You just attended a webinar and came away thoroughly impressed. The entire experience from the registration page, to the look and feel of the webinar environment, to the speakers and the presentation was first class. Guess what? That didn’t just happen overnight. It took meticulous planning and preparation to deliver that experience. After years of executing countless webinars and digital events, we’ve come to the conclusion that the ideal webinar project plan should consist of six weeks. Here’s what each week should entail, along with what you should do the day of the event to ensure webinar success.

6 Weeks Out

  • Define who the audience is. Is it for net new prospects? Existing leads and opportunities that you’re looking to move down the funnel? Is it for existing customers where you’re looking to educate and upsell? Defining this will dictate what kind of webinar you’re going to have in terms of what will be presented and how. For example, a broader webinar to establish subject matter expertise might make more sense for net new prospects, while a case study and ROI driven webinar could make more sense for existing opportunities that you’re looking to close. It’s very important to match the content with the audience. Make it relevant.
  • One you know who the audience is and the type of webinar you’ll be delivering, now is the time to begin working on topics, webinar descriptions, and the information you want to get from your registrants. When thinking about topics, make sure they’re not overly long. Shorter topics that let your audience know they’re going to learn something tend to work best. We’ve found that using numbers and “How to” in webinar titles really resonates with folks because they know they’re going to be educated more than being sold to.
  • Determine who your speakers are. Look for presenters that have experience, are dynamic, and will keep your audience engaged. Your presenters can make all the different in the world, so choose wisely.
  • Lay out your promotional plan and cadence. Be sure to use a multi-pronged approach to get in front of your audience and drive registrations – email, social, outbound calling, digital ads, SEO, press releases, premium placement on your website,, leveraging partners to help spread the word. Everything is on the table and now is when you want to get your promotional mix solidified.

5 Weeks Out:

  • Now that your webinar topic and description are defined, it’s time to build your webinar registration page. You need to have the ability to optimize your registration page and build one that is on brand and has a clear call to action. Include your logo and color scheme, custom banners, multimedia, presenter pics and bios. Be sure visitors to this page can save it to multiple calendar types and have the ability to test their system to ensure they’re properly setup to view your webinar. In terms of registration fields, get the information you absolutely need. It’s been proven that too many fields can turn off potential registrants. We’ve found that 5-7 is the sweet spot and asking a question during the registration process is always a good idea. It will give you a better sense of who they are, challenges they’re faced with, initiatives they have, etc. There are a lot of boring registration pages out there, so stand out from the crowd and make yours engaging.
  • Determine if you’re webinar is going to be 100% live or what we call simulive. A simulive webinar is one that is pre-recorded and then broadcast as a ‘live’ event with certain live elements like Q&A, polling, etc. Live vs. simulive is another blog for another day!

4 Weeks Out:

  • Begin the promotional engine with an initial email blast to your targeted audience. We’re bullish on four weeks of promotions to drive an optimal audience. Remember, leverage a multi-pronged approach.
  • Get your presenters together for a brainstorming session to discuss the flow of the webinar. The topic and description are already defined, obviously, but now is the time to begin thinking about how the discussion will flow. Along those lines, you’ll notice I used the word “discussion.” Webinars should be collaborative, engaging discussions that make your attendees want to engage. Make it relevant, lively, and energetic. If you make it boring, your audience will think you are boring and nobody wants that.

3 Weeks Out:

  • Not that you’re starting to get some registrants, how are you going to engage with them from now until the live webinar date? Provide them with relevant content leading up to the webinar as a way to nurture them and keep them engaged. Doing this will Improve your registration to attendee ratios as well.
  • Now that your presenters have brainstormed on the flow of the webinar discussion, now is the time to start building your PPT deck. Stay away from death by PPT, which is a real thing. Too many slides that are overly complicated can lose an audience. Your slides should be a foundational element that act as a jumping off point. They should not tell the whole story. We always tell our customers that their slides should be constructed as such that they provide little value to the audience by themselves. To understand your slides, people have to attend and hear you talk against them. Finally, stay away from overly animated slides. They often serve little purpose other than providing your attendees with strained eyes and a headache. Less is more here.

2 Weeks Out:

  • This is when your initial dry run should take place. If you’re dealing with really experienced, seasoned webinar professionals, it may only take one dry run. With that said, we always recommend two dry runs to give everyone peace of mind that they’re going to nail the presentation. Dry runs don’t have to be exactly like it’s going to go the day of the event, but they do need to cover responsibilities, key talking points, and how the webinar is going to be delivered overall.
  • During the dry run, you want to ensure your presenters are technically sound from an A/V perspective. Make sure their speakers and microphones are optimal and that their audio is clear and crisp. If they’re going to be on camera, their video needs to be high quality and not grainy. Additionally, if they’re going to be on camera be sure the room they’re in provides good lighting and they are clearly visible with no distractions. If your webinar platform has background options for your speakers, now would be a good time to test this out. I personally like a real, professional looking background if it’s available.
  • Define the engagement tactics you’re going to use during the webinar such as live Q&A, polling, surveys, resource/content downloads, attendee chat, social feeds, etc. If your platform has the ability to go into breakout rooms after the webinar for a deeper dive discussion, that’s another thing to consider.
  • Finalize how the webinar user interface (UI) will look. You want your attendees to enter your webinar environment and be wowed. Like your registration page, the webinar UI should be on brand and look like it’s your event. Ensure you’re using a webinar platform that enables you to customize your UI several different ways.
  • In addition to all the other promotions you have going, now is a good time to send your 2nd dedicated email blast to your targeted audience,

1 Week Out:

  • At this point, your presentation and slide deck should be finalized. It’s understandable if you still have a few edits to make on your PPT, but it should be mostly complete at this stage.
  • A second dry run, if necessary, should be executed the week before the webinar to be extra sure everybody is comfortable with the webinar presentation and their setup for the event.
  • Your first reminder email should be sent to your existing registrants, reminding them about the webinar date/time and their login details.
  • In addition to all your other promotions, now is a good time to send your third dedicated email blast to your target audience.

Week of and Live Day:

  • Make sure your slide deck is final two days before the webinar. No last minute, live day changes if it can be avoided!
  • If your presenters want to have one last discussion to tie up any loose ends, have them do it a day or two before.
  • If your registration numbers are lagging, sending one more email blast 1-2 days before to get some last minute registrants is always a good idea.
  • The day of the event, send a 2nd reminder email to all existing registrants a few hours before the webinar. This will keep your event top of mind and help improve your registration to attendee ratio.
  • If your webinar is going to be 100% live, make sure your presenters login to the platform 30 minutes before the webinar starts. Logging in early enables you to do last minute system tests and performance checks, and it reinforces how everything will be handled if a presenter loses connection or is disrupted somehow. It’s technology and anything can happen, so always be testing and have troubleshooting plans in place for worst case scenarios. You’ll be thankful you did.
  • You’re live. Knock it out of the park, engage your attendees, and give your audience multiple reasons to keep coming back for more webinars down the road.

