In 2020 we saw the Coronavirus change how we host events, moving from in person to mostly online. You most likely hosted or attended a virtual event in 2020, whether that be a networking meeting, webinar, conference, etc.
There are many advantages to virtual events including being able to reach a larger potential audience. Virtual events are generally more budget friendly, since you don’t' have to rent out actual space to host the event. Virtual events are a great way to get new followers, customers and make new connections.
Once you decide to set up a virtual event, you must figure out how to get people to register and attend your event. That can be a challenge with so many virtual events and meeting happening these days.
Follow these eight tips to get more people to attend your virtual events.
Target your specific audience: Reach out to specific groups of people that will find value in attending your event. What type of people will be most interested – and benefit from – your event? Once you determine this, reach out directly and invite them to your event. This could be through social media, online groups and email marketing campaigns and may also include other group newsletters, chambers, professional associations, trade groups, etc.
Provide details of the event & make it easy to register (and pay) online: Make sure to include detailed information about the event, perhaps including an agenda, and make it easy to sign up (and pay registration fee, if applicable) online. This could spur more people to sign up if they know exactly what will be happening and if (and how) it could benefit them.
Use specific, appropriate keywords: when promoting your virtual event across different platforms, be sure to use appropriate and relevant keywords. The keywords should reflect how people actually search for events or topics like yours. Do research into other similar types of events to see what keywords are included in their promotions to get new ideas.
Use social media to promote the event (and answer questions): spreading the word through social media (and using appropriate hashtags) is an important way to create interest and awareness of your event. People can also share this event with their network on social media as well. Be sure to include link to online registration form. Consider also running an ad with a small budget on social media for increased visibility to your targeted audience.
Send email confirmations and reminders: send email confirmations when people sign up for the event. Be sure to send a reminder email before the event with details on joining the event. While you want to make sure people are reminded with the details, be careful of sending too many emails. You don’t want to be that pushy company!
Make it easy for people to invite others: once you get someone signed up, they might want to share this with their friends or colleagues. Make that as easy as possible by providing a link to event information.
Distribute an event press release: this is a great way to spread the word on your virtual event. Include the event details and contact information and use the same description to keep it consistent and send to appropriate outlets, associations and organizations.
Follow up after the event: once the event is over, be sure to thank attendees for participating. Include a recording of the event and a copy of any relevant content discussed during event. Consider including a link to a survey to get feedback and ideas for improving content and event itself. Reaching out to attendees can be very beneficial for you to answer any questions, continue conversation and to offer help.
Before 2020, real-life events were more popular than virtual events, but with the pandemic there has been a dramatic shift to how people get together. Now, people are seeing benefits to running events online, whether those are for one-on-one or group networking, training, education, demos, and more.
Use these tips to get more people to attend your events and to make those events as effective and productive as possible.