Promoting Your Virtual Event
Getting Started with Virtual Events: Pre-Event Success Series #6
Why Promoting Your Virtual Event is Important
Promoting your virtual event should be a strategic endeavor. You need to have a detailed plan on when, where and how to promote so that you can attract attendees. Just like having a party – you need to send invitations! You must do the same with your event. Due to the convenience of attending a virtual event from one’s home or office, attendance rates have been rising. Getting the word out to the right audience and communicating the benefits of attending your event in a compelling way will help to make your event well-attended. (tweet this)
Event Marketing Plan
Now that you have decided to do a virtual event, it’s time to put together your event marketing plan. This plan should include the types of channels you want to use and include a plan about what you will be doing on each channel. How much promotion you can do depends on your bandwidth, but you should try to include multiple channels, such as social media, email, etc.
The channels you choose to promote your virtual event will be largely dependent upon your audience and most likely be channels you use already to market your business (tweet this).
A basic plan can look like this:
- Event landing page
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Sponsor/partner/speaker marketing
Event Landing Page
You must have your event information housed somewhere so that folks can easily get to this information and register for your event. Here are some common elements that you want to include:
- Company and event branding
- Date and time
- Event purpose/attendee benefits
- Cost/registration link
- Speaker info
- Instructions for attending
- Contact info
One way to incentivize attendees to register early is to offer early-bird discounts. You could also do some kind of special giveaway or special content to those who have registered by a certain date.
Getting registrations is one thing, but another is getting registrants to actually attend the event. The best way to do this is to make sure that you have determined your virtual event audience and promoted the benefits of the great content you have put together for them. During the event, you can utilize gamification to give attendees points for certain actions to keep them engaged. If you plan fun things like this, make sure to tell potential attendees through your promotions.
You most likely have a database of people you’d like to invite to your event. Send separate event invite emails to them and also include it in your monthly newsletter. You can create a series of emails, each highlighting a different aspect of your event and encouraging people to sign up. Once someone has registered, send a series of emails in advance giving them the information on how to attend the event, a reminder of why they’d want to attend and perhaps a sneak-peak of some event content – short video, infographic, testimonial.
Use social media to post updates leading up to the event, sneak peaks of speakers, event promo videos and infographics. Create an event hashtag and ask attendees to use it and share that they are attending. Create a post that attendees can actually share on their own social media pages.
Choose content types based on what your audience receives best:
Ask your sponsors and partners to promote your event to their audience through their social and email marketing. This is an extension of your promotional efforts. A partner can include your event banner on their email or newsletter list. Create a nice graphic for each of your speakers with their picture, topic and registration info, that they can share on their social platforms. You could even give partners a promotional code to send to their contacts for a discount. Encourage them to also share some of your event posts.
Don’t Leave Promoting Your Virtual Event to Chance
Planning is key. Sit down and determine who your audience is. What do they look like? Where do they socialize? How do they best glean information? Which social media channels are they on? Knowing the answers to these questions and more will help you to narrow down where you need to focus the majority of your promotional efforts. Virtual events need just as much promotion as live events, if not more. Tell your potential audience the benefits of attending your event. Be clear on the value you will provide. Having a clear message and promoting your virtual event to the correct people will put you on the path to event success (tweet this).