Virtual events seem to be the subject of a lot of hype at the moment. Virtual spaces are being used to reduce budgets, as companies continue to suffer from the credit crisis. This is a great way for companies to save money and take up virtual events faster than they would without financial pressure.
One aspect of a virtual event that is especially revolutionary is metrics. This is important for marketing and education. Businesses will be able to gain insight into their business through the huge amounts of data that can now be collected.
Virtual trade shows and business shows allow companies to learn more about potential customers. Previously, they might only have contact information. They will be able to see information like how long prospects spent at their booth and what actions they took.
This has important implications for companies' follow-up with prospects who expressed interest. It doesn't have to be a standard strategy. The quality of each lead can be determined. A high-quality lead might warrant a more aggressive follow-up, in order to close the sale. An inferior lead might be given useful information to help establish a relationship.
You could have multiple lead categories based on different criteria. One could have three types of customers: very interested, moderately interested, and slightly interested. Then one could create three strategies to address each level. This would increase conversion and result in more sales.
Although event organizers are not sure what to expect from virtual events at the moment, they will soon be able to use the data that is available to determine if an event was a success. For example, let's say a virtual event was used to launch a product. It would be simple to see the costs of the event compared to the sales or attention (and advertising-free) generated by the event.