Make Your Virtual Event a Big Success
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many events being canceled or significantly delayed. It also created an opportunity for virtual events to take center stage.
It’s likely that all of you reading this have attended a virtual event. Webinars, video conferences and on-demand classes have become a daily thing, so businesses need to make sure they are presenting the best virtual events possible. They also offer accessibility and budget-saving solutions that everyone can benefit from whether it be an internal training or conference.
A virtual event and in-person event require similar event-planning basics.
- Marketing plan
- Powerful content
- Engagement with attendees
- Data & measurement collection
It is clear that virtual events have some limitations not found with an in-person event. A very important component to the planning and promotion of a virtual event revolves around the marketing. In-person events offer destinations and networking opportunities. Therefore, a virtual event must target its audience and offer dynamic content to get that target audience excited for the event.
When you decide to conduct a virtual event, you need to have eight points pre-determined.
- Decide whether content is on-demand or live. Or a mixture?
- Prepare a guide for attendees detailing how to join the conference, attend sessions and use features on the platform.
- Define KPIs and build goals on feedback surveys, follow-ups and registration.
- Nail down components of the event: length of sessions, price point, will sessions be available on-demand, etc.
- Develop a plan B, C and D. Technology is not infallible. You may run into an issue or two, so ensuring you have a plan in place should anything not go according to plan is vital.
Marketing a Virtual Event
Here are key steps to a successful event:
Content development: Content is not only king, it is the overlord of virtual events. All of the content needs to have a call-to-action with the ultimate goal to gain registration.
Target audience: As mentioned above, having a specific target audience is vital to the ROI of a virtual event. Without adding value of a vacation or networking, the marketing (and content) must be focused with laser-point accuracy.
Leverage existing resources: Using a current email list is a given. Put it up on a website on a banner and make a line for it on your email signature. Try a few things to make sure eyes get to your event.
Create a microsite: Developing a one-page website with information regarding the event is always a best practice – using a domain, content and branding for an event that is separate from any entity. This site should showcase speakers, event schedules and program value, and include an FAQ section. All the content points them to register.
Share on social media: Facebook events are easy to create with the ability to always update by adding videos and images. Other social media platforms can be utilized to promote landing pages and content from the virtual event to drive traffic to register.
Contests and giveaways: A sure-fire way to get people engaged is to do a contest and giveaway. Offering a free registration or incentivizing registrants to recruit people is a great way to get more engagement and hopefully more leads.
Advertise: Popup ads on relevant media outlets and social media are still a cost-effective and efficient way to spread awareness of events – even if they are virtual.
Platforms for Hosting Virtual Events
Here are three options to consider when planning your next virtual gathering.
WorkCast began as a webinar-focused platform and currently touts webinar and virtual event capabilities with fully managed and monitored events. It is web-based and does not require any downloads.
It has an entire team that will set the event up for you, making it extremely convenient and manageable for anyone to perform a virtual event.
BigMarker is a video platform for webinars, summits and virtual conferences. It is also a web-based platform that does not require any downloads. In fact, attendees can simply visit a URL and begin watching.
It has a wide array of pricing options and provides a solution for live streaming and pre-recorded content.
ON24 offers virtual events, live and recorded webinars and various ways to engage audience. It boasts of a thorough engagement metric capability to always monitor performance.
Businesses of all sizes – including our terrific team at Kinetic – along with nonprofits and other organizations are all still searching for what we call the new normal. Offering virtual events is a wonderful alternative for people to still engage with their audiences, share information, make valuable connections and gain a following.