Running live events for your customers or prospects can have a big impact on your business, but it can also be very costly and resource intensive. So, you not only have to make sure that the event itself is a great experience, but that you’re delivering a positive return on investment back to the business.

My name is Tyler Lessard, and in this Chalk Talk, we’ll explore how you can use video in creative ways to hit your registration targets and deliver a positive value and greater ROI all year round from your next event.

Now, I’ve run a number of events in my time and I know how stressful they can be. You’re trying to hit registration and attendance targets, deliver an amazing experience on the day of the event, and ultimately deliver a positive ROI through customer satisfaction, but also ensuring that your event is resulting in new leads, new opportunities, and new revenue from either your existing customers or new prospects who are engaging in that event experience.

So, let’s talk about how video can help you do each of these more effectively than ever, and it all starts with the pre-event madness. This is where you’re trying to generate interest and awareness to drive registrations for your event.

Building Pre-Event Buzz with Video

The first thing is something a lot of marketers are already doing, which is using video content as a way to showcase what this event is all about, using B-roll footage from previous years’ events, using customer interviews from previous years’ events, to show people exactly what to expect and what they want to come to be a part of.

The second thing you can do is something that’s new and innovative, and a great way to stand out, called personalized video. With personalized video, you can send out a broad campaign to your audience where you weave the individual viewer’s name, company name, or other information about them, right into the video itself as a way to create a memorable and amazing first-touch experience.

It works so well with events because we’re used to receiving an invitation that has our name written right on it, and an event is no different. So, imagine being able to send out a video to 50 thousand, a hundred thousand, whatever it is, people you’re targeting with a video with their own name right in it, maybe on a ticket to the event, maybe on a badge that’s already been printed, something like that, to get their attention and to draw them into the experience. We found that, with events, using a personalized video email campaign, as opposed to a traditional text-based email, generates a five times higher response rate on average, which can be the difference between a hundred attendees or several hundred attendees.

The next thing you’ll want to think about doing is having your own sales team doing direct one-to-one outreach to prospective attendees using personal video messages. Now, what this is is the ability for your reps to record themselves on camera delivering a personal message right to that target attendee. It’s much more effective than just sending the same old email to tell them, hey, you should come to this event. When they get on camera, it creates a more personal and direct experience, and they can explain exactly why that individual is going to get value out of being there.

These are some great ways to make sure that you’re delivering a very personal outreach to get more and more people engaging in your brand, and wanting to come and attend your event. Now, it’s the big day, the event is about to happen. What are you going to do on site at the event to not only make the live experience more valuable, but to collect and deliver content that you can use the rest of the year to deliver more and more ROI?

Live Video During Your Event

Once your event has kicked off, the first thing you’ll want to think about is live streaming your keynotes or some of the main sessions that are happening physically at the event itself. Now, this is a way to extend the reach of the event, on the day of, to remote audiences who couldn’t attend in person. Now, with tools like Vidyard, what you can do is not only live stream the content, but you can use email gates, interactive forms, as a way to generate new leads from those who are opting in to engage in the live content. And this can be a great way to use an event to actually generate net new leads and opportunities in nontraditional ways.

Next, you’ll want to record as many of the live presentations as possible. This can become amazing content for future programs after the event that you can use for ongoing lead generation and opportunity development, or content you want to share with your customers as a way to educate them and improve their satisfaction. So, think about having somebody on site with a camera that can record each of the sessions that you can produce on demand afterwards.

Those same individuals can also be recording interviews with speakers, with thought leaders, with customers, as a way to get interesting new content that you can use on your blog, and in future marketing programs, as a way to, again, get more value out of what you’re doing physically at the event. And, finally, you’ve probably got a number of your own customers there. This is a great opportunity for you to capture live customer success stories, nothing to do with the event itself, but because your customers are all there in one place, maybe you can knock off three, four or five live, on camera, customer success stories that you can use as testimonials throughout the rest of the year in your marketing and sales programs.

When you’re thinking about the on site experience, don’t forget to think like a Content Marketer, and I really encourage you to get your whole marketing team involved to brainstorm on how you can leverage all the investment going into the live experience in different ways that can manifest itself in amazing content you can use all year round.

Keeping the Excitement Rolling Post-Event

Once the event’s happened, you’ve captured a lot of amazing content, people were loving the experience. Now, how can you continue to deliver value the rest of the year? Well, it all lies in leveraging this amazing content you captured. Consider publishing a video hub, where you have all the different recorded presentations, and share that with your customers, or your prospects, as a way to educate or generate new inbound leads, right? What if you have 500 people to your event but 5,000 who come and register to watch the on-demand content?

You are increasing the value of the event itself and actually generating new opportunities from the virtual content that you may not have been thinking about before. The other thing you’ll want to think about doing is use these presentations, these interviews, as great content for your blog or for your other online marketing programs. Transcribe the audio, put them out there. That’s amazing content that is no additional cost for you to create or produce, and it can do wonders for you all year round. I know, when we do an event, we do a lot of these interviews and we sprinkle them out through the year, and we’ve got content for the next six to 12 months that fill our pipe.

So, lots of amazing ways in which you can use video content. Before your event, to generate buzz, at your event, to produce more value from it at the time of the event, as well as use it post event, to generate more inbound leads and more activity, and to feed your content marketing programs throughout the rest of the year.

My name is Tyler Lessard, and this has been a Vidyard Chalk Talk.

Jon Spenceley

Jon is the former Content and Social Media Manager at Vidyard, and is passionate about helping companies get the most out of their video. In his spare time, Jon’s an amateur longboarder, distiller-in-training, and is a sucker for breakfast foods.