As we all know, with webinars it’s more about just planning for the live date. You can substantially extend the shelf-life and value of your webinars through a well thought out on-demand plan. Be on the lookout for a blog in the coming weeks that will provide you with a roadmap for on-demand webinar success.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

We now live in a digital event world and virtual events continue to be a key digital channel that marketers use to engage, educate, and generate leads for their business. With that said, sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics and remind ourselves why virtual events are so valuable and advantageous in the first place. Here are the five main advantages of virtual events.

1. They are more cost effective than in-person events.

Not only are virtual events more cost effective for the organization hosting, but they’re more cost effective for your attendees as well. Think about everything that goes into hosting an in-person event and how expensive they are. Virtual events have been proven to cost 80-85% less than physical events. Now think about the cost involved in attending an in-person event and everything that entails – travel, hotels, entertainment, time away from the office. There’s a lot of economic uncertainty right now and travel, entertainment, and physical events are typically first on the chopping block for budget conscious executives. Virtual events offer you a budget friendly alternative to stay in front of your target audience and drive revenue for your business.

2. They are more time efficient.

Again, the advantage is realized by the host and attendees. The main reason people don’t attend in-person events is because they can’t justify the cost and time away from the office. Let’s face it, going to a conference can be a time killer for your audience. They’re gone for 3-4 days and then they get back to the office and find themselves behind. That’s obviously not an issue with virtual events since people can attend from anywhere on any device. Additionally, creating a virtual event is more time efficient than creating an in-person event. The average virtual event takes 6-7 weeks to plan and execute, while an in-person event can take 2-3x longer on average. Think about all the time you can save, and increase in efficiency you’ll realize, by going virtual.

3. They offer greater reach with less restrictions.

No need to worry about hosting an event that is close or central to your target audience. With virtual events, your reach is limitless. Yes, you still want to have folks attend your event that meet your ideal profile, but you’re not limited by geography. You can 10x your attendance by going virtual, providing you with more opportunities to engage, educate, and create meaningful relationships that convert into revenue for your business. I know I may sound like Captain Obvious here, but I believe organizations lose sight of just how many restrictions in-person events have compared to virtual events.

4. They are more measurable.

Getting a list of registrants, attendees, and scanning a badge simply isn’t enough. And guess what? That’s all you get for most in-person events. By going the virtual route, you gain 360-degree visibility into everything your audience is doing and how engaged they are – how long they’re in the environment; spaces they visit; sessions they attend; content they view and/or download; questions and interactions they have; connections they make; how they respond to polls and surveys; how satisfied they are with the overall event, etc. What you can measure with the right virtual event platform is head and shoulders above what you get from in-person event data. Going virtual will provide you with a deeper understanding of what matters to your target audience, enabling you to market more efficiently and sell smarter to them. The end result? Better leads that convert to revenue, providing you with significantly enhanced event ROI.

5. They have a longer shelf-life.

With in-person events, more often than not they are over when they’re over. Most organizations don’t do a good job of capturing certain elements of their physical event and making it available for on-demand viewing and engagement. Virtual events can be archived for months (events on the Elastic Events platform come stock with 90 days of on-demand archiving), continuing to act as a marketing resource and lead generator for your business well after the live date(s). Many of our customers like to turn their virtual events into virtual resource centers that are updated with fresh new content and educational material on a weekly or monthly basis. To get the most out of your on-demand virtual event, it’s important to have a multi-pronged promotional strategy in place well ahead of time to ensure you get significant on-demand traffic. Doing so will increase your virtual event ROI that much more.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

Webinars are a B2B marketer’s best friend due to the reach, audience insight, leads, and pipeline they generate. For those of you that haven’t yet taken the leap and are wondering if you’re ready for a webinar program, here are four questions to ask yourself:

1. Have I clearly defined who my target audience is?

Like any well-planned marketing and lead generation program, it’s vital to define who your target audience is. This will dictate the content you use, your messaging, presenters, and calls to action within your webinars. You can look at your audience through multiple lenses: prospects vs. customers; industries and company types; job functions and roles; where they are in their buying journey, etc. It’s important that your content matches the audience you’re trying to engage. The right content at the right time will improve your conversion rates and generate greater webinar ROI.

2. Do I know the type of content I want to have within my webinars and how I’m going to position it?

This piggy backs off the first question you must ask yourself. Once you’ve defined your target audience, you need to create webinar content that speaks to them. If you’re going after brand-new prospects, you’re attempting to educate them, establish yourself as a credible organization with expertise, and move them into the sales funnel. It’s very important that you offer ways for your prospects to engage within your webinars (polling, surveys, handouts, Q&A, chat, breakout rooms, etc.), so you can uncover insight that will enable you to sell and market to them more effectively. If existing qualified leads are the target of a specific webinar, you’re looking to drive them further down the funnel. In this instance, your webinar may not be as high level, but instead focus on specific challenges that folks like them may be faced with. In these sessions, you can drill down into how you solve a specific challenge, provide a demo of your solution (if applicable) and/or provide case studies on how you’ve helped similar personas and organizations. Of course, existing customers are another story. Your customer-centric webinars should focus on enhancing the customer experience through education and updates, which hopefully leads to improved retention rates and upselling opportunities. Again, the right content at the right time…delivered to the right audience.

3. Am I confident that I have the right presenters to educate and engage my audience?

When it comes to webinars, regardless of the audience, engagement is the name of the game and good/bad presenters can make or break your webinar program. Whether its your own employees, customers, partners, or 3rd parties you’re bringing into the fold, look for presenters that:

  • Have webinar presentation experience and/or presentation experience in general.
  • Are energetic, conversational, and will get your audience touching their keyboards. If they’re boring and uninspiring, your attendees will think your organization is boring and uninspiring.
  • Have technical acumen and the equipment necessary to deliver a technically clean webinar experience for your audience.
  • Can get to the point and deliver value for your attendees in an adequate amount of time. If your presenters are long winded, you run the risk of your audience losing interest and logging off. Keep your attendees engaged and make the best use of their time.

4. Do I know how to properly promote, technically manage, and get the most out of my webinar investment?

When it comes to your webinar promotions, it’s all about time, your marketing mix, and who you’re going to promote it to.

  • Time – plan on a 6-week project plan for each webinar, giving yourself four weeks’ worth of promotions.
  • Marketing mix – a multi-pronged approach is crucial to generate the audience you’re looking for. Use all channels at your disposal – website, email blasts (4 over the course of 4 weeks), social media, newsletters and press releases, 3rd party databases that you have access to, and phone. Yes, the phone still works!
  • We talked about your target audience earlier – your promotions need to be geared towards the specific industries, companies, and personas that you want attending your webinar.

Technical and production details must not be overlooked, because technical mishaps can kill your webinar program. If you don’t feel comfortable producing and technically managing your webinars, work with a managed service webinar provider that brings their technology and management of the webinar process to the table.

Finally, to get the most out of your webinar investment, think beyond the live webinar itself. Webinars are so much more than the live date. Think about how you’re going to execute an on-demand plan that will extend the shelf-life and value of your webinars. And think about how you can take your webinar content and repurpose it into other content formats that engage your audience, drive demand, and accelerate revenue.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of digital event and demand generation solutions that help marketers generate deeper audience engagement and drive more pipeline, is hosting a webinar – How to Create Time Efficient, Revenue Generating Virtual Events – on Thursday, March 9th at 1pm Central. Featuring Jason Stegent, Founder and President at Elastic Solutions, this webinar will provide a roadmap for how organizations can efficiently scale their virtual event strategy and drive better results.

