8 ideas to make your virtual event stand out
If the value and ROI of going to a face-to-face trade show were equivalent to a virtual event more companies would have done it a long time ago. But, we both know we love face-to-face interaction with others.
Face-to-face events still popular
Out of 750 professionals surveyed by HubSpot, 41% wished they could attend networking events more frequently, and—according to the 2018 Event Marketing Report, —80% of overperforming businesses will be increasing their live-events budget in the next year.
The human connection, personal and in business, still can’t be replaced with virtual events, until, now. Covid-19 is changing how we do business and fast. Unsure if this is to stay, but if you need to connect quickly with your clients, a virtual event is undoubtedly a good option.
One thing you need to remember is people like to feel part of the community. To help create the same connectivity and fun of live events, consider implementing some or all of these eight ideas to help promote your virtual conference in the coming weeks and months:
8 ideas to make your virtual event stand out
Make virtual attendees interact with each other
Invite attendees to introduce themselves via an intro video. Create a virtual lobby and showcase these videos before the formal program starts. You can also include this as part of the advertising opportunities. For attendees who are video shy, create other promotional opportunities in the program to help promote companies who are sponsoring the vent, a list of attendee names with contact details and maybe also provide a section for live audience feedback. Twitter is an excellent platform to have attendees provide live audience feedback as well as interact with other attendees.
Make events less formal and more intimate
Look at who’s attending and prepare some call-outs based on people’s interests and achievements. Encourage speakers to let their hair down and have fun. Consider doing several smaller events instead of a big one, so the attendee audience is smaller and more likely to interact with you and each other.
Work with Sponsors
It is your ideal opportunity as an event organizer to cement relationships with sponsors and partners – a vital consideration for your comprehensive event strategy.
Help attendees network with each other
Position your online event as a networking opportunity in addition to a learning event. Give attendees the liberty to share their contact information with each event-goers. Create allotted times during the virtual conference for attends to network, which they can do via a dedicated hashtag they can share on LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media platforms.
Ensure you use a technology that selects a winner or winners randomly. There is nothing worse when people feel cheated eave your event with a bad taste in their mouths. Don’t allow yourself to receive lousy press only because you want your top client to win a 20 dollar pen.
Include surprises for team-building
Consider adding prizes that will incentivize team-building and communication between virtual attendees. Create some noteworthy moments during the event that get people to tweet about it, and create more buzz and interest for the next virtual event you produce.
Get Techy With It
Don’t forget to integrate your CRM with your email marketing platform with your social media platform and website. This technology makes it easier to promote your event, schedule content on social media and continue to nurture via email marketing after the event is over. In other words, use all the tools available to you to communicate effectively and on-time.
Keep them connected
If you have the manpower, create a private LinkedIn group, or Slack channels to facilitate communication opportunities between attendees. Based on the theme of your event, you can also set-up large monitors throughout your company to show behind the scenes. Or, set-up hot spots in different cities where attendees can get together and watch your virtual event live.
Promote Future Events
While email, digital advertising and social media have made far-reaching communication possible, these technologies also create a desire for personal interactions. Keep your past attendees in the loop that you’ll have a live conference once we all get back to normal.
I hope you’ll implement these eight ideas to make your virtual event stand out. I’d love to hear your examples you are trying for your virtual events to stand out and increase ROI.