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How to Improve Your Event Experience with Integrations

Updated

Use integrations to simplify and streamline event planning.

As software becomes more sophisticated, marketers have more tools than ever to manage their events and earn conversions. Now the average event marketer has separate tools for collecting registrations, hosting their virtual events, sending emails, managing leads, etc .

But coordinating all of those different tools can get complicated. If you have to manually upload and download your attendee list to your CRM, MAS, virtual event platform, etc., chances are high that you’ll lose some information in the process — and miss out on hard-earned opportunities in the process. 

That’s where software integrations come into play. 

When you use integrations, data from one software is automatically “sent” to the other — no coding required. For example, if you integrate BigMarker with your CRM, all of your event registrants and attendees are “sent” to your CRM. While setting up the integration, you can choose which list within your CRM will store that registrants and attendee data, so your sales team can easily find it and reach out to those leads more quickly. 

But integrations aren’t just for managing leads. Here’s how to streamline planning and host more effective events with integrations: 

1. Optimize the sales funnel with CRM + MAS Integrations  

(Editor’s note: We’re going to explain the basics of MAS and CRM integrations first. So if you’re well-versed in these tools, skip to How can I make the most of my CRM/MAS integrations?, where we’ll provide best practices for using these tools at your events.) 

Qualify top-of-funnel leads with MAS integrations 

Say you host 4 webinars per month on different topics, each with 500 guests. It is logistically possible for your team to personally (manually) follow up with each attendee. So how can you decide who’s most likely to buy (without spending hours in a spreadsheet)?  

By integrating your webinar platform with your marketing automation software. 

These tools collect all of your top-funnel leads (e.g., anyone who’s even registered for your webinars), and then use lead scoring to judge how likely each prospect will go on to purchase your product. 

So if someone’s never interacted with your brand, their score might be a 0. But if they start attending your webinars, it might rise to a 20. And if they start engaging in webinars and providing additional info about themselves? Their lead score might go up to a 30 or 40. 

Once that score reaches a certain threshold, you might have a rule in place that converts that person into a marketing qualified lead — essentially, they’re promising enough to move to the next phase of the buyer journey where sales starts reaching out to them.

So if you integrate your webinar software with your MAS, your event data for each person will flow directly to your MAS. Your MAS will “know” each time a prospect attends and/or interacts with your webinars. It then uses that information to gradually build up a profile of your customers each time they interact with your product (also called progressive profiling). 

TLDR: If you have a MAS integration, your systems can automatically build profiles for each person — and distinguish between a one-hit-wonder attendee and one that’s likely to buy. So through lead scoring, the MAS tells sales to ignore the former and to focus on the latter. 

Capture data that helps to closes sales with CRM integrations 

Most often used for middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel leads, CRMs help teams convert MQLs into customers. 

Like MAS tools, CRMs use progressive profiling to build updated profiles for each person. But where MAS tools use lead scoring to assess leads, CRMs use deal stages to assess the probability that a prospect will ultimately make a purchase.  

Say you’ve set an initial meeting with Bill from Acme Widgets. The CRM will say you have a 10% chance of closing. If you make a pitch, the CRM puts your chances at 30%. Once you get a verbal commitment from the customer, your win probability goes up to 80%, etc. 

So if you integrate your webinar software with your CRM, your CRM will “know” each time a prospect attends and/or interacts with your virtual event content, and add that data to its pre-existing profile for that person. 

So at any moment, your sales team can look up each prospect within their CRM and see not only if they’ve been engaging with your virtual event content, but what questions they’ve been asking, how they’ve answered polls, etc. Armed with that information, they can counter their customers’ objections, answer any final questions, and close sales.  

Best of all, integrations do all of this automatically. So while your webinars feed data to your MAS and CRM, and those tools evaluate your leads, you can spend more time doing the things that actually drive results for your business: creating content that attracts leads and sales appeals that close them.  

How can I make the most of my CRM/MAS integrations? 

But there’s a lot of real estate between using your CRM/MAS integrations and optimizing them to your advantage. 

The best webinars and virtual events generate powerful and useful data so they can enrich profiles of customer records within their CRM or MAS. The people who do it well can present these asks in a way that fits naturally with their content. 

And after watching 1.5M+ webinars and virtual events per year, we know that is harder than it sounds. Here’s how to generate actionable data for your MAS/CRM without irritating your audience: 

1. During polls, ask the questions that will help your sales team learn more about their prospects. 

The point of poll questions to answer questions that your sales team can’t find in a LinkedIn search. 

So while planning content, marketing should ask their sales team what five data points do you wish you had for prospects. If you ask those questions during the webinar, you’ll give sales the insights they need to structure their asks and assess their competitors. 

Some effective poll questions include: 

  1. How many users or employees do you have? 
  2. What [insert your software here] tools are you using today? 
  3. What are your biggest barriers to adopting {insert your tool here] today?