“There’s always been a misconception out there that virtual events have to be some massive undertaking that consume all your time, resources, and budget,” said Jason Stegent, Founder and President at Elastic Solutions. “In our opinion, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Virtual events are now a critical digital channel that B2B marketers must leverage to win in today’s incredibly competitive landscape, and in this webinar we’ll provide a roadmap that businesses can follow to execute more virtual events, increase target audience engagement, and accelerate revenue. All done in a more time efficient, cost-effective manner.”

In 45 minutes or less, this webinar will cover:

  • The different virtual event formats that are less time consuming for you and your audience, but still jam-packed with engagement opportunities.
  • How to properly promote your virtual events to generate larger audiences and greater event ROI.
  • The different ways to extend the shelf-life of your virtual event to enhance its overall value.
  • Which of your current, smaller format in-person events could be primed to transition to 100% virtual
  • Much more!

The webinar will end with a fast-paced Q&A session. Please click here to register now.

If you have questions about this webinar or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email and/or call 832.831.5844.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides digital event and demand generation solutions that enable marketers to extend their reach, significantly increase audience engagement, and drive more pipeline.

Through webinars, virtual events, and targeted lead generation services we help our clients generate better leads and acquire more ideal customers. The company is headquartered in Houston, TX at 3100 South Gessner Road, Suite 135. To learn more, please visit, email,  or call us at 832.831.5844. We look forward to working with you.

Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of digital event and demand generation solutions that enable marketers to generate deeper audience engagement and drive more pipeline, has announced the release of their latest product – Elastic Universities.

“We’re exceptionally excited about this new product because it serves a significant need for B2B marketers,” said Jason Stegent, Founder and President at Elastic Solutions. “Building a robust content marketing stack has been a priority for B2B businesses for quite some time. However, it’s no longer about volume, volume, volume. It’s about quality content and hosting it in formats and environments that your audience wants to engage with, while at the same time arming your teams with better audience insight that they can use to sell and market smarter. This is what the Elastic Universities solution brings to the table – quality content environments that strengthen customer relationships and drive more pipeline.”

This new product offering will be featured in an upcoming webinar on September 20th at 1pm Central – Introducing Elastic Universities: Demand Generation Content Hubs.

If you have any questions about this new product, upcoming webinar, or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email and/or call 832.831.5844.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides digital event and demand generation solutions that enable marketers to extend their reach, significantly increase audience engagement, and drive more pipeline.

 Through webinars, virtual events, and targeted lead generation services, we help our clients generate better leads and acquire more ideal customers. The company is headquartered in Houston, TX at 3100 South Gessner Road, Suite 135. To learn more, please visit, email,  or call us at 832.831.5844. We look forward to working with you.

Great virtual events start with a well thought out project plan that details everything that must happen from event conception to event archive. If you try to wing it, or become undisciplined and skip steps in the process, you’re setting yourself up for a failure that will have a negative impact on your brand.

Here are 10 steps we’ve identified that should be a part of any virtual event project plan:

  1. Define your event’s goals and objectives – what do you want your event to be? Is it an event to generate demand and drive pipeline, an event to enhance the customer experience and forge stronger relationships, or something else? Defining the goals and objectives of your event will set the tone for how you promote it, who you promote it to, and what your virtual environment will entail. Just like every marketing and demand generation campaign begins with laying out goals and objectives before officially executing, you should take the same approach with your virtual event.
  2. Create a budget – the type of virtual event you plan on hosting will dictate how much you should budget for. When you’re looking at 100% virtual events, the amount of event spaces within your environment, how much content you’ll have, and how many concurrent users will attend your event will determine your costs for the most part (other a la carte items and extras can impact pricing as well). If you’re going the hybrid route, you also need to consider the costs involved for the in-person setup and everything that entails. Whereas 75% of your budget would typically go to the venue for your in-person event, 75% of your budget will most likely go to your technology provider/partner for your virtual event. Plan accordingly.
  3. Build your content and event space plan: quality and on brand – now that you know the type of event you’re going to execute and how much it’s going to cost, you should build out your content and event space roadmap with a focus on quality and being on brand. What impactful speakers will you be bringing to the table? How are you going to personalize content to your specific audience? Whether it’s webinars, videos, or a piece of literature, you want to provide content that is engaging and gets your audience touching their keyboard. As you look at your event spaces, think about the different ways you can highlight your brand and products through logos, banners, advertisements, and various CTA’s.
  4. Identify a PARTNER for your specific event and technology needs – executing world-class virtual events aren’t easy. They take a lot of meticulous planning and work to get it right. It’s imperative that you align yourself with a PARTNER, not just a technology vendor, that will act as an extension of your team and help manage the event process from A-Z. Your ideal virtual event partner should have great technology, be in constant communication with you, and bring an unwavering commitment to impeccable customer service. That’s what we bring to our customers every day, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.
  5. Registration page and promotional roadmap – when you build your registration page, there are several things to consider: will your platform provider have registration page capabilities, or will you have to host it on your side or through some other 3rd party? How will you highlight your company, brand, and agenda for the event to increase your chances of driving quality registrations? What information do you want to capture about your event registrants? You need to make sure you get the registration page right because it’s the first impression your target audience will have of your event. Next, think about how you’re going to promote the event and for how long. As with all digital events, we highly recommend a multi-pronged approach that leverages several channels to attack your audience and drive the event traffic you’re looking for. While email is still the most effective way to generate registrations, use every promotional tool at your disposal – website, social, press releases, partners, 3rd party publications, etc. In terms of the time needed to promote, it really depends on the size and scope of your virtual event. While the average promotional window for a webinar is around 4 weeks, for example, you’re looking at about 8 weeks on average for virtual events.
  6. Attendee engagement action plan – many companies make the mistake of only thinking about engagement during the event. You need to be thinking about how you’re going to engage your audience before, during, and after the event. When somebody registers, sending them a gift box or pre-event swag can increase the chances that they will attend. Providing your registrants with relevant information and content before the event could increase your chances of them becoming event ambassadors. And think about allowing your registrants to set their agenda beforehand, so they can maximize their time and be efficient the day(s) of your event. During the event, think about the different ways you can engage your audience – personalized content and webinars for their specific job function; video chat and breakout sessions that connect them with peers and industry experts; gamification that immerses them in your event experience and separates you from the competition, etc. Post event, the engagement shouldn’t stop. Archive your event on-demand and continue to give your attendees access for a certain amount of time. Create snippets or highlight reels of the virtual event and deliver it to your registrants and attendees…essentially key moments from the event that they can easily consume. And finally, get their feedback. Send them surveys that ask them about their event experience – what did they like, dislike, and what would they like to see from your digital events moving forward? This feedback can be critical in setting up your virtual event roadmap moving forward.
  7. Education, training, and testing across the board – before the event, send tutorials to your registrants that show them how they can navigate the environment and make the most out of their virtual event experience. Educate your speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors (and educate them again) on how to use the technology so they’re prepared to execute on the big day. Finally, test your event environment and test it some more. We recommend that the last 7-10 days before your virtual event is dedicated almost solely to testing and ensuring that everyone is fully comfortable with the platform and their role in the virtual event.
  8. Live day support – if something goes wrong, how are you going to troubleshoot it? What does your customer support team look like to ensure that your attendees, presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, and partners are having a great virtual event experience? These are things that need to be flushed out well before your event goes live. As noted above, properly testing everything before the event can drastically limit the amount of support tickets you have to deal with, but if you’re hosting a virtual event with a lot of participants it’s likely that someone out there is going to have a technical difficulty. We’ve found that it’s almost always on their side and not the platform provider, but it’s your event and your job to put your best foot forward in helping them have a glitch-free virtual event experience. This is one of the areas where having a managed-service virtual event provider really helps. At Elastic, we put together a team to help manage your virtual event and this includes customer and technical support for your live day(s). Your technology partner should be able to connect with your event participants through email, text chat, video/audio chat, and phone. As your go through the virtual event technology selection process, ask providers about their support capabilities. It could make or break your event.
  9. Event intelligence through analytics and reporting – there are two things that will set the tone here:
    1. The registration fields you require on your registration page. It’s extremely important to determine upfront the data you want to capture from your attendees.
    2. The virtual event partner that you work with. As you source platform providers, ask them to see what their reporting and analytics look like. You should be able to see all movements attendees make within your virtual event environment. One of the great things about virtual events is they offer a wealth of data and superior metrics and attendee insight compared to physical, in-person events. Make sure that you choose a platform provider that can equip you with the data and insight you need to make smarter sales and marketing decisions post event.
  10. Extend the shelf-life of your event for greater ROI – for the most part, when an in-person event is over it’s over. With virtual events, you can extend their shelf-life through on-demand archiving so that they continue to generate ROI over a longer period. However, don’t wait to set your on-demand plan until after the live event is over. When you’re determining how you’re going to promote your event to generate live day attendees, you should also be putting your on-demand plan together. You should promote your archived event with the same urgency that you promoted your live event with. Virtual events are a content marketer’s dream, and you have a wealth of content that can continue to generate leads and drive pipeline for your business long after the live event is over. Capitalize on it!

