Virtual Events

Old School Trade Shows Are Costing You Time and Money

With 2023 event planning in full swing, I’m reflecting on the virtual and hybrid events I’ve attended over the last three years. When it comes to comparing digital or hybrid events with live in-person events, I’ve realized that without the right tools, live events can sometimes become a black box, which isn’t helpful when trying to successfully track your buyers’ journeys and create bespoke experiences.

Think about it: if you don’t have the data to nurture your visitors before, during, and after an event, how can you personalize their experience and ultimately convert them? You can’t – but with hybrid and digital events, you gain access to data that makes this possible.

Hybrid and digital events integrate seamlessly into your buyer journey

PathFactory’s most successful clients are leveraging analytics and AI to personalize their messaging, provide an interactive experience, and are spending fewer “in-person” dollars in the process. In fact, one of PathFactory’s enterprise customers generated $15M dollars in booked meetings in 30 days by leveraging PathFactory’s Virtual Experience Manager (VEX). Talk about better use of time, money, and insight.

The modern marketers I know are much more focused on diligently tracking every dollar spent on events, having efficient growth, and proving ROI. After deep analysis and some informal inquiries, many of my peers (as well as my internal GTM team) have seen that less is more. In 2022, we saw 3X ROI on the more personalized live (digital) events and as well as webinars compared to large industry trade shows. And we are not alone.

There’s value in physical events, but with today’s economic conditions don’t overlook the power of hybrid or digital events

In the current market, companies are looking to ‘do more with less’ while making every dollar count. What I’ve heard from industry colleagues is that thousands of dollars earmarked for 2023 trade shows are getting cut from marketing budgets, in favor of cost-effective or guerilla initiatives. The good news? Despite the shift in budget, we’ve seen many marketers get the same (if not better) ROI running hybrid events for a fraction of the cost–-with the added bonus of gaining individual- and account-level data that helps create more-tailored buyer journeys.

Curious what this looks like in action? Imagine this scenario:

  • You identify your specific audience and use data to determine the topics and content that will be most meaningful to attendees.
  • Find a speaker and thought leadership topic that is aligned to these topics of interest to draw registrations.
  • Hold the event as an interactive experience during the webinar
  • Follow-up with registrants (both attendees and no-shows), with the post-live event recording and complementary content you know they’re interested in.
  • Continue to nurture them through bingeable experiences, and leverage AI-powered recommendations to keep them in your ecosystem and away from dead ends.
  • Leverage insights to qualify the most-engaged visitors and accounts for dedicated follow up.

It sounds seamless because it is. With digital and hybrid events, you’re giving your GTM access to pre- and post-event buying signals and content engagement data that enable them to create personalized content experiences at every stage of your event.

If you’re one of the many companies that are reviewing their in-person event budget this year, get in touch with us. We can show you how digital and hybrid events can be easily integrated into your buyer’s journey, and can give you access to data that enable content experiences your buyers want.