Guest blog by Sarah Hill from Seven Events
With no sign of any large gatherings happening in the near future, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like you will have to host your event virtually. But that should not be a reason to despair. As seen from the many online events arranged by virtual event services this past year, these are a great way to channel creativity and design in an innovative and digital manner.
Virtual events are actually quite amazing because of their numerous benefits. Attendees from all over the world, who otherwise might not have been able to attend your event, now have the opportunity to do so virtually. Moreover, virtual events are also much more cost-efficient than physical events. In most cases, you do not even need event management services and can host a virtual event independently.
However, with these opportunities come to a few challenges as well. The main challenge of virtual events is that they are often seen as boring and not interactive. For this reason, many people feel reluctant to attend them. This is where promotion comes in. promoting your event the right way creatively can make a world of difference to your audience’s attendance.
If you are all set up to host your virtual event, here are the top strategies you can use to get those attendance numbers up to your goal and ensure success.
1. Make a Promotional Plan
Base your entire promotion on a plan which notes down your tangible goal, such as the number of attendees you’re aiming to have at your event. If you have an intangible goal, then note that down in the plan as well. This can be what you aim to achieve in terms of promotion, such as strengthening relationships between attendees. The plan will also include your promotional budget.
2. Promote Your Event Through the Right Mediums
Before promoting your event, you should be aware of which mediums will help you reach the relevant audience. This includes conducting research and identifying your potential attendees’ demographics, what social media platforms they use, what their call to action can be, and so on.
3. Create a Highlights Video
One of the best ways to promote your virtual event is through a promotional highlights reel or video. If you have previously hosted a virtual event before, you can add high energy bits from there in a video with upbeat music and captivating graphics. This will give a glimpse to the viewers of how fun and engaging your last event was, and how this one will be equally as such as well.
Besides these bits, the highlights video should also provide some information about your new virtual event, including the speakers, content, topics, etc. If you have not hosted a virtual event, your promotional video can contain this information along with music and graphics.
4. Promote the Event on Social Media
You will need to draw the attention of people, and that includes social media. These days, everyone is using some form of social media. Thus you should make use of that and promote your event there. Make sure you include information about the speakers, sponsors, content and other elements of the event so that the viewers have a better idea of what your virtual event is about.
5. Keep the Event Front and Center on Your Website
Most companies’ events are often buried under their ‘events’ section and thus do not get seen by potential attendees. For this purpose, you should make sure that your event is front and center on your website to be clearly visible and accessible. Additionally, you should also have a pop up of the event on your website so that whoever lands on your website first gets access to your event.
6. Increase Email Marketing
Email is also an effective way of marketing your virtual event. Add quick and short details about the event in the email, as most people will just glance through the email. Include captivating graphics, clear calls to action, and relevant messages to the email as well. Additionally, you can also include information about your event in your weekly newsletter.
7. Ask the Speakers to Promote the Event
Since your speakers and sponsors also have the main goal of leveraging attendance to the virtual event, you should also ask them to effectively promote the event. The speakers can post on their social media and promote their session, and ultimately the whole event. Create a ready to post message adding all the relevant details about the sessions and every other information about the event, which the speakers and speakers can share with a click of a button.
8. Send Slides or Recordings After Registering
Registration is the most important aspect of virtual events. Thus, you should use this and provide an incentive to potential attendees and entice them by providing more details about the event exclusively to those who register for the virtual event. Not only will it entice them and make them look forward to the event, but they will also have a clearer idea about what the event will be about it. Moreover, you can also hold off your promotional video and instead of posting it everywhere, only send it to the attendees who have registered for the event.
9. Create Last Minute Promotional and Engagement Tactics
Most successful virtual events have incorporated last-minute engagement tactics, for example, by allowing the attendees to interact with each other before the event begins. This helps create buzz, which might attract more attendees.
Successful promotion and ultimately enhancing attendance at virtual events depends on a careful and strategic promotional plan. By considering what your event goals, target attendees, engagement activities, and content management are, you will be able to successfully attract attendees to your events.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd, leading event company in Birmingham offering virtual events, corporate event management and venue finding services. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.