Virtual Event Roundup – 8 Insights on Pivoting to High-Engagement Virtual Events

saas breakthrough podcast episode 149

Welcome to a special SaaS Breakthrough Episode with our host, David Abrams, covering the 8 Insights on Pivoting to High-Engagement Virtual Events by 8 incredible SaaS marketers who we were lucky enough to host recently on the podcast.

As we start to come back to normal – or rather, the new normal – we decided to collect the top marketing insights on virtual events from our amazing guests  so you can implement their wisdom in your SaaS Marketing in 2021.

This episode is jam-packed with actionable tactics deployed by today’s most successful companies to engage their audiences creatively and boost their MRR.

Guests included in this episode are:

Kevin Ho at Wishpond (Full Episode here)

Mark Kilens at Drift (Full Episode here)

Jennifer Sabin at Capacity (Full Episode here)

Len Markidan at Podia (Full Episode here)

Tarah Darge at timetoreply (Full Episode here)

Fiona Stevens at LoyaltyLion (Full Episode here)

Marcy Dobozy at Vidyard (Full Episode here)

Juliette Kopecky at LinkSquares (Full Episode here)

Thank you so much for listening, subscribing, commenting, and being a part of this exciting journey! We have more incredible guests lined up for the rest of 2021!

Isn't it time to level up your scrappy marketing team with a weekly dose of high-octane content?!? ?

Show Notes:
Kevin Ho at Wishpond
Mark Kilens at Drift
Jennifer Sabin at Capacity
Len Markidan at Podia
Tarah Darge at timetoreply
Fiona Stevens at LoyaltyLion
Marcy Dobozy at Vidyard
Juliette Kopecky at LinkSquares

David Abrams (01:45):
Let's get started. Let's hear from Kevin Ho the VP of marketing at Wishpond on his process for organizing virtual summits. We'll go through event promotion to event production to even the post event calls to action. Let's take a listen.

Kevin Ho (02:06):
The other thing that we've been doing a lot of is virtual summits. We did one last year, we had around 3,500 attendees. We just finished one up a week ago with 1500 registrants. We find a couple of things you know, those are really good for lead generation, right? So we're going to get a lot of, you know, decent leads who watch a lot of good content and, you know, are engaging with our company. They also allow us to create strong partnerships. So this last summit that we hosted, we hosted a live panel with Shopify and they basically did a Q&A, this is a great way for us to kind of announce the release of some of the things that we're doing. So we released a new Shopify marketing integration a couple months ago. So that was a really good way to piggyback off that.

Kevin Ho (02:44):
And then we also just find there's a lot of non-attributable things that we see that we, you know, we can't necessarily say, Hey, this is the exact reason, but we see like website traffic goes up. So we have SDRs who (inaudible) our blog and our website, and basically chat with people and then book demos with our sales team. They get way more demos when this is happening. We have a list of people that we can follow up with after the event with calls-to-action, you know, Hey, do you want help with this? Here's some resources you can check out. And then on top of that, now we've established really good partnerships for future kind of integrations, webinars, lead sharing agreements, that kind of thing. So I'd say kind of on the, on the new, on the marketing channels thing, partnerships and the live events has been really good for us. And that's something that we're going to continue into 2020.

David Abrams (03:31):
Let's talk about that a little bit more. Cause I think that's such a relevant topic to a lot of companies that are now kind of moving all their events into virtual summits and doing those virtual events. And we did one at the end of last year, for this podcast, the SaaS Breakthrough Summit as well. How did you go through the process of organizing who you want it to be in your speaker panel? How did you reach out to them and, you know, even get them involved in the first place?

Kevin Ho (03:53):
Yeah, so I mean, initially, so in the one that we did back, I think it was in March we kinda just went through our integration partner list to see who would be potentially interested in working with us because there was already that synergy there and we've had, you know, a historical relationship with them working together, promoting our integrations. So that was kind of the first one. We also have a lot of blog contribution contributors that we work with. Those were kind of low hanging fruit as well. I would say we kind of just, you know, I have, we have one girl that works strictly just on outreach and was kind of outreaching to people and seeing you know, who was interested, gauging interests. And then we kind of made a schedule of five days and came up with, you know each day here's what all the topics will be and then saw where everyone would fit within that.

