Event Success

Maximizing the Business Impact of In-person, Virtual, and Hybrid Experiences
Standards Information Network (Verlag)
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 17. März 2022
  • |
  • 272 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-119-81716-1 (ISBN)
Make events the most powerful marketing tool you have

In Event Success: Maximizing the Business Impact of Physical, Virtual, and Hybrid Experiences, Alon Alroy, Eran Ben-Shushan, and Boaz Katz of Bizzabo draw on the knowledge they've gained powering events for companies like Amazon, Salesforce, and Uber to deliver an end-to-end playbook for readers wanting to maximize their organization's return on events.

Event Success will help you unlock the full potential of your events and make them your most important marketing channel. You'll learn how to create elevated experiences in any format that drive strategic business goals, including:

How to measure event success with surveys, data, analytics, and key KPIs
How to integrate events into a strategic, end-to-end marketing plan
How to collect, analyze, and funnel event data to other teams to drive business growth
What events are successful, what the data says about them, and real-life examples from SAP, the Financial Times, IBM, and other leading brands that capture the imagination of their audiences through events

Event Success is ideal for marketers, event professionals, and anyone responsible for creating buzz, driving new sales, and building thought leadership with in-person, hybrid, or virtual events. It's also an invaluable resource for maximizing your organization's "RoE"-or Return on Event-with measurable increases in sales.
1. Auflage
  • Englisch
  • USA
John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
  • Reflowable
  • 0,46 MB
978-1-119-81716-1 (9781119817161)

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ALON ALROY is the co-founder, CMO, and CCO of Bizzabo. For the past 10 years, Alon and his co-founders have pioneered today's modern event software. Alon has partnered with thousands of event executives and CMOs to deliver world-class event programs. He has been recognized as one of Business Insider's "2021's Most Important Marketing-Tech Executives" as well as Eventex's "Top 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry" and Collaborate Magazine's "40 under 40 Young Leaders."

ERAN BEN-SHUSHAN is the co-founder and CEO of Bizzabo. Under Eran's leadership, Bizzabo has attracted thousands of clients globally and is considered one of Israel's most successful startups. Eran has been recognized as one of The Software Report's "Top 50 SaaS CEOs" for three consecutive years. In 2021, Eran was named one of Goldman Sachs' "100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs," one of Business Travel News' "25 Most Influential" executives, and one of BizBash's "Most Influential Event Professionals."

BOAZ KATZ is the co-founder and chief data officer at Bizzabo. As the company's technology visionary, Boaz recognized the data gap and the data opportunity in the events industry. Under his leadership, Bizzabo continues to innovate with cutting edge technology that captures unique data around every aspect of an event to deliver meaningful business outcomes for its customers around the world.
Part 1: Why Events?

Chapter 1: How We Got Here

Chapter 2: Event Success in the Post-COVID-19 Era

Chapter 3: After the Storm

Part 2: Data

Chapter 4: The Age of Disruption

Chapter 5: The Event Data Maturity Curve

Chapter 6: Reaching the Right Audience at the Right Time

Chapter 7: SAPPHIRE NOW: A Case Study in Event Data Utilization

Chapter 8: With New Data Power Comes New Responsibility

Part 3: Audience Engagement

Chapter 9: Engagement in a Hybrid Era

Chapter 10: Choosing the Right Format for the Right Outcome

Chapter 11: Content

Chapter 12: Community

Chapter 13: Experience Design

Part 4: People and Process

Chapter 14: The Rise of the Event Experience Manager

Chapter 15: New Skills for a New Title

Chapter 16: Soft Skills

Chapter 17: The New Path for Event Professionals

Chapter 18: The Event Team of the Future

Part 5: Technology

Chapter 19: The Changing Event Technology Landscape

Chapter 20: Choosing the Right Technology Partner

Chapter 21: What an Event Platform Can (and Can't) Do for You

Chapter 22: Taking on the Future of Experiences

Chapter 23: This Is Our Moment



About Bizzabo

About the Authors

Event Success in the Post-COVID-19 Era

The pandemic has changed our very definition of events, and with it comes a new definition of event success. Prior to COVID-19, virtual events were few and far between. They also often failed to offer much of what inspired people to attend events in person. Such events (webinars, webcasts, online conferences, and digital trade shows) were often effective in achieving specific outcomes, but they were hardly considered a viable alternative to the in-person experience.

As the pandemic progressed, however, the industry as a whole made some incredible strides in improving the virtual event experience-progress that will continue well after in-person events resume. Throughout the remainder of 2020 and the first half of 2021, we saw incredible levels of resilience, adaptability, technological adoption, and rapid innovation. While the sudden transition to virtual events posed a lot of challenges, it also offered a range of new opportunities.

Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Virtual Events

According to a study we conducted in 2020, 68 percent of event marketers believe it is more difficult to facilitate networking opportunities when hosting virtual events, 67.7 percent struggled to maintain engagement, and 52.5 percent were challenged by the logistics of virtual events.

Up until this point, our entire industry was built around face-to-face human interaction, whether on stage, on the exhibition floor, or after hours. Organizers faced the immediate challenge of replicating those interactions, and many are still struggling to overcome this. Keeping virtual audiences engaged, especially during a pandemic that forced many to work from home, was especially daunting. Event organizers have long enjoyed the benefits of a captive audience, but suddenly found themselves competing with everything from incoming emails and phone calls to a dog barking or baby crying in the background. Furthermore, event teams are experts at facilitating in-person experiences, from booking venues to managing logistics, but producing a virtual experience often requires different skills and different tools. Despite these challenges, however, both virtual and hybrid events (which contain elements of both in-person and virtual experiences) offer a range of benefits.