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

Perhaps even more frustrating than not generating enough qualified leads is having the leads you do generate stall in the funnel. The best way to deal with this problem is to not allow your leads to stall in the first place, because it can be very difficult to restart a stalled opportunity. B2B organizations need to put as much emphasis on funnel acceleration as they do lead generation.

Here are four keys to funnel acceleration and removing the frustration of stalled opportunities.

  1. Take more time qualifying and getting a better lay of the land. One of the most common reasons that a qualified lead stalls in the funnel is because it wasn’t a truly qualified lead to begin with. Traditional BANT criteria must not always apply because let’s face it, sometimes a prospect doesn’t know what they don’t know in terms of needing a product/service. However, something must be uncovered that qualifies them as a lead worth pursuing in the first place. A few thoughts here:
    • If you’re selling a solution to VP and above only, and the ‘lead’ that has stalled in your funnel is a manager or director level contact, there’s a good chance the reason it’s stalled is because that person can’t make a decision or move the engagement to the next phase. Stick to your process and lead criteria and don’t settle for anything less.
    • There must be a pain or challenge they’re faced with, or a gap to fill in their business where your solution can provide value. This value is what you’re selling and marketing against as you move them through the funnel to purchase.
    • They don’t always have to have budget set aside for your product – remember, sometimes they don’t even know they have a problem or need worth budgeting for until it’s presented to them – but they need to have the ability to secure the necessary budget if it’s determined they have a problem worth solving. Money eventually needs to be flushed out because it’s not a qualified lead if you’re selling a $50k solution and they only have $10k to spend.
    • You need to determine if it’s a high priority for them. Sometimes the lead checks all the BANT boxes and your solution is exactly what they’re looking for, but the lead still stalls. This might be because they’re dealing with a $100k problem and your solution solves a $50k problem and takes a backseat. Understanding the urgency they have to move, and the risks they take on by not doing something, are things that need to be discussed and qualified.
  1. Ensure all necessary stakeholders are involved. Closing deals in today’s B2B landscape is a lot more complex than it was 5-10 years ago. Whereas there used to be a few decision makers involved, larger enterprise deals can have 5 or more stakeholders that have a say in the purchase and all of them can have unique motivations to buy. Sell and market to those unique motivations to personalize the buying experience for each stakeholder. Not doing so, and instead taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach, can stall or flat out kill the deal.
  1. Get commitments every step of the way.  From the time they first enter the funnel as a lead all the way to purchase, prospects should be making commitments at every stage and it’s the job of sales and marketers to get those commitments. You should take control of the process and not let the prospective client dictate next steps. The risk in giving your prospects control is that they likely don’t know how best to work through an effective buying process, and this is where you can educate them and create value. Getting prospect commitments and buy in every step of the way further qualifies them, significantly decreasing the chances of them stalling out on you. They now have a vested interest.
  1. The right content at the right time. Quality content is king, but the key is giving them the right quality content at the right time. Think about content formats that not only educate, but truly engage and give you more insight on the backend. This insight will enable you to sell smarter and market more efficiently, increasing the likelihood of accelerating them through the buying process. When they first become a lead, driving them to a webinar or video that highlights your organization as subject matter experts could be the appropriate play. As they get further down the funnel, think about content that could help move them to the proposal stage or even to signature – case study webinars that show how you’ve delivered ROI for your customers; deminars (webinars with a demo component) that show how your product could work specifically for them and their use case; or virtual events where they can engage with your company at scale, giving them a better sense of your organization and the customer experience you would provide them with. Webinars and digital events aren’t just for lead generation…they can help you create legitimate opportunities and close business as well.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of webinar and virtual event-based marketing solutions that help marketers generate better leads and drive more pipeline, is hosting a webinar – The Anatomy of an Incredible Virtual Event – on Tuesday, April 19th at 1:00 PM Central. Featuring Jason Stegent, Founder & President at Elastic Solutions, and Alan Atkins, Director of Online Events at Elastic Solutions, this webinar will cover everything organizations must do, from event conception to event archive, to create virtual event experiences that are truly special.

“Yes, in-person events are back, but the event landscape has changed forever,” said Jason Stegent, Founder and President at Elastic Solutions. “Virtual events are no longer thought of as ‘substitutes’ for in-person events, but rather an additional digital channel that is crucial to event success moving forward. Creating unforgettable virtual event experiences that generate outstanding ROI takes a rock-solid process, a team of great people, and a technology partner that can help your event stand out from the crowd. This webinar will cover all that and more.”

Among other things, attendees will learn:

  • What the ideal virtual event project plan entails, depending upon the size and scope of your event
  • How to drive audience engagement before, during, and after the virtual event to enhance insight and maximize ROI
  • The different virtual event formats and spaces available, and how you can create customized experiences that enhance your brand
  • What to look for when choosing the right virtual event partner for your specific needs

The webinar will end with a fast-paced Q&A session. Click here to Register Now!

