When it comes to virtual events, a lot of incentive specialists might cringe and think they’re a passing fad. But the truth is virtual events are here to stay—and they can be an extremely effective tool for driving attendees to your event. Virtual events are also cost-effective for planners because many of the expenses related to setup and execution are significantly lower than costs associated with traditional in-person conferences or events. Recognizing the value that virtual events bring to your business, you might be wondering how you can leverage them more effectively as an incentive specialist. We’ve outlined 8 killer ways that a virtual platform can boost your next event’s success.
Research and know your audience before you commit.
It’s important to understand the value of virtual events for your business, but first you’ll need to research your audience and understand the impact of virtual events on them. Before committing to a virtual event, it’s important to understand how the medium fits into your audience’s current work and life habits. If a virtual event isn’t a good fit for your audience, they’ll have a hard time converting and participating. If you’re hosting an in-person event, you have the ability to screen the audience and ensure they fit your targeting parameters. With virtual events, however, all you have at your fingertips is the registration form that people fill out when they sign up. You have no idea who is registering and will have to hope that you’ll attract the right people.
Use virtual events to test the waters for a physical event.
If you’re considering holding a physical event, it can be beneficial to use a virtual event to test the waters and get some early feedback. When planning an event, you’ll want to make sure you’re targeting the right people and understand their pain points and needs. However, you won’t know for sure until the event is held. A virtual event is a great way to test how effective your event will be at solving your targeted audience’s pain points. You can also use a virtual event to test the waters for price points and determine the ideal length for your event. With a virtual event, you can gauge whether or not your audience is happy with the amount of content provided and the length of time they’re engaged with the event.
Utilize virtual platforms to extend the reach of your event.
When hosting an in-person event, you have a select audience that is geographically bound to the venue where it’s held. With a virtual event, you can take your event’s reach to new heights by partnering with a virtual platform and extending your event to a global audience. While you probably won’t be hosting an event that you want an entire country or continent to participate in, you can extend the reach of your event by partnering with a leading virtual event platform that offers local-language support. If you want to reach a global audience, partnering with a virtual platform that offers support in multiple languages is paramount.
Give away something for free that’s relevant to your event.
One of the best ways to boost attendance at an in-person event is to offer something for free to people who register early. With a virtual event, you’re not bound by the logistics of bringing people to a physical venue. You can make your event free to all registrants and give them something for free that’s closely associated with your event. If your event is a conference, you might be able to offer a free webinar that’s closely associated with your event topics. If your event is a tradeshow, you might be able to offer a free whitepaper or book that is relevant to your audience.
Build excitement with pre-event content.
If you’re hosting an in-person event, you’re limited in the amount of pre-event content you can create. With a virtual event, there are virtually no limits on the amount of pre-event content you can generate and distribute. Pre-event content can be anything from blog posts, videos, webinars, webcasts, podcasts, and more. You can generate pre-event content that is directly related to the event or content that is loosely related.
Use “hooks” that encourage people to take action after the event ends.
Once your virtual event has concluded, one of the most important things you can do is make sure you encourage people to take action. You don’t want all of this hard work to go to waste because people aren’t taking action and implementing what they learned at the event. For example, you might be hosting a virtual conference to teach people how to optimize their digital marketing efforts. At the end of the event, you could host a Q&A session where you answer questions people have about implementing the strategies they learned during the event. Once the event has concluded, make sure you clearly state how people can get in touch with you and ask them to do so.
Celebrate post-event with a recap video or eBook (including survey results).
One of the best ways to capitalize on the momentum of your event once it has concluded is to create a recap video or eBook that summarizes the event. Once your event has concluded, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep the momentum going. By creating a recap video or eBook, you can easily extend the life of your event and keep people engaged.
Make attendance at your next event a requirement to win.
Another way to boost attendance at your next in-person event is to make it a requirement to win something that’s closely associated with your event. With a virtual event, you can make attendance at your next in-person event a requirement to win something that’s directly related to your event. For example, if you’re hosting a conference and want to boost attendance, you could make attendance a requirement to win a free ticket to the conference.
Virtual events are here to stay and are great for extending the reach of your event to a wider audience. Using these 8 killer ways to boost your next event’s success with a virtual platform, you’ll be able to drive attendance and reach a wider audience than ever before.