Virtual events are here to stay!
If you are one of the many companies who already made the shift from in-person events to virtual events, how do you promote them to keep attendance up? In a sea of virtual events, how do you stand out from the rest? Here are our tips:
With the growth and necessity of online events, it’s safe to say they’re not going away anytime soon. Since establishing our virtual event studio in August 2020, we know that not all virtual events look the same and the audience vary, depending on the nature of the event. From our experience, audiences like to have as much information as possible about the event prior to it commencing and they want to know what they will get out of it. Will the audience be able to ask questions and is their camera going to be on?
Emails should be sent to remind registrants they signed up for the event and refresh the guest’s memory about the event to increase the likelihood of them showing up to it. We recommend you include a compelling headline in the subject line and all the essential details like time and date(s) of the event, the agenda, speaker bios, sponsor information, sign-up links, and secure payment options if you are charging etc.
Partnering with several brands, or providing multiple speakers is common and effective for virtual events. If you have speakers from other organisations, make sure to ask them to promote the event on their social media channels. The more people post about an event, the greater the word-of-mouth marketing will be.
If your event is sponsored, this is also a great opportunity to ask your sponsors to spread the word. After all, it is in their best interest that the virtual event attracts relevant audiences so that their sponsorship goals are met. In addition, it’s crucial you involve your speakers. This is a great way to use your speakers as your virtual event ambassadors. Chances are the speakers are well known, so asking them to spread the word across their social channels can help gain more attraction to the virtual event as their audience would love to hear, connect with, and learn from.
Ask employees, industry colleagues, and speakers to share a link to the event signup page, it helps to go a few steps further and send them promotional material such as images and videos, and coverage of the event to encourage a variety of different promotions and enable them to share it quickly. If you can create a buzz around the likelihood of boosting your attendees will increase.
Creating a Marketable Virtual Event
Promoting an online event is like marketing a physical in-person event but there are several key differences. While you might be able to promote an online event to a broader audience than a physical event, you will need to remember that the online event landscape is extremely competitive. Even if your event is helpful and informative, there could be a dozen similar content offerings. Before the goal was ‘bums on seats’ now the goal is ‘number of logins.’ Many online events are free, so getting someone to sign up and watch the event without being locked into a ticket purchase will take more time and effort.
Ultimately, the goal of promoting a virtual event is to highlight and remind audiences of the key details. We recommend you include the who, what, how, and the why behind it. Noting these factors in your marketing will not only show audiences how and why it will be of value to them, but it will also make your event stand out from the rest. Even in the event planning stage, thinking about how you will promote it could help you create a marketable virtual experience worth attending. If you choose a well-known MC to host an event, that will boost your promotional results and ultimately the success of your event. For high profile events, writing a press release can also help create a buzz. Once you include all the key details and images/video clips send it to the relevant news desks and media outlets.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is an effective way to promote an event so use this to your advantage. Social media is an extremely useful way to announce your virtual event and post it across all your company’s social channels. Linking your event to Facebook is free, easy to share and it keeps track of your RSVPs. When attendees RSVP they can then add it to their Google calendar to remind them of the upcoming event. You can share photos and video clips relating to the event to Instagram and include the event link in the bio. Creating a catchy hashtag for the event will work well on Twitter and it can help spread the word. LinkedIn is a great place to boost your event promotion as you can create an event page via your LinkedIn company page, this will help you share your event with your LinkedIn connections and keep track of your RSVPs.
Consider Additional Branding
Send swag to remote attendees i.e., branding material. As you would in person, make sure to send relevant swag as part of the registration packet for a virtual event. In a follow-up email you could send extra branded material such as eBooks on a topic relevant to the event to the registered attendees ahead of the virtual event. In addition, afterwards you could offer attendees discounted tickets to next year’s conference or annual event.
This is also a great opportunity to provide each speaker with branded material (i.e., a sticker, a button, etc.) with the event logo so when their upper body is on the screen your branding is still visible. Ensure that the space behind the speaker(s) is branded with your event logo. If your event is sponsored you should offer sponsored material which would feature during the event, such as pop-up ads, banners, or push notifications.
Get in touch with us to find out about our event offerings, call 0214399723 for queries and more details.