Virtual and hybrid events have exploded in popularity since last year. When planning an online event, one of the biggest challenges is discovering the newest and most creative ways to increase engagement and enhance the attendee experience.
Luckily for you, we’ve organized the following tips to make your next online event a success.
1. Attract a Wider Audience with Video Marketing
Create excitement before your event and drive registrations with an effective video marketing strategy.
Don’t have the budget for expensive television ads, fancy billboards or a full-page print ad? No problem. Those channels may not reach your audience, anyway. Think about your audience and their daily routine — where and how can you reach them?
Since you’re hosting a virtual event, it’s fair to assume you can reach your audience online. What better way to reach a digital audience than with engaging video content? According to a recent marketing survey, 93% of brands got a new customer because of a video on social media, 86% say video has helped them increase traffic, and 84% say video has helped them generate new leads.
Marketing videos allow you to meet your target audience at the right time, in the right place, with the right message.
2. Make Your Audience Feel Like They’re Actually With You
You want your online attendees to feel like they are truly there in person. When attendees feel like they’re with you, it’s easier to communicate your message and foster a long-term relationship.
The first step in achieving this is with high-quality video production. Film in an appealing location with professional production. Setting is everything, and yours can influence the way your audience perceives your event. Translation: ditch the zoom screensaver. Choose a professional, attractive backdrop that fits your event.
Next, you want to avoid just talking to your audience. Keep them engaged by:
- Using a virtual host. Virtual emcees can introduce content, answer questions, direct attendees to specific sessions, facilitate group sessions and keep the pace humming along.
- Delivering food to their door: Food-delivering companies are trending. Surprise attendees by delivering food straight to their door. Attendees can eat a delicious meal while watching presentations.
- Creating custom avatars: Allow guests to digitally immerse themselves into your event by creating custom avatars that represent themselves.
- Having a leaderboard challenge: People are naturally competitive. Have a leaderboard challenge to track donations, raffles, interaction rate and more.
An intimate setting with interactive agendas attracts viewers and help them feel like they are a part of the action. This keeps viewers interested much longer than if you simply talk to them through a screen.
3. Offer VIP Tickets and Extras
If you break down your target audience into subgroups, one of these groups is likely your VIPs — sponsors and attendees who have the resources and desire to majorly support your online event.
Create a VIP ticket that gives this subgroup exclusive opportunities, information and benefits. Some examples of VIP incentives are:
- Paid-for dinners
- Cocktail parties
- Exclusive insight
- Access to a VIP lounge
- Early access
You can charge more for these tickets — upwards of 50% — to generate more revenue for your cause. Create excitement by marketing the VIP tickets’ exclusivity and by selling a limited number of them.
4. Let Sponsors Host Activities
Keep brand awareness a priority and use sponsor logos and mentions throughout meetings and sessions. Sponsors can also introduce, moderate or facilitate groups or meetings, or sponsor engaging festivities in between main events like:
- Question and answer sessions
- Networking socials
- Cocktail parties
- Happy hours
There’s no better way to make sponsors feel connected to your event than with native session integration that seamlessly blends their brand with the overall event experience.
5. Let Attendees Choose Their Sessions
Your event doesn’t have to be just a single session for each time slot. Use breakout sessions to host many activities, and let attendees choose which activity they want to partake in. Offer reservations for participants prior to the event. Market each session to get different subgroups of your target demographic excited.
Examples of session types you may host include:
- Education & Training
- Interactive idea discussions
- Question and answer sessions
- Product or service demonstrations
- Influential speaker or spokesperson
Everyone has different interests, and you can effectively reach more people by hosting different sessions. Each session should reference your organization’s goals and mission statement, and equally important, be interactive.
When breaking into sessions, make sure your audience is knowledgeable on how to navigate the technology you use to host your online event. During each session, encourage interaction by integrating live-action polling, chat rooms and more. Interactive sessions reinforce the idea of making attendees feel like they’re actually interacting face-to-face with your organization, increasing your chances for higher revenue.
6. Keep Momentum After the Event With Repurposed Content
Initial marketing efforts attracted the right people. Then, your online event strengthened that relationship by sharing relevant and meaningful information. Your relationship doesn’t end there. At the end of your event, open the door for a post-event relationship by offering content for purchase.
Some examples of content to market include:
- Informational videos
- Poll and survey responses
- Actionable trends
- Feedback opportunities
Maintaining relationships after your event makes it more likely for reputable sponsors and satisfied attendees to attend your next event. Outside of sponsorship, you can build and maintain relationships after your event by reselling the recorded event. Sell the recorded event for less than the cost of general admission. With this strategy, you can continue generating revenue long after your event ends.
Virtual and Hybrid Events With CNTV
Do you want to take your event to the next level? Drive bigger results and revenue by partnering with CNTV. We’ll help you with professional video production, an easy-to-use event platform, comprehensive support, and proven revenue generation.
To learn more about how to increase revenue from virtual events and make your online event a success, contact CNTV today to get started.
Go Hybrid. Smarter.
The meetings and events industry is growing quickly. You should too. Get started with everything you need to know about hybrid events.