As pandemic-related restrictions around the world begin to ease, many businesses are looking to get back to holding in-person events. However, just because the world is opening back up doesn’t mean that virtual events are going anywhere. Many people are still not ready to travel and with virtual events being cost beneficial to organizers and attendees, it’s safe to say that virtual events will still be a standard part of most business’s marketing strategies. And, with digital technologies and platforms that can connect people from around the world, virtual events have been incredibly effective at helping companies build communities, share information, and enhance their brand.
While there are many ways in which virtual events can help businesses grow and reach more prospective customers, they can be challenging to plan. And, with the explosion of events going virtual, it can be especially difficult to make an event stand out from the crowd. However, there are strategies to employ and platforms to use that can help your virtual event be as successful as possible.
Plan for a virtual event, not a live one
When planning a unique virtual event, you might think you can simply take a live event experience and directly translate it into a virtual one. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. A virtual event is nothing like a live one, and there are some things that will not work as well in a virtual format. You’ll have to consider how to effectively set up a virtual environment and use technology to facilitate that experience. For instance, at a live event, you may have a keynote speaker along with an audience Q&A. While there are ways to recreate that for a virtual presentation, it will still be different and you’ll have to plan in different ways. You’ll want to make sure the platform you’re using allows for audience chat, assign someone to moderate those questions, and figure out how to deliver the questions to the speaker.
Leverage the power of referral marketing
According to “Global Trust in Advertising”, a study done by Nielsen, 83% of people said they trusted personal suggestions from friends, family and even strangers over traditional marketing. When just one recommendation can lead to thousands of new registrants, you can easily and quickly boost attendance for your event.
There are many ways to take advantage of the power of word-of-mouth marketing, including finding the right influencers for your brand and offering incentives for them to promote your event. However, one of the simplest ways to get your current attendees to bring more attendees is using a platform like InGo. When an event integrates with InGo, attendees register through their own social media channels, allowing them to seamlessly post your event to their network and send invites. The InGo Dashboard offers invaluable insights into your attendees’ social advocacy, opening the door for collaboration and further growth. By leveraging the power of word-of-mouth, your current customers can bring new attendees to your events by sharing their experiences with their networks.
Don’t focus only on the platform
To host your virtual event, you’ll be using some kind of digital platform, such as YouTube Live, Zoom, or Facebook Live, to run it. Many of these platforms offer features such as live streaming, chat rooms, and breakout groups that you can utilize. However, don’t spend your time focusing only on the platform and its tools. You’ll still need to consider coaching your speakers, testing A/V equipment, rehearsing the run-of-show, and more to make sure your event goes smoothly. Remember, everything from your speakers’ internet connection to your streaming software will affect the quality and memorability of your event.
Design with the attendee’s experience in mind
One of the most important ways to make your event stand out and help you achieve your goals is to plan the experience around your audience’s wants and needs. While your event is about your company’s products or services, you have to ensure that the content is helpful and engaging for the attendees. Consider things like the tone of your event, how you want your audience to feel, the relationships you want to build among your community, and more. By keeping these elements at the forefront of your planning, you’ll be able to create an unforgettable and unique experience that will keep attendees coming back.
Throughout your virtual event planning efforts, remember the tips we’ve shared here. From leveraging referral marketing to designing quality content to focusing beyond the platform, these are just a few of the ways you can increase your chances of hosting a successful virtual event. Remember, it’s still possible to create virtual events that will engage and excite your audience – you just have to plan and execute a little differently.
If you’re looking to take your events to the next level, find out how InGo, the #1 tool for community referral marketing, can help. With InGo, you can enable your current attendees to influence others to attend your event and make your event stand out.