dud. For example, if you’re expecting a hundred attendees ten days out of your web marketing event and one week before the event, you only have 20 people registered, you’ll need to kick off your marketing event boosting plan. The best media to increase registrations are email and the phone. 

Simple postcards will also work well, pending on your target audience. Don’t be afraid to cancel an event a very few people of register. But do keep in mind that one of the advantages of web marketing advanced is that no one knows how few people are attending. 

I once had the displeasure speaking to only three people, and I was expecting 50, and it was a snowy winter day in Washington, DC, and whatever preferred that the marketing event be a web-based marketing event. As I mentioned earlier, ‘The Show Must Go On’.

Follow-up is an essential component of online event marketing. You need to contact attendees within 48 Hours. You need to find out who’s in the buying cycle and work with these people hard. And never just turned the marketing event leads over to sales. 

Marketing should take responsibility for the relationship with prospects until they are fully nurtured leads ready for the sales reps’ attention. Taking this one step will vastly increase the results of the online marketing event program. There’s one final point I’d like to make about follow up. 

Don not believe everything you read on web forms or evaluation forms. People sometimes fudge the truth, so you need to do a little reading between the lines.

As with all media, the offer is vitally important. And web-based marketing events, the offer is a combination of four things your prospects want to know.

  1. The topic, what am I going to learn?
  2. The reward, what am I going to get?
  3. The cost, what will it take in terms of time and lost work for me to attend?
  4. The rest, will I be wasting my time by attending this?

If you can create an offer that answers these four questions satisfactorily, you can create a strong value proposition that the prospect will be unable to refuse. 

Setting objectives and measuring results 

event marketing goals
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Are five categories of the object are that you can achieve from online marketing events:

  1. Generating high qualified leads (MQLs).
  2. Migrating prospects and customers to the next stage of the marketing-sales cycle.
  3. Generating increased market awareness.
  4. Improving relationships with partners.
  5. Cleaning the database and adding new contacts.

At Matrix Marketing Group, our event strategy includes web seminars and online events, and it’s a key component. We promote these events by email and telephone, and we allow our registration by web, email, and telephone. 

All registrations are immediately confirmed by email and reconfirmed by telephone 24 hours before the event. Our SDR group conducts extensive post-event lead qualification by email and phone. We also use these calls to track attendee satisfaction.

The metrics on these events are excellent. For example, from a list of about 2000 + 200 prospects, we averaged $195 registering per event, and approximately 150 attend for a 75% show rate. 

We also averaged 1.5 attendees per inbound line, and 35% of participants are repeat attendees. Most important, we can expect to generate 6 to 10 qualified leads prevent, with an average close ratio of about 35%.

Wrap up on marketing events

Are six rules for successful online marketing events. The six rules for successful marketing events. I can’t promise that following these rules will ensure that you hit a home run in every marketing event. However, I can promise that you will have a much higher chance then if you fail the follow-up.

  1. Feature compelling topic in speaker.
  2. Market your events using several media channels.
  3. Target carefully and invite the right target audience in people.
  4. Set very aggressive goals and objectives and shoot for the top, and you may hit it.
  5. Pay as much attention to confirmation and follow-ups as you do to promoting your marketing event.
  6. Don’t be afraid to copy somebody else’s good idea.

 We wish you the best of luck and give these ideas a chance.

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General FAQs

What is a marketing event?

Marketing event describes developing a themed exhibit, display, or presentation to promote a product, service, cause, or organization leveraging in-person engagement. Marketing events can occur online or offline and can be participated in, hosted, or sponsored as a form of engagement.


What is an online marketing event?

Online marketing is the practice of leveraging web-based channels to spread a message about a company’s brand, products, or services to its potential customers. The methods and techniques used for online marketing include email, social media, display advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and more.


What is a webinar?

webinar, the combination of the words “web” and “seminar” is a video workshop, lecture, or presentation hosted online using webinar software. A webinar is an online event typically hosted by an institution/organization/company and broadcast to a select group of individuals through their computers can connected to the Web. A webinar is sometimes also referred to as a “webcast,” “online event,” or “web seminar.”


Does online marketing work?

The truth is that internet marketing is a legitimate lead generation strategy that, like traditional marketing, can take a lot of time, work, and experience. Just like traditional marketing, if you’re not paying good money for it, you’re probably not going to get the results you desire.

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