We examine how virtual events can help you gain vital insights about your supporters
By swapping in-person events for virtual ones, charity digital leaders have successfully recovered events that would otherwise have been cancelled. There are a number of benefits to this: virtual events can provide just as much, if not more data on supporters and donors. Equally, many virtual events can offer promising leads for support and digital donations.
Many charity leaders may still be sceptical around the success of virtual events. At Charity Digital, we want to demystify the approach. Ahead of reviewing the data and metrics of virtual events, taking a look at how virtual events offer opportunities to capture more data over IRL ones is important.
Virtual events allow charities to capture demographic information during the registration process. The data can reveal a lot about charity audiences – identifiers such as age, gender, location can be used to refine later marketing and communication preferences. With registration, charity digital leaders can also think about the email open-rate and click-through rate. Mailchimp, the marketing automation platform, notes that the average non-profit sees an email open rate of around 25%, while the click-through rate is closer to 3%.
With the virtual events’ registration process, data can be gathered and tailored for marketing shortly before the event itself – by adding delegate names or supplementary offerings to communications, charity digital leaders can ensure that their emails are opened and read. According to CauseVox, the digital fundraising software provider, personalised emails increase click-through rates by an average of 14%, showing how important it is to tailor messages.
Gauging audience engagement and interest in person is easy – charity digital leaders can just look at faces and audiences. However, digital events can help charity leaders evidence their successes. Most virtual event platform providers offer real-time polling and surveys, so organisers can gather feedback instantly.
High-end virtual event providers can also offer a suite of services – downloadable apps, social media sharing, live chats, presentation tracks, searches, and advertisements can be used by charity digital leaders. For a range of options, platform providers like inexpo, WorkCast, and iVent can deliver both high-end solutions and simple webinars.
Depending on the sophistication of the virtual event, a wealth of data can be gathered in real-time including:
On concluding the virtual event, charity digital leaders can also think about following up with potential donor leaders. Event downloads and accessing content after the event could potentially indicate more interest further down the line.
One of the most well-known metrics of measuring virtual events is ROI or return on investment. Most charity digital leaders will want to make sure that once the event is delivered, ROI is met. For non-profits, ROI could come across in a variety of metrics including:
While many of the above metrics can help support budgeting efforts, remember, virtual event goals and indicators of success should be defined ahead of launch. Afterwards, a data-driven decision-making approach can help charity digital leaders learn, improve, and re-design events and marketing approaches.