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Tips for monetise virtual events

Tips for monetise virtual events

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When is the best time to network? How long should your virtual event last in order to maximize business opportunities? How do you close more business? Online event platform Swapcard has published a new report, ‘The Business of Virtual Events’, to mark Global Meetings Industry Day. The guide provides detailed advice and key takeaways on how to monetise virtual events, taking in topics such as the event lifecycle, sponsorships and exhibitor management. Take note of the recommendations! By Paula Rey

The best time to generate leads is the pre-event

The guide shows that… ¡over 95% of leads are generated in the pre-event period! So, Swapcard recommends: “organizers should open the platform ahead of time and implement an effective communication strategy that urges exhibitors and attendees alike to utilize the platform in the days or weeks leading up to the event. There is ample opportunity for exhibitors to capitalize on the interest attendees show in their booths and products before the rush of the live show.” Moreover, during the event, content trumps business networking.

Extending the event lifecycle brings in more business

Do we need a 365-day approach? The guide shows that inbound messages and requests from attendees to exhibitors peak after a live trade show, meaning crucial business opportunities fall into their laps once the event is over. So, the advice for event organizers to create year-round communities where networking opportunities remain available.

Messages and requests are crucial

¡¡41.8% of all inbound business opportunities are missed by exhibitors!! Why? Because they don´t answer. The guide emphasize: “inbound messages and requests from attendees to exhibitors peak after a live trade show, meaning crucial business opportunities fall into their laps once the event is over, as the guide explain”. As an exhibitor you should be more active.

Sponsored sessions are good for business

That’s where they generate the most leads according to the guide, so it means that speaking at a sponsored session during a virtual event is a valuable investment for exhibitors, ¡provides visibility automatically! And also “gives exhibitors a human aspect by giving a face to the brand, and it positions them as experts on a particular topic, making them more credible to attendees”. Don’t forget that attendees spend a lot of time watching sessions.

Virtual booths are important

They are where the business happens says the guide: “the data shows that virtual booths are not to be underestimated, during virtual trade shows of varying lengths, of all the business closed by exhibitors, 30% – 45% is closed through the virtual booth”. So, it means that they should be a major investment for exhibitors.

Don’t be pushy or “sales-y”

Generic sales messages don’t work!An analysis of messages that went unaccepted shows that 64,8% of meeting or connection requests accompanied by generic sales messages went unaccepted”, says the guide. Swapcard recommends that organizers should highlight the importance of a subtle approach to exhibitors’ direct outreach on virtual platforms and should get their exhibitors acquainted with the possibilities and features on the platform.

Are you ready now? You can read the entire guide here. The research presents the results of an analysis of virtual events that took place on the Swapcard platform in 2020. The analysis only includes conferences and trade shows with a minimum of 1,000 attendees and held in a virtual format.