COVID-19 has hit the Events industry particularly hard, and businesses around the world are still in the process of adapting to the current situation. It’s predicted that one in six businesses will struggle to survive. Those that are able to adapt will have a big advantage over those that cannot. While some companies have adopted a strategy of waiting it out till in-person events resume or are still in the process of deciding what to do, others have pivoted quickly, moving to an aggressive 100% digital event strategy.
In-person events or not, meetings still remain a cornerstone activity for businesses to move sales opportunities forward and close deals. Simply put, more meetings lead to better sales pipeline that leads to more revenue.
In this blog, we will discuss strategies that the most successful companies are implementing to keep their customers engaged and to promote virtual meetings as part of their digital marketing strategy. Let’s took at the best practices for increasing the number of virtual customer meetings from the top 3 virtual meeting use cases vis a vis:
- Virtual Events
- Meet the Expert
Drive Meetings from Webinars
Webinars are a great channel for brands to build and nurture relationships, build authority, or demonstrate products and services effectively. Webinar hosting software help orchestrate a series of webinars, and their integration with marketing automation tools makes it easy to capture and track leads. Given the massive reach of social media, most companies stream their webinars on channels such as Facebook Live or Youtube. Best practices for driving meetings from webinars are:
i) Broadcast the Inbound Request Page link everywhere – in the webinar registration and confirmation emails, in the webinar console during the webinar, post about it in the chat or comment section and announce it during the webinar. Let the attendees know that they can book a meeting with your experts or executives by simply clicking on the button, anytime before, during, and after the webinar.
ii) Collect valuable metrics – using the webinar registration platform as well as your meeting automation platform. From the webinar platform, you anyway collect data such as number of registrations, number of actual attendees, and attendee participation, but from your meeting automation platform, you can collect data such as meetings by topics, number of customers met, types of meetings, sales pipeline generated etc., that not only help you highlight your marketing teams efforts but make smart business decisions and to guide your company in deciding future marketing decisions.
Best Practices for ‘Meet the Expert’ programs
Meet the Expert (MTE) programs provide enterprise customers with the means to learn and understand details about products or services to make informed decisions throughout the year. While most companies have a pool of experts, available by region and topic to assist partners/customers, the process (largely manual) of scheduling appointments lacks efficiency and impacts the productivity of internal and external attendees. Best practices to drive meetings from MTE programs are:
i) Leverage the Inbound Request Page to help your customers request meetings with your experts. You can broadcast the links of this page via emails or add it as a CTA on your Contact Us page. This is a simple and effective way to drive tons of expert meetings.
ii) Integrate with your company’s virtual conferencing platform. This is especially useful in the case of MTE programs, where you can set up a meeting with the information already entered by your customers while requesting the meeting – such as the topic of interest, date and time etc., having the virtual conferencing link in the invite. Jifflenow supports Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans etc.
Drive more Virtual meetings using Virtual Events
Virtual events have emerged as the hot new channel for such engagements. Just like in-person events, virtual corporate events, user conferences, and field events draw attendees in large numbers to learn and network. Such events can be organized across geographies and for vertical markets, thereby increasing the audience reach manifold. They have all the features of an in-person event – keynotes, breakout sessions, meetings, etc., and can be organized at a fraction of the cost involved in organizing an in-person event. Best practices for driving more virtual meetings from virtual events include:
i) Drive meetings from the virtual lobby. By dedicating a specific space in the virtual event environment, where most customers and prospects are bound to spare some time, albeit virtually, such as the lobby you can be sure to drive customer meetings if they are presented with the best way to request meetings. By leveraging the Inbound Request Page, you can enable your customers to request meetings with your experts or executives, during and after the virtual event.
ii) Sync registration data from your virtual event. This provides your company’s sales team direct visibility into your attendee list and gives them an easy path to schedule meetings with customers and prospects. By syncing registrant and attendee information with the data already available in your meeting automation platform, such as opportunity and deal size etc. helps Sales team prioritize the meeting scheduling process for most relevant customers.
One thing that is often forgotten is that while leads are great, it’s the meetings that are the holy grail of lead conversions. With in-person events grinding to a halt, leading businesses are leveraging Jifflenow to switch to driving virtual events that support virtual customer meetings. And demand generation teams at these companies are now adopting this highly effective approach of converting leads to virtual meetings with their digital marketing campaigns as well.
All of this was discussed in our webinar on the same topic. Listen to the entire webinar recording here.