4 Ways Virtual Events Can Spark Your B2B Marketing with Jon Kazarian, Accelevents: Show Notes & Transcript
Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
This is Episode #128 and we’re talking virtual events with guest Jon Kazarian, the Founder and CEO of Accelevents. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!
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Marketing Smarts Episode #128: 4 Ways Virtual Events Can Spark Your B2B Marketing with Jon Kazarian, Accelevents
How are you liking the modern world of virtual and hybrid events compared to the traditional world of solely in-person events? There are certainly pros and cons of each format. Virtual events have many, many perks that can help spark your B2B marketing efforts. For starters, virtual events allow you to grow your credibility as a thought leader, create a comfortable space to build relationships, can be more economical, easier to facilitate, and frequent, and reduce the barriers to commitment. There are also several key ways to maximize the success of your virtual event – before, during, and after the event. We wanted you to learn from the best of the best in the event space, so we welcomed on Jon Kazarian. He’s the Founder and CEO of Accelevents, an event technology platform here to facilitate every type of event – including virtual events, webinars, large conferences, field marketing events, and more. This episode covers everything from B2B marketing to thought leadership. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:
- How can virtual events spark your B2B marketing?
- What type of events work best for small-and-medium-sized businesses?
- How do you measure the success of a virtual event?
- What should you do after your event to continue to stay top-of-mind?
- Can virtual events really do the job of live events?
- What does thought leadership have to do with virtual events?
- How do you create a comfortable space for building relationships?
- What are the top barriers to commitment with events?
And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at: ForthRight-People.com.
Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:
- 4 Ways Virtual Events Can Spark Your B2B Marketing with Jon Kazarian, Accelevents
- [0:00] Welcome to Marketing Smarts
- [0:30] Anne Candido, April Martini
- [1:39] Learn more at Accelevents.com and LinkedIn
- [2:18] How can virtual events spark your B2B marketing?
- [2:20] You grow your credibility as a thought leader
- [5:19] Marketing Channels
- [6:20] Creates a comfortable space for building relationships
- [6:38] PR (Public Relations)
- [8:50] Anxiety
- [11:16] Data
- [13:56] Technology (Tech)
- [16:05] Can be more economical and easier to facilitate, which means you can have more of them
- [19:14] Content
- [21:00] Podcast
- [22:28] Referral
- [23:32] Maximizes attendance by reducing barriers to commitment
- [31:56] Recap: How can virtual events spark your B2B marketing?
- [33:04] Marketing Smarts is sponsored by ScottMautz.com. Scott Mautz is a popular keynote speaker and #1 bestselling author whose latest book and talk Leading from the Middle helps middle managers dramatically increase their influence up, down, and across their organization. Want your company’s middle managers and leaders equipped to foster a high-performing organization? Want them inspired to drive the change and transformation that’s a challenging necessity moving forward? Go to ScottMautz.com to check out Leading from the Middle and all of Scott’s keynotes, trainings, courses, and books
- [34:01] What type of events do you think work best for small-and-medium-sized businesses?
- [36:21] What type of event is working best right now?
- [39:24] Sales
- [40:58] How do I measure the success of a virtual event?
- [41:25] ROI (Return on Investment)
- [46:39] Ok then, what should I do after my event to continue to stay top-of-mind?
- [53:12] I am hesitant to give up my live events. We do a lot of business there. Can virtual events really do the job of live events?
- Final Thoughts
- [55:19] Learn more at Accelevents.com and LinkedIn
- [56:08] Recap: How can virtual events spark your B2B marketing?
- [57:17] Make sure to follow Marketing Smarts on your favorite podcast spot and leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts
- [57:24] Learn more at ForthRight-People.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- [57:31] Sign up to view all the ForthRight worksheets & tips for FREE!
- [57:37] Shop our Virtual Consultancy
What is Marketing Smarts?
From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?
Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer.
Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.
Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it. Welcome to Marketing Smarts. I’m Anne Candido and I am April Martini. And today we’re gonna talk about how to leverage virtual events to spark your b2b marketing. So before COVID, many of you likely have had some level of event hosting, sponsoring or attending in your marketing budgets. And this was primarily responsible for a lot of your networking and lead gen. But during COVID, when live events were shut down, virtual events began to emerge. And as COVID continued, like once wonky platforms became more sophisticated and accommodating. So people started feeling more and more comfortable with them. And now maybe you’re seeing solid success with virtual events. And it’s really begging the question, do I still need live events?
April Martini 1:11
Yeah, we would just say there is value to live events. There’s the human factor of networking, like ansaid, as well as the experience of seeing people actually live and in person. But there’s no no doubt at all, that these events can get super pricey. So virtual events can be a good solution to allow you to engage with potential customers in an easier and really more economical way. And more often, especially given the fact that they’re popular now coming out of the pandemic.
Anne Candido 1:36
Yeah, absolutely. And to help us dive deep into this topic, we have a special guest, Jon Kazarian, the Founder and CEO of Accelevents. Hey, Jon, you wanna introduce yourself?
Jon Kazarian 1:47
Hey, thanks for having me on. You scared me a bit during that intro with the fear of live events. I’m a huge fan of live events live started? Yeah, there’s certainly a happy medium between virtual and live. Yes, yes. I’m Jon Kazarian. I’m the Founder and CEO of Accelevents. We are an event technology platform here to facilitate every type of event from virtual events, through webinars to large flagship conferences, even field marketing events.
Anne Candido 2:14
Awesome. So I’m sure we’re gonna be talking about a lot of those today. All right, so let’s jump into it first, so first, how virtual events can spark your b2b marketing, you grow your credibility as a thought leader. And most if not all of us compete in a commoditized industry, like, let’s just call it what it is. And we can definitely say branding and marketing is a commoditized. Industry, we may have new lenses for which we see the world or new things or our approaches, or techniques or channels that become the most popular ones to actually concentrate on now. But the concepts of branding and marketing have been around for a very long time. That said, a key way of differentiating in these commoditized industries is by becoming a recognized thought leader. And when people believe you know what you’re doing, trust is built. And so a way you show that you actually have a pulse on the industry is by hosting event you create value for the people that are in your industry as well as you, right. And so this helps you to elevate your stature and your status by allowing you to take the lead on a topic that might be very, very important to your industry. And when you show up as that leader of that topic, then people start looking at you and thinking about you in a different way, they start kind of seeing you as a de facto leader, or or knowledge holder on this topic. And this is even true if you’re a curator, right? So sometimes you may not have the solution. But by bringing around and bringing in people that are the experts, you start creating, again, a center of excellence or a center of value that people will then want to come to because you are the place that they can get that value.
