For a lot of businesses, webinars and virtual events are the crown jewels of their sales funnel. Similar to online courses, webinars are an offering that can be leveraged multiple times and even repurposed into different forms of content. Thanks to its video-based features, a virtual event has the amazing potential to reach a wide range of audiences.
We already know about the advantages that a virtual event, in general, can provide – for example, how it can save you money, time and effort while giving you significant returns. Virtual events are also location-flexible, which means that people from around the world can attend and engage in real-time. In addition to this, virtual events can also be a great revenue stream for your business, provided you have strong quality content that people can find value in.
However, while virtual events are undoubtedly one of the most effective forms of content marketing, one should realize that a lot of work goes behind them, including planning, promoting, practising, and finally, the presenting. While it may feel overwhelming, especially if you’re organizing your first virtual event, the results are well worth the feeling.
Here is how you should go about creating, organizing and monetizing your first virtual event:
Select a virtual event platform
In order to organize a virtual event, you’re going to need a platform that lets you host such events. There are numerous options in the market, and thus, it can sometimes get confusing when you have to choose one platform that suits your product the best.
Here are a few factors that you should consider while making this decision:
- Live streaming experience
What kind of live streaming experience does the virtual event platform offer? Quality virtual event platforms will provide you with ability to both stream natively through the platform or integrate a third party live stream feed.
- Registration & ticketing
Do you need an all inclusive approach or would you prefer using separate tools to manage registrations and to sell tickets? Online event platforms with integrated registrations and ticketing can greatly help with decluttering your inbox and simplify tracking prospects and revenue.
What kind of data do you intend on gathering through your virtual event. Does the platform provide you with those? Most commonly, virtual event platforms provide analytics on virtual event registration, attendee behaviour, and engagement.
- Number of Attendees
How many people do you want to reach through your virtual event? Does your selected platform allow you to accommodate that many attendees?
- Additional Features
What kind of useful and practical tools does a platform have to offer? Tools that help you achieve your objectives. For example, if you aim to engage your audience, a virtual event platform should provide features like surveys, polls, chat rooms and support to stream pre-recorded video..
How much are you willing to spend for the platform? It is important to actualize the value for money in terms of the features you can avail for the money you pay.
- If the platform offers monetization
If your goal is to monetize your virtual event, what provisions does a platform offer to ensure that your event generates revenue and makes the overall process smoother?
For instance, Nunify Monetize offers a structured platform for hosting ticket events, sessions and training, workshops, live shows, etc, whilst also providing a convenient ‘Pay only when tickets sold’ option. Further, there are no charges for the live streaming or any platform usage. You only pay a percentage of each ticket sold, making it easier to focus on promoting and executing your event than worry about live streaming subscriptions & capacity costs.
Nunify also offers sponsor booths & virtual ad space for your event, to allow you to monetize your virtual event through event sponsors
Plan your virtual event strategy
Having a proper blueprint in place will make the overall experience much more structured and easy to follow. You need to consider the following things in order to build a strategy:
- How many events do you plan to host in a particular span of time and in what frequency?
- At what time do you plan on hosting your virtual event, and is the topic ideal for your target audience?
- What will the approximate length of your virtual event be? Virtual events that are lengthy but fail to offer value, often tend to lose the attention of their audience.
- Will your event be live, or will it be a recorded session that your audience can view? In case you decide to record your event, you will have to determine where and how you want to share it as well. According to studies, 84% of B2B customers prefer viewing a recording over the live version.
Focus on the content and it’s presentation
The core content of your event has to be valuable. It has to be informative and rich with facts, but make sure it’s not droned out in a monotonous and lecture-like way. Thus, you also need to ensure that the speakers chosen for your virtual event are not only knowledgeable and accomplished but also good at public speaking. They must know how to reel in the audience and then hold on to their attention.
Apart from this, how you design your virtual event also speaks volumes about your company’s brand, its authority and also its expertise. So you need to focus on building your presentation in a way that converts. Small things like integrating your brand visually, adding animation and pre-recorded video, using attractive templates and making sure your presentation isn’t text-heavy goes a long way into capturing the attention and interest of your audience.
Plan your promotion and monetizing strategy
In order to get people to attend your virtual event, you will have to start communicating with them well in advance, and by that, we mean at least two weeks before your event. Make good use of your mailing list as well as all your social media channels to promote your event and try to create a sense of anticipation in your potential audience. Have a well-defined promotional strategy in place, so there’s no last-minute chaos.
When it comes to monetizing, your virtual event will only fetch you revenue when there is something for your audience to takeaway. This basically means your event needs to have a value proposition for which people will not mind spending their hard-earned money.
You can provide this value by offering the following:
An online workshop provides the experience of learning together as a group in a virtual training room through collaborative activities. Creating courses and workshops online is a great way to share knowledge and experiences, and if the subject you select is compelling enough, it will get you a large number of attendees.
Online entertainment is a great way to monetize your virtual event. You can turn your virtual event into a ticketed event by involving well-known entertainers like singers, stand-up comedians, musicians, magicians, etc.
This is another straightforward way to earn money through your virtual event. Providing online classes on subjects that you have expertise in, can help you target your niche audience. Especially in recent times, online courses have gained a lot of popularity due to the flexibility, affordability, and opportunity they offer.
Determine the measure of success for your event
The success of your virtual event can be measured by metrics like the total number of registrants, the number of attendees and revenue, the registrant-to-attendee conversion rate, the average time people spent on the virtual event, the number of downloads of your virtual event and more.
Make sure the virtual event platform you have chosen provides you with these analytics, as they also help you decide the course of action for your future virtual events.
As convenient as they are, virtual events can also be a little uncomfortable as a lot of times they involve you speaking to your audience via a computer, sitting at your desk. An offline event provides an atmosphere which is dedicated to the cause of the event, but when the same thing happens online, it can make even the most experienced of speakers feel a little out of depth because here, the audiences’ reaction is not as clear.
Thus, practicing the virtual event beforehand makes the presenter familiar with the subject and gives them a sense of confidence, so talking to a computer screen for a long time doesn’t seem as daunting anymore. Practice also ensures that the speaker knows what to say, so there’s a much lower chance of error. A well-rehearsed presentation will help strengthen the audience’s perception of you as an industry expert.
In the end, it is imperative to understand that while getting started with virtual events may be a lot of work, the impact they have on the growth and revenue of a business is inarguable and undeniable. Following the steps and key areas listed above should help you in creating, organizing, and monetizing your virtual event.