We asked VEI’s online training module leaders for their top tips on organizing stand-out virtual events, covering everything from monetization and sales tactics to audience engagement.
Stephan Murtagh, director, The Exhibition Guy Group
Focus on key quality buyers – not just attendees. Maximise sponsorship revenue opportunities across all aspects of the event. Think outside the box by leveraging the app opportunity for pre-show engagement.
Vanessa Lovatt, chief evangelist, Glisser
Map out your event sponsorship inventory in detail with the associated benefits of each piece of inventory. Ensure this includes a range of benefits and pricing. Know your value and don't underprice. Put this into crystal clear and high quality collateral for your target market to understand easily.
Invest time, and maybe also money, to ensure your sales team is upskilled to sell your new virtual event packages. It's a different sell to real life events, and training is essential.
Nick Paul, co-founder, Eventrix
If you have a limited number of sponsors, try to make as many packages as possible bespoke. This way you can use the key deliverable as a tool to close the deal.
Use sponsorship sales to improve the experience. Use your attendee data to identify key buyers for sponsors and create a fulfillment package, so your attendees receive a parcel on the morning of the event to build engagement and boost ROI for sponsors.
Neil Shorney, chief possibility officer, Navanter
Salespeople must learn to sell ‘transformationally’, which means understanding clients’ worlds, then educating the client on how and why things need to be done differently now. The result is a customer who has learnt something new from the sale itself, who buys something that meets their needs, and who is much more satisfied with the salesperson’s approach. They see the salesperson as an expert in their field, and this credibility leads to stronger, mutually beneficial business relationships.
Michaela Jeffery-Morrison, CEO of Ascend Global Media and founder of the Women in Technology World Series
Be creative with formats, make it personable and ensure content is compelling to keep audiences engaged. Know your virtual platform in-depth. Also, find out what is important to speakers and create speaker guides to inform and prepare them for the virtual experience so they have confidence in what you are doing.
Peter Wardell, performer and speaker, Brandmagic
Explore ideas and develop a strategy on how to make your audience stop, stay, watch and pay.
Learning to understand that the overall experience is much bigger than the event itself opens up opportunities to create stronger connections before and nurture them after. Every event comes with anticipation and memories, which must be engineered.
Clare Forestier, emcee and presentation trainer, Speak Up Event Hosting & Communications Training
Turning your back on hybrid would be a fool’s game. Many companies, particularly smaller ones, are not ready to talk about hybrid events, especially as some have only just got their heads around virtual. Yet a hybrid future is a no brainer. I believe ultimately we won’t even use the adjectives of virtual, hybrid or live; events will organically include all those components.