Jon Kazarian 3:54
Yeah, essentially to sum up what you just said, you win mindshare, through content and community. And as you think about the mechanisms for creating content and community events, our number one events bring together you your thought leadership, but as you mentioned, it brings in your network, the industry influencers, the other folks that are thinking about what’s going on, and it helps you position yourself, your company as the one that’s bringing that forward, that’s educating your customer base, your prospect base, your audience, and at the same time, you’re creating opportunities for all of those folks to come together and learn from one another. And that’s ultimately what it’s all about, about that sense of community and helping us all evolve and grow.
April Martini 4:39
Yeah, and I think, you know, you both bring up a lot of good points. But I think one thing it does is it allows you to provide the forum but not have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. And so you get more credit, quote, unquote, for the fact that you’re providing the place for everyone to come together and bringing together the right Folks, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the voice and all the conversations, it doesn’t mean that you have to own every single interaction. And so there aren’t, I think a lot of times you put a lot of investment into marketing channels. And the payout, may or may not be equal to that. And this is one where I think you can expect that the value you are creating in the clout that you are getting is large based on the work you have to put in. And not to say, it’s not a lot of work, it’s just that you don’t have to handle it all.
Jon Kazarian 5:30
Yeah, and let’s not forget the fact that it’s a great way to open up the door with potential customers, right. And if I don’t mean in the sense of inviting somebody to come and attend your event, but when you can reach out to somebody who’s a potential customer and say, Hey, we love what you’re thinking about. We love what you’re talking about. Come share that with our audience, you’re providing value to that person, and you’re getting an opportunity to tell your story to that person in exchange for them participating at your event. It’s, it’s a great way to build that relationship.
Anne Candido 6:01
Yeah, I’m pretty last what we do on the podcast, too. Yeah. Right now equals for that, right? Works. No, that’s great. Great, great points. All right. Our second point for how virtual events can spark your b2b marketing is a creates a comfortable space for building relationships. So I come from the PR world at P&G, and I had to do a lot of events, all kinds of events, small events, big events, but the ones that could really stick in my mind as when I was doing dermatology outreach, and I got to go to all these DERM conventions. Now, that sounds like boring and laborious. But let me tell you, I’ve been to Hawaii a couple times I was there in Vegas a couple times this place was like always, it was always in someplace really nice, because derms never wanted to go to anything. That wasn’t nice, right? But the conventions were very much the same. So we had a booth, right? You had a man the booth, you had happy hour. So there was a lot of red wine and cheese balls, we called it the red wine and cheese ball parties, right. And then you had dinners and you had golf. And these are really great social events to kind of come forth when with people and kind of meet people face to face, and maybe have like a very quick connection. But it didn’t really I don’t feel like facilitated like long lead or relationship building generation that a lot of businesses need now in order to continue to help their businesses thrive. So you got that immediate, like, Oh, here’s my business card, especially if I want to win something, right, you put your business card in a little pot toward when something or here’s my badge to scan and you start generating your leads, and you feel really good that you walked out with a bunch of leads. But then you know, when you start to correspond with those people that you thought were you know, hot leads, your materials go into their email inbox, never to be seen again, heaven forbid, you still send things through the mail, it sits in a mailbox, it probably nobody ever knows, like where it’s at. You never see those again. So I think like, it’s very interesting how the virtual event space has brought in like a new frame of mind when it comes to events. And a lot of people would say, well, virtual paths are just so impersonal, right? You don’t have that human connection. But I actually think that that’s actually not true. And I use the analogy of our kids, right? Like, maybe you’re still new to it. And John, I don’t know if you have kids yet. But like, the biggest thing we’ll say is like if you compare, like our generation to our kids generation, like our kids are very, very comfortable sitting on their phones, having group chats, engaging in like, any kind of like virtual forum and or any of those sorts of things, that that feels like connectivity to them, it feels like they’re actually engaging with their friends, more than actually going and seeing their friends, right. And so I kind of equate that to how virtual events are starting to kind of create this community, where it’s really great for people who may have a little bit of anxiety in like in those live events, or maybe don’t have the time or the energy or the space in order to go engage in those or if you’re a little bit more introverted, because you kind of have like a little bit of veil of anonymity, right. So you can actually engage in the way that you want to engage. And it can be very passive, it can be very active. And I’ll use an example because I was just participating in a virtual event by the crew, and there was a keynote going on. And people were just flying comments back and forth and a chat. Oh, I love what you just said, Yeah, me too. Where are you at? I’m here, I’m there always should connect. Like, that doesn’t happen in a live keynote. Right? Like, you can’t, right, right.
Jon Kazarian 9:25
And even if you look at that, even like a little bit deeper, the threaded messages. It’s not just that that conversation is taking place alongside what’s being presented. But then you hit these points, these controversial points where there’ll be like a thread going, right. Carry on for the entire entire presentation. You can’t do that in person unless technology is there to assist and we’re seeing more and more of that. Hmm, that’s interesting.
Anne Candido 9:49
That’s interesting. How do you seen that come come alive in knows the live events?
Jon Kazarian 9:54
Well, we’re seeing with with in person events in person conferences, there’s a 3x adoption in a mobile app. for attendees as compared to 2019 levels, and I think that’s for a couple of reasons, one of which is that organizers event organizers have been delivering so much more insight and data to the rest of the organization that the rest of the organization has come to know and expect that at a time where events make up 25 to 40% of b2b marketing budgets. And well, we all know what’s going on in the economy. So budgets in general are under scrutiny. The other part of it is that attendees have come to expect technology to play a bigger role in events, so they don’t want to feel like going to an in person event is a step back, because they don’t have access to something that they didn’t have, compared to virtually.
