If you’re serious about generating leads through a virtual event, you need to maximize the lead generation opportunities it offers.  Did you know that the biggest challenge B2B marketers face with regard to lead generation is generating high-quality leads?

And it’s becoming more important every day.

In this post, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about maximizing the opportunities of a virtual event to generate leads and drive ROI for your business.

1. Lead Generation Starts Before the Event

Prior to hosting an event it’s important to establish your presence by creating a pre-event buzz around your event, your company, and your products or services. (Tweet this!)

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But, that’s not all. These activities should be aimed at actively identifying target leads. This means generating content that will attract your target audience because they can see the value you offer them.

It’s crucial to know exactly what you want to achieve with your event and you need a strategy to get the right people to attend your event.  You need the right message targeted to the right people. 

To do this, your team can come up with a target audience by determining what kind of person would receive the most benefits from your products or services. Look at the data from your current customers.  Note their interests, how and why they use the products or services and where they obtain their information. Use form fields on your website to capture data that would be useful to know.  Conduct interviews with customers and prospects to find out what they like about your product or service and how they found you. 

This exercise also serves to generate general awareness and excitement about your event.

2. Get to Know Your Attendees by Collecting the Right Information

You need to collect as much information as possible on who will be attending the event. 

There are two points to remember when setting up a registration process for an event that is aimed at generating leads: the process must be painless and it must collect the right information.

In order to gather relevant information, the questions must be specific. Get the details that you need, nothing more. After all, knowing exactly who is attending a key talk is the most important piece of information for an eventual sale.

3. Create Content Around Your Event

Landing page exampleStart with an event landing page that details your event, its purpose and your company’s reason for hosting it. Tell your story in a fun way and draw attention to special attractions and prizes for attendees. Your landing page is the first step in building excitement around the event.  

Make sure your readers can register for the event via your event landing page. Assuming your event is relevant to your industry and fulfills a need, those readers who complete the landing page registration form will become great leads.

Start blogging and posting on social media about your event. This will help you extend awareness around your event and drive more traffic to your website. You can turn blog readers into potential leads by asking for their email address in exchange for a helpful piece of content.

4. Offer Research Relevant to Your Industry

Consider doing some research and creating an industry whitepaper. Research establishes your business as a source of expertise and contributes to your company’s status within your industry.

Producing a white paper is an excellent way to provide relevant content to your audience since whitepapers are based on an existing problem and offer a solution to the problem.

The basis of the white paper could be an industry survey. The outcome of the survey generates interest and gets people talking even before the event. Be sure to appoint a social media expert to monitor these discussions and offer relevant company commentary.

Should you succeed in this endeavor, those people who pick up on and participate in the discussions are sure to be promising leads.

One commentator suggests doing a survey targeting specific industry problems during the event itself and gathering comments from delegates which can then be discussed at an open forum during the event.

Delegates who participate in such forums would be hot leads to follow up with after the event.

5. Gather the Right Team

This cannot be emphasized enough. Even though this is a virtual event, no matter how great your giveaways, or how engaging the speakers, you cannot afford to have technical difficulties, poor content or a disorganized, disjointed lineup of speakers.

Make sure the staff managing your event can handle the challenges that go along with hosting a top-notch virtual event and can create a strategy to make the event flow smoothly.   Demonstrating value at a virtual event is more critical than at an in-person event, so it pays to have the right staff in place.

SEE ALSO: How an Outside Event Manager Can Save Your Business Money

6. Include Those Who Can’t Attend the Event 

Even if your numbers are high, there will always be a percentage of your registrants who cannot attend.

DON’T FORGET about these people. Send a follow-up email immediately after the event with links to event materials and a replay of the event.  Include them in your continued follow-up plan.  Just becase they didn’t attend doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in your products or services.

SEE ALSO: Surefire Follow Up Strategies that Guarantee Your Event’s Success

Conclusion

Events are an effective way to secure new business, but you need to maximize the lead generation opportunities it offers. To achieve this, you need to plan your event with lead generation in mind. 

With a carefully constructed plan and the correct people to execute it, you’ll present powerful lead generating events that will ultimately have a positive impact on your business and on your bottom line.

For assistance with your lead generation plan, contact Executive Events today by calling Deany at 757-785-5081 or emailing Deany@AssistMyEvent.com.