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Virtual Event Platforms are not Virtual Events

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Steve Gogolak's presentation from Virtual Edge 2010

Steve Gogolak's presentation from Virtual Edge 2010

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • i agree. The platform needs services support to offer a complete virtual experience and attendance.
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  • Is it networking?
  • Is it distribution of information?
  • Is it to hand leads to this guy?
  • Is it to get people talking and ultimately raving about you?
  • Don’t confuse goals with purpose. Your event is meant to bring you some kind of value, but that is the purpose. Exactly what value that is and what it amounts to is a goal. Purpose provides direction. Goals allow you to measure your progress in that direction.
  • State the purpose very clearly. Define the goals that the purpose dictates. Be as blunt as possible: the CEO needs to be happy is OK!Define how you know if you reached the goals. If you don’t set any goals, you don’t have a right to be disappointed.
  • Goals need to be achieved, which creates the problem of how to reach that achievement.
  • So let’s look at these problems…
  • We can break up our problems into pre/during and post event.These problems all tie back to our goals – they were created as a result of some goal we are trying to attain. Right? Generate 2000 attendees and 500 quality leads. Do these all fit?Let’s take a step outside of our marketing world for a second…
  • These are shoes. Not your shoes. Your attendees shoes. Just to be fair.This is how you need to see your event – as an attendee. That’s how we look at physical experiences… we are also attendees.
  • So let’s look at the problem of generating attendance from an attendees perspective.
  • This is the first impression opportunity. This event is happening online – there is no sandy beach to look forward to that will help get over a crappy email template and a complicated user experience.
  • You event has started – from an experience standpoint
  • This is your entire first experience summed up as three drop-off points.
  • Getting people to click to register is the hardest part. Subject lines are important, too, but once they are in they are yours to lose.
  • Remember – your promotion and registration experience marks the start of the event.
  • Understanding where your touchpoints exist, why they exist and what they are designed to accomplish takes vision.
  • Put yourself in the attendees shoes. Ask:How much time am I asking of them?What am I asking them to do within that time frame?Is that activity appropriate given my relationship with that customer?
  • There is a finite period of time where all of our touchpoints will fall. So, the actual period that your attendees experience the event is short relative to your complete event timeframe. That means you have a head start – thank goodness. You need to plan it all out, create all of the content, them press GO and monitor your progress along the way.
  • Before we mentioned that this is the hardest part to deal with at the beginning. Let’s take a look at this from an attendees perspective.
  • This is the question that is on your mind. Is it worth my time to open the email? Is it worth my time to go sign up? Is it worth my time to attend?Everything has to convince the attendee that this is, truly worth their time. And it better be.
  • This is the best way to demonstrate whether it is worth their time. Don’t get buried writing email copy, it will never get read. Write the copy, then turn it into a video.Keep your email short and make the goal to get users to watch the video.If you get them to click then you’ve got 30-40 seconds of undivided attention to get your point across. You don’t get that much time with email copy – period.If they are intrigued, they will register – your work here is done… for now.
  • The t-shirt isn’t the right offer – What the person wants is a demonstration of value… so you don’t waste their time. You say: give me 30 seconds and I’ll tell you if it is worth it – that is reasonable.This gets the right people to register. T-shirts get the wrong people. Then you get the people who want the t-shirt, not the ones who want to attend your event. This isn’t a one-and-done email campaign to get leads. The leads come from the event and you’d rather be pumping quality into that tool.
  • This is about planning. No technology does this for you. Most people evaluate virtual event technology based on what it “can” do before they assess what they “need it” to do.It doesn’t take technology for you to figure out your problems.
  • Think like an attendee. You get email marketing all the time – you’re on facebook & linkedin. How would you want to get invited to an event? How would you want to share your attendance with the world? Be where your attendees are.
  • The irony here is that the number of touchpoints explodes in this small timeframe. We therefore lose track and just start doing as much as possible hoping that something sticks. Is that how attendees think?
  • Webcasts – some sessions may require one format while others need another. Don’t box yourself into one type. Presenters have different needs based on what they are presenting.Networking features are great, but they will not get used by everyone. Give people a reason to use them.Exhibit floors are misunderstood. They are for more than just sponsors.
  • All of the experience elements you have outside of the platform are important, too.
  • If you’re normal… this is how you’ll feel after your live event is complete.
  • BUT – you aren’t done yet.My advice: anticipate the outcome possibilities and be ready to react with a post-event plan. This should be created at the beginning of the process as part of your overall plan.
