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Web Events Require Care & Feeding

There's no doubt that Web events are cost-effective, allowing companies to reach many more constituents for a fraction of the cost of in-person events. With a web event, a company can market and sell to more people, regardless of where they're located; train employees, customers and partners without the need for travel; and disperse information to more people more often.But just as in-person events demand attention in order to produce the desired results, web events must be approached with care and thought. Generally, web events require attention to several details-and hosts will want to work with their web event providers to ensure success.

High-profile events demand event services and support. These include:

* Targeted Outreach and Marketing. Just as with an in-person event, you need to make sure you invite the right people to attend the session. But unlike an in-person event, attendance isn't dictated by geographic location. That means you can target people based on their job roles, vertical industries, areas of interest, and so on--but it also means your outreach must be more nuanced than it might be for an in-person event, where location may be all that's needed to qualify an attendee.

* Reliable, Valuable Registration. Web events allow you to ask any number of questions of attendees before they are given event-access information. Use this ability to gather the kind of information you and your sales teams need to identify attendees, qualify leads and follow up with the best prospects first.

* Bullet-Proof Quality of Experience. If you've ever been in a conference room for a meeting only to have the sound conk out or the air conditioning on full blast, you know how distracting it can be when the physical experience doesn't match expectations. The same is true for web events. Don't let the medium be the message--it's critical that the sound, presentations and interactive features (polling, Q&A) work, for every user every time.

* On-Demand Operator Support. If something does go wrong with the event itself--or if individual attendees are having technical issues specific to them--you must ensure that such issues are dealt with immediately and to everyone's satisfaction. On-demand, real-time operator support can guarantee that glitches don't turn into nightmares.

* Actionable Follow-Up. Web events enable better and more targeted follow up, because they offer more detailed information about who actually attended, how long they stayed, whether they asked questions or participated in polling questions, and what kind of experience they had (did they have any technical problems, etc.). That data can be used for appropriate and attendee-specific follow up, especially in the areas of sales (salespeople can determine what messaging to use to better target a given attendee) and training (trainers can see where gaps lie, and what to focus on in future training events).

* Recording, Editing & Archiving. Unlike in-person events, web events can be recorded and archived for later use. That allows people who couldn't make the live event to watch the content later--with all the associated registration and follow-up information attached. This in turns makes web events even more cost effective for presenters and hosts, who can continue to leverage the event to reach prospects or train users long after the live version has ended.

Web events have value to all industries, in many areas. To learn more about how web events can impact your business, please join me for a webinar on the topic on Thursday, December 10 at 2:30pm ET.