These are exciting times for the virtual event industry. After two years of acceleration in the development of event technology and know-how, fueled by the necessity of social distancing, we are now witnessing a rapidly maturing industry with known strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Audience engagement is one such area that’s long been perceived as the virtual event’s main weakness. This year’s edition of Virtually Live! saw some of the biggest names in the global marketing and events industries come together to discuss audience engagement and turn weakness into opportunity for everyone involved… Here’s a wrap-up of the best marketing event of 2022 (in our humble opinion)!
- What was Virtually Live! 2022 all about?
- Virtually Live! 2022 in 7 impressive numbers
- Campaigning is key to a successful turnout
- In the end, it’s all about the experience
- Give your audience the experience they deserve
What was Virtually Live! 2022 all about?
Virtually Live! is a thought leadership event where thousands of marketers and event professionals from all industries and levels share their experiences, opinions, and tips.
The rapid changes in the event industry generated a need for new skills and expertise in the latest experiential marketing tools and technology, data collection and analysis, and event automation. To meet this need, the leading virtual event solution provider Kaltura created Virtually Live!, a forum for cross-pollination and a great opportunity for learning and connecting with industry peers.
Virtually live! uses Kaltura’s proprietary Events Platform to deliver a seamless, highly customizable experience with more than 50 sessions, hosted by dozens of high-profile speakers, hands-on workshops, networking opportunities, and fun activities, spread across 5 tracks, over 2 days.
The attendees, all marketing and event professionals, got a taste of first-class audience engagement through personal agendas, group and p2p chat, audience reactions, in-session polls and quizzes, gamification, a leaderboard, and more.
Virtually Live! 2022 in 7 impressive numbers
User data collection is a key driver for organizing virtual events. Kaltura Events has powerful analytics running in the background, providing the organizer with essential data for lead generation. But Kaltura’s analytics suite also provides invaluable insights into the performance of your event and the extent to which you were able to engage your audience. Insights that will help you calculate ROI, create meaningful reporting, and keep a foot in the door of your sponsors and partners for future events.
Virtually Live! delivered some impressive numbers:
The play buttons on all sessions have been collectively clicked close to 80,000 times. The key takeaway is that out of those 80K plays, 10,743 happened during the live event on November 15 and 16, 2022. The remaining 68,359 plays occurred after the event, as people accessed the content recordings on demand (by the way, you, too, can watch all the Virtually Live! 2022 content on demand for free). The number of VOD plays will keep on increasing as long as the content remains available!
So, the main takeaway is to always offer your content on-demand after your event. You will reach far more people with your VOD content than you did during the live event. In our case, the number of on-demand plays exceeded the number of live plays by 6x within 2 weeks after the live event. Something to think about for your reach and ROI.
It’s always good to set goals at the start of your project. For us, one of those goals was to reach 4,200 registrants, which is an ambitious goal for a B2B event. That number was set as an attainable step up from the 3,700 people who registered for the first edition of Virtually Live!, last year. Nevertheless, our promotion team felt the heat and started promoting the 2022 edition relentlessly through email blasts, social media, the Kaltura website and blog, paid campaigns, and partnerships. Suffice it to say we crushed our target by 36%.
Of course, registration is a different beast altogether from actual attendance. It is a well-known fact in the industry that only about a third of your registrants end up signing in on the day of the event. Virtually Live! was no exception and welcomed 1,748 attendees during the live event… That’s 31% of the registrations.
55% of attendees engaged in chat and networking
In our global survey The State of Virtual Events 2023, we found that attendees have different expectations from virtual vs. in-person events. Networking is the most important benefit of in-person events for 44% of attendees. Meanwhile, the main benefit of virtual events lies in educational sessions and learning.
With that in mind, we were pleasantly surprised to find that 55% of Virtually Live! attendees engaged in chat and networking, with 6 messages sent per participant on average.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) are leads that were engaged and vetted through a marketing channel and passed along to Sales as warm leads. With Virtually Live! 2022, Kaltura’s Marketing team was able to present the Sales team with 1,814 leads to contact.
Plenty of sponsor love
Kaltura’s Events platform lets you offer great sponsor packages, including branding options on the event homepage and dedicated virtual sponsor booths with meeting rooms, branded video players, bumper videos, banner ads, custom content collections, and deep links to sponsor pages.
At Virtually Live!, about 10-15% of attendees found their way to our main sponsors AWS, Verbit, and Brand3d, and each recorded hundreds of plays on their content.
71% of respondents indicated they will continue hosting virtual events
This wasn’t a surprise to us, but 71% of Virtually Live! attendees, all marketing and event professionals, plan to continue organizing virtual events for the foreseeable future, as a key marketing tool for content creation, brand awareness, industry authority, and lead generation.
Campaigning is key to a successful turnout
It’s the first thing to ask when evaluating any type of event, how many people attended?
Your content is the core quality factor of your virtual event. But if no one showed up to experience it, then what’s the value of your content? You need to drive registrations to have a successful event. And that’s where virtual event promotion and campaigning kicks in.
Here’s the bottom line of our Virtually Live! marketing campaigns:
- 10M+ impressions across all marketing channels
- 180K+ interactions with virtually live-related content
- 60 different email promotions sent
- 6M audience reach
- 110 organic social posts
- 368 shares
- 2,992 engagements
The ad campaigns that generated the most impressions and clicks were our video campaigns (see video example below). Our speaker banner ads (below) were very successful, too. Most of our ads also underlined the free admission which of course removes a lot of friction.
In the end, it’s all about the experience
For Virtually Live! we wanted our audience to enjoy a hyper-personalized, interactive, and engaging experience with a wealth of usable and valuable information.
It’s obvious that we were going to use Kaltura’s proprietary Events platform for Virtually Live! but that’s not just a matter of pride. Kaltura Events is the only platform that offers the level of customization and modularity needed for such a rich body of content and such an ambitious flagship event… and we could lean on our expert Center of Excellence team to build a unique branded event site with all the bells and whistles that would make the experience unforgettable for our audience:
We wanted to display the content in many different ways to help the attendee make sense of all that’s on offer: a “live now” page hero listing all the live sessions, various tracks that categorize the content, content recommendation carousels, speaker showcases, etc. We also had an interactive video guide helping our attendees navigate the event through clickable video tips.
We made the event engaging and interactive through dual video players displaying different sessions, in-session polls, quizzes, emoji reactions, the leaderboard, chat and networking features, personal agendas, and workshops in interactive virtual classroom environments.
This is not just an internal perk for Kaltura. Our Center of Excellence experts are also available to help you create your flagship event! They will sit with you and help you define your needs, lay out the possibilities in front of you, and build your event site from A to Z with all the components you need to launch the perfect event for your brand.
Virtually Live! took place on November 15, 2022, so the live experience is over, but you can still visit the event, watch all of its content on demand, and get a good idea of what you can create with Kaltura Events! The following link will take you there.
The Virtually Live! experience lives on… demand!
Give your audience the experience they deserve
Start your 2023 marketing year on the right foot with a robust event platform that supports your experiential marketing projects from A to Z. You, too, can leverage Kaltura Events’ made-for-marketing features:
- beautiful 4K live or recorded streaming
- ample customization options
- hyper-personalized attendee experience
- audience engagement and interaction features
- second-to-none branding and promotion options
- convenient and fun networking and engagement features
- granular data collection and analytics for unequaled lead follow-up and reporting
- extensive sponsor options that will convince the most skeptical event partners
- … and so much more!
Simply click the link below, fill out the form, and we will talk soon about how to scale your marketing and branding in 2023.