According to our research, 60 percent of event professionals pivoted an in-person event to a virtual format as a direct result of the pandemic in 2020. That year, 80 percent of event organizers said they were able to reach a wider audience with virtual events, more than half increased the number of webinars they produced, and 71.5 percent say virtual engagement tools will play a major role in their event strategies moving forward. In fact, 65.5 percent said their budgets will increase, and 93 percent plan to invest in virtual events in the future.

Virtual events are relatively less expensive to produce than their in-person counterparts, and the shift to a virtual format will dramatically increase their reach. They are also powerful data generators, providing valuable insights on attendee engagement patterns, potentially offering clues to buying behaviors.

An Early Case Study

We at Bizzabo got a first-hand look at both the opportunities and the challenges associated with virtual events at a relatively early stage in the pandemic, and our experience was not unlike others in the events space.

Prior to the pandemic we had hosted a few events of our own-including our IN-PERSON Collective flagship event that took place in New York in December 2019-but the majority of our understanding of events was informed by conversations with our customers and partners in the industry.

As we pivoted toward becoming a virtual events platform in early 2020, we decided to put our new virtual event platform to the test by hosting our own virtual event, which we called (Almost) IN-PERSON.

We sent out invitations to members of the industry in hopes of attracting 500 attendees. Within 24 hours, we had 1,500 registrants. After 72 hours, we reached 5,000. In the end, we had more than 6,000 participants across 70 countries, including representatives from companies like Twitter, Salesforce, and Amazon-the types of brands whose business we had been chasing for years (unsuccessfully, up to that point).

We also received responses from current and prospective investors and most of our biggest clients. We had to figure out a lot for the first time in a very condensed time frame, such as whether virtual events also needed an app (they do) and whether the event should be broadcast live or should rely on prerecorded videos (we did both and learned that attendees definitely appreciate knowing whether or not a session is actually happening live). We experienced a wide array of technical glitches in the days and weeks leading up to the event, as we scrambled to cobble together a viable virtual events platform, but when the moment came, everything went off without a hitch.

It was an incredibly powerful moment for us as individuals, as a company, but above all, as an industry. In the previous few weeks we had all experienced layoffs, budget cuts, uncertainty about the future-nobody in the industry was immune. We had no choice but to build our way out of it, and from that effort we had the opportunity to show everyone that there really was a viable complement to in-person events, that events still had relevance during COVID-19, and that we all still had a future in this industry.

We wanted to bring the industry together not just to commiserate on how unfortunate we all were to be in the middle of this storm, but to shift the narrative and demonstrate how this was actually an opportunity to implement some much-needed change. We had gone from being one of the hardest-hit industries in one of the hardest periods of human history to flipping the script and seizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move events toward a better future.

(Almost) IN-PERSON proved to be a turning point for our company, and dare we say the industry at large. Up until that point we felt like we were stuck playing defense, but after just a few short weeks we were now on the offensive. By the end of the year, we had gone from cutting our staff by a quarter to nearly doubling its original size. In December, we closed a $138 million financing round, our largest to date.

A Chorus of Aha Moments

We were an early adopter of a model that proved successful not only for ourselves, but for other major players in the live events space in the weeks and months to come. At the start of the pandemic we thought the future of our company was in jeopardy, but somewhere along the line, in the lead-up to (Almost) IN-PERSON, we experienced an "aha" moment, when all the challenges suddenly felt small, and the opportunity felt immense. As it turns out, we were far from alone in experiencing that sudden transition from a feeling of desperation to a feeling of possibility.

When the pandemic began, Colleen Bisconti was only eight weeks away from producing IBM's largest annual event, Think. Despite the sudden disruption, it was decided that the event would move forward as scheduled, but on a virtual platform. Colleen says she immediately faced a range of challenges, from technical to operational to practical, as she and her team quickly adopted a completely foreign venue format.

In order to redesign Think in a virtual format, she began by deconstructing the event. She identified the reasons people attended in the past, focusing her efforts on delivering that value in a virtual format.

"What we found was that we had way bigger reach; we had over 100,000 people actually register for this, because it was free and available to anyone, anywhere," she says. "What that taught us was that we could extend our reach way broader than ever before, and it allowed us to reach more clients and prospective clients, more people within the accounts of our key clients."

On the other side of the pond, Orson Francescone was facing the reality of cancelling the Financial Times (FT) Live's 200 annual global events, which typically included a small in-person crowd of a few hundred each. At the start of the pandemic, FT Live decided to host a three-day virtual event called "The Global Boardroom," bringing together some of the world's top economists, business leaders, and lawmakers to break down the financial implications of the pandemic.

"We entered day one of the Global Boardroom with 25,000 registrations; by the end of day three we had 52,000 registrations, so basically 25,000 people registered throughout the event as the word spread," he says. "Consumer behaviors were very different: I can register at the last minute, I don't need to book a plane ticket, I don't need to book a hotel, I don't need to book time off, so I'll decide 20 minutes before if I want to join or not join. That was kind of mind blowing. The fact that our registrations doubled during the event was pretty incredible."

What Colleen and Orson discovered was that even with limited resources and a condensed time frame, they could still deliver value to a broad virtual audience. After that experience, neither intended to revert to an in-person-by-default mentality, even after it was safe to do so.

And they were not alone.

Digital by Default

As Orson and Colleen discovered early on in the pandemic, and as...

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