If you have any questions about this webinar or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email and/or call 832.831.5844. We hope you can join us on April 19th.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides webinar and virtual event-based marketing solutions that help marketers extend their reach, generate better leads, and drive more pipeline.

From cloud-based webcasting and virtual event solutions that enhance demand generation and accelerate opportunities through the sales funnel, to strategic marketing services that get businesses in front of the right decision makers and generate more ‘sales ready’ leads in the process, Elastic Solutions improves the way companies engage their target audience.

The company is headquartered in Houston, TX at 3100 South Gessner Road, Suite 135. To learn more, please visit and/or call 832.831.5844. We look forward to working with you.

It’s 2022 and content is still king. Let me rephrase that…QUALITY content is still king. Having a full stack of quality content is essential for any successful demand generation initiative. It’s the foundation of getting leads into the pipeline, accelerating them through the funnel, and turning them into customers. With that said, a lot of companies miss out on the opportunity to turn existing content into other forms of content that can engage their target audience and drive more pipeline. Often, great content is staring you right in the face and waiting to be repurposed. Here’s how you should repurpose your quality content into other formats that drive greater demand generation impact for your business.

Turn static content (whitepapers, research reports, case studies, survey results, eBooks, etc.) into engagement-driven digital events

When we talk to folks about why they don’t execute more webinars, one of the most common responses we get is that they don’t have a story to tell, or they don’t have time to build the story for a webinar. What they don’t realize is they DO have a story to tell, it’s just in the form of existing literature. Repurposing that content into webinar formats that extend your reach, engage your audience, and tell your story in a more collaborative environment will increase content marketing ROI. The engagement metrics and audience intelligence you’ll receive on the backend are also far superior to what you receive from static content, enabling your sales team to sell smarter and your marketing teams to market more efficiently.

Turn your webinars into short form highlight reels

At Elastic Solutions, we always talk about the complete webinar lifecycle. Yes, you want to have a high-quality live audience that is engaged and excited to be there. Companies also need to realize that we live in a Netflix world where people want to consume content when it’s convenient for them. Therefore, having an on-demand plan – one that is as detailed as the plan leading up to the live date – is critical for overall webinar success. With that being said, some folks don’t want to sit through a 50-60-minute on-demand webinar. They want the Cliffs Notes version. They want the highlights and key takeaways. We’ve found webinar highlight reels to be a great tool for our clients. They’re 6–7-minute videos that are easy to consume and time efficient for your prospects and customers, great to promote through social channels, and effective assets for your sales force to use in their outbound efforts. Additionally, we’ve found them to be incredibly effective in drip marketing and lead nurturing campaigns. Sometimes the biggest challenge isn’t getting leads into the funnel, it’s making sure they don’t get stuck and accelerating them through the funnel. Assets like webinar highlight reels will keep your deals moving along in the right direction.

Use webinar engagement metrics and audience feedback to create literature and additional webinars

Webinars to create webinars, and webinars to create literature. Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s a nice way to accelerate your efforts to get more quality content in front of your buyers. If you choose the right webinar partner and build your webinar the right way – making it a multi-touch, collaborative session that offers your audience several ways to engage and interact – you’ll receive a wealth of data on the backend that gives you invaluable insight into your audience and their motivations. Also, if you execute a post event survey to gather more feedback and understand what type of content your audience would like to see from you moving forward, this will provide additional audience intelligence. You can then use all this data to build webinars and other assets that speak directly to what your audience is looking for and where they are in the buying cycle. The result will be a more personalized content marketing stack that increases conversions.

Use your entire content marketing stack to build a robust virtual event

Do you have a boatload of content and you’re looking for a new outlet to breath life into it and make it shine? If so, virtual events are your ticket. Virtual events are a content marketers dream and enable you to repurpose your content in multiple ways for greater demand generation impact – webinar sessions, videos, resource centers, through product “booths” that highlight your products and services, breakout sessions, networking lounges, etc. User group conferences, product launches and showcases, partner expos and symposiums, roadshows, and townhalls (and more) can all be built from your existing content stack. You’ve worked hard to build content that speaks to your audience, and you should work just as hard to find outlets that effectively extend its reach and shelf-life. Nothing does it better, more cost effectively, and in a more measurable way than a well-executed virtual event.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

Yes, virtual events are here to stay. You know why? Because they work! For much of 2020, organizations looked at virtual events as simply substitutes for cancelled in-person events until things got back to ‘normal.’ Fast forward to now and marketing and event executives realize that virtual events are an additional digital channel that must be leveraged to effectively engage target audiences, improve customer experiences, generate demand, and close more business. Virtual events are now a part of our ‘normal’ and will continue to be. As you go through the process of finding the virtual event partner that best fits your needs, here are 7 questions to ask:

1. How long have you been in the virtual event space?

In the last 18 months, virtual event providers have seemingly popped up out of nowhere, claiming they have a solution that can fit any event need. When you’re sourcing platform providers, ask them how long they’ve been in the virtual event space. What type of events have been executed on their platform, and how many events like yours have they executed? There have been several in-person event management companies that never had a true virtual option before the pandemic, and now they’re claiming to be virtual event experts. Working with an organization that has experience in dealing with all types of event formats is very important, so be sure to ask for multiple references when speaking with providers. Due diligence is key – it could be the difference between success and a virtual event disaster.

2. Can you show me an example of a virtual event you’ve executed that speaks to what I’m looking for?

Once you have your requirements and know what your virtual event will entail, ask providers to show you their solution in action and provide examples of events they’ve executed that have what you’re looking for. If they say the can do it, make them show you and ask about their process for getting it done. If a vendor is hesitant to back up their claims and demo their platform against your requirements, take them off the list and move on down the road. It’s really that simple.

3. What does project management and support look like before, during, and after the event?

Proper project management and support from registration page creation to event archive are crucial to virtual event success. If you’re going the managed-service route, you’re essentially asking the virtual event provider to be an extension of your team and be a true ‘partner’ (not just another vendor) in your success. Here are some items that need to be covered:

  • Understand the makeup of your virtual event partner’s project management team and who will be the main points of contact. How will they be available to you?
  • Working backwards from your event eventually going on-demand, you need to see a detailed project plan that highlights everything that will be done, deadlines for when items will be executed, and who’s responsible for what. Stick to the plan.
  • You need to understand the process for building the event and when you’ll be able to get into the environment to ensure it’s being built to specifications. Have checkpoints throughout the project plan to go in and experience the environment as it’s being built.
  • If your event has sponsors, presenters, exhibitors, etc. – how will your virtual event partner manage and support them throughout the entire process to ensure they’re educated on their responsibilities and everything that needs to be done on their end?
  • The day of the event, you need to know how everyone involved with your virtual event will be supported. Your partner of choice should provide you with a rundown of what support entails the day(s) of your event. The same project management team that you’ve worked with from the beginning should be there to support you for the live event. Team continuity is a big plus.
  • Once the event is over, what’s the process for getting the event on-demand? How long will it take? How can I continue to drive traffic to the on-demand version to increase event ROI? Obviously, these are things that need to be mapped out as you build the initial project plan. Remember, one of the pros of virtual events is you can extend their shelf-life so they can continue to drive value over a longer period. Have an on-demand plan.

