Case study: The virtual event for 8,700 delegates

Drift's Virtual Summit for its sales and marketing community was organised in six weeks by agency emc3.

Objectives

Event agency emc3 recently partnered with Drift to create a high-energy two-day virtual event in just six weeks. 

The event was dedicated to bringing Drift's sales and marketing community together for a new kind of event. The tagline for the event was "Two days. Two tracks. Countless opportunities to learn. Zero barriers to entry."

The event 

The RevGrowth Virtual Summit featured 20 speakers including Huib van Bockel (founder of TENZING Natural Energy and former CMO of Red Bull Europe), Kubi Springer (award-winning brand specialist) and Anna Griffin (CMO of Smartsheet). 

The event used the ON24 platform to host The RevGrowth Virtual Summit, which gave attendees a place to exchange ideas, offer input and seek out viewpoints from a global community. 

The emc3 events team dedicated a lot of time to researching the best virtual event platforms for the job. They also spent a lot more time briefing speakers than under normal circumstances. Virtual speaking engagements are a pretty new concept for most speakers, so it was important to ensure the sessions were polished, professional and engaging. 

They also provided speakers with special recording kit materials – which included microphones, lighting kits and green screens to ensure the best result when filming from home. 

Instead of coffee and lunch breaks, Drift included a fitness ‘call to action’ link, encouraging attendees to take a break and get moving with specially curated yoga and HIIT workouts.

The schedule also included DJ sets, keeping the event completely on-brand with their live events. 

There was also a focus on CSR and giving back during this time in the form of a link where attendees could donate and join the company’s fundraising efforts for Feeding America.

The pre-event engagement strategy focused on a lead-share agreement with partners to increase attendee registrations which proved very effective, attracting nearly 9,000 registrants in just six weeks. Partners included ZoomInfo, Smartsheet and Seismic.

They also incorporated custom branding throughout the virtual event platform and presentation materials to make the virtual event consistent with live experiences.  

Challenges

"Switching to virtual has taught us a lot," said Josh King, head of business development at emc3. "There are lots of positives associated with online events including cost-effectiveness, scalability, great data capture and reporting and the fact they are very environmentally friendly comparable to in-person events. 

"However, you lose the power of human connection. Retention can be challenging unless you partner with agencies who specialise in virtual events and understand how to enhance retention and engagement. 

"And finally, there is so much webinar white noise at the moment, so making your event stand out can be a tricky task if you don't have a great comms strategy and superbly crafted content."

Verdict

"The feedback from this event has been outstanding," said Janna Erickson, director of events at Drift.

"The RevGrowth Virtual Summit was recently recognised as one of the must-see events in 2020 by ON24 and it made Bizzabo’s ‘No 1 list of Virtual events and conferences’. In collaboration with emc3, we managed to bring together the best sales and marketing speakers from around the globe for an incredible two-day virtual summit. We're looking forward to the next one!" 

FACT FILE

What: Drift's RevGrowth Virtual Summit

Who: 8,698 sales and marketing professionals

Where: Online (www.drift.com/rev-growth-summit/

With: emc3

When: 16-17 April 2020


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