Discover 9 powerful ways to grow engagement, leads and audiences by adding live chat to your virtual events.
August 22, 2022
Virtual events and hybrid events have boomed in popularity recently. More companies are using a chat platform for live events to make their events more interactive. Your event team can see and answer questions and encourage connections with a chat service.
If you’re new to offering a chat experience in your virtual events, use our tips to grow audience engagement, increase your attendee count and offer a memorable attendee experience.
Here are a few ways adding a chat tool can help your live events strategy. Live chat is influential in lifting sales, marketing, and growing your online audiences. Let’s start by looking at how virtual events powered by live chat grows top-line revenue.
The sales team can benefit from live chat in several ways. For the best results, invite a few people from sales to each chat experience you run. If they cannot attend live, offer to provide the chat transcript for their review after the event.
A warm lead is someone who already knows, likes, and trusts your brand to some degree. From a sales perspective, converting warm leads into customers is usually easier and faster.
Let’s say that you have 100 chat users in your virtual event chat. Following up with all event attendees is worthwhile, but the follow-up process should be tailored. Review questions and comments chat users post in the chat module. A person who asks about product pricing, shipping, or features is likely to be a high-quality warm lead. Such a lead merits immediate follow-up.
Use the attendee report as a resource for the rest of your chat participants. For example, you may have ten warm leads and 90 other chat users. The sales team will immediately respond to the warm leads. Engage the rest of your chat users using your marketing engagement platform. Check to see if your chat options include the functionality to export a transcript and attendee report so that you can quickly identify the right people to interact with.
The ability to answer product questions in a detailed and persuasive manner is crucial for sales. Paying attention to the questions and comments that business professionals and other attendees ask in your chat session has training value. Attending streaming events alongside customers is a powerful way to keep your sales team informed about the latest features and product developments.
After each virtual event, compile a list of the most common questions. Share these questions with the sales team. It may help better interact with prospects during sales calls and meetings.
Understanding your customers' needs, problems, and concerns is vital to sales success. When a salesperson attends a virtual event, they have a chance to see their customers in action. In particular, sales reps can deepen their understanding of the market by looking for the following:
Questions, especially those questions asked more than once, can help the salesperson improve their prospecting. Knowing the questions prospects tend to ask means you can develop better pitches. Customer feedback can also improve sales presentation slide decks and similar resources.
Reviewing chat messages for problems that people mention is helpful. For example, your prospects may not know that your company offers advanced analytics. If you see users complaining about working with data, paying attention to problems can help.
These benefits for the sales team are significant for newer salespeople who may not know your product and market deeply.
A chat platform can help you reach your key marketing metrics faster and more efficiently. As you become more familiar and skilled with running virtual events, these marketing benefits will compound over time.
What if your users attended a company conference and could not interact with anybody? That would be a painfully dull event, and those attendees would be less likely to register for future virtual events you offer.
Several factors matter in creating a compelling virtual event like offering a high quality of video, exciting content, and a sense of community connection. Adding live chat to your virtual events transforms your virtual event from a boring lecture to a community experience.
While attendee questions to your company are highly valuable, it is smart to encourage community connections as well. For example, you might organize breakout sessions where current customers can share their experiences with each other and prospects.
According to SEMrush, the average worldwide bounce rate for all websites is 30%. However, several industries have a bounce rate of over 40% including news & media, real estate, and groceries. When users leave your website quickly, it’s tough to build a connection.
Offering a virtual event with chat apps gives you the power to cut your bounce rate down. When a person signs up for a virtual event, they are usually planning to attend for an extended period of time. As a result, bounce rates fall. By maintaining low bounce rates and engagement, you have an excellent opportunity to grow organic search traffic.
Further, highly engaged prospects are more likely to give you useful feedback about your concern. That qualitative feedback is a useful supplement to your customer data platform. Over time, you will be better able to predict the types of content that reliably connect with customers.
By increasing time on site through virtual events and live chat, you have more opportunities to present calls to action for your users. That means more leads for your sales team to engage after the event.
In digital marketing, the term “E-A-T” has recently gained popularity. The EAT acronym means “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” Becoming a trusted authority in your industry takes deliberate effort over time. It includes publishing useful articles, videos and other resources on your website.