April Martini 10:41
Yeah, I think that’s really interesting. I think you’re getting at the point of bridging the gap, and learning from both sides learning from each other, basically. Right. So I feel like and you just mentioned the dollars spent, and I said it in the intro, but more critically than ever, given where the economy is, I feel like that scrutiny has to equate to richness that pays out the value equation that people are looking for. But then you also touched on the data piece of things, right. So if people are able to participate on their app while they’re in person, and also when they’re on the virtual event, you’re collecting that data and able to share it back. And also, I think the real time feedback is really interesting. So when the side conversations are going on, which I think some people would first be like, well, they’re even paying attention. But it’s like, no, they’re showing enthusiasm for what the discussion is. And they’re able to be engaged and participate in a way that they’re not. I think, a lot of times those of us who speak at live events stand up there. And we’re like, is this resonating or not, right? So you have that feedback, whether it’s immediately in the room, seeing them engage or on the chat, and you have it working both ways, but I hadn’t really thought about learning from both sides and leveraging what’s working and making a more intentional experience, which then I think gives you a reason for when you’re doing virtual, and complementing that with in person and vice versa.
Jon Kazarian 12:10
Yeah, and even to the point of, of hybrid events, right? There’s more and more content that’s taking place where there’s a in person presentation, and there’s an audience, that’s two times the size at home watching, and they want to engage as well. And they don’t really care if the person that they’re chatting with is sitting across the world or sitting in the audience at the event.
April Martini 12:30
Yeah, it’s a really good point.
Anne Candido 12:32
Yeah, I think that’s gonna be interesting to see how that all evolves. Because, I mean, I remember, like, the only virtual connects we had during live events would be like, you know, texting your person be like, Oh, I can’t believe that person just said something. Right.
Jon Kazarian 12:45
Right. But your network in that case, was the two or three other people that you know that were there, right?
Anne Candido 12:49
Yes, yes, yeah. So now it feels much bigger and much more connected. So I think that’s gonna be very interesting to see. Especially, you know, if you if you’re interested in this, this is where you definitely need to reach out to John and, and have him help you walk through what technology can be implemented so that you can create more engagement, experiential engagement around even your live events, because I think a lot of people still kind of are hesitant to engage in a virtual environment in a live event, because it’s just so far, and they’re like, I’m here to meet people talk to people. So you know what, I don’t get this kind of thing. Do you? Are you seeing that, Jon?
Jon Kazarian 13:25
So it’s interesting, because if you look at the studies of event planners over the past 10 years, the questions around what is it that is their biggest challenge? Over the past 10 years, the answer has consistently been event engagement. Right? We all thought that was the big thing when it came to virtual events. But the reality is, nothing really changed. And now we have these tools at our disposal, because event tag basically grew 10 years in two years, that help assist that at the end of the day, look, technology is never going to, it’s never gonna solve the problem, the contents not good. If the networking opportunities aren’t there, if the event design doesn’t facilitate that experience, technology’s not going to fix the problem, but it can certainly assist it. And that’s where we’re seeing organizations have a ton of success right. Now. The other aspect, and this goes back to your intro is, is as you think about the meshing of those virtual experiences with the in person experience, you’re creating an opportunity for people to get to know each other virtually in an environment that frankly, most people are more comfortable with today, then walking into that ballroom or that that function hall, whatever it might be where you don’t know anybody and you’re awkwardly doing that dance of like, looking at your phone, trying to pretend that you’re too busy to talk to somebody. It’s not why you’re there. But you can you can set those meetings in advance. You can figure out who’s worth your time who has common interest, let the technology break the ice. I mean, we’ve been doing it with dating apps for 15 years, why should it be any different with events?
Anne Candido 14:57
And now universities are doing it my daughter just did that. That was part of the whole intro in onboarding for Mercer to so I think a lot of universities are learning that as well. And it’s dramatically helps to kind of warm the entrance, if you will. So you’re not going in so cool. So I love right.
Jon Kazarian 15:13
And to your to your other point around. People just generally feeling more comfortable with it the loudest voice, it’s the loudest voice in the room syndrome, right? The people that have been complaining or dying to get back in person events are the ones the 1% of people that don’t feel awkward in that ballroom. Yeah. Right. So true. But for everybody else, like yes, it’s fun, we want to get back a lot of us because we want to get back and see our friends not, it’s not that easy to meet random people. So events, virtual events have just made events in general much, much more accessible, and not just accessible from the perspective of necessarily a disability, but they’ve made it more socially acceptable. And if we can break that ice, we can open the door for a lot of people and a much, much larger audience.
Anne Candido 16:02
I totally agree. I totally agree, really good point, which leads nicely into our third point, which of how virtual events can spark your b2b marketing, which is they can be more economical and easier to facilitate, which means you can actually have more of them. So before when we were counting on that big event that we’re investing a lot of money or a lot of time and to do a lot of heavy lifting. Now you can actually subdivide your effort over multiple events, which actually creates more opportunity to have more connections with your clients and your target consumers or your customers. And you can also series the content. And so you can kind of touch on different areas of your service and your service offerings to create a more compelling and a more complete overview of what you actually do. And then when you partner with a platform, like what Jon offers, you can manage operations and logistics in a one stop shop and let him do that. And you can concentrate on things like you says like, it doesn’t matter if you do a virtual or if you do a live event, if the contents not good, then it doesn’t matter, right? So you can concentrate on things that are very important, like your content, like I’ve been called spending a lot, a lot of time when I was doing event on things like booth what the booth looks like, what the swag bags look like, what the food menus were what, you know, all the party planning pieces, like you said, and sometimes the content was suffered a little bit as a result, because you’re trying to create the experience the wow factor, more than you’re really kind of thinking about what what does the content needs to be in order to create the most amount of value. And I also think and I think you’ll agree with us to Jon is that it’s an easier way to disseminate your content. So when you’re already on the form, or maybe now with the hybrid and the way that you can actually use some of the virtual app features in an actual live events, we already in that environment of virtual, you can feel much easier to disseminate the content, like if you’re looking at a presentation, you can pull that presentation down, a lot of speakers will offer that presentation right at the moment. So it’s right there, it’s right there for the taking, you’re not waiting for a link to come through in your email or things like that. And so I think that could be a really fantastic way of really kind of getting that message through and a quicker way in a more complete way, in order to help to push that relationship down the actual funnel that you’re looking to lay down. What do you have to say about that?