4. What options does your event platform have to drive attendee engagement?

For events, engagement is the name of the game. When organizations first started pivoting to virtual events, the biggest knock against them was that they didn’t drive near the engagement that in-person events did. We have come a long way in a short period of time, and I would argue that virtual events now offer MORE and EASIER ways to engage compared to in-person events. As you map out the engagement strategy for your next event, some things to consider:

  • Think about engagement holistically, from the moment you announce the event until it’s archived on-demand. A recent blog of ours – Virtual Event Engagement Tips: Before, During and After the Event – will lead you down the right path.
  • How do you want your presenters to engage with your attendees, and vice versa? It should be a two-way street for communication. The same goes with exhibitor and sponsor communications with your attendees.
  • What does attendee to attendee engagement look like? Make sure you have a platform that enables your attendees to interact and collaborate with one another multiple ways – through text, audio, and video chat; going into breakout rooms that are ideal for group settings; connecting through various social media platforms; exchanging and downloading of virtual business cards; being able to set meetings and email one another within the platform. Your virtual event platform should offer these capabilities.
  • Getting real-time attendee feedback is important, so make sure your virtual event partner has survey and poll features that can provide valuable insight into attendee engagement and satisfaction.
  • How many gamification options do I have, and which ones are the best fit for my audience? Some virtual event providers can also customize gamification solutions for your unique needs.

5. What does reporting look like and what’s being tracked within my virtual event?

One of the biggest advantages that virtual events have over in-person events is the ability to track everything that is being done within the environment. I’m talking about complete 360-degree visibility into every movement being made at any time. This type of insight enables businesses to make smarter decisions that can lead to significantly greater event ROI. As you go through the selection process, ask virtual event providers to show you their reporting dashboards and what they entail. They should be straightforward to navigate, the reports/analytics should be easily exportable and/or can integrate with your CRM and Marketing Automation tools (if you’re looking to achieve a CRM/Marketing Automation integration with your event platform, this should be one of the first items on the project plan), and they should provide you with complete visibility into audience engagement and event success.

6. Do you have a solution for Hybrid events?

Just like 100% virtual events, hybrids events are here to stay. In our opinion, any sizeable in-person event would be making a mistake if they didn’t offer a digital extension. Moving forward, there are going to be folks that don’t see the need to travel for in-person events because they believe they can get equal or greater value through virtual events. There are going to be others that won’t go to physical events for various reasons – company travel restrictions, time away from the office, their business can’t justify the expense, etc. However, these people still want to be involved with your event and its content in some way, and offering a virtual component allows them to do that. While you’re dealing with two different audiences in a hybrid environment – in-person and virtual – the key is finding a solution that makes it feel like one seamless experience for everyone involved. In-person and virtual attendees should be able to connect and engage with one another, with both audiences feeling like they got equal value. As you’re looking at vendors, ask them about their approach to hybrid events and how they handle various hybrid scenarios.

7. How do you ensure that my event won’t have any technical mishaps or disruptions?

With technology, things can happen that are out of everyone’s control. There’s not a virtual event provider out there, if they’re being honest, that hasn’t had a technical disruption of some kind. In our opinion, the answer to this question is two-fold:

  1. To ensure there won’t be any technical issues, everyone involved with the event must be gin clear as to what the technical requirements are and it’s the platform provider’s responsibility to ensure everyone is well educated. This includes meticulously training presenters/speakers on how to use the technology and what technical setup they must have to ensure successful presentations; showing exhibitors and sponsors (if applicable) exactly how they can engage with attendees and the setup they must have on their end to have an optimal virtual event experience; through numerous event ‘reminder’ emails, providing event attendees with access to system tests, performance checks, literature, and tutorials that explain the technical makeup they need to have and how best to navigate the virtual event. Repeat after me – training and education, training and education, training and education!
  2. Let’s say you do everything outlined in Part 1 and you STILL have a technical disruption…what do you do now? Well for starters, you need to ensure you’re working with a virtual event partner that puts the customer first and will do everything possible to troubleshoot the technical mishap as quickly as possible. We’ve all heard horror stories where things went wrong and then only got worse because the virtual event provider was nowhere to be found. At Elastic, we take a multi-pronged approach to support and our clients know that we’re supporting them, their presenters, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees multiple ways. Whether it be through email, chat, text or phone call, your virtual event partner should have a ‘real-time’ support policy. Anything less than that should not be acceptable. As you go through the selection process, ask vendors to provide you with documentation on their support policies and their approach to troubleshooting technical issues should they arise.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of webinar and virtual event-based marketing solutions that help marketers generate better leads and drive more pipeline, has made their latest webinar – Cost & ROI Analysis: In-Person vs. Virtual Events – available on-demand. It’s ideal for event marketing and planning professionals that are looking to understand the event formats that deliver the best value for their audience and the most ROI for their business.

Featuring Jason Stegent, Founder and President at Elastic Solutions, and Alan Atkins, Director of Online Events at Elastic Solutions, there were three major takeaways from this webinar:

1) 90% of attendees said that 100% virtual and hybrid events are going to be a key part of their event and marketing plans moving forward

2) Event executives no longer look at virtual events as merely substitutes for canceled in-person events, but rather as a critical digital channel that they must leverage moving forward to drive audience engagement, revenue, and company growth

3) 65% of attendees said that virtual events deliver better overall ROI than in-person events

Among other things, the webinar covers the costs involved for virtual and in-person events; how virtual formats generate engagement compared to physical ones; what can be effectively measured in different event formats; and the rise of hybrid events and the value they bring to the table. It ends with a fast-paced Q&A session. Click here to register for this awesome on-demand webinar!

If you have any questions about this webinar or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email and/or call 832.831.5844.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides webinar and virtual event-based marketing solutions that help marketers extend their reach, generate better leads, and drive more pipeline.

From cloud-based webcasting and virtual event solutions that enhance demand generation and accelerate opportunities through the sales funnel, to strategic marketing services that get businesses in front of the right decision makers and generate more ‘sales ready’ leads in the process, Elastic Solutions improves the way companies engage their target audience.

For B2B organizations, finding the right mix of lead and demand generation partners to drive pipeline and revenue is crucial to business success. Because building an internal lead generation team can be exceptionally challenging – onboarding new reps; ongoing training; lack of bandwidth to do it the right way; lack of know how to do it the right way; incredibly expensive; time to value isn’t there aka it takes too long to realize results – more B2B leaders than ever are opting to outsource their lead generation initiatives to various partners that are 100% focused on driving pipeline. As you go through the process of outsourcing this piece of your business, here are 5 important questions to ask your lead generation partner:

1. What experience do you have in attacking the industries and companies that we target?

Having industry experience and knowledge about the company types you’re targeting should be one of the first questions you ask any lead generation partner that you’re thinking of bringing on board. Your partner is going to act as an extension of your business, so they should understand the ins/outs of the market you’re trying to penetrate and how to speak the industry language. They should know who the decision makers are and why, as well as the types of folks that can influence the decision making process, and how different messaging resonates with different roles and job functions within an organization.