2. Structure your content around the poll questions

Now more than ever, people know when they’re being mined for marketing data. If you’re 10 minutes into a keynote and you’re randomly asking viewers about how they use project management software, nobody will respond. 

And you won’t generate the data you need. Instead, create content that allows you to naturally segue into the question you need to be answered. 

Say you need to know how many people at a company, on average, use project management (PM) software. You’d want to host a session about barriers to scaling in project management. In your first few slides, provide some instruction. 

Then in a later slide, talk about how many people are using project management softwares within companies. Share five companies you work with, along with the number of people using project management software on each of their teams. 

That primes the audience to think about their own organization’s use of PM software. Time to make the ask. In the next slide, distribute a poll asking, “How many people use project management software at your company?” 

While you’ll almost never get 100% completion, this will maximize the number of people that do respond with honest information, giving your sales team the information necessary to improve their pitches and close deals.  

3. Create different sessions for different stages in your buyer journey.

To state the obvious, people at different points in the sales funnel have different questions, needs and objections concerning your product.

By producing different sessions for each of these stages, you’re not just giving each audience the information they need. 

You’re encouraging each person to signal where they’re at in the funnel by virtue of registering for one session or another. Once that information hits your MAS or CRM, this adds to their profile. Your marketing and sales team can look at that, for each prospect, and figure out what next steps to take with each. 

This can also help you create better content. Pay attention to the questions that keep coming up in each session — then answer them in subsequent webinars, blog posts, sales messaging, etc. Using your audience’s engagement data, you can create more actionable content. 

4. Share data or data visualizations before asking a poll question

When a company shows a fact and infographic about how their customers are doing something, audience members are three to four times more likely to provide requested data in a subsequent poll. So incorporate visuals and empirical data into your presentation whenever possible.

5. Don’t make your polls mandatory

It’s not 2008 anymore: People are more selective about providing their information to brands than ever — and some will resent being required to contribute to your sales pipeline in order to see your content. 

So if your customers don’t sign off en masse, they could provide fake or incomplete answers that muddle your data set and make it more difficult to assess what your audience really wants.  

2. Get Attendees Talking With A Video Q&A Integration 

One of the biggest challenges of hosting an online or hybrid event is engaging your audience. Although half of event organizers say that audience participation is the biggest contributing factor to hosting a successful event, 67% of them say it’s harder to keep attendees engaged during virtual events than IRL ones. 

One great way to get your attendees talking? Get them talking—by allowing them to submit video questions in advance of the event. 

Using our integration with Capsule, a video Q&A service, guests can record themselves asking a question for speakers, then upload it to the event site. 

Hosts pick the best questions, then roll them during the Q&A portion of the session. This gives the session the feeling of a lively town hall session. But since questions are uploaded and selected ahead of time, hosts can incorporate audience voices without risking any unpleasant interactions during the Q&A session.

The benefits are two-fold: Not only are guests able to get their specific questions answered, but seeing and hearing other voices during the session will combat monotony and increase engagement throughout the day. 

Incorporating the literal voice of your audience, our Capsule integration paves the way for more vibrant moderated Q&A sessions. 

3. Provide More Valuable Continuing Education With LMS Integrations   

Continuing education isn’t just something to check off your New Year Resolutions list anymore. 

Industries are evolving so quickly that upskilling is essential for staying competitive in the labor market. (It’s even been called the new 401(k) by Fast Company.) 

So if your event can provide hands-on, skills-based training and/or certifications, it will be much more attractive to attendees. 

We integrate with Thinkific, a leading LMS and multimedia-based course builder, to make this as easy as possible for event organizers and learners. Thinkific courses include text and multimedia-based lessons, surveys, discussions and evaluations, so you can complement your BigMarker webinars with a supportive and discussion-based learning infrastructure. 

And once you sync your Thinkific course with BigMarker, you can automatically enroll course participants in BigMarker webinars, or give students access to BigMarker webinars. 

4. Simplify and Streamline Planning with Registration Platform Integrations  

Imagine this: You collect registrations for your online event on one platform, then host the event itself on another video platform. 

So your poor events intern needs to download and clean a CSV file including 5000 names from the registration platform, then re-upload it to the video platform. 

And after the event, they’ll need to do the reverse — download the list of event attendees from the video platform, clean the list, re-upload it to your registration platform and assign every single one into a marketing segment. 

That’s hours of unnecessary manpower, all while your team’s scrambling to pull off a high-stakes event. 

But there’s a better way: Integrate your webinar and event landing pages with your favorite landing page platforms. This gives people who register on your landing pages access to your webinar and virtual event content hosted with BigMarker (no spreadsheets necessary).  

There are several benefits to integrating your registration/landing page platforms and your video platform, including the following. (PS: It’ll take you longer to read this list than to set up the integration itself. Really!) 

1. Save time: Automatically transferring registration information between apps simplifies planning and saves time—at a time when you need it most. This also reduces the risk for user error. 

