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How to market a Virtual Event

Just like in-person experiences, virtual events also need a powerful marketing campaign. While many principles remain unchanged and are to be applied just like in the real world, it is important to focus on small details that make a big difference. For online events, specific marketing strategies will keep your prospective audience engaged and eager to be part of it. Therefore, promotional activities are just as important as choosing the right speakers to offer memorable experiences. So, how do you create an effective marketing campaign for an event that is taking place in a virtual environment? To give you an answer, we’ve put together some marketing strategies designed to drive up traffic and create a real buzz.

Identify your Audience

To make sure that your marketing efforts are as relevant as possible, try to understand your prospective audience first. If you manage to identify the target persona you aim to engage with, your marketing campaign will have a better outcome.

What should you know about your prospective audience?

–          Demographic information (age, location, job title, income etc.)

–          Platforms where they spend time online

–          Motivations and goals (hobbies, interests, aspirations etc.)

Afterwards, based on the type of virtual event hosted, you can promote it to an audience that is truly interested in the presented content. Let’s assume that you host an online recruitment event. Based on demographic information, you can filter your audience and promote the event solely to candidates that meet your company’s minimum requirements (age, experience, interests, etc.).

Involve your Speakers

Speakers or presenters are at the heart of your event. They are the ones that make audiences impatient and excited to attend and be part of your event, especially in an online environment. Therefore, promoting it can be a lot more efficient if speakers are involved in the process. It is in their own interest and usually part of their duty to cross promote their appearance to their fans.

Most of them have built a strong fan base on different social media networks. To make it easier for them to spread the word about your upcoming event, create content that is easy to share online: a pre written tweet; a high quality image of your event logo; ask them to promote it in their email signatures and so on. At the end of the day, they are equipped with the right tools to promote it most effectively and usually without any additional costs.

Send out Newsletters

The available information shows that email marketing will continue to have a key role in the event organizer’s promotional strategy. In fact, 40% of marketers consider email marketing as the most effective medium for event promotion. Even if you are new to the world of virtual events, you might already have a well-established database from your offline shows. Those are people that already trust you and sending them out a newsletter can do no harm.

Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind before pressing the send button. First, get creative and find a catchy subject line. If you booked in well-known speakers, include their names in your newsletter’s subject line. It can sound similar to this: “Mr. Johnson, join Sir Ken Robinson at the XY virtual conference”. You can see that in the example mentioned above I used some degree of personalization. If you have data from previous events, don’t hesitate to customize as much as possible for each individual. Another important aspect is to always remember the purpose of email marketing, which is ‘Call to action’ (CTA). The available information tells us that CTA should appear in the first 20% of the e-mail. Why? Well, most of us are surfing the internet from our smartphones. If the CTA is placed too far in the email, we might not even bother to scroll down and actually read it.

Use Keywords in your Event description

When was the last time you used Google to find something that interests you? I bet that it was earlier today. Among those uncountable searches that take place daily, there is no wonder that people search for events as well. There are several keyword planning tools, such as Google Ads that help you find out relevant words based on your content. As soon as you manage to find relevant keywords, simply include them in your event description.

By following these guidelines, you should be able to spread the word around and make people aware regarding your upcoming Virtual Event. If you need any further guidance, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

How to monetize your Virtual Event

Today, more people than ever are using online platforms to host events. The current situation forces many artists to keep their fans engaged through different streaming platforms, right from their own houses. As expected, this change from offline to online is quite different in terms of generating revenue for both event organizers and artists. Therefore, in order to support everyone who puts on live events as part of their daily lives, it is extremely important to find efficient methods to earn actual income from virtual events. In this article, we will go over different monetization strategies for your online events.

Monetize through Sponsorship

Sponsors are looking for engaging ways to get exposure. In a virtual environment, there are several ways to connect participants with a brand in a fun and interactive manner, before and after your event.

  • Branding Opportunities during your Live Stream

Enable your sponsors to bid for a designated logo space on your live stream. Based on the available sessions, you can offer them to have a logo displayed during a keynote, breakout or even in networking spaces. Identify those sessions that receive more publicity and aim to target higher tier sponsors to be part of it. Make sure to find a platform that is equipped with this feature.

  • Sponsored Virtual Event Bags

Yes, virtual event bags seem to be a thing now! You can give your sponsors the option of choosing what goes inside your virtual event bag. Ranging from coupons or vouchers to a free trial or an online course, it can basically include anything that can be claimed online. Afterwards, the bag is shared directly with your attendees in the form of a newsletter, via email, social media or through the event app.

Ticketing and paid access to Streams

Revenue coming from ticket sales plays an important role for both online and offline events. However, since the attendee experience can be quite different in a virtual environment, participants might get reluctant when it comes to paid events. For this reason, organizers need to add sufficient value (content, speakers, artists, interactions and sponsors) to convince fans that paying for their virtual event is totally worth it. It can be easy to make them buy tickets for a first edition. However, the quality of the presented content and the overall success can only be measured after hosting at least two online events and after experiencing a positive retention rate.

