How to manage Online and Physical Corporate Events in the Digital Age
The Corporate Event Management, whether they are digital, webinars, live-streaming, or physical initiatives, usually cover a large part of the marketing budget. With the outbreak of Covid 19, many of these activities have been canceled, rescheduled or, in the case of physical events, converted into online appointments. Often, however, these improvised modifications haven’t guaranteed the maximum efficiency of the planned initiatives and it has made targets for marketing and sales impracticable.
Let’s evaluate how to face the challenges in managing online and physical events and what are the best practices to follow in the digital age.
Challenges in Online and Physical Event Management
Whether the corporate event is virtual or physical, the marketing departments that deal with its management must face fundamental challenges to get the most from the initiative:
- Involve a significant number of target people and the right companies
- Ensure an impeccable customer experience for registration, during the event and follow-up
- Begin the progressive profiling of the generated leads and consolidate them.
These are activities that affect the various phases of managing an event and require a holistic view of all interactions with the target audience.
To meet this need, our team of experts has implemented the Accelerator for Online and Physical Event Management. Developed on the Salesforce Platform, the solution supports marketing departments throughout the planning, launch and reporting process of corporate events and webinars in a single stream. The Accelerator integrates Salesforce CRM, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Survey and Tableau Software. To give you the opportunity to discover how it works, we have created a Video Demo that illustrates the best practices and advantages for companies.
The phases of Corporate Event Management
Every event requires different methodologies and approaches, depending on the themes and target. However, the goal remains the same: to promote the company’s information in the best manner and responding to the needs of the target audience.
In order for this goal to be achieved, it is important to organize the event in these 4 phases:
- Preparation: configuring the campaign, target and budget
- Invitations and engagement: Customer Experience, Multi channel approach, and Customer Lifecycle
- Execution and Follow-up: Customer Satisfaction, Brand Loyalty and Brand Awareness
- Engagement and Reporting: ROI and future campaigns.
1. Preparation: configuring the campaign, target and budget
The 3 key points of preparation for managing an event, both online and digital, can be entirely managed within the Accelerator Events by Atlantic and concern:
- Entering details about the event: such as the appointment of the Event Manager, the geographic regions involved, the selection of the type of event (e.g. webinar, conference, workshop, etc.) and the registration form to be published on the web page.
- The creation of sub-campaigns which distinguish, for example, the actions to be planned for different targets: invitation emails for company database contacts or promotional campaigns with banners, social channels, etc.
All this information is configured within the Event Accelerator and connected with the solutions of the Salesforce Ecosystem.
The campaign hierarchy at the base of Salesforce allows you to separately manage the targets that have different characteristics and then go on to create ad hoc paths, messages and experiences. In the case of webinars or corporate events, a distinction could be made between profiles in the database and contacts acquired from advertising initiatives aimed at increasing the number of subscribers to the initiative.
In the latter case, Advertising Studio, inherent in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, makes it easy to achieve marketing goals through advertising. In fact, it is possible to reach prospects with YouTube, Instagram, Google Ads or Social Studio. Similarly, you can find new prospects with similar audiences (Lookalike) and re-engage inactive users in the customer journey associated with digital advertising.
The budget allocated for the initiative
Salesforce allows you to detail a general budget for the webinar or corporate event and a detailed budget for the sub-campaigns, in order to monitor spending and therefore the return on investment.
2. Invitations and engagement: Customer Experience, Multi channel approach, and Customer Lifecycle
Even in the invitation and engagement phase of the target marketing, there are three main points to consider for the success of the event.
The customer experience within the whole initiative is, as mentioned, one of the fundamental challenges in the realization of corporate events.
In recent months, we have been bombarded with invitations to virtual events, smart-meetings, webinars. etc. Companies have had to face the organization of online events for the first time or increase their number in order to win over the target audience. Too often, however, we have witnessed the management of events through spreadsheets and calendar invitations that have made the experience exhausting for companies and low quality for the participants. During the invitation and registration phase, a positive experience guarantees the generation of leads in target and the creation of the audience that will participate in the event.
Organizing the communication of invitations to corporate events or webinars in an effective way must take into account all the touch points with the contact at our disposal, aiming at the message that can involve him more, selecting the user’s preferred medium and choosing the time of the day which in the past has generated more conversions.
It is not only important to communicate with the customer, but you must ensure a positive experience that starts from the first invitation to the start of the event and further communication after the event. In the customer’s life cycle, the steps that the user goes through in the relationship with the brand must be planned according to a personalized path consistent with his characteristics and preferences.
The Events Accelerator by Atlantic integrates specific solutions for all 3 points presented. Thanks to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder feature, the Marketing Manager is able to build customized paths based on the audience groups collected in the sub-campaigns. In the case of the target reached through advertising, it is possible to download an app and schedule a calendar of push notifications that guide the user towards conversion, that is, registration for the event.
While, for invitations to the known customer base, you can send an email or a text message and, thanks to the Salesforce Einstein component, choose the best time to start the communication.
3. Execution and Follow-up: Customer Satisfaction, Brand Loyalty and Brand Awareness
Let’s put aside the execution of the event or webinar because these are particular to different companies and objectives. Instead, let’s look in detail at how the Salesforce Survey in our Accelerator can measure the level of satisfaction of the participants, understand their interests and consequently build future journeys that accompany them towards the set goals.
For users participating in the online or physical corporate event, it is possible to initiate Brand Loyalty actions, measuring their level of loyalty. For registered non-participants, however, we will work on Brand Awareness by understanding their knowledge of the brand or the company’s products.
As a last point, Progressive Profiling processes can be started, adding information collected through the survey to the contact profile. All the recovered data can be analyzed within our Event Management Accelerator and contribute to the creation of new clusters of distinct targets for interests.
4. Engagement and Reporting: ROI and future campaigns
This is the phase in which we analyze all the information collected in the previous steps. The goal is to calculate the ROI of the initiative and the level of engagement of the users involved. Based on this information, it is then possible to plan future campaigns or better structure the collaboration with the sales office. It is therefore important at this stage to have tools for analyzing and sharing information with the sales team. An excellent opportunity to launch new marketing strategies in the B2B and B2C fields.
But how can you access the analysis of this data? To meet this need, we have integrated the leading Business Intelligence tool Tableau Software into our Event Management Accelerator.
The solution provides a dashboard with the tracking of email invitations to database contacts and measurement of the level of engagement: openings, clicks and registrations. It is possible to learn which geographic areas performed best and which were the most interesting topics, so as to plan future initiatives.
The advantages of the Event Management Accelerator for online and physical events
As we have seen, a solution that integrates all the actions required in the management of an online or physical event into a single flow has numerous advantages. Here are the main ones:
- Dynamically link every interaction with users, the data available and their behavior in real time.
- Reduce the time invested in managing manual tasks by automating repetitive actions and using a Visual Analytics tool like Tableau Software.
- Ensuring multi-channel communication according to user preferences, both on database contacts and through advertising campaigns.
- Optimize expenses thanks to an immediate view of the costs of the individual objectives of the initiative and the ROI.
- Coordinate the activities of the sales and marketing teams, thanks to the sharing of customer data through the solutions of the Salesforce Ecosystem.
Want to find out how to improve the Corporate Event Management process? Request a personalized demo and our consultants will analyze your needs and present the best solution.