Product and sales meetings are an essential part of any B2B company’s internal calendar. In these socially distanced times, Unilin (a world player in the flooring industry) organised its first Virtual Sales Conference, on a platform which was custom designed and developed by Vintage.
“The response was very positive”, says Unilin’s Marketing Coordinator Margaux Verpoort, “from visitors as well as our management. Thanks to the different interaction possibilities, it didn’t even feel like there was a big distance between the participants. We see this as an opportunity to set up more digital events in the future. We believe that the future is digital.”
What was the main purpose of the sales conference?
Margaux Verpoort: “For our Pergo launch, we needed to inform our sales representatives about all the novelties, new innovations and the story behind our products. Since it wasn’t possible to set up a physical event, and because we wanted more than a regular webinar, we decided to organise a virtual conference.”
Was it a success? What was the response?
Margaux Verpoort: “After the event, we sent out a survey to all participants. The vast majority of the feedback was very positive! Thanks to the interaction possibilities via chat and gamification, it didn’t even feel like there was a big distance between the participants. We see this as an opportunity to organise more digital events in the future.”
On the platform, visitors were guided through ‘the Pergo House’, a virtual environment created by Vintage. Which content was offered to visitors?
Margaux Verpoort: “We integrated our new floors and related accessories, combined with different trends. Detailed info about each floor type was available in pop-up windows. Following a guided agenda and timetable, we presented several consecutive video sessions where the product and brand managers explained more about the new products, R&D and the brand positioning. The full agenda could be followed in a separate menu.”
As part of the event, visitors could participate in two gamification rounds. Can you shortly explain their purpose?
Margaux Verpoort: “The gamification had two goals. First of all, we wanted to keep it fun. Virtual events or meetings are sometimes hard to follow. We tried to change this with integrating the Pergo Games. This way, participants could compete against their colleagues, even though they didn’t see each other. The second goal was that sales would be able to ‘test’ their knowledge of what they just learned.”
How did you promote and advertise the event?
Margaux Verpoort: “We organised some buzz internally by creating an online site that everyone could visit. On this site, we added a countdown clock and some extra info (unboxing video of a salespack, the invitation…). Next to that, we sent all the sales representatives a sales pack with samples of the new products and some nice-to-have gadgets regarding the brand Pergo and the sales meeting.”
How important is it for your company to organise such conferences?
Margaux Verpoort: “For every major product launch, we set up an internal meeting for our sales representatives. This way, they get to know the novelties, the innovations and the story behind the new collections. Normally the international sales team fly in and we host an offline event. Due to corona, this was not possible this year. Since we didn’t want to just let this launch pass, we decided to host a virtual event.”
Will the event still stay available online?
Margaux Verpoort: “Yes, as other colleagues also need to know more about all the novelties, the event stays online for a month. This way, everyone can watch all the movies when it suits them.”
Which advantages and benefits did the virtual conference have as compared to a physical one?
Margaux Verpoort: “The major advantage of a virtual event is that all content can be shared afterwards, so sales has everything available afterwards. They can rewatch the movies, share it with customers, and much more. This is not possible with physical events.”
Would your company and division consider setting up another virtual conference in the future?
Margaux Verpoort: “Yes, we see this as an opportunity to explore more possibilities regarding virtual events. Participants were very enthusiastic and so was our management. We can take some learnings with us, as this was our first time, and implement them into next events. We believe that the future is digital.”
Thank you for your time, Margaux. Also for Vintage this is surely a flagship project! Thank you and your team for the opportunity to create this platform and the nice collaboration on this project!
Feeling inspired? To plan your customised Virtual Sales Conference, CONTACT ELLEN