How to Virtualize a Marketing Event

During the “Great Recession” many companies were cutting back on travel expenses so it became harder to drive attendance of physical attendees. It was a problem that everyone faced and we realized we needed to do something to virtualize our event to maximize our messaging to the audience even if they weren’t attending. So, we decided to stream the event online to our community, allow them to participate virtually and even engage speakers and other attendees from the comfort of their office.

Note that I said community and not website. This was by design as we were also looking for a way to drive membership adoption to increase the number of active members in our community. So, we created a virtual calendar of activities and topics that we would stream so members could coordinate their time and participate in the sessions they were interested. This was a combination of knowledge experts, customer testimonials, keynote speakers etc… We also created an active chat that could be engaged online during the video session where we could respond and answer questions in real-time. This was our solution to bridging the gap between online and physical activities. Those who attended would walk by the small stage we were broadcasting from and watch as well as provide the exact same experience to those who where not able to attend.

The result was an active and engaged audience both physically and virtually who helped drive additional awareness and messaging via our omni-channels. The content was then posted and available on-demand so it became and evergreen marketing activity that continued to provide engagement well after the event was over.