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Virtual Event: “power to choose”

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On November 24, Atlas Copco Rental launched its new online platform called “power to choose.” The platform will remain online and serve as a virtual showroom where new products can be shared as well as valuable in-house expertise. We sat down with Bob Zegers, Regional General Manager of Atlas Copco Rental Europe, to learn more about the event, and the idea and vision behind it.

What was the main purpose and goal of the virtual event?

Bob Zegers. Regional General Manager - Rental
With 2020 going the way it was going, we had to adapt our marketing efforts and strategy to the market. When it was clear that in-person events weren’t going to happen, the management team decided to go virtual. A first for Atlas Copco Rental. The purpose of our “power to choose” virtual event was twofold: inform and share knowledge.

We wanted to inform (potential) customers about the newest equipment in our fleet. Innovative solutions made possible thanks to in-the-field experience and for real-life applications. In the form of customer stories, some of these applications were also integrated into our Wall of Fame.

The knowledge-sharing aspect of our event emphasized that we do not only have the most cutting-edge and agile solutions on the market, but we also have the experienced experts who can help our customers in any situation and application. The Breakout Rooms were more general introductions to specific aspects of our services. Because sustainability goes beyond green energy, we wanted to integrate Water for All as well. The combination of all this content gave visitors a complete picture of who we are, what we do, and what we stand for.

The event was called “power to choose.” What does this title mean?

“Power to choose” is the key message of our Marketing Strategy. Many of our customers have very ambitious sustainability goals, and we have to ensure that even when they only temporarily rely on our equipment, they can expect to meet – and potentially even exceed - those goals. Choice allows for consistency. Choice guarantees efficiency. Choice means safeguarding your competitive advantage. Choice means being able to do the right thing. Our customers have the power to choose. To choose the right, most efficient, and sustainable Total Solutions.

Was it a successful and fruitful event? What were the most heard reactions from the participants?

We’ve received countless compliments about just how amazing it all looked and how easy the platform was to use. This was key for the event’s success. Real-life events always have a good amount of traffic, but it’s hard to measure real interest when those visitors have already been to dozens of other booths. Attracting attention – and keeping that attention – is a difficult task. With the virtual event, we managed to attract 800 visitors (on the first day) whose attention we had to capture and keep from the first moment they logged in. With visitors spending on average 15 minutes at our event, it’s safe to say we managed to make a good first impression.

How would you evaluate the set-up and success of the virtual event as compared to (previous) physical fairs?

Nothing beats real-life conversations. However, in this day and age, the platform proved to be the best of both worlds. We were able to try something new – like the seminars – and still stay familiar with our fleet's newest equipment.  The platform, however, will be used for more than just a 1-day event. Our sales will use it to introduce our company to new customers instead of just handing over – or emailing – a brochure. We’ll definitely use it to its fullest potential! 

Which benefits does a virtual event offer for your company as compared to a physical fair?

Real-life events will remain key in the future. But a “hybrid use” of events is the way to go for now. Hopefully, meeting people will be possible again early next year, and virtual events are definitely here to stay. And not just at Atlas Copco Rental! 

An advantage of a virtual event is that it remains available after the official event dates. How important is it to stay in regular and direct contact with customers and prospects in this way?

Remaining online fits the entire “power to choose” message. People can log in and join us whenever they want. That and the way our Sales will integrate it into their introductions will be interesting to see. 

Virtual events provide for lots of visitor statistical data. How essential is this info and what can you learn from it?

In our case we got to measure what it is our customers are most interested in. From equipment to seminar sessions. Very useful information!

How can a virtual and physical event complement each other in the future when physical fairs can be held again?

Because the (near) future is more unpredictable than ever before, both will co-exist. 

Would you consider it a possibility that virtual events replace physical fairs in the future?

No. People want that “look and feel” of products and see them for real. No matter how good a 3D render is, the real deal will not be replaced. In our case, I think we’ve found a way to combine both in the future. Some industries might be able to make the complete switch, but for us, it will be a combination of both.

Want to learn more? Please visit www.powertochoose.eu and discover the event for yourself!