Jon Kazarian 18:14
Yeah, so you’re essentially building FOMO, you’re creating a community, again, you’re creating a community around those series of virtual events that get to this point where you as an attendee feel like you can’t miss that in person or that, because it’s the one culmination of this network that you’ve been building over the past six months or a year. And the other aspect from the event organizers perspective is that you’re de risking that in person experience, because you know, you’re already going to have an audience, an audience of attendees, potential speakers, potential sponsors, all of these stakeholders are ready to go and they’re going to participate in that event. So you’re investing in the long term of the community that you’re building, and along the way, generating a ton of content to repurpose across the board. You know, today, there’s been obviously a lot of a lot of focus and growing focus on LinkedIn and Twitter and getting executives at your company to generate content and, and put themselves out there as a thought leader, and for a lot of folks, they either don’t want to do that. They think it’s too time consuming. But one thing that you can do is get them to speak, because that’s something they’re more familiar with, they know. And then you can take that content and you can repurpose it. And when we were talking a moment ago about reaching out and getting speakers from your target accounts, to come and speak at your event. It’s not just about going after that particular individual and asking them to speak, go after the demand gen folks go after the content team, go after the event people and tell them hey, here’s all the content opportunities that you’re going to get. And all the ways that we’re going to help you repurpose this material, if you can get this person to come and speak at the event.
Anne Candido 19:56
Super smart. Yeah,
April Martini 19:58
I think it’s a really good point. I mean, we talk are often about evergreen content for one. And then also using your content in a really smart way to the point you just made where you don’t think about it as a single speech, or a single touch point, or even like you guys, were just talking about, you know, having six touch points before you get to the event, right, you’re building intentionally, the plan, and then also the content that goes with it. And then in a very smart way, pushing the content out through all these different vehicles, we have now to continue to create connection points with various people. And I liked the point that you made Jonathan, about engaging the teams that do this for their living, versus relying on the people that are giving the speeches to be the ones to do that, because I agree with you. I mean, we’ve been talking about this sometimes with the podcast, right? We encourage people to share it, we give them ways to share it. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But I think your point is right, if you can get to the people where that’s a natural thing that they’re going to go and do. And they do that and they see the value in that they’re the ones that are going to push that out and say, Hey, this is making my job easier now. And I look like a hero for the company. And then you’ve engaged them with you. So now they’re part of your community and your network moving forward, which I think takes us back to the original point of using virtual and in person together. And you can have a lot more a lot more engagements, quantity wise, and touch a lot more people. But then there’s a lot of intention behind which ones you’re using and why.
Jon Kazarian 21:38
Yeah, and it’s all about intention, right? Every aspect of event design from the attendee flow to the way that you’re bringing in speakers. And I could, I could probably spend the rest of this recording just talking about ways that you can, you can bring speakers into the fold into your sales pipeline, just through doing that.
Anne Candido 21:55
Do you want to give everybody like one or two points on that?
Jon Kazarian 21:59
Yeah, I’ll give you one more. So I think this is more appealing for in person events. But one thing that you can do is, as you look, at the end of the day, you’re trying to get this person to be your internal advocate, right to sell on your behalf. One other thing that you can do is offer them free tickets to your event, even an expense paid trip, if they’re able to get this person to come. And then the other thing that you can do is if the market the event on your behalf, give them a referral link. Platforms like ours are going to track that for you. You can say, hey, if your referral rank link generates 50 registrants, we’re gonna give free 10 Free tickets to your team to come. And now this person, again, has not only become a hero to the executive that they’re getting to speak, and the rest of the marketing team for the collateral, but also all the people on our team, they get to travel to that awesome have that. That’s great.
Anne Candido 22:47
Yeah, that’s think that’s awesome. That’s like behind the curtain. And I’m sure you just made somebody’s like life very happy. And hearing that because now they’re gonna be like, Oh, my gosh, it’s brilliant. That’s what we got to do. Well,
Jon Kazarian 22:57
in your comments around like being able to turn all this stuff in the content. Right? We just came up with like, four blog posts. Yes.
Anne Candido 23:05
Exact right. Yeah, you have to think about it from in terms of media, not just content, I think, you know, media is the scale to content is what I always say. And so if you think about one piece, how you disseminate into multiple different pieces across multiple different channels, you now just created media, right? And that’s the gold right now. Right? So I love that point. That was super, super important point to bring up. All right, so our fourth point, how virtual events can spark a b2b marketing, although this is turning into how hybrid appliance could work. Okay, that’s okay. We can flow here. It maximizes attendance by reducing barriers to commitment. So I think we can all agree that the three biggest barriers to live events are usually cost travel and time commitment, right? So those are the three things that you’re always battling when you want to have a live event. And since virtual events generally have less pass through cost, because you don’t have facility and food and all
Jon Kazarian 23:58
those, I interrupt you on that, I think is a port that we already talked about, oh, yeah, those are the three for the people that want to be there. The fourth one is the person who wants the content, but has the social anxiety preventing them from actually wanting to be there.
Anne Candido 24:11
That is a super, super good point, since we hit on that. And I did not put that here. But yes. And I think that’s actually probably one of the more important points as we think about the way that we are engaging now in business, and how much we put attention into how to bring those people out in smaller settings and meetings and those sorts of things. And I’m making sure that everybody has having a seat at the table, that your voice isn’t being drowned out by the fact that you have the loudest person in the room or you feel some sort of social anxiety. So I think that’s a really important point to say, because then you start feeling a little bit more inclusive. But in addition to that, it was digital events being what they are, you do have now that flexibility to manage cost in the way that you want to manage costs. It becomes a strategic choice now about how much you want to charge and so then you can be a little bit more inclusive, not Only of folks who have may have social anxiety just based on the platform. But folks who may not have the money to in order to attend event, people who don’t have the time to be away from home, or be away from their jobs, so you give them a little bit more flexibility and being able to engage. And I think a lot of people will say, then well, you know, when people are on a virtual event, they could get highly distracted, right? You have your computer in front of you double in multitasking, whatever. But I’ve been to enough live events where I’ve seen people roaming the hallways, right with their phones, taking calls, I see them like leaving early and coming late. So they can take meetings. I mean, I don’t think the virtual event and multitasking virtual event is any different than multitasking and live events. But John, you may have a different opinion on that. But I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Jon Kazarian 25:48
I so strongly agree and disagree with you on this one. Oh, awesome.
