These 7 tips will make virtual events a complete success
Virtual events have been around for more than a decade now. However, they have gained significant popularity since the world was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely limited travel and attendance at large-scale events.
This is precisely why virtual events are particularly interesting for many reasons. For one thing, a virtual event allows anyone and everyone who has access to the Internet and a computer or phone to participate. For another, it saves the organizer some logistical costs, such as booking a venue, creating an event setup, organizing hospitality, and managing the crowd.
However, these benefits don’t make the planning process any less extensive, and since virtual events are inherently easy to organize, they are also competitive. Therefore, you should actually offer your attendees a lot of added value to motivate them to participate. This can range from finding competent and well-known speakers for the event to targeted and appealing promotional activities.
Whether you’re hosting a virtual event for the first time or looking for ways to take your next event a step further than the last, the 7 steps below will help you build a particularly effective promotional campaign around the event.
1. Collaborate with relevant organizations
Whether your event is an educational webinar, a trade show about your company’s new products, or a pure entertainment event like a virtual gig, collaborating with other partners can be beneficial in many ways.
- It broadens the perspective of your event.
- It allows you to reach a larger audience.
- It could be the beginning of a lasting and mutually beneficial professional partnership.
To maximize the benefits of your collaboration, keep the following in mind:
- Choose partners who are not your direct competitors but belong to a related field. For example, a career seminar in marketing might involve a marketing professional, a human resources professional, and perhaps even a person who is pursuing a career in that particular field.
- Research the social footprint and credibility of all parties involved. Partnering with the wrong company can lead to negative results and even damage your reputation.
- Agree on a promotional strategy where everyone promotes the event on their respective brand elements such as website, email, and social media accounts.
2. Segment your marketing activities
The “one for all” approach is no longer relevant for marketing to work today. The same is true when you market your event. Different groups of people will want to attend your event for different reasons.
For example, students will want to attend an e-education fair to learn more about colleges and their elective options, while working professionals will attend to explore opportunities for further study to advance their careers.
Identify a few key groups with common interests, needs, and backgrounds and tailor your marketing messages accordingly in terms of content, phrasing, highlighting the value proposition for each group, and the appropriate channel for them. This way, your marketing messages will be more effective, and you’ll build more trust with your subscribers.
3. Use tracking methods
When promoting your event, be sure to track how all marketing efforts are performing. How do they vary in terms of reach and number of registrations? Research and planning are essential here, but you’ll be surprised how much things can change when it comes to execution. Tracking your marketing efforts will not only ensure you focus your time and money on what works, it will also give you valuable insights for future events.
While social media promotions can be easily tracked through the tools already built-in, you should consider adding Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes to your advertising URLs. Such codes report accurate conversion metrics to your analytics tools and help you gain real knowledge about what works and what doesn’t.
4. Advertise on multiple channels
It’s best to take inventory of all your digital assets and use each one to reach your target audience across multiple touchpoints. Promoting your event on multiple platforms will give your event more visibility and let people know that this event is big. Below are some points to focus on:
Create a landing page or microsite within your official website and assign it a unique and meaningful domain name. For example, you can use the extension.TECH for a tech event (the domain name for the Consumer Electronics Show is www.ces.tech, for example) or .ONLINE to emphasize that it is an online event, such as www.tnwtransform.online. This makes an event with its own website look even more authentic.
New domain extensions like .SPACE, .FUN, .SITE, .WEBSITE, etc. allow you to get more meaningful and interesting domain names to better advertise and promote your virtual event.
Use email marketing to communicate directly with your subscribers. You can also get more people to join your mailing list to get the latest updates about the event. If your budget allows, you can induce email signups by offering benefits such as a free online course, eBook, or one-month subscription.
Based on insights about your followers using the built-in analytics tools, you can create a social media calendar and schedule posts to get maximum engagement. Use the domain name of your unique event microsite to redirect people from your social media posts to it. Aside from event announcements, banners, or videos highlighting the speakers or products that will be featured, polls and questions can make for particularly engaging posts.
6. Send a reminder on the last day
A final overview of all the things attendees need to be part of the event should help people tune into the event more easily. For example, an attendee may have accidentally deleted the email with the link to attend the event or may not be able to find the email with the link to attend the event. Sometimes attendees simply forgot the date and time.
Make sure everyone who signed up receives an email about the important details, and it’s best to make a social media post about it, too. If you still have openings, you can post them on social media as a countdown post or as ‘last openings’.
7. Thank your audience
Your attendees have spent valuable time at your virtual event. They have chosen to engage with you, discover your brand, and opened up opportunities for you to expand your existing customer base. Be sure to acknowledge their participation by sending them a “thank you” email along with a short form for feedback. Feedback from your attendees can highlight issues you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, and it will help you plan an even better event next time.
The right mix of marketing strategies, both before and after, is the key to success when it comes to events, whether virtual or in-person. With virtual events, things can get a bit more challenging due to increased competition. To make a name for yourself here, it’s crucial to make the virtual event as engaging and interesting as its offline counterpart, no dry and monotonous webinars, please, which usually accomplish little. However, with these 7 tips, you can be confident that your online event will be well received and that all participants will be happy and satisfied with the experience.
To make your virtual event more successful, we would recommend using the HeyForm online form builder. They have numerous templates and specifically for event registration. So, you can easily create an event registration form and sent it out to your clients. This will help in collecting important details from your clients.