Selling products in Virtual Events

Traditionally, virtual events that promote the launch of a new product invite attendees to purchase those products in a physical location, after the event. While this is a good sales strategy, because your clients can test and see the real product in an actual location, allowing them to order straight from your live stream can prove to be efficient as well. How is this possible?

Based on the purpose of your virtual event, you can host a dedicated session during your live stream and create an online market for your participants. Let’s assume that online viewers want to buy a product in the middle of a demo. Don’t make them wait until the event is over. Instead, find a solution that provides shopping cart functionalities so that your viewers can drag items into the cart at any point in the presentation.

What if you want to include some items in the ticket price? As previously mentioned, it tends to be a bit harder to convince people to purchase tickets for virtual events. However, if you play it right and you provide great value in return, selling tickets for online events should be a joke, especially if freebies are included. With Oveit, organizers can include products in the ticket price by using the ‘Perks, benefits and addons’ feature. Why is this feature useful for virtual events? Well, it is a great way to keep track of claimed items. Maybe you sell three ticket categories and only those that purchase a ‘Gold’ category are entitled to claim those freebies. You want to avoid scenarios where you need to manually search for individual attendees and find out what they are entitled to claim.

Adding ticket addons

Final Thoughts

There are a lot more monetization strategies for virtual events, but following the ones mentioned in this article should get you a good start. If planned right, online events can serve as a highly effective means to connect and form a community, while generating revenue in the same time.

Here at Oveit, our team is currently working on developing a user-friendly solution for Virtual Events. We will keep you updated with our progress, but don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

How to host a successful Virtual Event

With the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, the events industry passes through challenging times.  As health institutions deal with the outbreak, exhibitions and events are postponed or cancelled. This unprecedented situation forces many businesses to adapt accordingly and make temporary decisions to keep operating.

There is no doubt that face-to-face interactions will never go away, but there are times when going virtual appears to be a better alternative. In this article, we will go over different ways that can make your virtual event truly Stand Out!

Meaningful Social Interactions

It seems like one of the main criticisms of online events is that participants don’t have the same opportunities when it comes to networking and interaction, compared to face-to-face events. While this is partly true, the available technologies in today’s world are doing a great job to tackle this inconvenience.

As a result, organizers that decide to go the ‘virtual way’ can opt for easy to implement solutions to keep their audience engaged.  Innovative apps enable attendees to stay engaged right from their smartphones. Interactive content, such as live polls, reactions, chat rooms and quizzes are efficient ways to keep them entertained during and after an online event.

However, if you decide to provide your audience with virtual networking tools, keep in mind that social doesn’t just happen, or at least not initially. It is the organizers job to remind audiences that great interaction features are available. Therefore, try to send out newsletters at least a week in advance and include step by step instructions to avoid any concerns.

Streaming Solution and Gear

First, determine if your virtual event will take place in a physical place, or if it will be fully virtual. If you decide to stream it from a physical location, find a solution that integrates with quality stream providers. Usually, online events are streamed in three different ways: 1. Real-time stream 2. Stream with a short delay 3. Record and upload the stream at a later time. The first one seems to be the most popular, because people can interact and attend Q&A sessions.

Live streams can be quite simple if you prepare beforehand. With no room for mistake, using proper software and hardware is very important. Therefore, choose a streaming solution that is configured to withstand the volume of viewers you expect and that is somewhat popular on the market. Keeping aside the streaming aspect, the quality of your equipment can make a huge difference. If you plan to host multiple online events, investing in top-of-the-line gear is a must.

Choose the right Time and Date

Since your event will take place online, location and accessibility are not to be worried about anymore. However, the time and date are just as relevant as ever. Even if we all know that weekends are for events, there are still other things to consider. Is there another important event that might distract your audience? Does the event time coincide with a major sporting event? 

Do your research before setting up a time and date for a virtual event. You can even create a short survey and share it with your prospective audience. This way, you can assure that most of them won’t complain about this matter. Besides that, you should establish if your target audience is overseas or if it’s part of the same time zone, especially if you opt to host a live stream. Anyway, you can always upload the video after the show if time difference is a real concern, but keep in mind that live streams can keep audiences more engaged. 

Find a Venue when it’s Safe

Just because you host a virtual event, it doesn’t mean that you can simply run it from your office. Obviously, you can do that and it will save you a lot of money, but it’s not going to be as effective as if you were to host it in a real venue. However, during this time of uncertainty, your audience should understand that it’s safer to host events from home rather than hustling around to search for venues. Anyway, once the pandemic has passed, you should find a venue for your virtual events. No need for a spacious venue, just find one with the basics (a podium and audio/visual equipment).

Hopefully, we convinced you that hosting a virtual event is no rocket science and it can actually prove to be efficient. At Oveit, we are currently working on setting up a dedicated platform for virtual events. If you have time, try to complete this short questionnaire. It won’t take more than a few minutes and it will help us develop a solution based on your preferences. Stay tuned for more information and feel free to drop us a line!