In addition, you can earn credibility through virtual events and by offering a chat window. For example, you can harness the power of content curation. Imagine you are running a tax accounting firm. Earning the attention and trust of accounting clients is challenging. That’s where organizing live events with a chat service helps.
Global accounting firm Deloitte offered a virtual conference in May 2022 with live presenters and engagement tools. While the Deloitte event was aimed at accounting professionals seeking continuing education, similar events on tax (e.g. tax planning strategies) could be offered to clients. The Deloitte virtual event included two partners serving in co-host roles. Having more than one event host is wise, especially when your virtual events span several days.
An accounting firm that offers tax planning virtual events from December to March can earn trust. The firm can invite speakers to discuss changes to tax laws and regulations that may help their clients save money or avoid audits. Furthermore, you can record the virtual event and then use the transcript to create additional expertise-boosting content assets.
Pursuing E-A-T with live events and live chat also matters for media companies and publishers. Your staff editors, experts, and contributors will draw in the core audience. But why stop there? Increase credibility further by adding more diverse voices to your coverage. For example, you could invite a few well-regarded social media influencers to serve as remote presenters and chat with participants. Those influencers will lend your event more credibility and further grow your audience.
Recent research from Harvard University found that 36% of all Americans experience loneliness. Your virtual events play a role in addressing the loneliness and isolation epidemic. Your virtual event will help people connect with others who share their interests and passions by offering live chat.
To further encourage social connections and networking, offer a mix of experiences in your virtual event. It is especially important to provide breakout sessions and small group experiences. These smaller group gatherings make it easier for your audience to connect with each other.
Online publishers and media companies are increasingly turning to online events as a strategy to grow their audience. Adding live chat makes publisher virtual events more effective in several ways.
In publishing, it is traditional to put significant effort into acquiring paying subscribers. Retaining subscribers is a different story. Your subscribers have many different demands on their attention. One-quarter of American households pay for at least three streaming services today.
Offering virtual events supported by live chat as a subscriber-only benefit is a powerful way to keep your subscribers engaged.
Alliances with influencers, experts, and authors can all play a role in helping you to grow your audience. As you plan your event series, set a goal to include special guests interesting to your audience.
The Wall St Journal has a conference series called WSJ Live that includes online events for different executive audiences like CIO Exchange and the CMO Network Member Breakout. You may not have the Wall St Journal’s resources, but this strategy can be adapted. For example, a lifestyle publication might offer virtual events with up-and-coming chefs to spotlight the most exciting restaurants.
You’ve seen many ways a live chat app can lift marketing, sales, and audience growth results. Now, you might be wondering - which chat tool is right for you? Arena Live Chat is a great choice, of course. If you’re curious to compare and contrast Arena to other platforms, there are a few key features to keep in mind.
To successfully use live chat for live events, make sure your app includes the following:
When you offer virtual events to your event attendees, participating in live chat should be seamless. That’s why it is essential to have a chat widget appear on your website. There’s nothing for your attendees to install.
During event chat sessions, emotions may run high. Often, that’s a great sign of highly engaged attendees. However, there is also a risk of inappropriate content and chats. Providing detailed instructions to your event moderators is one way to reduce inappropriate behavior. In larger events, chat event moderation is easier when you have a chat tool that automatically filters profanity.
Think of your virtual event as a traditional conference. Some people will be happy to raise their hand and ask a question in public - like posting a question in a public chat. Other people prefer to raise questions and comments privately. Your audience chat experience should include both a public chat room and the capability to send private chat messages back and forth.
It’s crucial to select a live chat platform that works for you today and your future events.
Today, you might run virtual events for a few dozen attendees. Attendance will increase as your audience grows and more people become interested in your online events. Check to see if your live chat tool can accommodate larger audiences.
Planning a successful virtual event takes time and effort. Your event technology should not add to the burden. Make sure you select a live chat tool that is simple and easy to install and configure. Likewise, your event team should be able to set up events in minutes without resorting to complicated instructions.
Want to see how Arena Live Chat performs? Contact us today to request a demo and you can see how our platform enhances virtual events.
Now that you know how Live Chat tools can enhance events, your next step is to try a Live Chat Tool. Arena’s group Live Chat tool is simple and allows you to create and embed a chat to your site in minutes. You can see how easy it is to set up in the video below.