So you’ve decided to start creating online events as part of your marketing strategy. Awesome! You’ve probably already heard that virtual events are great for building brand awareness, creating lots of engagement and can help to quickly expand your reach. So, you dig in and try creating a few events yourself. Only…you find yourself struggling to get the engagement you hoped for, no matter how many events you put out there. Frustrating! But don’t throw in the towel just yet. There is a good reason why this might be happening to you. Let me talk you through it with this example.
If you had to choose between
(A) attending an hour history class where the teacher drones on about historical dates and people you’ve never heard of before, or
(B) attending an hour history where you get to dress up and play out the roles of the historical characters you’re learning about, with music and sound added, bringing it to life; which class would you choose?
Which one sounds more exciting to you?
Now replace the history class mentioned in option A with your online event. If you wouldn’t sit through that particular history lesson, would you really expect your target audience to react any differently to an online event of a similar nature? How many of us are guilty of having hosted events where we do most of the talking, while the audience has no other task but to sit and listen? The last thing any of us what is for our event to sound like a boring school lecture. There are more ways than one to make your events entertaining, engaging and, most importantly, memorable. Keep reading to discover a few ways you can do this.
Have a Giveaway
People love to receive free or discounted stuff. So why not give them that opportunity at your event? Giveaways are great for increasing brand awareness as they provide potential customers with something of value in return for their interest in your company. Offer coupons, special edition products and branded items, to give your audience something in exchange for their time. Make your giveaway even more exciting by using countdowns to build up tension, or having contests that drive competitive spirit and make people more eager to participate.
Host a Live Trivia Event?
Use online events to develop closer bonds with your existing customers. This will aid in increasing brand likability and loyalty. One great way you can do this is to have a virtual trivia event. Not only is it a ton of fun, but it drives major engagement and even builds friendships and camaraderie among audience members who compete against each other. Choose trivia questions that are relevant to your target audience, otherwise, general questions that people can have fun answering are also fine. You may also want to set a prize for winners, although this is not necessary. The point, after all, is simply to show your customers a good time.
Invite a Special Guest...
Get people talking and spreading the word about your virtual event by including a special guest appearance. Build curiosity and excitement by not revealing your guest until sometime into the live event. However, definitely throw in a few hints about the guest and the topics they will be addressing, to keep your audience hooked. This ‘surprise’ tactic will work especially well for well-known influencers who have knowledge or some experience with your particular industry.
Alternatively you can promote your special so that they bring along their tribe to your live event.
Your special guest can be someone who has a lot of experience and knowledge about your specific field or a wildly popular character-based on your preference. In this case, you may decide to be more upfront with your audience about who the guest is. Keep the buzz and excitement alive, by sharing that special individual’s accomplishments and experiences in the relevant field to heighten interest and increase traffic to your event.
Make it a Party!
Avoid getting into an awkward and uncomfortable staring competition with that one person who shows up to your event early. Make a good impression from the start. Let people feel your positive energy as soon as they sign in to your live event. Create the right ambience by putting on a little music- appropriate for the nature of the event.
Feel free to do a little grooving and dancing in front of the camera while you wait. As people come on, say hello and ask them about themselves, their hobbies, and what they are most looking forward to at your event. How you interact with your audience during your event will speak volumes about what you and your brand represent, and will set your company apart from others.
Stay in Touch.
Your event isn’t over when the camera stops rolling! You’ve now gained your potential customers’ full attention. Now is your chance to nurture that connection before you start to fade from their memory. Follow up with your attendees ask for feedback. For example, what takeaways did they receive from the information shared? What would they like to see next? Also, remember to provide your customers with any valuable resources that were offered to them during the event. Keep your brand fresh in your customers’ minds by sending occasional emails with valuable tips or pointing them to when the next event will be. So, the next time you host an event, they will remember the amazing value you gave and will look forward to joining you again. They may probably bring along a friend or two.
Remember that each stage of your virtual event is important, and each stage done successfully will help create an even greater impact in the minds of your audience. Hope these 5 tips have helped you. And without further ado, Happy Event Planning!