Kevin Ho (04:36):
In the second event that we did. So one of the questions that we asked in the first event was are you a marketing agency or are you a company? I think one of the questions was like, are you a company or you're an agency or something like that. And I think a third of the people from the 3,500 registered said that they were an agency and some of the questions around the summit, like when people were asking, like, how would this apply to my agency? How do I work with clients? So the second version of the event that we ran was specifically agency-focused. And in that case, we reached out to a lot of our agency partners who are working with Wishpond as an agency. We work with Shopify as agency partner arm of things. And then we just kind of basically based off demand, we're saying, Hey, there's a need for this type of content. And then we decided we're gonna run with that.

David Abrams (05:22):
Are you mostly asking for your partners to also do promotion on their side? Do you request or require a certain amount of leads to be driven?

Kevin Ho (05:29):
Yeah. So the first one we didn't. The second one we did do a lead share and there was a minimum requirement. Basically we just said, if you get a hundred leads, we'll give you access to the list. And for us, that's, you know, usually that's someone sending out a newsletter or adding it to a newsletter and a couple social posts. So the requirements weren't super high, but you know, it's a low barrier to entry and it was enticing enough for a lot of people to get involved.

David Abrams (05:53):
Now, building on Kevin's processes for virtual summits, let's hear how Mark Kilens the VP of content and community at Drift has strategically repurposed each virtual event to create additional opportunities for brand building and demand generation. Let's take a listen because we're shooting this in coronavirus times and the coronavirus era is those offline events. I know you guys have been moving these online, doing virtual summits, you've done the Rev Growth Summit. You did another one recently. How are you bringing that same engagement, that same relationship building as a cornerstone content piece right now online for virtual summits?

Mark Kilens (06:32):
So we were doing virtual events, like kind of in a larger scale than just like a 45 minutes ish webinar before this. So let me give you one example. So if you go to and you go to Drift Insider, here's an example of how one piece of cornerstone content turned into two more pieces of cornerstone content. Because of cornerstone content can become more cornerstone content or cornerstone content can become more, you know micro kind of just-in-time content like a blog article or like a one-off webinars. So we did a virtual summit event called A New Funnel For a New Decade on February 27th. This was before technically any of this pandemic stuff starts to really affect the United States, at least. It was definitely affecting other countries, I recognize that. And it was not, we're not taking this by any means, from a lighthearted perspective, I know like the European countries were getting hit pretty hard at that point.

Mark Kilens (07:32):
So what we did though, was even before we knew that this world was going to change, cause we didn't. We were learning, you know, a week or two later, we said, we're going to take this virtual summit event, a New Funnel For a New Decade and turn that into a digital book. And we have that book on We also took the virtual summit event, put that content into Insider, and we built a Drift Insider Course using all of the content from that event into a choroidal learning experience within Drift Insider. So now from one, one event, one virtual digital event, we now have these two other huge assets that we can use over and over again for the next year plus to build our brand, generate demand and help our customers be more successful and understand what this new decade has in store for businesses that are trying to move away from their MQLs and move into a more human centric, conversational way to do marketing.

Mark Kilens (08:33):
So that's one example. Then you brought up the point around like Rev Growth and how we had to pivot from our hyper-growth offense that we do all the time in person that are hugely successful. 10,000 plus people came to the hyper-growth events last year. What do we do this time? Well, we had over 8,500 people attend the first Rev Growth. We had over 3,600 people attend the next Rev Growth that happened at the end of June. And what we're doing there is we're trying to, every time we do a Rev Growth, we're going to have another one come down or, or happen I should say in most likely August of 2020. We're trying to elevate the experience. So it's definitely not like a webinar, but it's more like a (inaudible) theme of speakers that have content that rhymes with each other that also uses elements from an in-person event like exercises or DJs or other experiences such as networking on the side or having conversations with people and introducing that into the event while also making sure that we recognize that it's like, this is still hard for people to listen to a five-hour live stream event.

Mark Kilens (09:48):
Cause normally when you go to an in-person event, you're walking around, you can go and get launch, you could do different things. So I think that's where we're still figuring out what is the future of these virtual events. But we do know that at the end of the day content and the messaging and the copy in which you use to generate interest for that event is super important. And you really want to make sure you partner with different, amazing speakers and businesses to execute that event because together you will make a better experience versus you just trying to do it on your own.

