The global pandemic of 2020 has forced most if not all companies to reimagine their event plans for the short-medium term. While in-person events will remain scarce in 2021, hybrid events, and especially fully virtual events, have emerged as the future of the event industry.
In fact, the number of organizations that planned online events doubled in 2020, the main reason behind it being the pandemic. For Marketing, this provides a wealth of opportunities to better engage with audiences, maximize resources, and experiment with new trends and technologies.
Below, discover emerging event trends and how HubSpot's new tool, Marketing Events Beta, can help you measure and attribute the results of your company's next Marketing event.
Virtual event trends, benefits, and risks
According to Event Marketer, 65% of B2B Marketers plan on reallocating some of their live event budgets to online events. Webinars, virtual summits, trade shows, demos, sales follow-ups, and networking events are all examples of popular B2B Marketing event formats. Emerging trends that are already taking place and warrant further experimentation include AR/VR, live translation, chatbots, live-streaming, and more.
While educational purposes and customer relations are a main goal of many virtual events, for Marketers, these events center around lead generation and customer conversion. Through highly-segmented and personalized online events, nurturing and converting leads has more potential than ever before.
Benefits of running a virtual event for businesses
- Adherence to safety and social distancing measures.
- Reduced spending, as virtual events are less expensive than in-person events.
- No limitations on location, time zone, or event size.
- Equal or higher engagement levels than in-person events, according to Digital Information World.
- Streamlined lead to customer pipeline.
Risks and problems faced by online events
- Connection problems, such as poor audio or video quality. Audio quality was ranked more important than video quality by Markletic.
- Low attendance rates, which can affect participation or experience.
- Lack of participation from attendees when the format calls for it.
- Interruptions from attendees (microphones not muted, dominating conversation, etc.)
- Possible language barrier from diverse attendee base.
Platforms and KPIs for virtual events
Let's talk about platforms! Zoom, GoToWebinar, and Microsoft Teams are top choices among businesses for small events and webinars (although with GoToWebinar you can host up to 2,000 attendees!) Intrado, BigMarker, and HeySummit are just a few big-name options for larger virtual conferences. For HubSpot users, discover the top webinar integrations and event integrations with HubSpot.
Now, you don't plan a live event without having a goal or objective behind it, and that remains true for virtual events. The perk here is, with so many integrations and metrics available, it's often much easier to keep track of KPIs and results for online events than offline events. Top "hard" metrics for Marketing events include: invite opens, email clicks, registrations, attendees, no shows, opportunities generated, conversions, and deals closed. "Softer" KPIs extend to engagement, participation, and attendee satisfaction.
Attributing these success metrics is still a tricky subject for virtual events, and this is one of the many problems HubSpot aims to solve with its Marketing Events Beta tool.
HubSpot Marketing Events Beta Tool
This is one of the newest HubSpot tools that it's offering to the public to resolve some of those pesky event metrics that you just can't seem to track and attribute correctly.
The HubSpot marketing events tool can aggregate events from certain integrations, so you can have a consistent overview of your marketing events. It's done through adding an events object to your HubSpot account and creating events through standard integrations with Zoom, GoToWebinar, and Eventbrite, or a Marketing events API.
There are 2 main benefits to this tool:
1. View and analyze your marketing event data directly from the HubSpot platform: With your event platform directly integrated with HubSpot, you'll have all your important data in one spot! In the Marketing events section, you'll be able to view information including:
- Event name, description, status, source, and dates.
- Activity like registrations, attendees, cancellations, and no-shows.
2. Track event data in HubSpot revenue attribution reports: Attributing ROI to your event and related Marketing actions is key in proving the success of your events and making key decisions in regard to future events. Attribute video views, registrations and attendance at events to your ROI. Any contact with a closed deal attributed to these events will also factor into your ROI and reporting.
Although this tool is still in beta, it is evident that it provides many essential metrics that you may be missing from your event analysis and reporting. After all, as a Marketer, you want to know if your Marketing events are truly resulting in customers and ROI for your business.
If you're curious about HubSpot Marketing Events Beta, get in touch with mbudo! We're a HubSpot Partner Agency in Spain, we can help you organize and integrate your event, offer premium video services, and collaborate on a wide variety of other Marketing services.