Leveraging hybrid events to propel business growth in the digital age – Times of India

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Sunil Munshi, CRO, Denave
The B2B sales sector is constantly embracing new technology and approaches in the dynamic business environment of today. Sales professionals are continuously looking for novel methods to stay ahead of the curve, whether it is by exploiting cutting-edge platforms, harnessing cutting-edge technology-driven solutions, or utilising various digital channels. Virtual events and webinars have become incredibly successful marketing tactics in the present company environment. These “physital” events have evolved into a potent sales success accelerator by seamlessly fusing the physical and digital worlds, enabling businesses to gain the advantages of both offline and online encounters.
As a new standard, these online gatherings have proven to be instrumental in supporting physical events by fostering engagement and facilitating meaningful connections among industry leaders.
B2B webinars serve as an effective strategy to build anticipation and momentum for future physical gatherings or physical B2B events. By hosting webinars as a precursor to the main event, businesses can create a buzz and generate interest among potential attendees. These online conferences offer valuable insights, thought leadership, and interactive discussions, introducing key concepts and topics that will be further explored during the physical event. As a result, webinars entice participants to attend the in-person gathering, providing an opportunity for deeper engagement and networking with industry professionals. 
As industry leaders, it’s crucial to investigate how online conferences and webinars have transformed lead generation.
Reducing Costs and Maximizing ROI
Organizations bear substantial costs when hosting physical events, such as venue rental, catering, and travel expenses. Virtual events such as webinars align well with marketing teams’ budget constraints. With budget allocated for digital marketing, market research, branding initiatives, advertising channels, and PR virtual events provide a cost-effective solution to engage audiences and generate leads. Moreover, the recorded webinars can be repurposed and reused, extending their value beyond the initial live event. These recordings can be leveraged to attract new registrations or offer them as resources for case studies or white paper downloads. This not only enhances brand awareness but also contributes to cost-efficient marketing efforts. 
Engaging CXOs and Reaching the Right Audience
Another key advantage of virtual B2B webinars and events is the possibility of augmenting attendance. The physical constraints of events often necessitate attendees to travel to the event’s location, typically limited by its geographical boundaries. Virtual events offer the advantage of unrestricted attendance, enabling individuals from any location to participate and expanding the potential audience size. This eliminates the limitations of geographic constraints and can result in more participants. Moreover, virtual events and webinars offer amplified avenues for CXO engagement.
For B2B businesses, it is crucial to have business decision-makers present at events to maximize the impact and relevance of their marketing efforts. B2B webinars play a vital role in forming a prospect base of these decision-makers, allowing for targeted information collection. Relying solely on physical events can be a mistake, as marketers often encounter a mix of relevant and less relevant profiles. Webinars, on the other hand, serve as a prerequisite for creating a robust database and establishing a healthy sales funnel by attracting and engaging the right audience. 
Unmatched Flexibility for Optimal Outreach and Impact
According to McKinsey, most B2B decision-makers favour digital self-service or distant human contacts. Virtual events and webinars provide unparalleled flexibility that is not achievable through physical events. In physical events, attendance is constrained by the venue’s capacity. Virtual events offer the flexibility to adjust the number of attendees under the event’s requirements. The provision of flexibility in event planning enables organizations to customize their events to suit the preferences of their intended audience, thereby maximizing their outreach and impact.
Access to Information to Ensure Knowledge-Based Decisions
Surge in customer retention rates can lead to a substantial boost in profits. Virtual event participants have the opportunity to engage in real-time interactions with corporate entities and their respective representatives. Increased engagement is observed when the firm provides a platform for attendees to pose inquiries and receive prompt resolutions. Virtual events and webinars can be recorded, enabling attendees to revisit the information at a later point in time. B2B webinars serve as an effective conversation starter, enhancing the quality of discussions and fostering a healthy sales funnel. 
Optimising Lead Generation 
Virtual events and webinars present many technical benefits that can effectively optimize lead generation for B2B enterprises. Utilizing advanced analytics tools, corporations can effectively monitor attendee engagement and behaviour throughout virtual events, providing valuable insights into their target demographic and allowing them to tailor their marketing strategies accordingly.
Leveraging persona-based registrations and region-specific virtual event audience acquisition can prove to be a potent tactic for boosting B2B sales. This approach enables businesses to achieve greater precision in targeting their desired audience segments.
Moreover, virtual events can seamlessly integrate with CRM systems and marketing automation platforms, simplifying the lead capture and nurturing process for businesses that have generated leads through virtual events. 
To conclude, both physical and virtual events hold their own advantages, but failing to leverage the benefits of webinars for B2B lead generation and brand awareness means missing out on significant opportunities to elevate your business. Webinars not only provide a platform to share valuable /insights and engage with your target audience but also enable the gathering of consented data from leaders in other organizations, enhancing the quality of your database. As a connect campaign and targeted audience acquisition strategy, webinars and virtual events play a vital role, complementing the more concentrated approach of physical events. Embracing webinars as part of your marketing arsenal can take your business to new heights and foster meaningful connections in the B2B landscape.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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