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Virtual events offer marketers unlimited opportunities to create touchpoints between your brand and attendees. All it requires is for marketers to be inventive and creative in the way they use virtual event platforms to boost brand reach, recognition, and reputation.
There is no disputing that the pivot to digital and virtual, so tenuous over the last year, is now firmly here to stay. And in this new normal, marketers are increasingly appreciating the value that virtual mediums, such as virtual events, offer today.
Virtual events are an effective way to reach new prospects, engage (and re-engage) existing ones, increase conversions, and track results. They're also easier to organize, are less expensive, and are more accessible to attendees than traditional in-person events. All this means that virtual events are also the perfect vehicle for brand marketing.
How so? Read on to learn how you can effectively leverage virtual events to effectively market your brand.
Brand marketing is the process of promoting your products or services in a way that draws attention to your overall brand. Its purpose is to connect your identity, beliefs, and personality to your target audience through successful targeted brand communication.
It’s more than just slapping your logo and company name on as many surfaces as possible and hoping for sales. It entails representing your company's identity from who you are, what you do, the level of quality you offer, and your reputation.
While the advantages of virtual events are fairly obvious, the ways in which marketers can creatively use events for brand marketing are less. So here's how you can drive better awareness and impact via virtual event branding
Virtual events give you unlimited opportunities for creating touchpoints between attendees and your brand.In other words, you can use every event asset, from your event landing page to your stage backdrop to bring customers and prospects closer to your brand.
Take, for instance, event branding. To get customers and prospects to feel excited about your brand, a generic image with your logo slapped on it just won’t do. Instead, markers can use branding creatively, such as through a visually spectacular welcome video, to reflect a distinctive look and feel, that attendees instantly recognize and remember afterward. Here's an example of a great welcome video by Razorpay for their FTX 2020 event, hosted on Zuddl.
Micro virtual events are a series of smaller virtual events that eventually feed into a larger marquee event. These events give marketers an opportunity to nurture brand intimacy ie kindle a personal relationship between them and the brand.
For instance, you can give attendees the opportunity to participate in activities like a Digital Round Table or a Panel Discussion at a virtual event. Rather than talking about yourself throughout your event, you can give your attendees opportunities to express themselves and ask questions.
According to a recent study by Invesp about returning customers – those loyal to your brand- are 50% likelier to try more of your products and spend, on average, 31% more than newly acquired clients; yes, brand loyalty is essential.
You can increase brand loyalty at your event in a variety of ways, thanks to how you utilize the features and tools of your virtual event platform. For instance, why not invite your customers to be speakers at your event? Not only does this show existing customers that you value them, but it’s also a great way to show other attendees who are potential customers why they should try your products or services.
Another way to build brand loyalty is by setting up networking sessions for attendees at your virtual events. Enabling current customers to talk to prospective ones is an indirect but positive way to drive brand awareness. Furthermore, it’s a simple way to add value to your customers’ lives. Helping them match with professionals who can add value to their businesses will earn you a lot of goodwill.
Finally, you can also drive loyalty by rewarding loyal customers with exclusive in-event experiences. This could be anything from arranging 1:1 virtual meet-and-greets with your brand’s ambassadors or enabling exclusive access to specific Stages at your event.
Everyone loves free goodies - but it’s good for business as well. Just look at these figures in a report by The ODM Group:
You can send giveaways - both physical or virtual - to your attendees immediately after the event is over. This can be made easier by using virtual event platforms like Zuddl that have integrated ticketing, so that you have a complete list of attendee details such as email or office addresses to which you can send the mementos.
It’s a no-brainer that social media can drive more business for your brand, which is why marketers put in time and effort in planning campaigns, reposting testimonials, and curating good-looking Instagram pages.
Virtual events can contribute to amplifying your brand on social media, through the use of in-platform tools like an integrated Social Wall . This would be a simple, fun way to encourage attendees to share posts about the event (without requiring them to download and install anything) that will appear on-screen within seconds.
For example, using hashtags can help you gain reach, putting your brand awareness virtual event in front of people who might not have heard of it before. Or you can also get your attendees to share photos and videos of the event using the same hashtags so that you can reshare user-generated content. This will help bring your brand to life.
Continue sharing memorable moments from the event and ask attendees to share their favorite discussions and experience. This will keep them excited about attending your events, and keep your brand in the spotlight.
The social wall will also let you drive more visibility and awareness long after the event is over.
One of the best things about virtual event platforms is that they are a data gold mine. At in-person events, it can be extremely difficult to source feedback and opinions from your attendees. Virtual event platforms make this a breeze.
Marketers can use Polls, for instance, to gain insight into the needs and wants of your attendees about a variety of things - preferences and complaints about products and services in your industry or topics that attendees want to know more about. This information can then be used to tailor your brand’s offerings down the line. And needless to say, asking your customers and attendees their opinion is a simple but significant way to tell them that their voices and opinions are important thereby fuelling brand loyalty.
It’s clear that there is plenty of opportunity in using virtual events to market your brand - they offer unlimited opportunities to create touchpoints between your brand and attendees. All it requires is for marketers to be inventive and creative in the way they use virtual event platforms to meet their goals.
