Seven Tips for Hosting Effective Online Events during the Crisis
No market segment has been immune to the shock caused by the lockdown and declining global economy. The current crisis has put extraordinary pressure and uncertainty on the software distribution channel. To better navigate these unprecedented times, channel partners have to adjust their business strategies and shift from in-person demand-generation events to online events.
This shift can actually be beneficial. For instance, one of our value-added resellers, DigitalEra, recently launched a series of webinars dedicated to cybersecurity in the digital era — and broke all their previous records for registrations and attendance, despite the crisis. To help you achieve similar success in these challenging times, I’ve put together seven key tips for creating and hosting effective online events:
In the long term, your goal is not only to fill the sales pipeline, but also to raise awareness in the market, build lasting relationships, support your customers, and educate your prospects about how they can solve their most pressing problems more efficiently.
- Try out new formats.
Almost everyone is doing webinars now. To stand out, mix in panel discussions, keynote presentations, joint webinars or happy hours (which have become especially popular these days!). DigitalEra and Netwrix recently co-hosted a Q&A Crazy Hat Happy Hour to enjoy cocktails … oh, and to discuss how to protect data when everyone is working remotely. The event garnered a 68% attendance rate, a record for us.
- Examine topics from different angles.
Mix and match the topics you discuss so you won’t be seen as pitching a product every week. Ana Curreya, Director of Channel and Field Marketing at DigitalEra, said, “It is important to spread the message that you are here for your customers and bring content that is relevant by providing strategies to conquer the current situation. That is why we focused our webinars on different aspects of cybersecurity threats that are relevant to our customers, such as endpoint security, data protection and security of collaboration tools.”
- Don’t hard sell.
The event topic should be relevant and add value for your target audience, instead of just selling a product from your portfolio. Norman Huszar, Sales Director at DigitalEra, commented, “Partners should focus on the outcomes and value their customers will get, rather than just selling the product. This is not the time to do a hard sell; this is the time to be more about taking interest in how current situation affects your customers. ”
- Stay positive and offer a personal touch.
Face-to-face events are helpful for improving customer engagement and building stronger relationships, but online events can be effective for that as well — provided that you deliver meaningful content and show that your brand cares. As Huszar explained, “When people see the personal touch and recognition, that makes them want to be a part of this. I was amazed that the majority of attendees for our webinars are not our customers. And that’s an opportunity for the company in the future.”
- Invite charismatic speakers.
Another factor that makes a successful online event is a talented speaker talking about relevant subjects. A speaker who is popular in your region or your industry and knows how to engage the audience and bring a bit of fun will take your event to the next level.
- Give something back.
Offering incentives, such as gift cards and swag, not only encourages people to attend, but is also a way for you to give something back to your community during hard times. Curreya noted, “We raffled several gift cards and came up with incentives for each happy hour attendee so they could order in drinks or food. This is a great way to build stronger relationships with existing and potential customers and let them have some fun.”
- Use partner enablement tools.
Finally, vendors often provide tools that help their channel partners launch marketing campaigns that will resonate with their particular target market and customer needs. Seek help from your vendors in adapting to this unusual situation, and take advantage of their support and any ready-to-use content they develop. Remember that we are all part of the same team!
Ken Tripp, Director of Channel Accounts at Netwrix
Avoid Phishing Attacks during COVID-19 Crisis:
How to Recognize Malicious Coronavirus Phishing Scams
As the struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic increases, people are scrambling to find trustworthy information about the spread of the disease. Unfortunately, spammers and scammers are using the situation to take advantage of people.
Please refer to the following overview to help you fight against phishing attacks and malware to avoid being scammed during the coronavirus outbreak:
- Check the sender’s email address. With all the phishing scams, check that contact names match the actual email address they’re sending from, use two-factor authentication if possible.
- Try not to click! If it’s a link and you’re on a computer, take advantage of your mouse’s hover to closely inspect the domain address before clicking on them.
- Do not download files from unfamiliar people. Avoid opening attachments from any external email addresses or phone numbers.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations or cures. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
- Phone Calls / Robo Calls: If you get a call offering any free good or service to you at this time, there’s a better chance that it’s a scam than it is something legitimate. Ignore it.