David Abrams (10:19):
Next up. Let's hear how Jennifer Sabin, the director of content marketing at Capacity has successfully pivoted her product demos from trade shows to virtual solution showcases and why this type of event appeals to so many buyers. She's awesome. Let's take a listen. You had to make this quick pivot into virtual events for the first time, like a lot of businesses did last year in 2020. I know that those trade shows were a big part of your marketing. How did you choose to pivot? Why did you go into virtual events? How did you do it? Let's talk about that journey.

Jennifer Sabin (10:55):
So a lot of the shows that we were planning to attend, we had already paid for, we were ready to go. And then as you know, the world kind of stopped. So we were able to channel some funding towards the virtual events because we had in our plans for the year that we were going to get specific leads from these different verticals and these different events. So as great as written content can be, and that's kind of what you get with syndication is people are reading your content. Our platform is mind blowing when you actually see Capacity in action. So seeing our CEO walk you through the features, it's really just quite impressive. So trade shows go extremely well for us. So pre-COVID, we were doing a lot of trade shows. That was one of our, the biggest pieces to the marketing puzzle, but of course we had to pivot.

Jennifer Sabin (11:50):
So we found a lot of success demoing platform at virtual solutions showcases. And a good example is HousingWire. So they have an audience of people that are, it's like the exact audience that we're looking for a mortgage originators. And whether you're in person or virtual, the most important thing is to get in front of the right audience. So we were able to find the right audiences and identify exactly who we wanted to get in front of. And if the audience is committed to giving up an hour or two, or sometimes even a whole day for a virtual event, then chances are that they are very interested in your topic. And in our case, that would be AI and automation. So if they are looking for a solution, it might be easier for them to just sit through demos from six different vendors that are quite similar than to actually dig through the internet and talk to friends and figure out which six vendors should I try to connect with and put the meeting on the calendar like that sometimes feels a little stressful. So by sitting through the solution showcase, we make it easy. We make it easy for somebody that's in the market to actually see the differences and to feel the wow factor. So the virtual events, I don't think they're going anywhere. I think it will certainly be a hybrid in the future.

David Abrams (13:13):
Now, another marketer that was able to successfully meet their audience's new needs is Len Markidan, the CMO of Podia. Let's listen in to see how he and his team have decided to switch their webinar formats. Education is such a critical piece right now, something that we're definitely trying to double down on even going up market, we still want to really dial in on education. Have you guys seen, and are you still doing webinars with all these different challenges and stuff like that?

Len Markidan (13:42):
We are, yeah, we still do. We still do webinars, but typically the way that we've, the way that we've switched our webinars to be, I think to address what's going on now a little bit more because we're not so confident anymore that we know exactly what all of these new creators need from an educational perspective. And so the way that we've switched our approach to address that is our webinars are much more Q&A format now. So Matt actually runs a webinar every Thursday and it's a Q&A format that usually has a theme. So the theme this week is email marketing. The theme last week was course creation. The next week might be, you know, memberships or building sales pages. And typically what he'll do is he'll give a 10, 15 minute presentation on some very beginner stage tips. And then it's 45 minutes, you know, up to two hours of just Q&A and people come and bring their questions. And it's everything from people who are just starting out to people who are looking to optimize. And we found that to be going pretty well so far. I think people are, people are getting a lot out of it and we're learning a lot too about what challenges our audience is actually facing.

David Abrams (14:47):
Now let's hear from Tara Darge the head of marketing at timetoreply on how they decided to move past the usual one-on-one demos and start using Demio to do weekly themed-webinars. Let's tune into this one. I know you guys are also looking to do live presentations, you're doing webinars using Demio which is, which is awesome, by the way. I'd love to explore, you know, what you're doing past the usual one-on-one demos, why you went the webinar route and what's been working.

Tarah Darge (15:18):
So we have always had the ability to book a one-on-one demo. And we just, I mean, yeah, I mean, there's those trickled in nicely. They still do. And of course they're great in terms of down the funnel, but further down the funnel that they really help. And we've really perfected our one-on-one demos as well. Apparently 17 minutes is the ideal time. I don't know why, but it just is.

David Abrams (15:49):
That is great feedback.

Tarah Darge (15:49):
Yeah anyway, 17 minutes. So that that's always there and that we pump out with Intercom, you can book a one-on-one demo through Intercom or you can book via our site, but it wasn't really working in terms of like, it's not a lead gen tool. So I've actually worked with Demio in the past before I joined timetoreply and had great success with it with the previous company I was with, even though that was B2C.

