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Nine Ways You Can Use Virtual Events to Train, Communicate, and Sell

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Marketers know that webinars can be great lead-generation tools. Webcasts are also the top solution used by prospects when conducting research before making a buying decision. But virtual communications can also help companies build communities, communicate with customers, train sales teams and partners, measure the success of campaigns, and launch products.

The following nine case summaries illustrate just some of the possibilities.

1. Communicating With Communicators

A provider of public relations management software offers virtual learning opportunities to its customers via virtual conferences and a broad range of webinars where subject matter experts discuss a specific topic or issue. The company also hosts in-person summits; it reports that attendance at those traditional gatherings has not been adversely affected by the availability of virtual alternatives.

2. Enabling Partner Success
A world leader in design engineering software has developed a virtual Partner Training Center, a one-stop, 24/7 training resource seamlessly integrated with an existing learning management system. The virtual Partner Training Center acts as a catalyst for reaching and connecting with partners, arming them with the information they need to maximize sales. The end result: a more professional and engaging experience for thousands of partners worldwide.

3. Shopping for Retailers

This customer webinar series was developed to invite recruiters in the retail sector to get the HR insights they need without leaving their offices. Integrated with a leading marketing automation solution, Eloqua, the webcasts provided sophisticated registrant tracking—unique query strings were generated to track leads coming from the media, emails, marketing newsletters, and sales efforts. In addition, the integrated solution provided real-time registration and attendance metrics directly into the Eloqua system for a consolidated reporting dashboard.

4. A 'Hybrid' Product Launch

With the objective of creating a high-impact launch targeting customers and prospects, one global enterprise used webcasting to supplement a real-world product launch event. That successful hybrid event was designed to reach both in-person conference attendees and online attendees around the globe. Engaging virtual attendees with social media interaction and live Q&A, the simulcast reached more than 3,200 viewers worldwide.

5. The 3 Cs: Community, Conversations, and Communication

With 170,000 customers and 1,200 partners worldwide, a global software leader has a community network of some two million professionals, all seeking product information, thought leadership, and opportunities to exchange ideas. The best way to engage with those two million professionals? A series of webcasts. By leveraging the community, the webcasts expanded reach and generated leads and revenue. A major plus for webcasts is that they also satisfy a primary business challenge—the need for robust, comprehensive reporting.

6. Connecting With a Month of Content

One of the largest software enterprises in the world sponsors a unique, month-long virtual user conference annually. It complements a traditional user conference with simulcasts of 150 key sessions, including keynotes, to a global audience, meeting the needs of customers who cannot attend the conference in person. In addition, the virtual conference extends the reach of the user conference throughout the world. It features a job resource center and a virtual exhibition center with booths from 20 partners.

7. Investing in Client Relationships

A company providing information management systems to the financial services industry replaced an annual in-person meeting with a "Virtual Client Exchange" featuring three separate content tracks, high-level strategic briefings, and tips and hints for specific products from subject matter experts. The event attracted more registrants and attendees than any other event in the company's history and has now evolved into an "always on" virtual environment to facilitate ongoing communication.

8. Bringing Real and Virtual Together

A life sciences innovator captured content from its long-running real-world user conference and made it available, along with live content, in a global e-conference briefing center customized for four markets: Europe, Japan, Asia, and the Americas. The first of its kind in this industry, the four-day virtual briefing center efficiently reached researchers and other global customers who could not leave their labs to attend the in-person event.

9. Meeting the Challenges of a Global Marketplace

Another highly regarded worldwide enterprise, marketing more than 5,000 individual products to organizations of all sizes across the globe, addressed its unique marketing challenges in the Asia-Pacific region with a series of webcasts introducing its products to a diverse audience of IT and business executives in more than 40 countries. Thirty-seven of these custom webcasts were held last year, attracting 14,404 live attendees, which resulted in over 3,900 qualified leads.

(Image courtesy of Bigstock: Business person, technology background).

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Tricia Heinrich is the chief content officer at Bospar, a boutique tech public relations firm.

LinkedIn: Tricia Heinrich

Twitter: @theinrich

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  • by Rishi Tue Jul 31, 2012 via web

    I would also like to share four tips for the 'marketing' of webinars and live events:

    1. Provide clear instructions and a link to the webinar in every email communication regarding the webinar.
    2. Promote the webinar 15 minutes to start via social media. This way, people who aren't busy (and as a result, on Facebook or Twitter) can watch the webinar, spend time, and learn something!
    3. Send reminders about the webinar the day before, and the day of the webinar.
    4. Insert "Add to Calendar" buttons on every webinar email and webpage to make it prominent and easy to add to their schedule.

    Get access to all our marketing cheat sheets at

  • by Eric Vidal Mon Aug 6, 2012 via web

    Tricia, you make some great points here. Those are all great uses for webcasts, especially when the presenter takes the time to prepare the presentation specifically for a webcast audience. It’s different than presenting to a live room since you can’t read audience reactions and make adjustments. It’s important not just to put the webcast out there, but make sure you’re holding the audience’s attention throughout.

    One other “virtual” idea worth mentioning is creating a virtual environment to extend the interaction past the presentation date. I know of companies that have used a specifically-branded virtual environment to do simultaneous global launches of their products to their resellers, and achieved impressive results. The key was having a single place to go to look up information, chat with experts and exchange ideas with other resellers. A virtual environment really helps extend the conversation and create excitement that lasts well beyond the initial event.

  • by JJG Mon Aug 6, 2012 via web

    These are great examples, but I would love to hear more specifics on the platforms and media tools these companies used to make their virtual events happen.

  • by Alexandra Dill Mon Aug 22, 2016 via web

    Virtual communication tools like R-HUB web conferencing servers , webex, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc. helps businesses in reduced travel costs, increased productivity, better client interaction etc.

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