Need any advice? Our team is full of ideas. Just connect with us for a quick conversation on how to deliver better brand marketing at virtual events - we’re happy to chat! Let’s talk.
With the presence of a million distractions in the online world, the first challenge when it comes to hosting a successful virtual event, is convincing your target audience to sign up for and show up to your event.If this is a challenge you’re facing, here are 8 steps that you, your business, agency, or association can take
With the obvious advantages virtual events provide - from allowing for a much larger and more global audience to better opportunities for engagement and lead generation - it’s now almost impossible for businesses to not incorporate them into marketing strategies. The presence of a million distractions in the online world leads to a dearth of virtual event ideas that can efficaciously convince your target audience to sign up for and show up to your event.
If this is a challenge you’re facing, here are 8 steps that you, your business, agency, or association can take.
If your event is going to be a paid one, it’s wise to run early bird ticket sales. This is a reliable virtual event idea to boost interest and hype in your event.
Once you set the full price for your virtual event, you can calculate a discount that can be applied as an early bird offer. Release the full price and the early bird offer at the same time, setting a limit on the date until when the discount is valid. This will build a sense of urgency and exclusivity.
This should help you obtain better results in terms of ticket sales. Furthermore, attendees who opt for the offer are also likely to tell their friends or colleagues about it, creating a snowball effect.
Another age-old virtual event idea to boost those registration numbers is to invite celebrities, industry thought leaders, or experts to speak at your virtual event.
One of the best examples that demonstrates the benefits of leveraging celebrity power for virtual events can be seen in Vanity Fair’s Live Cocktail Hour that took place in April 2021. The event was carried out as a charity fundraiser, with donations going to Covid-19 relief efforts.
The event featured a huge roster of celebrities. The list included names like Serena Williams, Gal Gadot, Michael B. Jordan, Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Paris Hilton, Jessica Alba and many others. The event schedule featured discussions and conversations on a variety of topics relating to the entertainment industry. There were also live performances, games and trivia challenges. With that line-up, who wouldn't want to attend this event?
The lead-up to your virtual event is as important as the event itself, so marketing it in the right way can lead to a rapid increase in the number of people who want to attend it.
What this means is that your promotional content, in the form of videos and graphics, needs to really showcase the USPs of your virtual event as opposed to a physical one. For instance, you could have video sneak peeks of your virtual venue completely covered with company branding.
Get creative with tools on social media! You could use Instagram stories’ for attendee engagement or Facebook Polls to amp up curiosity and enthusiasm. Twitter Spaces is a great way to have a small interactive session before the actual event takes place.
The power of digital marketing is limitless, and you should harness different platforms in the right way to make sure your target audience is interested in attending your event.
Once the number of registrations start to swell, the next challenge is to keep your attendees interested and engaged. Here are two ways to do this:
A pre-event guide gives your potential attendees an exact idea of what they can expect from the event not only in terms of the agenda but also in terms of the timeframe. Additionally, a pre-event attendee guide serves as a reminder of the valuable learnings that attendees can expect to take away from your virtual event. In that sense, it works to further the excitement that surrounds your virtual event.
As the title suggests, a resource center is a directory of the tools and information that your attendees might need to access before, during, and after the event.
Depending on the scale of your virtual event, you could create a dedicated website for your resources, or it could be something as simple as a Google Drive folder. The main aim is to ensure that it has any tools or information that your attendees may need - for instance, a Frequently Asked Questions in your resource center would be very useful.
The internet is full of distractions, and it can be hard for attendees to keep track of your virtual event.
Usually, the virtual event platform you use to host should have automated reminders that are sent to attendees weeks before the event - or whenever you schedule them. It’s also good practice to send reminders across multiple channels, just in case some attendees lack access to a specific platform.
Be careful not to spam your attendees, however, as this can be a huge source of annoyance.
We hear you, Kim.
Scheduling small activities before the event helps to generate a buzz, as well as keep it top of mind for attendees - and the more creative, the better.
With many platforms nowadays allowing you to customize your virtual event, it’s a smart move to use it for your pre-event activities. For instance, within your platform you could create different rooms for attendees to wait in and socialize before the main event starts, or you could host a small ice-breaking introductory activity to help attendees learn more about each other.
After your virtual event, you should send out tools, brochures, or resources that may help your attendees. This is also extremely useful if you are going to have another similar event in the future, as it makes your audience feel valued, and shows them that you are trying to drive value for them.
It’s also a good practice to reach out to those who registered for your event but didn’t show up. This not only shows them what they missed out on, but it can also help you find out why they could not attend your event, which can assist you in improving your next virtual event registration strategy.
Collecting post-event feedback is a significant part of the process. Through this, you can find out what went right and what went wrong with your event, from the perspective of your attendees — offering you insights into improving the next one that you might be planning. Additionally, feedback also shows your attendees that you care about their experience at your event. Click here to read which important questions you should ask on your post-event survey.
Hosting virtual events can involve a lot of organizing and management. Use this detailed list of steps to drive registrations and pull in attendees, and watch it grow into an exciting and enriching event.
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