Some of the largest conferences like Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Annual Event and National Equipment Finance Association Funding Symposium have gone completely digital. In the last couple of weeks, we talked about how to prepare for virtual events and virtual speaking. Now, what’s next? Virtual events are the “new norm” for many marketing and sales teams, so event follow-up with attendees might look different. Whether you are presenting or hosting an event, here are a few must-dos for virtual event-follow up.
Send event follow-up swag to attendees
The main attraction of any event should be the content. However, getting prizes from companies, special surprises, and free swag are some of the best parts about attending an event. Sending swag gives your company exposure that goes far beyond attendees. Now with COVID-19 altering the way equipment finance does business, we have to look for new ways to adapt and thrive in the new normal. With limited face-to-face interaction, leveraging virtual technology has become the new way forward for virtual events. Giving attendees swag for event follow-up adds a nice touch of thoughtfulness to the equation. From digital gift cards and digital event bags to virtual fitness classes, there are many options to personalize your swag. Creating innovative swag giveaways will help bridge the gap between in-person and virtual events, providing a sense of normalcy.
Create an online community for post-event networking
Virtual events cannot fully replace face-to-face interactions. One of the biggest downsides in moving to virtual events is the loss of networking opportunities. Although you cannot easily have a nice dinner with attendees or a happy hour, you can create online professional communities. Try to create a networking group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, or other online channels for attendees to network and discuss pressing topics in the equipment finance industry. Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, and LinkedIn has 250 million monthly active users. In short, digital channels are undoubtedly as valuable as live events. Digital channels allow companies to stay in touch with attendees throughout the year. Think of creative ways to provide a valuable online experience to attendee members. From exclusive access to thought-leaders to well-moderated discussions and content, online communities should make attendees feel encouraged to join.
Send recordings to follow up
Unlike physical events, virtual events allow attendees to watch with you live or watch on replay at their convenience. This is a huge bonus as it gives attendees the ease of attending when it is convenient and fits in their schedule. Furthermore, you can use these recordings as great conversation starters and a way to drive additional sales. Sending attendees webinar recordings will give your company greater visibility and help move prospects down the funnel. Especially for attendees that express a high level of interest in your products, the perfect time to connect with prospects is right after your webinar session.
Effective Event Follow-Up
Lastly, effective event follow-up is essential whether the goal of presenting or hosting an event is generating leads, education, or community and networking. The best follow-up should be 24 to 48 hours after the event and provide value to attendees. We hope these tips can bring the best of what has been lost at virtual events this year in the equipment finance industry. The LTi Technology Solutions team hopes to see everyone in person next year!