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Creating a Digital Strategy with short, small-group webinars and virtual events

Events are ideal for expanding your network, meeting new clients and for nurturing existing relationships making them an integral part of your digital strategy. In a time where companies need all three of the aforementioned factors for continuation, growth and expansion of businesses, individuals feel far less able to network and nurture relationships through events than ever before.

At the start of lockdown companies, globally, worked to turn their already planned physical events into digital offerings. People receiving 4-6 invites to digital events per week rose by 93% during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the economy remains unpredictable and unstable, companies have to find ways to carry on reaching and nurturing their network in meaningful, safe ways. Digital strategies have become key for community and business continuity. 

Let’s look at how digitalisation can be applied to your events marketing strategy.


The rapid evolution of virtual events for b2b and b2c digital strategies

In February, we saw Salesforce turn its entire World Tour Sydney conference into a 10 day online event. Since the success of this virtual conference, they have continued to reach different countries using the same methods. The benefits of virtual events and webinars listed by Salesforce includes:

  • It’s an easy switch; most of their event suppliers have digital offerings to support this transition, and there are more live-streaming and conference tools available than ever before
  • Reduced costs; digital events are hugely cost-effective
  • Video content is here to stay; meaning efforts are not wasted on a passing trend, now is a great time to start implementing video strategies
  • Measurable results; understanding attendance and retention rates, as well as successful promotion strategies, help with decision making, content creation decisions and budgeting

In order to create successful networking events and to enable participants to feel valued and hear, we must focus on short, small-group virtual events.


How to create small, short virtual events for successful networking

Your target audience is likely to be spending a lot of their time on back-to-back video calls, or attending webinars making their time a valuable asset to compete for.

Let’s look at the components to creating successful networking events online.


‘Who’ is integral to the ongoing success of virtual events

Selecting the right people, as well as the right number of attendees is key. Keeping your event to no more than eight people at a time, including the host, will ensure everyone is able to feel heard. Ensuring that guests do not know each other means each person has the opportunity to feel heard and to develop new professional relationships.


Keeping Webinars and Online Events short and sweet

With so many people juggling priorities whilst working from home, it can be hard to ask that they commit to an hour long session. Creating a series of bite-size 15-30 minute online events means that you are encouraged to keep insights and presentations pithy, invite people to share information about themselves, and to introduce targeted points of discussion over a few weeks.


Episodic events and webinars to build momentum and communities

By hosting your online event at the same time and on the same day each week, your attendees can add you into their schedule habitually. This takes the pressure out of finding a new time and date each week that suits everyone.


Content is key; naming, visuals and planning your event

Through the digitalisation of their World Tour, Salesforce found that sharing visual from digital events will help your target audience to visualise and understand the value of attending. Research shows that the following content consideration will help to demonstrate the value of your event:

  • Recycling video content created from your virtual events for your digital marketing and social media platforms will ensure others see the value in joining future events.
  • One minute explainer videos are key.
  • When naming your event, it is important to create a title that focuses on what attendees will gain rather than what you will be presenting to them.
  • Use email marketing to introduce the attendees to each other before the event. With their permission, share a couple of short sentences alongside a link to their LinkedIn profile.


Accelerate your online events strategy through Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Experts at Atlantic Technologies have created a series of packages known as ‘Accelerators’, to implement front-end and back-end CRM, ERP and BI systems into your business quickly, efficiently and effectively. Our new Accelerator for Online and Physical Event Management is a solution that supports marketing departments through the entire event planning process. The Accelerator presents visual data from your planning, launch, communication and reporting process, into one single source of truth. Our video demo will enable you to discover how the Accelerator integrates Salesforce tools such as Salesforce CRM, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Survey and Tableau Software to better understand the impact and possible improvement relating to both your online and physical events.


Communications; managing a personalised, multichannel approach

Salesforce Marketing Cloud enables you to plan your event using the Salesforce hierarchy. You will be able to plan a multichannel approach according to your objectives and your budget. Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder will help you to deliver the right messages, at the right time, in the right way taking your target audience through the events marketing funnel from awareness, to consideration, to conversion. The Accelerators integration of Salesforce Einstein will help you to understand the best times to communicate your digital events through email, SMS, social media and social media advertising.

Creating and tracking ad hoc paths through the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder will enable you to understand the effectiveness of your small-group online events to help refine the customer experience and understand which lengths of events are more popular, how many events target customers attend, which subjects and times are most popular, and which attendees convert into customers.


Benefits of the Atlantic Technologies Accelerator for Online and Physical Event Management 

From setting budgets, through to analysis and reporting, the Accelerator for Online and Physical Event Management provides a single source or truth that different departments throughout your organisation will benefit from in the following ways:

  • Event Manager will allow you to plan the details of the event as well to as track and define sub campaigns
  • Customer paths and profiles can be created in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to provide real-time data and personalised customer experiences
  • Event attendees are no longer tied to a time and a place. Through webcasts, attendees can register for on-demand from any time and location for months to come. Attendee numbers are far less restricted
  • Increased traceability means that consequent personalisation during the follow-up process can become increasingly specific to help with retention
  • Salesforce Survey allows effective feedback and follow-up to measure customer satisfaction
  • Business Intelligence with be implemented using Tableau to measure engagement, ROI and to provide information to inform future event planning

Whilst we place great value on the importance of face-to-face communication, online events are far easier on your marketing budget whilst being readily available- globally. What’s more as Cisco predicts by 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be video meaning that now is the time to start building video content into your digital strategy.

Interested in learning more? Experience the Accelerator yourself through this video demo and talk to a member of our team.