2. Increase registrations: The more time guests need to spend on registering for your event, the less likely they are to do it. With these integrations, guests are added to the event and the webinar platform in seconds. This minimizes the amount of registrations that attendees need to do by themselves, which can keep people from dropping out of the sales funnel. 

3. Improve conversion rates: Upon registration, guests automatically receive confirmation and reminder emails directly from BigMarker, which can increase your event’s show-up rate. 

4. Generate more data: BigMarker captures data about individual attendee engagement during each session. For how many minutes were they watching the event on its browser tab? What chat messages did they send? What handouts did they download and what call-to-action links they click?

Your event team can use all of this information to fine-tune their event programming, marketing messaging and even individual guest outreach.

So with these integrations, you can automatically send your BigMarker event data to your event registration platform—and give your event team the insights they need to crush their next event.

Some of our landing page and registration platform integrations include: 

Bizzabo: With our Bizzabo integration, you can host your webinar and event landing pages with your favorite landing page platforms. Integrate them with BigMarker to seamlessly give people who register on your landing pages access to your webinar and virtual event content hosted with BigMarker. 

Eventbrite: When guests sign up for a webinar via Eventbrite, they are automatically added as guests to the BigMarker webinar hosting that event. This way, they’re automatically subscribed to confirmation emails for that event.  

Instapage: Capture registrations on fully-customized landing pages on Instapage, then push them to BigMarker. Once there, all your Instapage registrants are automatically added to your BigMarker webinar. 

Unbounce: Once guests register via an Unbounce landing page, they’re pushed to BigMarker and automatically added as guests at your BigMarker webinar. 

Smooth the path to registration with landing page integrations.


5. Host More Inclusive Events With Web Accessibility Services

With more and more daily functions moving online, web accessibility is more important than ever. 

That’s especially true for online events, as 71% of people with disabilities leave a website immediately if it’s not accessible. 

So from content and design to audio and UX, you need to provide attendees the most convenient and user-friendly experience possible. But that takes a lot of technical know-how, especially when you’re all-in on planning the rest of your event. 

That’s why we recommend partnering with a service that is fully dedicated to web accessibility, providing necessary accommodations, and adapting them as technology and regulations evolve. 

BigMarker integrates with multiple web accessibility services built to ensure that our users’ event sites has the color contrast, text size, closed caption, audio description, etc. necessary to stay compliant with the ADA, WCAG 2.1 AA and AAA requirements. 

Typically, your web accessibility service will provide a code of Javascript that can be pasted into your event website. Guests can then open a drawer on the event site’s interface, choose their preferred accommodations and watch them take effect right away. 

Below are some of the services we use to ensure our events are accessible and compliant with ADA regulations: 

AccessiBe is a web accessibility service that embeds directly into your BigMarker event site to bring it into ADA compliance. 

AccessiBe's interface is a session-based design and UI adjustment tool that makes accessibility modifications based on a user's individual needs. These include content, color and display and navigation adjustments, all of which are compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA & AAA requirements. 

UserWay is another service that embeds right into your event site to make on-the-spot adjustments for ADA compliance. UserWay’s services include web accessibility, content accessibility, contrast scanners and more. A full list of their solutions can be found here

(Want to make sure your events are accessible and compliant with ADA guidelines? Confirm you're on the right track with our checklist.)

6. Host More Interactive Pre-Recorded Presentations With Slack Relays  

Hosting a recurring sales demo? Re-publishing your virtual event recordings to your on-demand video library? Previously, you’d just roll a recording, tell your audience to email some random support address with any questions, then move on. 

But sometimes, you need to respond right away. Maybe your viewers are experiencing technical issues—or they’re one question away from making a purchase right now. 

Good news: With our Slack integration, you can host pre-recorded webinars while still answering audience questions in real-time. When an audience member asks a question during the BigMarker session, it is pushed to a dedicated Slack channel. Knowledgeable team members can respond right away, as if they’re in the room with your audience. 

This facilitates faster and more effective communication, which encourages more people to participate and perceive your brand as more human. 

Pro tip: Begin your recording by encouraging people to ask questions. If they’ve signed up for a recurring webinar, they may not realize that anyone from the company is available to answer questions live. 

7. Broaden Your Reach with Social Media Live Streams 

You’ve spent hours and dollars building your dream event. Why not stream it to the audience you already have? With our social media integrations, you can stream your live session to Facebook Live, Twitter or YouTube Live. This way, you can combine the interactive features of a BigMarker session with the wider reach of your social channels. 

Streaming on social media also increases the odds that your followers will share your event with a friend or interact with your other social media content, so you can combine your marketing efforts to increase your performance in both your events and social media. 

Learn more about hosting live streams on BigMarker

Want to learn more about how the world’s most innovative companies are hosting virtual events and webinars? Contact us at sales@bigmarker.com to schedule a demo and get started. 


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