Tarah Darge (16:14):
So just in terms of like, like enjoying the software, I love, I love using Demio. It's super easy to do. And so I introduced it to the team and we decided to kind of do more themed-webinars. And I know, I know there are a lot out there, but we still feel like what we're saying around email and the impact on your sales and success is fairly unique. Our product is still fairly unique. And so we feel like we have a good story to tell and what we did at the beginning of the year, especially when we moved to a remote working model and our product was also adapting to the needs of that. We brought on industry leaders to join us on webinars and talk about like challenges to remote teams and how best to manage a remote team.

Tarah Darge (17:02):
So we, yeah, we brought on some like remote first guys who were doing it long before it became a thing and tried to just drum up some interest that way. So it wasn't just us going, Hey guys, here's our product. So we tried to make it more, more value add in that sense. And that's, that was great. I mean, obviously they're a little bit harder to put together and then because of that, we were like, Hey, well, I wonder, I wonder if we do just do product-focused, weekly webinars around our product, would make them super short, super sharp, if that would help. And it has, I mean, we haven't been doing that for very long but we've maintained the momentum now for a number of weeks and it's been great. It's it's, and it's a lot easier than, you know, having this one-on-one demo with a customer who may or may not feel intimidated and a bit pushed to buy your product and then opt out of the demo or something. I mean, this is like these weekly webinars are very low key. They're very no pressure. And we've actually seen a good increase in the amount of people attending them and yeah, and then you've got those guys is as hot leads as well. So we feed that into our sales team and yeah, it seems to be working pretty well.

David Abrams (18:18):
That's fantastic. Are you just using Intercom to drive those leads? Is there a place on your website? How are you getting the traffic there for registrations?

Tarah Darge (18:26):
We use a combination of things. So I pump out invites via HubSpot weekly to guys who haven't attended yet. And to guys who have, we will invite them to more themed ones or more one-on-one. And then on our sites, we actually use OptinMonster to do a little pop-up for them usually, and that works quite nicely too. And then we push it out on our own social channels. And if we've got for instance, if we're interviewing like a guest speaker or something, or you're jumping on the webinar with us, we'll use our own networks to per set out to, and then, yeah, so we do incorporate it into our GrowthX campaigns as well. So once we've connected with somebody on LinkedIn, we can run the acquisition campaigns to them, or we can run nurturing campaigns to them. And if, if we've already done an acquisition campaign to them and we've connected and we've had a chat, maybe not that hot on the on the product yet. Or, you know, they're not, they're not a hot lead, we'll invite them to one of these weekly webinars. Yeah. So there's a kind of challenge we push it out on.

David Abrams (19:36):
On. I love that. Have you guys explored or experimented with on-demand yet, webinars with that?

Tarah Darge (19:42):
We have. Something I'd like to try more of going forward, but yeah, we've done a little bit of that. So we actually ran, we ran our first on demand one, I think it was three weeks ago. Yeah. And that was great. Cause it was also, you know, it also meant that our guys could prerecord it and really edited it until they were super happy with it. And then it was just there. It was great.

David Abrams (20:09):
Exactly. I could see a balance of both things being really good. I'm just thinking of like the cold, like the cold leads that you're getting of LinkedIn. And then just being able to have like that post-campaign like utilize on demand at some point could be really powerful, but definitely play with it. I love hearing you know, how you're using Demio, you know, it makes me ask, like, why aren't we doing more front-end webinars. I'm thinking about that right now. I think that's a really interesting thing that I think is a pretty easy win that we could do. I don't know why we're not doing that. But that's fantastic.

David Abrams (20:39):
Now another marketer innovating their webinars is Fiona Stevens, the head of marketing at Loyalty Lion. A great SaaS company. Let's hear about the strategy behind their new E-commerce Espresso webinars series initiative that is successfully fighting the webinar fatigue we're seeing in 2021. You guys run a initiative called the E-commerce Espresso webinar, love the idea behind this. Very creative, just like we were talking about. Why did you guys create a series of webinars and what did you look at, you know, creating them, quote unquote, shorter than your coffee break.

