Rethinking webinars to create a standout virtual event

The Coffee with Dell Technologies is an ongoing webcast series targeting Business Leaders and I.T. teams. Prospect attendees are encouraged to take a break, grab a coffee and invest in their I.T. professional development by learning about the solutions offered by Dell Technologies.

The Challenge

Originally held as a webinar series with a thought leader keynote followed by a PowerPoint presentation of our client’s solutions offering and concluding with a Q&A session, the Coffee With Dell Technologies webcast series needed an overhaul. Customers were being bombarded with similar online events from our client’s competitors and there was very little point of difference in the event execution. Our client wanted to give the brand a revamp in terms of delivery in order to spark interest in registering to attend the online event.

The Solution

By unravelling what worked and what didn’t work in past executions, our agency was able to rebuild how the series was delivered by really considering the needs and desires of the target audience. Success entailed a three-step process:

  1. Understanding the needs of the target audience and developing a virtual event blueprint that truly resonates with them.
  2. Building a Playbook to outline the process workflows, define modes of working and ensure consistency of all future event executions.
  3. Execute and continually monitor and flag issues for continuous improvement, adapting the playbook as necessary.

How We Made It Happen

Understanding the target audience and developing a virtual event from those insights was the to the success of this event, as well as future events. Ideas were sourced from marketing industry thought leaders and peers, and insights were gained from survey results and focus groups. This allowed Forum Group to blueprint a new foundation for Coffee with Dell Technologies.

The long-held belief that “death by PowerPoint” was validated, as were the suggestions that virtual events needed to be run live in order to reduce registrant dropouts. Other important findings included:

  • Run time of webinars and webcasts should not exceed 60 minutes
  • Concise content is favoured by attendees (with the option of requesting further information)
  • Poor quality of the online streaming/webcast platform is one of the main reasons for customer-drop off
  • Content is king and should address their pain points
  • Attendees attend a webcast to learn and improve their professional knowledge, and extremely dislike “salesy” presentations

Using these findings and other great insights, we developed Coffee with Dell Technologies as a series of 15-minute pre-recorded pieces discussing the current pain points and challenges that I.T. decision makers face. These assets would be launched by an initial stream to customers and prospects who had registered to view the virtual event stream.

Execution started with creating great content – the key messages needed to resonate with I.T. decision makers and needed to be concise and bring value to attendees. Forum Group was instrumental in shaping the key messaging and the narrative of the production.

A carefully considered pre and post-film production timeline allowed our project team to deliver all assets on time and on budget.

To garner feedback and sales ready leads, a feedback form requesting information was advised at the end of the virtual event stream. Responses were incentivised by offering some great prizes including a new laptop and widescreen monitor.

In addition to the above tactics, our agency executed the event with the solid pre, during, and post-event activities to ensure success:

  • Working alongside our client’s social media agency to provide social media resources for amplification.
  • Set up and management of the streaming platform.
  • Drop out minimisation tactics including personalised outlook invitations, SMS reminders, and follow-up reminder calls.
  • End-to-end live virtual event management.
  • Competition management and coordination of applicable licenses.
  • Management of leaderboard gamification during the event to optimise attendee engagement.
  • Post-event communications and follow-up of those attendees who could not attend.

The Results

  • 134% attendance rate
  • 112% BANT qualified lead attainment
  • 100% ultilisation achievement of Marketing Development Funds
  • 80,000+ impressions via various syndication partners
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