Anne Candido 25:51
Love it when people disagree with us. agree and disagree. I’m saying I agree and disagree. So bring it weeks
Jon Kazarian 25:57
ago, I in the middle of the day, jumped in Uber, went to the airport and flew to inbound, never bought a ticket to the event. And I went just for the networking opportunities, did he go to a single content session. But these larger events, these like, like mega events, they build an ecosystem around them of opportunity. And, again, I’m bringing it back to in person events. But the point I’m getting at is you can’t expect 100% attendance at an in person event just because it’s in person. That’s not the way the world operates. People are there for a lot of different reasons beyond just the content itself. And the same is true with virtual. And if there’s one particular session at your virtual event that’s really, really compelling and interesting to somebody, they have the opportunity for joining that in a virtual world, they are not going to fly halfway across the country to go to that in person event to learn the one session that’s engaging them. And you know what, now that you’ve got them in that in person event, they might stick around for longer than they thought they were going to because there’s a couple of other things that have caught their eye. So I think that the the way that we’re evaluating this shouldn’t be, hey, I’m hosting a two day eight hour a day virtual event. I only consider the success if somebody is there for at least seven hours a day. That’s that’s not the right way to look at this. How engaged were they for the aspects of content they were there for? Are they going to come back? Are they an advocate for our brand? And frankly, did they learn something? Or did they meet somebody? Did they get value, change the focus, make the focus about providing value and providing opportunity for your audience? And they’re going to be advocates, they’re going to remember your brand when they come looking for whatever it is that you do.
April Martini 27:35
Yeah, I mean, you hit on one of my big pet peeves, which is this whole notion that people can focus for that many hours at a time, especially given the digital world that we’re in now. And like you I have some, I see the value of both sides being in person and also being virtual. But you know, for example, my husband was gone for seven straight days. And it was like back to back to back for the Seventh Street days. And of course, okay, part of me is like, I didn’t want to be away that long, because then I have our two young kids by myself. Alright, that’s the selfish part. But I just don’t understand. And I feel like that’s a little bit of an archaic approach to the thinking around these events is who actually has the ability to spend that much time focused on this one thing, given how many directions were pulled in how many different pieces of content we see every day. And so I think the value equation has to change where it’s more to your point of what is each individual finding value with? And how do we provide those things so that the right people get them the way they want to consume them and the amount of time they have, versus we’re going to put on this big event. And we expect that every person coming, if they’re not coming for the full time is coming for multiple days in a row, and they’re only focused on that, I think we’ve got to think about more of what you’re doing, John, which is alright, how do we optimize given that we have digital and in person? What works best for each one? And how do we make sure that we’re really choice for and we’ve said intentional several times, about what we’re putting out there, so that it is valuable in the time that people are going to actually spend versus making the assumption that they’re coming and being there the whole time.
Jon Kazarian 29:20
Yeah. And with the move towards more people working remotely, the excuse of, hey, this person isn’t in their chair, they’re attending this conference. It doesn’t really work that way anymore, right? You’re measured on your output today. And you can’t afford to disappear for four days at a time anymore. And if you’re in a virtual environment, yes, you’re going to you’re going to be selected. You’re not going to sit in the room because you’re stuck in the venue. You’re going to deviate and do some other work and you’re gonna come back and frankly, again, it comes back to event design, intentional event design, set up your campaigns in advance so that you can reintroduce and re promote the content throughout the day to get people to come back and If you want to be very tactical about it, you can even use engagement data. Which sessions do they bookmark? Which sessions do they view or speakers? Do they view and build sequences and campaigns in advance and trigger them off when you see your platform should tell you this, but when you see drop off from an attendee, reengage them 15 minutes later, say, hey, this keynote is coming up soon. Put a picture of the speaker in it, whatever else you need to do to get people back into the platform.
Anne Candido 30:27
Yeah, and the fact that you can do that so much in the moment now, there’s no excuse not to Yeah, right. So that’s being again, like you said, very intentional, but also very much engaged on both sides, and not just like, putting it up there and then crossing your fingers
April Martini 30:43
to set it and forget it. And yeah, that’s what we’re saying. Even in the moment. Yeah.
Jon Kazarian 30:46
No, it can’t be I mean, when it comes to thinking about your event, your rent programming, and this is whether it’s virtual or in person, it doesn’t start the day of check in, it starts far in advance of that you want to create opportunities for people to get to know each other beforehand, you want to create that environment where people are there in seeking each other out. And that’s promoting the attendee pool, it’s promoting the speakers so that they’re looking for that, and you need to design your content around that. And the event doesn’t end after either. You have to be building these sequences that are going out and continuing to keep people in the fold and in the loop. And the other aspect is with each of these different events, you need to have a call to action. CTA and if you don’t have a CTA, the easiest and most obvious one is get them to register for your next event. I was at an event in Austin about a month ago. It was a two day event. By noon on the first day, the event organizer had sold over $100,000 worth of tickets for their event that wasn’t for five and a half months.
Anne Candido 31:49
Yeah, it’s amazing. Yeah, smart. All right, so let’s just sum up the four points that we just talked about, about how virtual events can spark your b2b marketing. First is you grow your credibility as a thought leader. So most of not all of us compete in some sort of commoditized industry. And a key way to differentiate by becoming a recognized thought leaders hosting an event or show you have your pulse on the industry, and it helps to build trust. Next, is you create a comfortable space for building relationships. So like we’ve talked, not everybody likes to actually engage in a live setting. So the virtual setting can be very freeing for many and make them more apt to be themselves. So because of this veil of anonymity. Next is it can be more economical and easier to facilitate, which means you can have more of them. So before when you had to count on to one big event to do a lot of heavy lifting. Now you could subdivide your effort over multiple events, create more opportunities to have connections with your target customers and clients. And finally, maximizes attendance by reducing barriers to commitment. So we said there was three, but there’s actually four big barriers to live events, which is cost, travel time commitment, and just social anxiety in general. So virtual events can alleviate much of these, so you can strategically choose who you want to attend, and then how many. And with that, we’re gonna go into our next section, which is in the trenches where we give real world examples specific to industries and situations. And I’m sure a lot more examples from Jon on this one. But hopefully, you guys can take these and then apply them and get really excited about your next event. So our first in the trenches question, what type of events do you think work best for small and medium sized business? I think this probably lived largely depend on the business. But Jon, I was gonna turn this one over to you. So you can give your thoughts and your expertise here.
Jon Kazarian 33:32
Should I put this in like the world of startups series, ABC,
Anne Candido 33:37
maybe that’s been on the on the early side, but then like, you know, your small and medium sized businesses that are maybe not your big, like fortune 500 companies, but you know, your small or medium sized one to hurt they can like how do I build thought leadership here? How do I really break through, especially if I’m not the biggest? I’m not I don’t have the most money, I don’t have the most, the biggest reputation or the most clout right this moment?
