Exhibition World Issue 3 – 2021 | Page 32

Marketing virtual

How marketers can make the most of virtual events

Tim Groot , CEO and founder of Grip , reveals some tricks of the trade for making your virtual event stretch further
ockdown precautions have heavily impacted the events industry across the world . In 2020 , event organisers radically pivoted towards hosting virtual events online . As in-person events start to return to the US , and as Europe plans to reintroduce them later on this year , hybrid events look to make a strong return at the back end of 2021 .
As virtual and hybrid formats will take centre stage for the near future , it ’ s vital that event organisers and marketers know how to maximise their returns on these kinds of events , to improve client offerings and to future-proof their business models .
Making the most of your revenue streams At Grip we ’ ve noticed digital events tend to be smaller than their inperson counterparts , however , this isn ’ t necessarily a reason for event organisers to fret . The fact that virtual events tend to be more focused should be seen as an opportunity to generate industry leads that benefit all parties involved and move specific industries forward .
Where a tradeshow in the food industry which might bring together 100,000 people annually , a virtual event - for example , a show specific to French cheese for restaurants across Europe – might attract 1,000 buyers and suppliers , but in a hypertargeted setting .
Let data guide your digital event strategy Unlike in the physical world , running a virtual event allows organisers insight into the behaviour and priorities of exhibitors and attendees . Collecting and collating this data can help organisers discover and understand patterns , trends and the interconnected nature of the events industry in a whole new way .
Data insights such as these change the way event marketing works . Organisers and marketers can plan around tailored and segmented audiences - connecting attendees , exhibitors and sponsors with information known to be of value to them .
The golden goose of ‘ sequential ’ events Undoubtedly , in-person events will start to make a return . This transition period will see a rise in the number of hybrid events – of which there are different formats to
Right : Tim Groot , CEO and founder of Grip utilise based on the event ’ s needs . Sequential hybrid experiences are particularly lucrative in terms of reaping returns on investment . A sequential event occurs when the ‘ live ’ experience and the ‘ virtual ’ experience occur on different dates or times , one after the other in order to extend the event experience .
This format has been proven to increase overall engagement and event value over multiple moments - making it ideal for show teams of any size who are eager to maximise value for sponsors and exhibitors , while also providing a tailored experience for virtual and live audiences .
What the future holds Data insights are just one of the additional capabilities hybrid formats offer to event organisers and marketers .
Combining virtual and live elements increases audience reach , lengthens the event timespan ( resulting in a higher ‘ return on time ’ for organisers and attendees ) and increases overall revenue opportunities for exhibitors , with longer events allowing them to provide more value to both attendees and exhibitors .
The future of the events industry is in a great moment of change , as event organisers are becoming ‘ Market Organisers ’ - specialists who bring together and combine different elements of event experience , to help push their industry to evolve , become more agile and advance their various markets .
32 Issue 3 2021 www . exhibitionworld . co . uk