Fiona Stevens (21:12):
As you know, this actually goes back to kind of beginning of last year. I think I, I got on that January bandwagon of wanting to sign up to lots of webinars and carve out time for learning and all of that. And I just got bored really quickly with the webinars that I was going to. They were all just presentations. They were all an hour long. And I just, I thought sure a lot of other people in the space were thinking the same thing. But I just thought we need to do something different here. We can't just do more of these hour long presentations. And that's where the idea came from. Really, I can't take credit for the Ecommerce Espresso name. I think that was one of my team, but the idea was really just to combat that webinar fatigue with shorter snappier interview style webinars, that would become a regular fixture in somebody's diary, but wouldn't take up an awful lot of their time. You know, you can even listen to it on demand Fast-Forward and it will only take up a few minutes and we really wanted to create something that people would just come back to again and again, it's actually evolved a little bit in the last few weeks. We've just launched the Double Espresso where we have a speaker from a partner, but also a speaker from a client. And we interviewed both at the same time. So it's nice to see it moving a bit forward as well.

David Abrams (22:23):
I love the idea. One, I think it goes back to just what we were talking about, the creativity like overall strategy doesn't have to change. Like the mechanisms of strategy in marketplaces, don't have to change. It's a webinar, but the creativity came in. How do we give digestible information that our audience has the time to listen to, will digest, will like, builds that brand awareness and loyalty exactly what you guys are doing. So I love the idea and I'll have to sign up for a Double Espresso Webinar. That sounds so cool. To see the format you guys are doing. As far as the channel like this, how have you decided to promote it? Is there any specific channels that you use to drive engaged registrants throughout?

Fiona Stevens (23:01):
Because we always have a guest speaker from a partner it's a shared promotion really. They invite their customer base as well as us inviting ous. So that helps us get us out there. But typically we do email and social media, but funnily enough, where we see more success is actually the on-demand recordings afterwards. So we've created a playlist on YouTube as well. So hopefully people kind of go there to find one and then ended up going down a little bit of a rabbit hole watching them and seeing all the different episodes as well. But yeah, the social promotion of those on-demand recordings is where we're seeing a good deal of traction at the moment. I think there are two big things in 2021 that I would consider challenges, but they're also really big opportunities. And the first we've already kind of touched on, but it is webinar fatigue. Physical events, won't be coming back for a good few months yet.

Fiona Stevens (23:46):
And as an industry, everybody needs to innovate, find new ways to run these sessions so that they stay interesting and they stay relevant. And I really hope that marketers aren't going to be, and myself included, I hope we're not going to be lazy about this because the more bad webinars there are out there, the more we all loose our audiences. And I think it's such a great opportunity to think outside the box. So as I said, we just tried these, ask-me-anything sessions in the last few weeks. And the engagement from our customers was huge. People were submitting questions ahead of time, that kind of thing. It was a new format for us, but it really was, and I'm concerned, but I'm also really intrigued to see what other kinds of formats we see come out this year. And, and then I think the second thing is just standing out from the crowd, particularly in SaaS, your content and your emails have to work so hard not to get lost in thousands of other companies stuff. So I'm personally going to be really pushing my team to just be more creative and have more fun.

David Abrams (24:42):
Thinking more about experimenting with webinars, let's hear from Marcy Dobozy the VP of marketing at Vidyard, an incredible SaaS company, on how they instantly increased their demo requests with a simple checkbox on their registration form and how that has become a game changer for their company.

Marcy Dobozy (24:59):
I'm going to share with you a perspective on our owned, our own event, as well as our event strategy for paid or third-party sponsorship of events. Both have, as you would imagine, fundamentally changed over the last year. It's been a crazy crazy year for event strategies. The first part is around our own event. So we in the past ran our own events, which was called, is called Fast-Forward. And we would run it once, maybe twice a year, depending on demand and what was going on with our customers and in the market. Fast forward is really sort of a hands-on tips and tricks, best practices using video throughout sales and marketing and a little bit of thought leadership and aspirational content mixed in there as well. So like I said, we'd been running one, maybe two of these a year.

Marcy Dobozy (25:50):
And with the move to online events, the demand for our very first scheduled Fast-Forward was just through the roof. Something we'd never seen before. And so we made a decision to move to a quarterly cadence for fast forward. And, you know, honestly the volume is not slowing down. We've easily doubled regular quarterly registration over what our annual registration was. We're actually seeing a continued increase in the conversion rate from webinar registrants to attendees, and we're hovering around 50% right now, which is pretty good. Given the, I mean, just given the volume increases on the one hand and then also the increase in conversion rate is remaining strong. So it's been a really great year for us from managing our own events. And one of the things that, oh, somebody, the person who runs my demand gen thought up one day was the simple addition of, on the registration form for Fast Forward of adding a request a demo check box to that form.