Jon Kazarian 34:01
Yeah, yeah, that’s the fortunate part about virtual events, you don’t have to have almost any money. And you don’t have to have the most clout, you’re gonna have to accept the fact that you’re starting at a much smaller point. But as compared to renting out an in person venue, you don’t have that incredibly high fixed cost, that when we looked at like these people call them vanity metrics. But then vanity metrics around in person events, attendance was a big factor, because you had to offset the fixed cost. And in virtually all fixed costs is so much lower, you’re talking about basically the cost of providing coffee on site for each attendee. So when you think about it, that way, you can start at whatever level you’re at, you can get your audience there, invite your customers, your partners, and I want to come back to the topic of inviting partners, and then do that outreach. We talked about to get those speakers and start to build that audience. Each event is going to build upon itself and this is also an investment it’s an idle ideology that You’re you’re building into, it’s not just building into events. It’s building into this belief that the way that b2b businesses are going to win going forward is through the development of content and community. Events is a massive aspect of that. Social is another huge component of it as our other online and offline mechanisms and community, you’re deciding to invest in all of that. And as you do, so you’re going to start to build that clout. And you’re going to start to get more opportunities to bring in more influential people into your into your marketing fold, and they’re going to drive attendance to your events.
Anne Candido 35:34
And are you seeing more like keynotes style events, working better webinars, style events, training events? Is there a specific format that seems to be working better?
Jon Kazarian 35:44
We’re seeing everything frankly, I wish I could tell you that there’s one thing that’s working particularly well, people love panel conversations. Okay, yeah, especially ones that get a little rowdy.
April Martini 35:57
Controversial, your data.
Jon Kazarian 36:01
And to the to that point, it gets it gets to the thread, right, threaded messages, that’s where you get the audience is going after it two or three people, but they’re not blowing up. They’re not blowing up the main chat and distracting everyone else, because they’ve got a little home where they can go and in go at it with one another. In terms of the other types of events. I mean, we see everything from product launch events. That’s a big one. Actually, I’ll touch on that. And I’ll touch on that. Yeah, I mentioned I’m in I’m in Florida right now, there’s a hurricane rolling through one of the largest industry events in the marine industry, Ibex was supposed to be in Tampa today, and it was cancelled. Obviously, they had to for safety reasons. But that’s an event where many of the exhibiting companies have spent all year building their product launch cycle around this industry event. It’s something we’ve seen with ces for what three decades. Yeah. And now what we’re seeing is that companies are starting to prefer to own their own audience and to launch on their own cycle. Yes, they’re still participating in those mega events, and having their presence there and using it to create PR and buzz. But they’re not tied to it in the same way. Because they want to own that audience and own that that launch cycle. So again, product product launches are huge one, other customer events. And we think about net dollar Retention and Expansion revenue. customer marketing is a huge growing topic right now as it should be. And this is a great way again, to create opportunity for your customers to learn from one another. Zapier is a customer of ours, they’ve got an event coming up in two weeks. It’s one of my favorite events, a because they launch new stuff that I get to use and saves me time. Yeah, exactly. But also, because it’s really interesting to hear the way that their customers talk about the way that they’re using the product. And I learned from that. Yeah,
April Martini 37:43
I mean, I think what we’re getting at here is events used to be more in isolation, and or your one big thing of the year, right? Like, I’m notorious for being like, hey, no one is spending $300,000 or not at the size we’re talking about on TV spots, to have one spot one time a year run a handful of times, and in replacement of that the ecosystem has started to develop. So I think you’ve got to think less about that old positioning of it being your one hit wonder, and this is the way we do it. Versus now it’s how does it participate with all of the other channels and touch points we have out there, inside and outside and after the event that is taking place? Because I think that you’re right, and we got into this debate and of you know, there’s been data out there with some of the shows that have come back. They’re like we sold everything on the floor. Because we were back in person, we were like, Did you or is it because you morphed your sales and production strategy over the pandemic to be smarter. So that stuff was sold before you actually hit the floor? It was already on the floor, right? Yeah, yes, exactly. They
Anne Candido 38:49
just did the the handshake, the PR handshake
April Martini 38:52
rang the bell at the event. But I mean, I think the the point is really well taken. And then also just I want to reinforce the point again about people’s roles and positions within the events and making sure that you’re being inclusive of everyone. And what I mean specifically on that is it isn’t just about charming the sales folks that are there and making that sale to the conversation we just had, it’s about all of the different people because of the different channels we have, and the different ways that we’re interacting now. Yeah,
Jon Kazarian 39:23
yeah, into your point on the different channels. I mentioned partners before, but if you’re a company that has distribution partners, agencies that you work with that are implementation partners, integration partners, whatever it may be, it is incredible opportunity to bring them into your ecosystem as well. Let them exhibit at your event, either virtually or in person and do it for free. Do it in exchange for them promoting your event. It’s the most powerful mechanism to get you this you’re working towards the same audience right. And that customer base already trust that existing vendor. So we see some people really executing on that well, and they stand out. But I’d like to see more people doing that.
Anne Candido 40:09
That is a really smart move. I agree. All right, our second in the trenches question, how do I measure success of a virtual event? And, Jon, I think you alluded to this, where you’re talking about, you really have to go back and look at why you’re having the event in the first place. Right? What’s the point of the event? Is it to grow to thought leadership is to generate leads to close deals? It’s to disseminate information, is it to grow your your, your the value that you’re having with your current client base? What is it, and you really need to try to quantify something around that in order to be able to find ROI? Now, the thing is, with virtual events, like we said, it’s there’s less monetary investment, there’s still a lot of time investment. So it’s also really important to check with the people who are investing their time and say, Hey, did you get value from this? Are we getting more closing more leads? Are we closing more opportunities to reach out to folks and, and be able to bring them into the fold? Are we bringing our partners and our retail edifying to partner relationships, all of those sorts of things. But I think it’s really important to recognize that this is supposed to be part of a comprehensive marketing plan, we talked about it being 20% 30% 40%. But there’s those other elements that also need to work on its behalf in order to be able to make this thing as big as it possibly can. But also keep in mind that some of these things that you are generating in the moment, are at the beginning of the funnel, right, it takes some time in order to build those relationships in order to close people, which means, as you mentioned, you have to have, and you need to think about the ecosystem before, during and after. So Jon, we can give a little bit more details about how you help your your clients figure out what kind of ROI they’re generating and how to define success criteria.
