With the Covid-19 pandemic putting physical events on hold across the globe, marketeers have had to quickly transition to fully digital events to continue to engage customers and prospects. At AVEVA, we reworked our marketing plans in a very short timeframe to re-direct our investments to support a series of webinars and virtual events.
In less than eight weeks, we delivered our first global AVEVA World Digital (AWD) virtual customer event – an activity that would have normally taken at least 12 weeks to orchestrate from strategy to delivery. The accelerated process taught us that virtual events have their benefits.
Requiring less investment and lead time to develop, virtual events offer more flexibility for organisers and attendees, and deliver more data analytics and insights about the level of engagement and interaction on the virtual platform. In addition, we discovered that virtual events help our teams progress existing opportunities and identify new leads. In fact, AVEVA’s inaugural event helped to attract 34 per cent net new logos, which is significantly more than we would have gained from a physical event.
After securing 5,760 registrants (seven times more than at our traditional physical events), the team drew three main conclusions from attendee feedback. First, delivering a compelling and relevant agenda is key to success. Attendees want to hear from leading executives, industry experts, visionaries and other customer case studies. They also want valuable content providing insights and best practices that they can take back to their roles.
Second, attendees enjoy keynotes that are 20 minutes maximum, which means that the quality of the production is paramount to its success. Even though speakers are presenting from their home offices, several elements can be changed to raise the bar – including how and what they present – and ultimately drive stronger engagement and participation.
Finally, attendees want to interact and network on the virtual event platform. We learned that it’s a good thing to have the live keynote and chat function working concurrently. People are used to undertaking two (or more) tasks simultaneously online and expect a virtual event platform to do the same.
While physical events are likely to return, AVEVA’s future strategy will be to retain some of the virtual events and webinars. We will be hosting many more this year and beyond, including our AVEVA World Digital Series.
Felicity Carson is senior vice president of performance marketing and demand generation at AVEVA
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.