Marketing Your Virtual Meeting
F2F Virtually. Knowing your attendance rate at an in-person meeting is somewhat easy to predict. An attendee registers, books a flight and secures their hotel room. Nine times out of ten, they’ll be at your meeting unless something unexpected comes up. Literally and figuratively, they’re invested in your plan. But what about virtual meetings? Does the same hold true? Well, not really...An attendee was interested and excited about your virtual event and signed up quickly. But with remote working conditions and demands on their everyday life, distractions often win, and your virtual meeting attendance could suffer. Keeping in front of your audience with “not to miss” marketing campaign and creative and impactful messaging can help ensure a successful turnout.
Let’s start at the very beginning. As with any plan, goals are important. Decide what you hope to achieve as you develop the program plan. Is it to increase attendance? Attract people from a variety of organization sizes and industries? Impart new and exciting news? All of the above?
Top of Mind. Unlike F2F where attendee communication overload is a real thing, we’re not too sure that even continual messaging around your virtual program is enough. A great end to end communication plan that spans the entirety of your event lifecycle is required. For virtual, embrace new ways to market to your prospects and attendees. Housekeeping announcements of an in-person event are replaced by 1 week to go, 24 hr countdown and show day emails, all designed to keep the momentum building for your event. Your event Call to Action must stay at the top of your prospect’s mind, inbox and calendar.
Everlasting (program) life? Your virtual event also lives on after the actual show dates with “what you missed” reminders or second chance to view. There are so many ways to use your virtual presentations post event to keep your name and messaging in front of your customers year-round. Put these new ways to engage in your quiver as part of your new virtual tools.
Get social. In the world today, email is just one way to touch your prospect or attendee. Social media is a great cost-effect way to reach a greater audience potentially. Build a targeted plan for your preferred social platforms then create and schedule social cards to expand your program reach. From event announcement, show day excitement and post program news, your messaging via these platforms should be used to tell your story.
Hello? Is there anybody out there? With virtual you can tap into an audience you may have never considered before or been able to reach. Create excitement by showcasing speakers, networking opportunities available and the value proposition of your event. Tap into your speakers and sponsors followers by creating graphics for repost that can be used on their platforms that highlight their participation in your event. Do your #hashtag due diligence and research to find the best ones suited for your company and event.
Past Perfect. What about past attendees and employees? Capture short video clips from willing participants to provide a testimonial about the value of attendance. Use these “short stories” on your event website and in your social and email campaigns. Event just wrapped? Remember to prep testimonials from this year’s event to use the following year.
Plan A, B and C. Once you have your plan in place, remember the most imperative thing about events. Nothing ever goes as planned. Track your registrations and how are attendees finding out about your event? What are your social media analytics? Where is your promotion getting the most traction? Recalibrate your plan and marketing strategy accordingly to ensure your successful event.