Is investing in online events worth comparing to the regular events?
The answer seems quite obvious, right? All marketers know that investing online reaches more people than the old good fashion ways, but how does this apply to online events? Is it the same? It depends! On what you ask? Here’s my opinion on the matter.
Generally speaking, all events around the World suffered a big turn down because of COVID-19’s pandemic. Not just our good old industry events like MWC or IMS, but also music festivals, sports events, even the Euro 2020 had to be postponed! Crazy… but it was necessary to help stop the disease.
With this panic shutdown, the event industry tried to shift towards online to guarantee some sustainability and prevent some predictable refunds, but there are some major differences in terms of the marketing and brand awareness tools they can provide us.
Events in the AD:tech industry are well known for providing not only exposure (brand awareness) but leads for our businesses, allowing us to get in contact with new companies, to showcase our products, to discover new opportunities, and of course, to bring home some cool merchandise!
But what are the actual differences? Almost everything.
Since we turned to remote, our marketing team has been attending some of the online events and so far we’ve noticed the following differences:
- Event flow upside down;
- Leads & brand exposure reduced;
- Inefficiencies & organization problems;
First of all, let’s talk about the flow differences.
Online events can’t offer us the same flow: arriving at the venue, meeting friendly faces, having real and “offline” conversations, discussing on and off work topics, etc.
Instead, events turned to skype meetings, you just need to register online, place a reminder on your Google calendar (or just wait to be bombarded by 20 emails saying the event is about to start), enter the event and attend the talks you’re interested in.
Wait a second… attending talks aren’t exactly our main concern at events (unless it’s Elon Musk speaking), right?
We gave it a shot and attended several talks, unfortunately, we soon realized they don’t work, why? Because the host and the speaker follow a “script” and they don’t interact with the attendees, leaving almost every question unanswered, not mentioning bad internet connections, being the speaker’s major concern to showcase he’s brand and product.
Leads and brand exposure reduced
Regarding leads, if your budget isn’t that big, you probably won’t be able to even show your brand because giants will fully take over the website with their ad placements, emailing, and social media, leaving you very little room to advertise and convert on that.
Let’s imagine your budget is massive and you pay some 5-digit amount to showcase your products and brand. Great! Of course, you’ll get more exposure, but is it worth it?
Check the flow in these online events is:
- Previously select the talks you want to attend;
- Receive email notifications when they’re about to start;
- Click the direct link to the talk;
- Watch it.
In the end, attendees will only need to refresh their tab, never leaving the conference room, and therefore, they won’t be seeing any more brands.
In my opinion, the best way to showcase your brand and get some leads is to join as a speaker, why? Because the investment is low compared to sponsorship packs and in some cases, it’s even free.
People will get emails with your name and branding name for a reduced price.
Inefficiencies & Organization problems
Along with the many events we attended, we saw multiple difficulties that could not only damage your experience as a user but also as a brand.
First of all, there are always internet connection problems when connecting with speakers from diverse countries.
Second, speakers can’t reply to every question placed by the attendees since they have a tight schedule to fill and the number of questions is overwhelming.
Third, the majority of the speakers don’t share their presentations and information.
Fourth, there is always some funny kid entering dad’s room or a dog barking behind, but that’s ok, you will just get used to the background noise.
Fifth and last, the feeling that you get when you attend an online event is not the same. Usually, you’ll be attending the events from home and some distractions won’t allow you to fully concentrate.
We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic was hard on events and that organizations did their best to adapt to the current situation, but the delivered solutions aren’t enough to justify investing in sponsorship packs.
We know there is potential, but compared to the regular events, they don’t deliver the essential leads and brand awareness.