  • Set the survey up for distribution by making it known during your event.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Virtual Event Platforms are not Virtual Events
      Developing a complete attendee experience for online events
    • 2. @sgogolak
      www.aWiderNet.com
    • 3. In-Source Model
    • 4.
    • 5.
    • 6.
    • 7. Technology does not define purpose…
      …it enables it.
    • 8. What is the purpose
      of your event?
    • 9.
    • 10.
    • 11.
    • 12.
    • 13. How do you know if
      you were successful?
    • 14.
    • 15.
    • 16. Measure what you
      think success
      looks like
    • 17.
    • 18. Goals leading to problems:
    • 19.
    • 20.
    • 21.
    • 22. Problems
    • 23. Problems:
      Pre-Event
      Generate awareness
      Increase conversion (registration)
      Increase attendance
      During the Event
      Deliver compelling content (provide real value)
      Quantify attendee engagement
      Define lead quality
      Post-Event
      Follow up with the leads
      (and repeat process during on-demand period)
    • 24.
    • 25. Attendee Centered Event Strategy
    • 26.
    • 27. Conversion Hurdles
    • 28.
    • 29.
    • 30.
    • 31. Pre-Event Conversion Hurdles
    • 32. Pre- Event Conversion Hurdles
    • 33.
    • 34. The first email sets the
      tone for the entire event.
      Don’t blow it!
    • 35. Month
      0
      Month
      1
      Month
      2
      Month
      3
      Month
      4
      1-DAY LIVE EVENT
      Month 5
      EVENT MICROSITE
      IS LIVE
      ON-DEMANDVIRTUAL EVENT
      MICROSITE DEVELOPMENT
      CONTENT
      PRODUCTION
      CONTENT PRE-PRODUCTION
      CONTENT LOADING
      STRATEGY
      Promotion
      POST EVENT
      TEASER
      TEASER
      1 – 16 WEEKS
      LIVE
      Building out a timeline…
    • 36. Touchpoint
      Touchpoint is the interface
      of a product
      a service or
      a brand
      with customers, non-customers, employees and other stakeholders – before, during and after a transaction respectively a purchase.
      Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchpoint)
    • 37.
    • 38.
    • 39. Pre-Event
      What are the touchpoints that kick off your event?
    • 40. Plan here
      Develop content here
      Month
      0
      Month
      1
      Month
      2
      Month
      3
      Month
      4
      1-DAY LIVE EVENT
      Month 5
      EVENT MICROSITE
      IS LIVE
      ON-DEMANDVIRTUAL EVENT
      MICROSITE DEVELOPMENT
      CONTENT
      PRODUCTION
      CONTENT PRE-PRODUCTION
      CONTENT LOADING
      STRATEGY
      Promotion
      POST EVENT
      TEASER
      TEASER
      1 – 16 WEEKS
      LIVE
      Building out a timeline…
    • 41. Email Conversion Hurdles
    • 42. Is this worth my time?
    • 43. Video Call-to-Action = 5x Conv. Rate
    • 44. Why is the conversion rate higher?
      Clear offer
      watch this video, determine if it’s worth your time
      Value is demonstrated
      Why you should attend
      Experts you will hear from
      What you will learn
      Expectations are set
      Prospect has invested time and feels rewarded
      If the conference provides value the way the video did, it must be worth attending.
    • 45. Video Call-to-Action Scenario:
      Email sent to 10,000 addresses
      Normal 2% response = 200 registrants
      Video CTA 10% = 1,000 registrants
    • 46. How about
      lead quality?
    • 47. Value
      Get the right people to register.
    • 48. Notice we haven’t
      mentioned any
      technology?
    • 49.
    • 50.
    • 51. Progress Exchange Draft Communications Plan
      TIME
      Registered
      Email
      Not Registered
      VOD
      Trivia
      Channels
      Mircosite
      Print
      Social
      PUG tools
    • 52. Event Experience
      What agenda drives the best engagement?
    • 53. Month
      0
      Month
      1
      Month
      2
      Month
      3
      Month
      4
      1-DAY LIVE EVENT
      Month 5
      EVENT MICROSITE
      IS LIVE
      ON-DEMANDVIRTUAL EVENT
      MICROSITE DEVELOPMENT
      CONTENT
      PRODUCTION
      CONTENT PRE-PRODUCTION
      CONTENT LOADING
      STRATEGY
      Promotion
      POST EVENT
      TEASER
      TEASER
      1 – 16 WEEKS
      LIVE
      Building out a timeline…
    • 54.
    • 55. Plan the agenda
      Have reasonable expectations for an attendees time
      Don’t follow an in-person event model
      This is a web experience – treat it as such
      Keep content short and engaging
      Structure agenda with little or no down time
      Hide “down time” as a planned activity
      Once you have an experience created, look to technology to enable it.
    • 56.
    • 57.
    • 58.
    • 59.
    • 60. Post-Event Experience
      How do you utilize existing assets?
    • 61. Month
      0
      Month
      1
      Month
      2
      Month
      3
      Month
      4
      1-DAY LIVE EVENT
      Month 5
      EVENT MICROSITE
      IS LIVE
      ON-DEMANDVIRTUAL EVENT
      MICROSITE DEVELOPMENT
      CONTENT
      PRODUCTION
      CONTENT PRE-PRODUCTION
      CONTENT LOADING
      STRATEGY
      Promotion
      POST EVENT
      TEASER
      TEASER
      1 – 16 WEEKS
      LIVE
      Building out a timeline…
    • 62.
    • 63. What’s the goal of the
      on-demand period?
    • 64. Post-Event Problems
      You have all this great, archived content. Now what?
      Your original goals still apply:
      Get more attendees
      Convert them into quality leads
      PROBLEM: Get people back to see what they missed.
      PROBLEM: Convince the skeptics who didn’t show up that your event really is worth their time
    • 65.
    • 66. Key Takeaways
    • 67. @sgogolak
      www.aWiderNet.com