Marcy Dobozy (26:54):
And just through the simple, so it's just an optional check box. So you don't have to fill it out one way or another, if you don't want to, but in order to register for the event, you obviously would see the option of requesting a demo. And through the simple addition of this little check box, we had 17% of all registrants on an ongoing basis choose to speak to a salesperson and receive a demo either in advance of the event or right after. Which as you can imagine has resulted in thousands of new demo requests, which as you know, are very, very high intent folks who are wanting to get a better understanding of the product. So something as simple as adding a checkbox to the registration form has just been a total game changer for us.

David Abrams (27:35):
How did those demos do, did you find that they were as qualified as someone else that was on the website you know, actively searching for your product or actively doing investigations and looking at like, you know, the procurement process or were they kind of colder leads that were still going through and learning about your product?

Marcy Dobozy (27:52):
Yeah, no, that's a great question. So they are not as high intent as somebody who would check a normal request to demo better placed CTA on the website, but there's still five, five times as regular or sorry, more likely to convert than just someone who attended the conference as a whole. So somewhere in between. Yeah.

David Abrams (28:14):
That was a huge number. So huge numbers. Now you also mentioned, you know, incredible attendance rates, congratulations. You're seeing more and more webinars out there. So you're doing some amazing things to get people to show up. You're increasing your registration numbers. What are you doing to, to drive registrations to these events? It sounds like you're doing an amazing job of demand gen there.

Marcy Dobozy (28:32):
Yeah. I mean, I would love to take all the credit for that. And you know, we are doing some things, I think though that, like I'd said before, I think the focus on providing solutions to the sales audience in this time of remote work in and of itself is, is just huge, you know, coming back to product market fit. I think that we have an actual tool that solves a problem that people are facing today and that just obviously cannot be beat. So I think a lot of really strong messaging around that, how we solve problems and how easy it is for those people to get up and running has been key. And I think just being more prevalent in those communities, also working very closely with a lot of thought leaders and sales trainers to make sure that people know that there is, there's a solution for the pain that they're feeling right now.

David Abrams (29:22):
So very thought leadership oriented event. Content itself, are you focusing on case studies, new information coming out, new strategies? Are you just bringing on other thought leaders, like you said, other sales leaders and just talking about generic strategies, I'm just trying to get to the core of like what kind of content is working best?

Marcy Dobozy (29:39):
Right now. And, you know, if I'm being honest, it's a bit of a mix. I would say it actually leans more towards the practical. There's a lot of people who video in sales and marketing is still a new tool. And they're looking for easy ways to get started and understanding how to get started. So a lot of it is still very hands-on content, you know, from something as simple as getting comfortable on camera, right? How to look your best on camera right through to here are seven amazing email templates that you should be using to incorporate video into. Here are five video scripts, just the real nuts and bolts to show people how easy it is for them to get started and starting to make those personal connections.

David Abrams (30:22):
That's a really good answer. That's very helpful. And what about engagement? How are you keeping people engaged to this virtual event? Are you guys doing anything fun throughout the event or during the sessions?

Marcy Dobozy (30:35):
I think, I mean, we're really focused on making sure and this would, this actually comes into the second part of what I want to talk about in terms of our own event strategy for paid events is we're, we're really focused on making sure that there are people available to have the right conversations in all the communication channels that are open to us throughout these virtual events, because that's all we have now, right. And we're all, we're all humans. We all want to interact and network. So really making sure that the people who we have engaging in our own events, through the chats and through the third party events are focused on just that being there, being present, being part of the sessions, you know, being problem solvers, and trying to help people resolve what, what problems or questions that they have in the moment

David Abrams (31:27):
When you're game planning internally, are you sitting down with your team and you're just designating who needs to go to each session? Are you pre-writing questions that they should be talking about or like, how do you get your team actually prepped for that to make sure that they're fully there and present?

