We are witnessing a unique moment in the history of marketing: more than ever, the key audiences that companies are trying to reach are available in plain sight, offering a free, public 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week “focus group” of customer feedback and customer inquiries.

Social media like Instagram and Twitter are giving companies the chance to interact directly with their customers in new and powerful ways. But the challenge is that although people are spending more time than ever with social media, there is too much noise and clutter.

How can your brand break through the cacophony of distractions and interact effectively with the people who are most critical to your success?

Virtual events can be a significant part of the solution. Virtual events help you create targeted, fully immersive online experiences that lead to stronger relationships with your customers and create measurable results for your company.

Here are some of the ways that virtual events can help your company transform your marketing efforts:

  • Create an online trade show: The advantage of a virtual event is that it takes the best elements of a trade show and creates an online environment for people from many different places to interact, without the travel costs, space limitations and other downsides of a traditional “real world” trade show. Exhibitors can set up online “trade show booths,” create destination events for speakers to share their knowledge, and connect all the attendees via live online chat, blogs, social media and other tools to collaborate, network and create “real-life” connections that last beyond the virtual event.
  • Build relationships with key influencers: If you invite guest speakers who are well known in your industry to speak at your virtual event, you can often increase awareness of your own company by having the speakers and exhibitors promote the event to their own audiences. New customers might find out about your company first from reading about your virtual event on your guest speakers’ blogs, Facebook pages or Twitter feeds.
  • Learn from your audience: A virtual event is not a one-way monologue; it is a multi-faceted conversation where your company can harness the collective knowledge of your entire audience. In addition, the unique environment of a virtual event creates huge opportunities to collect deep business intelligence about your key audience. You can find out more about what your audience is interested in, get more details about what they love most about your product or your brand, and get candid feedback and insights on what your company needs to improve. And unlike a “real world” trade show or convention, a virtual event provides recorded, measurable data for all the aspects of the audience’s activities. You can see where the eyeballs are going at any point in time – find out what’s popular, find out what needs to improve, and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Create emotional connections: Virtual events don’t have to be boring! Far from it – every virtual event needs to offer an extra level of fun, suspense and “Wow factor” to keep people interested and engaged. Fortunately, it’s more possible than ever before to make this a reality. Virtual events have come a long way from the days of simple PowerPoint presentations shared over a conference phone, with “smiley face” icons and simple voting buttons to indicate the audience’s attention. Virtual events platforms like my company, Social27, make it possible to create fully immersive online experiences that create powerful emotional responses among your audiences. You can use instant polls to find out which parts of the event are resonating most with your audience. You can use tools like the Social27 “mood-o-meter” to track your audience’s engagement in a wide spectrum of emotional impact. You can use games and online contests to keep people entranced, engaged and excited for each new activity on the agenda.
  • Drive engagement through social media: The best part of the new generation of virtual events platforms is that they enable the event to “go viral” and take on a life of its own beyond the event date. Social27 and other virtual events platforms can connect your event to social media, so that your attendees can share their thoughts and spread the word about what they see, even while the event is going on. The best virtual events never truly “end” – they create a gateway for future engagement and sales.

If your company is new to virtual events and you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry – you don’t have to re-invent the wheel or learn a lot of complicated new technology. There are virtual events solutions providers that can take you through the process step-by-step, from choosing a virtual event platform to planning an event, to marketing the event and registering attendees, to managing the online interactions on the day of the event itself.

Hopefully you will find that hosting a virtual event can deliver significant return on your marketing investment. Your customers are already out there; now you just need to bring them together all in one place, with a compelling, interactive virtual event.

Host your own virtual event:
Interested in hosting your own virtual event? Social27 has been enabling organizations across all industries and sizes to host their own engaging virtual events since 2010.

The Social27 Virtual Events Platform brings the best of content streaming, networking with rich profiles, virtual sponsor pavilions, lead generation, gamification with points and badges, AI chatbot support and deep analytics powered by machine learning.