Jon Kazarian 41:51
Yeah. Before I do that, let me ask you a question, though. If you create content during an event, you start promoting that content, somebody ends up booking a demo, they become a customer, but they’ve never attended that event. What do you attribute that to?
Anne Candido 42:08
You know, that’s always the million dollar question quite literally. Right? So you could always ask them about how did you hear about us. But we also know that once you hear about somebody, it usually takes five to seven times of engagement in order for them to actually complete the actual communication. So it could be lots of different things.
April Martini 42:27
Well, and this is why it’s so hard to prove the value of these items, specifically, right? We’ve been talking they’re all entertainment system. Yes.
Jon Kazarian 42:34
Yeah, they are. And it gets even harder. When you really capitalize on those events, you start to create even more content out of them and push it into different different channels. Events end up not getting attributed everything that they’re that they deserve. I mean, even you mentioned impression. So you’re promoting this event, you’re promoting yourself as a thought leader. Again, somebody who doesn’t necessarily ever attend is getting the brand awareness, either directly from you promoting it or from any of your partners or speakers promoting that event. Not I’m not sure where that falls. In terms of measuring ROI ROI. Yes, there’s a couple of questions you have to ask. One is where does this particular event fall in the funnel? Right. So obviously, if it’s a customer event, it’s bottom of the funnel, maybe you’re using it for expansion revenue, I’ll give you an example of where that ROI is very easy to measure. Let’s say you’re a company like HubSpot, you’ve got a customer who’s attending your event. They’re only using your CRM product today. But you notice that they’re checking out a whole bunch of sessions related to your service hub product. Now you reach out to them, you realize that they’re actually up for renewal with their call it intercom right? And they decided that they’re going to move over to HubSpot? Well, in that case, you could make a pretty, pretty easy argument that that event gave you the insight you needed to get that person over the finish line. Again, bottom of funnel, but we could also be looking at events that are designed for prospects and being thought leadership events, we can continue to move it up the funnel and look at more brand activations. And some of those are hosting events yourself. And sometimes that’s just participating in other events. So you have to identify where in the funnel that particular event is intended to be. But the other part is, once you figure that out, and you’ve said, Okay, here’s how we’re going to measure success. And there’s a lot of different ways that you can measure success. You want to get buy in from the rest of the organization and say, Hey, this is what we’re setting out to do. And if we do it, and we hit these three KPIs, then we’re calling this event to success. And that could be frankly, it could be registering, it could be a legion event where what you care about is getting a certain amount of contact information. If we were running a campaign for a white paper download or an ebook download, we would call it success based on the cost the CPL right cost of each lead that you’re generating. So many cases that’s true for events as well.
April Martini 44:50
Yeah, I mean, and I think it’s, it’s a good point because it is so gray and I already made the comment that it’s hard to tie marketing dollars back anyway. able to it’s even harder when you have all these different things going on. So you’re talking our language in terms of goals and setting those up at the beginning. Because if you don’t do that, then automatically it’s going to be called a failure by someone’s perspective, because they’re interpreting something different than what you are. And then the other important thing, I think you said there is not just stating what those goals are that you’re trying to achieve, but gaining alignment and making sure that everybody feels like those are the right ones. Not that it’s designed by committee, but so that it makes it a lot simpler. And then it becomes more crystal clear for everyone surrounding the event to know what they’re working toward and be able to make changes and choices and decisions in the moment. Because they know what they’re setting out to do and what their role is in the bigger collective set of goals.
Jon Kazarian 45:47
Yep. And especially if you’re putting on a series of events, when you do have a set of metrics that you’re looking for, it’s easier to track progress.
Anne Candido 45:55
Yep. Yeah, really fair. Yep. All right, are third in the trenches question. Okay, then what should I do after my event to continue to stay top of mind, and we’ve talked about this a little bit, but let’s get really tactical here. Because you do need to have regular ongoing touch points of value, because that’s how you continue to bring people down the funnel, no matter where you are. So it’s either closing the deal, or continuing that relationship building so that you can actually get that deal eventually, right. And these are outside of your mass marketing. So a lot of people will just post pictures of the event on social and say, okay, yeah, so we kind of completed the circle here. But that is not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about curated ways of engaging, we’ve talked a lot about a curated ways of engaging during the event. And we talked about in pre event, but there’s also the post event to kind of continue to keep the relationship going and continuing to build that relationship along the way. So we’ve seen people offer special deals, to those who attend, you’ve talked about the fact that the person who was putting on an event had $100,000 worth of sales for his next event, not even all the way through the first event. My guess is there was some sort of deal that was offered in order to sign up for that event. So maybe not, but my guess that’s probably there was
Jon Kazarian 47:06
no there was in that case, it was it was significant. I think it was 60% off, they sold the tickets to the next event at cost. And he even came on in stage and said, Hey, we have 10 left, that’s the most we’re doing. We want to make a profit, he was fully transparent about that as he should have been. And this is the most that we can afford to sell at this price. By doing that, yes, he gave up some of the capacity. But now he’s got all of these people in his rotation for the next five and a half months, they’re gonna be the biggest advocates and get their friends and colleagues to attend that event and ultimately pay full price for it.
Anne Candido 47:42
Right. Yeah. And that’s the that’s the virtual cycle that continues to happen, right. We’ve seen people do newsletters with the continued to offer very valuable insights to continue to disseminate their content. So people can have that way of of continually reminded of their services and the quality of their services, ongoing content releases and other forms like video webinar, training opportunities, so other things that they can get access to or gets unlocked as a result of attending the event. Discussion Forums are a big one where people get to go in and they create that and cultivate that conversation around certain topics and ongoing engagement there. And then personal outreach, like if this is a top lead for you then reach out with very customized emails or discussions or phone calls or meetups that allow you to continue to progress a relationship. But what you’re hearing me say is that they need to be curated and customize a win. If somebody tries to do on a mass scale, I feel like it really loses the authenticity and you kind of lose a little bit of the specialness that people get by participating in the event to begin with, especially if they feel like everybody is now getting the same access. So Jon, what do you think there? What are the tactics that you help your clients cultivate as a result of after the event?