Marcy Dobozy (31:40):
Yup, yes to both. Honestly, we don't end up having to use a lot of our pre-written content in general, the topics are pretty engaging both in terms of the ones that we're, that we're owning and the ones that we're participating in externally. But yes, we definitely sit down for third-party events. Wedon't put emphasis on making sure that someone's in the booth. Again, we make sure that we have people out in the sessions, engaging with the content being part of the conversation because that is that's what's really missing today. I think from the in-person events, that's what people are missing, are those, those opportunities to connect and have conversations. And so we're trying to replicate that as much as possible in a virtual world. The other, the other thing that we're doing, and again, it sounds super simple, but for these third-party events, most of them have an opportunity to record in your bio information about who you are. And we've been using a lot of video there again, because again, people want to make those connections. They want to see feel like they know somebody or they've met somebody after a show is over. And so just by the simple act of, rather than just putting a text update in your bio to record a little video, you have an opportunity to go in a little bit more detail and show a little bit more personality about who you are and what you are and what you're hoping to get out of the event.

David Abrams (33:00):
And finally, let's hear from Juliette Kopecky, the CMO at LinkSquares on how she and her team have pivoted to virtual booths, then started to host their own virtual events and finally figured out how to bring in creativity to keep building personal connections and engagement in a virtual environment. This one is really great.

Juliette Kopecky (33:20):
So for example there's an annual event held by the association of corporate counsel. And so in 2019, when we went we did, I don't know if you've ever been to Dreamforce yourself, but like Dreamforce is kind of like a marketer's dream in that all of the different booths have like different themes, you know, interesting giveaways. People are just really engaged and I want it to almost bring like those Dreamforce level tactics for like booth to a legal tech event. And so we did a superheroes theme. We had, we actually had an a team of 15 people that we sent over. We all dressed as superheroes. We had a whack-a-mole game at our booth. We had really great giveaways that we were giving people, people just, you know, wanting to stop by our booth because they were like, what is going on over there?

Juliette Kopecky (34:13):
I want to learn more. And it was a great conversation opener because people were kind of like, why are you all dressed as superheroes? Why are you guys having so much fun? You know, can I like play this game? What can we talk about? What do you do? It was a great conversation opener, and it was a way for us to build those connections and make that conversation easier. But you can imagine in a virtual booth, we're not all sitting at home wearing superhero costumes, right. That's not something that's going to translate sort of one for one in that arena. So when we looked at some of these, these virtual events, we had to sort of like rethink, how do we be creative? How do we build that personal connection? So one of the things that we did last year is we started even hosting some of our own events.

Juliette Kopecky (34:59):
Like we did a number of wine nights where we personally invited a number of customers and prospects. We sent them amazing bottles of wine. We made it a conversation that we had with them and an opportunity for them to, to get to know other people that might already be in their network or outside of their network, and a chance to talk about topics that were important to them. So we kind of brought that sort of closeness and we were doing something a little bit different. Right. You know, I think everyone is kind of eager for that like personal connection. And so we're bringing people together to talk about things that they cared about. And then we're actually, you know, doing a bit of a twist in it for next month for (inaudible), we're going to do, you know, a margarita kinda like tequila night.

Juliette Kopecky (35:44):
But similar theme, a way to bring people together, the focus isn't, you know, LinkSquares, the product, and it isn't going to be a sales pitch or skimming them a presentation, but it's them having a conversation with their peers and helping build that connection. And talk about topics that they're interested about and interested in learning from their peers about. But that's a virtual event that we're going to host on our own coming up and that we did last year. And so I think the key and really maybe the takeaway is like, how do you do something that's creative? How do you do something that's going to help you stand out? And how are you going to do something that's going to help, you know, maybe be like educational for your audience and build that connection and build out your thought leadership? You know, for us, these are tactics that have worked for us with our audience in ways to engage. But, you know, I think if you have those goals in mind and think about like your strategies that way, it's not to say that I'm like everybody should be hosting a wine night or a tequila night for their audience, and that's going to be a home run for you. But how do you think about building those connections and being more engaging and experiment honestly.

David Abrams (36:52):
Wow. And there you have it eight incredible SaaS marketers, each sharing their own experience, using creativity to engage their audience in a virtual event format. At the end of the day, that's what good marketing is all about, right? Finding creative ways to engage your audience and really driving engagement is what we're all about here at Demio. Yes, Demio is a webinar platform at its core, but our greater purpose is to help you run engaging webinar events that drive results for your business. So if you're not done it already head over to start a free 14-day trial with us. We just released a totally re-imagined room experience with more branding options and tons of other new features and functions. We know you'll appreciate the new options for engaging your audience. So get over there and check this out yourself.

Follow along on Our Journey to $100k MRR
A shaky start? No doubt. Yet, three years later, we've got our eyes set on $100k MRR. We'll be sharing everything along the way.