How do you make sense of all the virtual and digital offerings these days?
Advances in technology and virtual/digital offerings have been steadily growing over the last 5-10 years in the events industry and with the coming of Covid-19 the offerings have exploded. The technology has remained on a steady growth path. So how do you separate the good solution from the good pitch?
Everyone is now in the Virtual experience game and clients as well as providers are scrambling to figure out how to best utilize these technologies effectively. Clients in particular are finding themselves faced with cancelled shows and events and are trying to understand if virtual events can replace the real thing. In some cases clients are wondering if they bring anything worthwhile to their event marketing programs at all or should they just hunker down and wait for the real thing to come back?
The quick and simple answer is virtual cannot replace the real thing. Face to Face marketing has tremendous and deep value and simply cannot be replaced with a virtual experience. However, we believe that virtual engagement (if done well) can be a good option as a bridge back to when live events return and (if done thoughtfully) a strong add-on to enhance live events going forward.
Clients are bombarded today with the word virtual which has come to mean everything from an online Zoom meeting to augmented reality. The first of which everyone is growing tired of and the second is a high-end option that is not right for every budget or product. The best option is always the one that make sense strategically, fits the budget and delivers a strong and measurable ROI.
At Branded Area we find our most popular offering is when we combine three key components for our clients. An interactive VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE with a DIGITAL MICROSITE that is specific to a REAL EVENT either live, virtual or a regular tradeshow that has temporarily gone virtual.
We think of the VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE as the cool factor that attracts and engages visitors, the REAL EVENT is the date driven destination that compels visitors to show up (virtually) and the DIGITAL MICROSITE serves as the business end of the package, ensuring strong ROI with a registration page to capture unique visitor data and areas that offer the visitors the ability to download information, watch product specific videos or learn and experience what they would at a live event.
Once we get back to live face to face events that typically last 2-3 days, a well done virtual experience can serve as a strategic add-on that expands the timeline around the event capturing more visitors and leads than typically possible at a live event alone and thereby increasing ROI.
Take a look at our demo of a client micro-site and virtual engagement experience here.