Looking for tips to create a virtual event that engages your remote audience? You’re in the right place.
In uncertain times like these, you need to learn how to organize effective online events. They are a must-do marketing tool that has become a great strategy to hold conferences, meetings, and shows while providing a decent level of online attendee engagement.
But how do you turn a big event like a trade show filled with workshops and presentations into a virtual one? How can you ensure that the attendees will have the experience they’re looking for?
To do that and make your next online event a success, you need to consider these five factors:
- Think of a great reason why people should attend
- Create a promotion plan
- Think of ways to encourage online networking before the event
- Provide each company with a virtual booth
- Add live chat for real-time interaction.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at these.
1. Think of a Great Reason Why People Should Attend
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of noise out there. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, events have gone online, so everyone is doing webinars, workshops, conferences, seminars, and even online recruitment.
You need to stand out from the crowd.
To do that, you need a compelling reason that’s just enough to convince your target audience to attend. Here are some ideas:
- the “leveling the playing field” strategy. Let the attendees know about how many potential customers are registered to join. If you’re promoting a trade show where smaller companies can compete with big players, the latter will be more enticed to participate
- create a number-rich, detailed description of the event. Think about how to describe the event attractively to grab the attention of potential participants: statistics, infographics, expert opinions, etc. All of this should support the main reason why people should attend
- provide names of companies or speakers the audience might be interested in. If your virtual event gathers some of the brightest minds in the industry, mention them in the description and other marketing materials to give a good reason to register.
2. Create a Promotion Plan
You might be used to marketing traditional events, and this experience will come in handy with the virtual ones, too. Actually, the promotion of a virtual event or a trade show isn’t drastically different.
To market your first virtual event effectively, you need a documented promotion plan. Ideally, it should include these techniques:
- create a website where people can learn why they need to attend and register. It could be as simple as a one-page website or a dedicated section on your website
- send out invitations via email. If you have an email customer base, share the news about the upcoming event with an email that contains the link to the registration page
- use social selling. Social selling is a strategy where you promote your event on social media by consistently sharing content that earns trust in people
- ask the speakers/attending companies to spread the word. If they have significant followerships, consider asking them nicely to promote the event on their website and social media. Many of them will be doing it anyway
- shoot a trailer. Film a short video where you give potential participants a short preview of the event. Here’s the trailer of the Money 20/20 Europe 2020 event in Amsterdam for your inspiration.
Just remember that you need to put your promotion plan in quality writing to coordinate all people engaged in marketing. Use writing and editing tools like Grammarly, TopEssayWriting, and GrabMyEssay to ensure that the writing is clear and everyone knows what to do.
Know more: 5 Examples Of Creative Tradeshow Marketing Ideas.
3. Think of Ways to Encourage Online Networking Before the Event
When people will begin registering for your event, you need to get the conversation started. Listing everyone’s names and contact details is impossible – plus you need permission for that – so you can register your event at Tradefest.
It’s a networking tool where your potential attendees can find your event’s participants and connect with them. The process is really easy.
Let’s suppose that a marketer is looking to attend an event in Berlin. They type in the name of the location in the search bar, and Tradefest generates a list of events.
The marketer selects an event they’re interested in – let’s pick E-commerce Berlin Expo – and they get the list of registered participants.
Just like that, they can begin the conversation with the attendees.
Promoting your event with Tradefest this way is a great strategy to encourage networking among attendees months before the start. More buzz, more interest in the event, plus you provide some social proof with reviews of events.
4. Provide Each Company with a Virtual Booth
A virtual trade show means… virtual booths!
According to Sara Newton, an outreach specialist and writer at ClassyEssay: “A virtual booth can be as simple as a page on the event’s website or as innovative as a visual simulation of a booth in an augmented reality app.”
To differentiate each company, consider providing each with a “virtual booth.” This gives them some space to share their offers, content, and have a conversation with potential customers.
If you’re worried about how your attendees will react to this technology, studies showed that 30 percent of people are more likely to speak to someone in a virtual booth compared to a physical one.
Know more: The Best 15 Trade Show Booth Design Companies.
5. Add Live Chat for Real-Time Interaction
It goes without saying that the attendees should be able to communicate with each other and with booth staff easily and effortlessly. That’s why your virtual event or trade show platform must have a live chat feature.
It’s the best way to connect people and help them communicate their needs: schedule a demo, explain how a product works, or greet each other. In addition to textual communication, live chat can also be done via video, which is something that many people may prefer over text.
Also, make sure that the video feature allows group calls: they’re important to connect multiple attendees from different geolocations.
So, that’s why you need to consider having a live chat feature. By allowing to communicate with text and video calls in real-time, you’re keeping the experience of attendees as positive as it can possibly be.
As you can see, providing an engaging experience and connecting exhibitors and customers in a virtual event or trade show is possible. However, the success of the event heavily depends on your planning and preparation.
Although the planning of your virtual event depends on how long and big it will be, starting at least 3-4 months before is a good idea. Once you go through all of these points, it would be much easier for you to get started with planning the event.
Erica Sunarjo is a committed copywriter who loves blogging. She often works with bloggers, content marketers, professional dissertation writers, and business owners to create value-packed content for businesses. When Erica is not working on the next blog post project, she reads self-help books or bicycling in her local park.