The use of virtual events is not a new concept. The demand is. We’re being inundated daily with COVID-19 news and regardless of whatever changes are implemented next, business and life must continue to the best of their ability.
Hopefully, you already have a Plan B in place (if not, don’t worry this will help) for any postponed or upcoming events in your cue, one component being a virtual setting. But before you press send on your mass email list, consider these five points to fast track the planning of your virtual experience.
Establish your goal.
There’s no sense in putting hours of work into something without knowing why. What is your goal? Be clear about your “why” for the event before you plan and market it. Otherwise, you won’t be able to measure your success as accurately. Are you trying to gain new leads? Sell a product? How many? Pave the way to becoming a thought leader? Or perhaps provide value to existing customers? Think about the goal you want to accomplish with your virtual event and plan the details around that.
Examine who the event is for.
If you don’t know who your audience is for your business, stop reading this and click here instead. For those that know their customer base, speak to it. Address their challenges and concerns, answer their questions (even if you’ve done so 1000 times before) and refer them to resources that can help if your offerings are out of their grasp. Trying to market to everyone means you’re marketing to anyone.
Gather your equipment and tools.
While they’re making steady improvements, you may be a bit apprehensive about using Zoom. If so, don’t stress, there are other platforms out there. Ring Central, GotoWebinar, Facebook Live and BeLive are all good alternatives for live stream or virtual events. Your budget will ultimately determine what equipment and tools you utilize but where there’s a will there’s a way. If money is tight, you can create a suitable recording atmosphere with just a few items from Amazon for under $200.
Here’s our starter kit of tools for making your own recordings:
- Phone/Laptop (use your own, one less thing to check off the list)
- Ring Light- $56.99
- Tripod $25.99
- Lapel Microphone $27.99
Tip: If you don’t have a ring light or other film lights, check the weather and film your footage early in the day, when natural lighting is at its brightest.
Take advantage of social media.
Virtual events need virtual advertisements. Take advantage of social media to promote your event and reach potential customers. Plus, ya know…it’s free so why not? If you don’t have the budget to perform strategic paid ads, create content specifically for the event (blog, flyer, etc) and add it to your social media schedule. Mention your event on your socials at least two times a week. When you’re two weeks out from the event, talk about it every day.
Plan your follow-up.
Don’t leave your attendees hanging once you’re offline. If you provided value to their lives and business, they’ll want to hear from you again. However, the public has a short memory. If you don’t engage them regularly, they’ll forget about you…quickly.
The virtual platform you choose should have a way to capture attendee information, at the very least, name, and email address. Another way to capture attendee information is to create a brief registration page or Google form. If unfamiliar with this, ask your web developer for help on the best way to complete this for your particular web setup.
At your service,