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Virtual Events Deliver an Excellent Buzz—And Results!

Posted on June 15, 2007

By Brent Arslaner, VP of Marketing, Unisfair

In my last article, I promised a case study on Virtual Events. Well, the timing couldn’t be better. Unisfair was one of the sponsors of Marketing Profs’ B-to-B Marketing Conference 2007 Virtual event held on June 13, 2007. It is still accessible on-demand at: http://events.unisfair.com/mktprofs/microsite/index.asp?code=Direct%20Access. Please stop by and check it out.

Marketing Profs is an online publishing company that serves marketing professionals at both large and small companies. Marketing professionals from IBM, HP, Cisco, FedEx, Kodak, Siemens, Volkswagen, Coldwell Banker, Intel, Sun Microsystems, Best Buy and the Houston Rockets were among the over 500 visitors of our booth during the live event.

I can’t speak for Marketing Profs or the other sponsors (although a few did come into our booth and thanked us for a successful event – booth reps in the virtual world swap stories just as they do in the physical world), but I can share our story.

This was a one-day, six-hour event. Keynotes and presentations by people from the likes of IBM and Google brought in fantastic crowds – easily in the thousands. We were one of many sponsors with virtual exhibition booths.

I was able to customize our virtual booth with our colors, signage, logos and much of the collateral in about an hour. We loaded up the booth with PDFs of our collateral, flash demos of our products and links to other external virtual “marketing collateral.”

The show started 7am pacific time. After making some coffee, I simply went into my home office and logged into my booth rep admin console. With the booth admin console I am able to see who comes into my booth and key details like their company and title. We proactively engaged visitors with greetings and offers of help, and attendees could approach us directly with questions.

By 7:10 am, ten minutes after the start, I was very sorry I only had two of my colleagues staffing the booth. We were overwhelmed with booth visitors. By the time the first session started at 8am the show and the booth visits reached an ideal rhythm.

The net for us was that well over 500 people came into our booth (and I have the names and contact info for each one). We set a half a dozen meetings in real-time for the following days with some very impressive prospects and are following up on well over 100 direct requests for further information.

As a Marketer, you recognize the “buzz” of a successful physical event—this was quintupled. I will have our inside sales and major account reps busy for the rest of the summer!


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