2. What experience do you have in working with organizations like mine?

To piggyback off the above, you also want to work with lead generation partners that have experience in working with businesses that offer products and services similar to yours. This means they’ll be familiar with your value proposition and how to articulate it in their messaging. It also means less education and training on your part, which will enable your lead generation partner to ramp up quicker and generate results faster. Remember, one of the key reasons you’re outsourcing your lead generation activities in the first place is because you don’t have the time/bandwidth to train and ramp up an internal team. Find a partner that can hit the ground running.

3. Our #1 priority is lead quality – how do you ensure the leads you generate are qualified leads?

It’s not about only lead generation anymore…it’s about quality lead generation. The process to get here should be very straightforward – you and your lead generation partner should mutually determine on the frontend what a qualified lead is and what it isn’t. There should be no gray area because it’s a very black and white issue. A prospect either meets the qualifications that you agreed on or they don’t. A crucial mistake in any lead generation initiative is not having an iron-clad definition for a qualified lead from the beginning because it creates problems in the long run. When you’re sourcing partners to work with, press them on this.

4. Once we bring you on board, what is your process for generating leads?

They tell you they can generate leads for you…great. Exactly how are they going to do it? You deserve to understand their process from A-Z. Are they a one-trick pony in terms of how they’re going to get you in front of their ideal audience, or do they take a multi-pronged approach to driving demand and pipeline for your products and services? If outbound calling and emailing are going to be a part of the equation, it’s important to understand their call and email approach, as well as the cadence. When do they make calls and send emails? When and how do they know to pivot the messaging to illicit a response? How many times do they typically touch a prospect before they become a qualified lead? When do they determine it’s time to move on and focus on other targets? And this is just for the outbound lead generation component – there are a whole other set of questions to ask your inbound and content creation lead generation partners. You should expect a detailed, clearly laid out roadmap for how your partner is going to generate results for your business.

5. Can I speak with organizations you’ve worked with that have successfully used you to generate qualified leads from audiences similar to mine?

In this instance it’s not just about a referral, but a referral that hits close to home. If your potential lead generation partner tells you that they have experience and have had success in attacking the industries you target, ask to speak with the companies they’ve worked with that go after similar audiences. If they’ve had success generating leads for products and services similar to yours, and/or they’ve helped other companies effectively penetrate similar markets, they should have no problem getting you in touch with their clients. If they’re hesitant about you speaking with their customers, you should be hesitant about bringing them on board as your lead generation partner.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

For virtual events (and events in general), attendee engagement is the name of the game. Simply having a lineup of great speakers and compelling content isn’t enough – for virtual events, organizations and event executives need to take it a step further by creating buzz before, during and after the event is over. So, how can you create true engagement from registration page creation to event archive? Let’s dig in.

Before the Event:

Smart communications that promote the length, format, and event agenda.

In terms of promotions for your events, it’s always best to take a multi-pronged approach and promote it through every channel possible. And make sure you give yourself plenty of time to promote it. Based on the size and scope of your virtual event, promotions could start anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months out from the event date.

There’s a lot of competition in the virtual event space right now and your audience has a lot of events to choose from. When promoting your virtual event, think about what makes yours different and highlight the length, format, and agenda. In terms of length, attendees typically don’t have the same attention span for virtual events that they do for live events, so be cognizant of that and think of ways that you can offer shorter formats that offer as much/if not more value than an in-person event. So if the event would’ve typically been 6-7 hours in an in-person setting, make it 4 hours in a virtual environment to keep your audience engaged.

As for the event format, highlight the spaces, rooms, and functionality your virtual event will have. Talk about how your attendees can interact with exhibitors, connect with their colleagues through various networking features, listen to and connect with thought leaders and presenters through webinars and breakout rooms, etc. Highlight what’s in it for them, the value they’ll get out of attending and why being there is worth their time. Finally, clearly lay out the agenda for your event and walk them down the path in terms of what their day could look like if they attend. During the registration process, give your audience the ability to set their own agenda where they can decide, for example, the sessions they will be attending and the breakout rooms/workshops they will be participating in.

Be cognizant of what your attendees what out of the event.

Want to understand what your attendees are hoping to get out of the event? Simply ask. Surveying your audience will help you curate the experience for them. What does a successful event look like to you? What are three things you want to learn from this event? What type of networking features would you like to see? What types of professionals would you like to connect with and why? What do you like most about virtual events and what do you dislike the most? Their answers to these questions will allow you to personalize the experience and agenda for your attendees, which will result in superior engagement and virtual event ROI.

Have your attendees spread the word and reward them for it.

A great way to build buzz before the event is to have your registered attendees, presenters, and sponsors act as event ambassadors. Create a hashtag for your virtual event and then have them spread the word and promote it to their audiences, letting everybody know they’re attending your event and why.

Before the event, think about surprising your registered attendees by giving them some pre-conference swag – shirts, notebooks, pens, and coffee mugs all work well. It helps get your audience in the conference mindset and can help improve your registration to attendee ratios.

Give attendees a sneak peak of the event environment.

When looking at virtual event platform providers, ask them if they give registered attendees the ability to get a sneak peak of the environment before it actually goes live. Enabling folks to get into the platform pre-event and create/update their profile is a big plus. Also, giving registrants early access to certain areas of the event will familiarize them with the environment and enable them to be more efficient with their time the day(s) of the event. They’ll have a better understanding of how to navigate, interact and consume content. Like the pre-conference swag, providing this early access can increase excitement amongst your audience, improve registration to attendee ratios and help generate greater attendee engagement.

During the Event:

Great looking environments, compelling content, and high production quality.

It’s important to provide virtual event environments that flat out look good and are easy to navigate. Ensure that your platform is easy on the eyes and on brand, and can be customized with banners, logos, and advertisements. The right virtual event partner will give you the ability to choose your event theme (3D or 2D) and offer a number of room templates for your to choose from as well.

Content is no longer king…quality content is king. There are a ton of virtual and hybrid events in all industries right now, so it’s imperative that your event provides content that is highly valuable to your attendees. If your event is going to have an exhibition hall, ensure that your exhibitors are providing content that is relevant and timely. For your webinar sessions, make sure your presenters are exciting and have compelling stories to tell, and that they use the time to educate and not sell.

Speaking of webinar sessions, high production quality is mission-critical and the only way to ensure this is to test, test, and test some more well before the live date. Poorly produced webinars, videos, workshops, and breakout sessions can leave a bad taste in your attendee’s mouth and severely impact the success of your virtual event. For your webinar presentations within your event, it’s a good idea to look at the possibility of pre-recording as many of them as possible and broadcasting them as live events with live elements (Q&A, polls, surveys, chat rooms) the day of. We call these simulive webinars and it ensures that the presentations are well executed and deliver a top-notch experience for your attendees. When looking at which virtual event partner you want to move forward with, having this ability is a must.

Make engagement a two-way street.

