We live in a world where people are so busy that even scheduling a phone call seems like it’s too time consuming. When Corporate Event Planners are called on to manage a business function, that usually means the client doesn’t have the time or staff in place to organize an event. To top it off, a lot of people don’t have enough free time to even attend events in person. That’s why in recent times, more people are starting to attend events right from the comfort of their own home, or just about anywhere in the world, so long as they have an internet connection.
What’s the best part you say? Virtual events provide you with the opportunity to reach way more people than an event you attend at a physical location. That’s an open invite to engage with a broader audience who you may not have had access to otherwise, all while expanding your brand awareness.
While it may seem like an easy to do to set up a virtual event. We’ve gathered some crucial tips from Corporate Event Planners based on their experience that will help you successfully organize a virtual event.
Tips for Hosting a Virtual Event
Corporate Event Planners have begun to host more online events, like virtual workshops and webinar, because not only do they cost less, but they’re easier to manage than in-person events and yet still super effective. Virtual events can help expand your existing network, and build up your contact lists.
Easier logistics: You won’t have to sell physical tickets, print and mail invitations, or event use up valuable time to search for the right venue when it comes to hosting a virtual event. Attending online events is easier for your audience too. They won’t have to worry about taking a long drive or being jammed up in traffic or scheduling a flight. In fact, they can just show up in their pajamas!
With virtual events, Corporate Event Planners are able to distribute a recording to those who registered after the event, which technically means people don’t even have to attend while the event is live in order to benefit from the content that was shared.
Actual engagement: One of the biggest advantages of hosting virtual events is the diversity and level of engagement they provide for attendees. Since the audience has the organizer’s full attention, they can ask questions that they’ve been wanting answers to. A lot of people tend to get nervous at an in-person event and won’t ask questions but with a virtual event, they lose that fear and ask away!
Depending on the virtual event platform you choose, you could use polls, and ask your audience to send their replies through a live chat window. The collected data from the attendees is priceless and will help you refine and build your business strategy for the future.
Smaller budget: An in-person event tends to get costly as opposed to virtual events. Just think about the expenses that come along with serving food to 200 + people, printing cost for marketing materials, or paying to staff your event. Virtual events can be created with less people, marketed online via email marketing, and people can feed themselves from wherever they log on to join the event.
Ideas for Virtual Events
A virtual event doesn’t have to be solely for teaching a course or speaking on a single topic. Your main goal can vary when hosting a virtual event. Although online events are usually for awareness purposes, you can also use them to create an exciting product launch online, build prospects, raise funds for a cause, or promote your existing products and services.
Whatever your goal is, you want to ensure your virtual events are filled with value that will appeal to your target audience and boost number of registrants. Below you will find some of the examples The Event Planner Expo team suggests you use as the purpose for your virtual events:
- Host an educational workshop on whatever your business expertise is
- Interview with an industry influencer
- Teach your attendees how to make your most popular item
- Host a series of valuable courses that would resolve a common issue
- Run an FAQ session about your services or products
- Host a demonstration regarding your new products
- Run a fundraising event
How to Promote Virtual Events
As we touched on above, amongst the key benefits of hosting virtual events is the fact that you can perform all your marketing online. The convenient part is that online marketing emanates marketing automation, which allows you to streamline all of the manual marketing tasks you usually implement manually. The automated approach is a time saver and makes everything a lot easier, especially email marketing.
Now let’s review some excellent ways to promote your virtual events:
- Send an email invite to your list of contacts
- Use all of your social media platforms to promote your virtual event
- Invite prospects to register or purchase tickets online
- Include the event registration link to newsletters and add to your website
Don’t confuse the term “robotic” with “automated because the point of marketing automation is to provide an open door to sending personalized communication and deliver relevant content to your target audience. Using email marketing to created automated messages is an excellent way to deliver messages over a period of time.
An example of an automated email series would include sending a:
Welcome email: After invitees register for your virtual event, send them a welcome email that displays event details at a glance and make sure you include all your business contact information (website address, email, phone number, etc.) and include a promotional offer.
Invitational email: Schedule a series of automated emails inviting your target audience to “sign up NOW before availability runs out!” You want to create a sense of urgency especially as you reach the date of your event.
Reminder email: Starting weeks prior to the event, send automated reminder emails that includes all of the event information registrants will need to enjoy the full experience.
Follow-up email: Now that your guests came, saw, and conquered, send them a big “thank you for joining us” email with a link to the recording of the event. You should also include information about future events you’ll be hosting because it increases the chances they’ll attend.
Make Real Connection with Virtual Events
There’s no better way to bring a group of people together than to invite them to an event. When you’re aim is to increase your brand awareness and promote your products and services, a virtual event online is the best way to accommodate a large audience.
It would be unfortunate if you miss out on the opportunity to engage potential customers and increase sales with an audience you don’t typically have access to because of logistics. Host virtual events to cast a wider net and deliver your value around the globe!
We invite all Corporate Event Planners to attend the best in-person event in New York! Click here to buy your tickets to the 2019 Event Planner Expo where the top event pros gather each year to share innovative ideas and trends all while networking and enjoying all that New York City has to offer.