- Mobile Phone Ransomware: Avoid downloading applications that pretend to be helpful or to provide critical medical information. This most probably installs malware.
Get our team’s opinion, we are here to help!
DigitalEra Group’s primary concern is the health and well-being of our customers, employees, and partners, and we are fully committed to continuing to support you during this challenging time. For more tips and information please visit the Federal Communications Commission COVID-19 Warnings and Safety Tips page here.
If you need any further assistance or would like to discuss additional measures, please reach out to us at email@example.com or call 786-621-8600.
As the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to make headlines and spread to more and more communities, we wanted to reassure you that we are taking measures to protect our clients, partners, and employees while minimizing undue disruptions to our business operations. We assure you that we are prepared to respond should the situation worsen; and have therefore established the following core principles to keep us focused on what’s important:
- Maintain our commitment to our customers and partners and provide them with uninterrupted service and quality care.
- We will continue offering regular hours of support, and as of this point, no major disruption is expected in our operations.
- We are committed to following the latest guidelines recommended by health officials such as social distancing as one effective measure to control the spread of COVID-19. We therefore perfectly understand any concerns you may have about attending in-person meetings, whether in our office or elsewhere, and are happy to arrange alternative means of communicating. Please let us know if you prefer to meet by telephone, Skype, WhatsApp, or by other means, and we will coordinate.
- This includes rescheduling or canceling sponsored events until a later date, and where possible planning virtual events in their place.
- Though we will be limiting all non-essential on-site visits for the short term, if there is an emergency issue, we will send an engineer on-site pending there are no government mandates blocking this.
- We will continue to monitor the situation daily and are prepared to adjust quickly to change.
- Protect our customer and partner communities and commit to taking action to slow the spread of COVID-19
- Ensure DigitalEra Group employees stay safe and remain calm
Please be assured that our primary concern is the health and well-being of our customers, employees, and partners, and we are fully committed to continuing to support you during this challenging time. Finally, we’d like to share with you this COVID-19 toolkit with information and resources published by the Florida Department of Health. Please, Stay Safe and Healthy!
If you need any further assistance or would like to discuss our internal plan, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 786-621-8600.
Registration Now Open!
Join us on Saturday, February 8th as we bring together top cybersecurity experts to provide thought-provoking discussions and interactive presentations in our high-quality networking forum.
This year’s conference theme “Expect a Breach: Don’t Sleep on Cyber” will explore innovations in cybersecurity automation, diversity of incident response plans across organizations, and the impact of a breach.
Complimentary Secure Miami conference pass includes free admission to Brew Miami, Miami’s hottest craft beer and food festival.
Earn a certificate of Continuing Professional Education Credits (CPEs) for attending Secure Miami Conference.
MEET OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
Chief Researcher, Rhino Security Labs, Former Hacktivist
Hector “Sabu” Monsegur is the most controversial hacker of this generation and the former defacto head of Anonymous/ LulzSec and lastly a high profile Federal informant. Monsegur’s story is more tangled and complicated than many know. He grew up in the projects on the Lower East Side of New York in a family trapped in a world of poverty and drugs. His mother left him when he was young which led to a close relationship with the rest of his family and the eventual adoption of his two nieces whom he raised from when they were little girls.
Trying to find a better life for himself and his nieces, Monsegur found that his computer skills could empower him far above his socioeconomic barriers and his 9th grade education – but also led him into the dark world of hacking. Monsegur ruled the “hacktivist” scene breaching targets almost daily – from Nintendo, to News Corp, to PayPal/VISA/Mastercard, to Middle Eastern governments and to the very security firms supposedly protecting against hackers like him. That is until the FBI closed in…
About Secure Miami Conference
Florida International University (FIU), one of the top research institutions in the U.S., and Digital Era Group, a world-class cybersecurity provider in South Florida, partner together to host the inaugural cybersecurity conference, SECURE MIAMI, with the goal to educate individuals about the latest security threats and strategies as well as stimulate interest among the local IT security workforce.
Secure Miami has rapidly become South Florida’s can’t-miss security event of the year – drawing over 200 IT security executives and professionals in its third edition on February 2019.
For more information, visit: www.securemiami.com.
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Interested in sponsoring the conference? Become a sponsor and maximize brand exposure through a range of sponsorship opportunities.