One of the best ways to measure virtual event success is through attendee engagement, and the only way to achieve high levels of engagement is to make it a two-way street. Far too often, attendees go to virtual events and all they’re doing is watching presentations, videos, demos, etc. They’re watching, but they’re not doing anything. There are a number of ways to combat this:

  • Offer breakout rooms and workshops where attendees can engage, interact, and build relationships with like-minded professionals.
  • Create multiple chat experiences – text chat, 1:1 video chat and group chat.
  • Get real-time audience feedback through live surveys and polls. Understand what your audience likes/dislikes about the experience and use that as ammo to make your next virtual event even more engaging.

Incentivize your attendees for doing and being active within your event through gamification options like leaderboard, trivia, and scavenger hunt. In these instances, you’re urging your audience to engage and have meaningful interactions, and they’re getting rewarded on the backend with various giveaways and prizes.

Networking is crucial to event success.

One of the main reasons people attend in-person conferences is for the networking opportunities, and there are now multiple ways to truly make your virtual event a networking hub.

One of the best places to start is to create a networking café or lounge. These areas can offer attendees the ability to:

  • Participate in scheduled industry discussions and group chats. In a recent virtual event hosted on the Elastic Events platform, one of our clients offered ‘Lunch with the Founders.’ They promoted this as a session in the Networking Café where attendees could interact with the company founders and ask any questions they had for them. Attendees were able to sign up ahead of time for this session, and by doing so they were able to pick what they wanted for lunch and it was delivered to them right before the ‘Lunch with the Founders’ started. It was a huge success and really helped our client strengthen their relationship with their customers.
  • Connect with other attendees within the space through 1:1 video chat
  • Download and exchange virtual business cards, schedule meetings with their colleagues, and connect with them through various social channels
  • Move into breakout rooms that offer a more intimate networking experience

After the Event:

Offer a post event survey.

While the pre-event survey we mentioned above will help you curate a personalized experience for your attendees, a post event survey will help you (and your presenters, sponsors, and exhibitors) understand what your audience liked/disliked about the event and what you can do moving forward to continue to improve the event experience. Post event surveys have proven to be invaluable tools to improve webinar experiences for our clients, and they’re just as important for long-term virtual event success.

Take advantage of on-demand archiving.

The great thing about virtual events – and digital events in general – is that you can extend the shelf life of them through on-demand archiving. Events on our platform come stock with 90 days of on-demand time, but you can essentially archive your events for as long as you want. It’s very important to have an on-demand plan well ahead of time, as opposed to the event finishing and then crafting your plan. You want to ensure that your virtual event provider can get your event on-demand as quickly as possible so you can begin promoting the on-demand environment immediately. If you put as much emphasis promoting the on-demand version as you do the live event, your virtual event ROI will skyrocket.

Create virtual event highlights or ‘Best Of’ videos.

Often, short form content is the best type of content. One of the ways our clients are doing this post event is by creating event highlight reels or ‘best of’ videos. Have a great 45-minute session that you want to breakdown into a 4–5-minute highlight reel? We can help with this. Yes, you still want to make the entire 45-minute session available on-demand, but also offering a shorter version that captures key points makes it easier to promote and easier for your audience to consume. You can do this for all your presentations or just some of them, but it’s just another example of how your virtual event can continue to deliver value to your audience long after the live date.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @

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For B2B marketers, lead generation is the name of the game. And not just lead generation, but quality lead generation. Like all other areas of the business, lead generation needs to be tracked and measured religiously to achieve long-term efficiency and success.

As we look at the 2nd half of 2021, here are the 5 most important KPIs for B2B lead generation.

KPI #1 – Qualified Lead Volume

The key word here is qualified. You get to decide what constitutes a qualified lead for your business, which is great. However, don’t cheat yourself. Be honest and ask yourself – what is the lead criteria that is the right fit for my business? Criteria like industry, sub-industry, revenue, title, certain pain points, etc. are common, but choose requirements that are specific to your offering and don’t settle for anything less.

Defining your specific criteria for truly qualified leads allows your organization to solely focus on leads that meet your requirements, as opposed to wasting time on ‘leads’ that are out of scope and don’t have any revenue potential for the business.

KPI #2 – Qualified Lead to Opportunity Conversion Rate

There’s a lot of talk in lead generation about conversion rates, but in this instance, we’re talking about the conversion from a qualified lead to a working opportunity. A sales qualified lead (which is what we focus on here at Elastic – we believe the MQL is dead) is a prospective customer that has been properly vetted, checks the right boxes in terms of lead criteria, and is ready to talk to sales and move into a sales process. However, this doesn’t mean that they automatically end up being a working opportunity that you can put a dollar figure against. After the lead engages with sales, a lot of things can happen – they learn more about the product and determine it’s not for them after all and doesn’t fulfill their specific needs; they end up going in another direction, ghost you and never give an indication why; or your sales team did a poor job of discerning what the buyer is trying to achieve and then articulating how your solution can help, and the lead is lost for good. Because of this, it is crucial to track which qualified leads turn into working pipeline opportunities. Marketers can then look themselves in the mirror to determine how they can improve on the frontend, and sales can do the same to determine how they can improve on the backend. Long term, it can lead to better sales and marketing alignment. When sales and marketing efforts are properly aligned, organizations typically witness 38% higher sales conversion rates.

KPI #3 – Revenue & ROI

Let’s be honest – the most important top-tier KPI you should track for any lead generation campaign is revenue. You can generate all the clicks and downloads, have all the qualified meetings, and send out all the proposals, but it’s all for not if it doesn’t result in revenue.

You must also take into consideration that anything worth doing well takes time. And because a well-executed, multi-pronged lead generation campaign is a process with various moving parts, you should plan to measure ROI over a longer period of time. Sure, there are certain lead generation tactics that prove out results quicker than others, and you want to double down on those. However, to holistically measure ROI across every channel you’re leveraging to generate qualified leads and drive pipeline, make sure you set proper expectations and give yourself enough time to accurately measure returns.

KPI #4 – Cost per Lead (CPL)

Cost per lead (CPL) is important because it tells you if your marketing and lead-gen activities are working or not. And because we’re in this to make a profit, it should never cost more to acquire a qualified lead or customer than the actual revenue you receive from them. A lead needs to be profitable from the very beginning of the relationship.

Calculating your CPL is easy. Simply add up all investments you’ve made to generate leads (internal/external resources, ad spend, software, etc.), and then divide that by your total lead number. And only include qualified leads when you’re calculating CPL. Remember, the key word to focus on for any lead generation campaign is quality. If a lead doesn’t meet your qualifying requirements, it’s not a lead for your business.

KPI #5 – Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value (CLV) measures how valuable a customer is to your business over the lifespan of the relationship. A lot of organizations fail to properly track the lifetime value of a customer, and that is a huge mistake. They’re too shortsighted and aren’t looking at the bigger lead generation picture. CLV will help dictate:

  • The type of leads/customers you want to get in front of and acquire.
  • How much you can put into your marketing budget to acquire your desired customers.
  • Which channels to leverage to get in front of your targeted leads/customers.
  • Which products/services you promote to your targeted audience.

Lead generation is a non-stop engine, and it needs to be constantly tracked and traced. There are a ton of KPIs out there to measure lead generation effectiveness and it’s impact on revenue performance, but it’s important to find ones that work for your business and processes.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @