One thing’s for sure – 2020 has accelerated the shift from in-person to virtual and hybrid events. Despite, or maybe because of, lockdowns and restrictions to face-to-face interaction, the need for people to exchange information, learn, and debate has remained unchanged, and in some ways even increased. As a result, the number of tech solutions to facilitate this basic human need of interaction has shot up and we’re now spoilt for choice.
So, you’ve decided to hold your event online, rather than cancel it – well done!
Virtual events will never replace in-person ones, but there are also benefits to holding your event online – there’s no travelling required to get to the venue, you don’t need to worry about restrictions on space or numbers of attendees, and the costs are comparatively low. So how can you ensure you get a good turnout?
Here are our top tips for promoting your virtual event.
1. Articulate your value proposition
The more you have thought about what the value of attending is to the event attendee, the easier it is to articulate your messaging in your promotional efforts. Consider who your audience is and what their language is, including industry-specific terms that will resonate with them. Once you know who you’re writing to and what they will gain from attending, it becomes much easier to come up with a compelling event summary with clear calls to action. From your event summary, you can prepare some copy to use in your marketing collateral that can be adapted to each channel.
2. Adopt a multi-channel approach
People’s attention spans are getting increasingly shorter and we find that prompting your target audience on different channels leads to the biggest uptake in bookings. So rather than just sending out one email to your whole database, and hoping for the best, have you considered doing this:
- Send out a series of emails to the relevant people in the lead up to the event, outlining what the event is all about and why they should attend. Make use of early booking deadlines or even time of the day to keep the emails relevant and timely
- Share news of the event on your social media channels and use relevant hashtags. You might want to consider creating a special hashtag for your event and encourage your booked attendees to share that they have signed up.
- Add the event to the Homepage of your website, in a prominent position so anyone visiting the website will see it
- Put event details in your email signature
- Get your team to invite their contacts in a personalised email
- Mention the event when speaking to your contacts about something else
- List the event on event directories such as your local Chamber of Commerce or other membership organisations.
3. Make it as easy as possible
Choose a day and time that is likely to work for most attendees. If it’s a B2B event or webinar, it might make sense to hold it during business hours. If there’s a social element to your event you might want to consider holding it at the end of the day or outside of office hours.
Using an event booking platform simplifies the booking process, enables credit card payments and communications with the attendees. Event booking platforms such as Eventbrite also function as an event directory, enabling people to find events based on location or topics. This could really help you increase your reach, and potentially attract delegates that are not in your existing network.
4. Make the most of strategic partnerships
Tap into your network of business contacts and friends of the business to help you spread the word by sharing the event details with their networks to reach a wider audience.
Asking your speakers to share their involvement in the event works for both you as the organiser, as well as them as the speaker to help raise their profile. You might even want to prepare a promotional schedule with pre-written content to make it easier for them to help you out.
Following the above points will put you in a good position to promote your virtual event, and get your delegates signed up. Good luck!
If we can help you market and promote your event, get in touch today. Click here to find out more about our events management and marketing solutions.
Do you have any other tips to share? Tag us on your social media.