THE BLOG

Planning an Event? Use Digital Technology to Make It That Much Better

06/25/2013 05:11 pm ET | Updated Aug 25, 2013

The world is going digital and so too, are events.

Virtual events have many advantages -- Michael Tsur wrote an excellent piece on that topic for The Huffington Post.

Live events aren't going anywhere, of course. But digital technology can make your event that much better -- for those attending in person and virtually. You can spur event registration, generate sales leads, and engage your employees.

Here are examples:

  • Amp up your event registrations with online video promotional spots.
  • Embed live streams from your event in social media feeds -- Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and community sites.
  • Create interest with a 360-degree virtual walk-around of the event.
  • Don't forget your employees -- promote and show live streams and replays on internal sites.
  • Make your digital feeds interactive with chats, surveys, and polls.
  • Develop a mobile app so people can keep up to date before, during, and after the event. For just this purpose, we at HP developed a mobile event app that connects people at the event with others in attendance within their LinkedIn network.

Generate Sales Leads

Use digital to supplement your event sales-related efforts:

  • Set-up digital connections from your event to sales-related tools such as Salesforce.com. It's a great way to create and preserve contacts for later follow-up.
  • Send an email to your sales force with links to the event website, inviting them to watch live -- and asking them to send similar invitations to their customers.
  • Create online replays from the event specifically for use by sales people with their customers.
  • Use the event as an occasion to conduct a virtual meeting with your sales force. It will help keep them engaged and conserve their time so they can spend more of it with customers.
Be Creative

At our recently concluded HP Discover event, we experimented with a remote-controlled "virtual presence robot." It allowed HP people who were not at the event to virtually walk around the showroom floor and engage customers.

We also used the event as an opportunity to ask customers about an important digital project: a new web design. We would have asked them anyway. However, this was a perfect time and place to solicit their opinions.

The point is this: Events are great for engaging customers. But don't limit yourself -- use digital to expand the possibilities.