Jon Kazarian 48:57
Yeah, it really depends on on what the nature of the event is the size, how many people are involved. One thing that I’ve seen, well, frankly, I’ve done and I’ve seen others do that worked really well is if you’ve met a couple of people just follow up and find a way to provide them value. It could be Hey, I met these three other people, would you be interested in Introduction to any of them or these other people in my network? Would you be interested in intro to any of them just find ways to provide value to somebody after the event. And this isn’t something that you can do on a mass marketing approach. It’s not going to work that way. But if you’ve got prospects that are at that event, each of the account executives can look at those prospects. Hopefully they chatted with them, either virtually or in person, and they can follow up with maybe it’s introductions, maybe it’s I noticed that this person was particularly engaged in this set of content. Here’s the deck even if it’s something that they haven’t explicitly asked for, but if they’ve shown interest in that and follow up specifically with that, so it does come down to creating very personalized follow up because just throwing a deck of business As cards out there, that can’t be the way that we’re measuring success anymore, it doesn’t. It doesn’t translate into SQL into opportunities, when you just send out a blanket generic email to everybody, we’ve all been on the receiving side of that. In fact, over the past two weeks, I won’t I won’t name which company it is. But I had registered for two sort of field marketing events on the back, one on the back of inbound one in the back of Dreamforce. I unfortunately only made it to inbound, I get the same follow up email from both of them. And it was just the same generic message didn’t really help. And in fact, I responded to the first one saying, Hey, we’re really interested in your product, now’s not a good time, let’s touch base in three months. And I still got that same generic follow up emails. This is where having a deep integration between your event platform and your CRM is critical.
April Martini 50:48
Yeah, man speaking our language on that, for sure. We rant about that all the time,
Jon Kazarian 50:53
right. But it’s why we’re seeing that event tech is a massive new channel or not channel, but a segment of martech. It has to be. And with the you know, when events happen once or twice a year, it wasn’t as relevant. But today, where you’re hosting so many more events, your event program might be 12 events per year, because it’s that mix of virtual and in person, it has to be far more integrated than ever was in the past, or else you’re gonna end up in scenarios where the communication doesn’t match. And those are just events that you might be hosting, when you get into these field marketing events that are part of a larger event ecosystem on the back of one of the mega conferences, then the programming can go up 10x From there,
April Martini 51:31
hmm. Yeah, and I mean, I think the point is well taken of on one side, don’t send the throw away. So you’re better off not to send anything than to send that because you hear it in our voices, the anger, anxiety of getting those I mean, I just have to I try very hard to just delete it. My, you know, my brother keeps telling me like, I don’t know why you can’t let it go. I’m like, because I’m in this space, and it makes me crazy. So on one hand, don’t do that. But then on the other side of things, you can really benefit from the personalization, and also the proactivity. Right. So we’ve talked about having lots of other people at your disposal at these in different roles. You just gave a great example, John of how to go ahead and make sure that the touch points are meaningful and done with intention and anticipate based on the behavior of the target, what then would be helpful for them. And I think when you can find that ability to be one to one, yes, but also proactive in nature and show that you understand something about them that really starts to get to that holy grail of okay, they actually get me because all of us have been on the receiving end and participated in the other side of that, that I just talked about.
Jon Kazarian 52:44
So I actually I posted about this the other day on on LinkedIn, but really, it’s it’s building a framework for that follow up. And when I have a conversation with somebody on at an event virtually or on site, I’m writing down. What’s one thing that’s going to remind me about this conversation, so I can follow up with that. What’s one thing that I said I was going to do for this person, whether it be an introduction to somebody else, or I said that somebody on my team was going to follow up? And what’s one thing that they might have to offer me so that I can make the ask about that. And it takes me a second to do it often what I do, if I like hand phones back and forth with somebody and we find each other on LinkedIn, I screenshot it and I email it to myself. And then I just put those notes in the email for me, that’s the fastest way. Or if it’s a business card, I take a picture of it. And I do the same thing. I don’t know. I’m sure there’s better ways out there. And I’m in technology, so I should have found them. But
Anne Candido 53:37
fine. That’s what I do. Yeah,
April Martini 53:40
I use the notes on my phone. That’s what I do. Yeah. It’s it’s fast, and it’s not intrusive to whatever else you’re doing. So exactly. Because
Jon Kazarian 53:47
you don’t want to be again, you don’t want to be the person running around with your head in your phone at the event. You want to be off your phone, like you gotta go into those networking events, being like I’m going to meet this many people, this is how I justify the time the cost to travel to go to that event. Right.
Anne Candido 54:02
All right, so our third and final segment is a marketing smarts moment generally. But when we have a guest be turned over to our guests to help us close this out and wrap it up. And so Jon, we turn it over to you and give us any other tidbits information, final thoughts, but and also tell everybody where to find you.
Jon Kazarian 54:21
We are obsessed with customer experience. Our median response time on chat is is less than 30 seconds. So I would suggest that you head over to Accelevents.com ACCELEVENTS.com. Send us a message if you don’t hear from us in 30 seconds or less from a real person, which you will then find me on LinkedIn. It’s Jon Kazarian on LinkedIn and let me know about it. In terms of in terms of suggestions, look, don’t be afraid to start. It’s ultimately that virtual takes away so much of the fear and anxiety that goes into hosting events. And it’s gonna give you the confidence to host an in person event, you’ll make the call when you’re ready to do that, but this is gonna give you that opportunity to do so in a lower budget, build your audience, build your credibility, build trust, and build followers, and you’re going to be able to go out and pull off an incredible in person event, when if you’re ready.
Anne Candido 55:22
That’s great. It’s a great way to sum that up. Alright, so just to recap how virtual events or hybrid events or live events can spark your b2b marketing. First as they grow your credibility as a thought leaders most of not all of us compete in a commoditized industry. So a key way of differentiating is by becoming a recognized thought leader. Hosting event shows you have your pulse on the industry and helps to build trust. Number two is creates a comfortable space for building relationships. Engaging virtually can be freeing for many making them more apt to be themselves, there’s a veil of anonymity to where you can passively engage in still feel part of something. Number three can be more economical and easier to facilitate, which means you can have more of them. Before you had to come that one big event to do a lot of heavy lifting. Now you can subdivide your effort over multiple events, creating more opportunities to have connections with your target customers and clients. And as Jon said, it’s a great way just to get started. And then you can find a way to live event and finally maximizes attendance by reducing barriers to commitment and or biggest barriers to live events are cost, travel time commitment and social anxiety. So virtual events will be that much of these so you can strategically choose who you want to attend and how many and with that will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts!
April Martini 56:35
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